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I noticed today that there is no longer a "Create new text document" option in my Windows 7 (x64 Ultimate) context menu when I right click. No idea how or when it disappeared, point is it's gone.

After searching Google for people with the same problem I tried following a post in this guide.

But I got stuck right away because I don't see a .txt key in my registry under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. I only see a .text but I am not sure if that is the same thing.

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Have a look a this post:… – Ganesh R. Aug 9 '13 at 7:19

7 Answers 7

up vote 14 down vote accepted

I gained access to another PC running Windows 7, a computer with which the context menu was intact. I used this machine to peek at its registry and copy exactly what it had entered. Donig so resolved the problem on my desktop with the broken context menu.

Following all the instructions listed above, the two Strings within the .txt key that I needed were Content Type and PerceivedType.

So then to recap, if you are facing a similar issue, here is what I did to fix this problem. Hopefully it works for you as well.

(First backup the Registry.)

  1. Open regedit.exe
  2. Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and look for a .txt key. If none exist, create one.
  3. Within the .txt key, create two new Strings: Content Type and PerceivedType.
  4. (Right click) Modify... and the value for Default should be txtfile.
  5. (Right click) Modify... and the value for Content Type should be text/plain.
  6. (Right click) Modify... and the value for PerceivedType should be text.
  7. Create a new key with the name ShellNew within the .txt key.
  8. Within the ShellNew key, create a new String with the name NullFile.
  9. Within the ShellNew key, create a new Expandable String Value with the name ItemName.
  10. (Right click) Modify... and the value for ItemName should be @%SystemRoot%\system32\notepad.exe,-470

Here are two screenshots of what the final outcome should be:

Enter image description here

Enter image description here

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Diddnt really work for me, it seems that windows limits the number of entries on the context menu- I just removed some programs which had added context items and txt showed up. – Hightower Nov 20 '14 at 8:46
To make it work i had to delete all other folders under .txt except ShellNew – emirjonb Jun 6 at 7:40
it worked fine here, you just need to log off after making changes to the registry – remo Jul 14 at 4:25

Create a new file with the .reg extension, copy, paste, save and run.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; clear the key

; and recreate
"Content Type"="text/plain"

; @C:\Windows\system32\notepad.exe,-470
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Also, restart explorer afterwards (or just reboot) – dlf Jun 21 at 13:58

Just add the .txt key yourself and then make sure that the following string value is there:


The shell will use it to decide which items to put on the 'New' menu.

enter image description here

Microsoft has a KB article about it here:

If you're adding a brand new type (or fixing a broken one) you may need to add another entry to specify the text used. The default entry for the HKCR.txt should be 'txtfile'. Then make sure you have a HKCR\txtfile entry with default entry something like 'Text Document':

enter image description here

Close all instances of Explorer (ideally reboot) and that should work.

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I tried all these suggestions and still no create new text document option. I even tried downloading a program mentioned in the other thread linked by Ganesh, the program called ShellNewHandeler. No .txt option in my context. – Matt Aug 9 '13 at 14:18
If anyone has other help this is still unresolved. – Matt Aug 11 '13 at 17:34
Updated to include information about the 'txtfile' entry. – snowdude Aug 12 '13 at 13:09
Thanks for your help. However, for some reason still no context menu entry for text documents. My registry editor screenshot looks identical to yours. Is it possible some sort of software is conflicting causing this? – Matt Aug 18 '13 at 16:44
Try creating a dummy key (e.g. for '.tst'). That's how I tested out these instructions. It didn't work for me until I created a tstfile entry and pointed the .tst default key to it. – snowdude Aug 19 '13 at 9:22

I had this same problem, and even though all the registry keys appeared to be correct, the option for a new Text Document stubbornly refused to appear.

Only after also adding an empty text file named empty.txt to my machine's \Windows\ShellNew folder, did the option show up for me. (The "empty" part of the name appears irrelevant -- Windows will look up the file type's friendly name in the registry. But the extension matters.)

Don't ask me why/how/when the file disappeared...or became required, if it wasn't already there at some point. But that last step is what made things work in my case.

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Unfortunately even this does not work for me. – Moss May 21 at 23:04
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


"Content Type"="text/plain"




@="Text Document"














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While this may answer the question, it would be a better answer if you could provide some explanation why it does so. – DavidPostill Feb 15 at 9:38
This worked! Finally. – Moss May 21 at 23:09

1. Click on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and look for a .txt in regedit.exe

2. Do export and (keep a copy as a backup) and copy paste the following code.

3. Finally import it as .txt . That's it. It works for me on Windows 10.

//credit goes to blackout1000

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"Content Type"="text/plain"





@="notepad.exe %1"

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Jan's answer is the most complete and accurate, however, as user Hightower mentioned, Windows limits the number of items that can appear the in the "New" right click menu.

If you already have more then a few options...remove some that are already there. As soon as I removed the options for Word, Excel and Visio documents, sure enough, the Text Document option appeared.

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