I have just upgraded to Windows 11 on my pc.

As a C++/cmake programmer, I constantly use the option "create new -> text file" on the context menu, but Windows 11 has removed this option.

Is there a way to get this option back, e.g via regedit, or some new tool?

5 Answers 5


What spikey_richie suggests will reset the whole context menu back to the look from Windows 10 which might be what someone wants but does not answer the OP's specific question.

I was looking for a way to only get the "Create New Text Document"-option back. Found this great page: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/24412-add-remove-default-new-context-menu-items-windows-10-a.html

And used the "Restore_New_Text_Document_context_menu_item.reg"-file which worked great.

To only restore what the OP asked, the following .reg file is the only thing needed. A sign out/sign in OR reboot is needed for explorer.exe to pick up the change.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


@="Text Document"
  • 1
    Thanks. This is the right answer for me.
    – Xtro
    Jun 3, 2022 at 18:24
  • 4
    Exactly what I needed, restart explorer.exe or your pc after adding the reg files
    – SuperMar1o
    Dec 19, 2022 at 14:37
  • This worked perfectly. I downloaded the registry file only for the missing New Text Document. Thanks a lot! This should be the accepted answer, as it's more specific. Mar 1 at 20:27
  • 2
    I cannot seem to edit my old comment. New info: At first, this did not work. The "New -> Text Document" already appeared when right-clicking on the Desktop background, but not right-clicking within Windows Explorer. Strange enough. Both of these remain unchanged after taking this action. Then restoring my registry backup seemed to change nothing. Now, a day later, and magically (because that's how Windows works), "New -> Text Document" appears everywhere. I presume due to a reboot. I hope I can be more scientific next time. Mar 2 at 4:46
  • 1
    A reboot is not required. Just open the task manager and restart the Explorer.exe process. May 5 at 18:30

What worked for me was resetting the Notepad app -- Settings; Apps; Apps & features; next to "Notepad", select the three dot pop-up menu; Advanced options; select Reset. It appears to effectively do an uninstall/reinstall of notepad and resets the associated settings. "Text Document" has returned as an option under the right-click, New menu.

Windows 11 settings - Apps Notepad Advanced options

Windows 11 settings - Notepad reset

You will likely need to restart Explorer for the new option to show up:

Task Manager, Explorer selected and the "Restart task" button highlighted

  • 1
    This worked for me. Thanks!
    – hsmiths
    Aug 8, 2022 at 23:41
  • That doesn't even show up here. No notepad in the list, weird. Aug 28, 2022 at 2:38
  • Worked for me as well. Thx!
    – pghcpa
    Sep 5, 2022 at 21:34
  • 1
    Slight variation worked for me after 22H2 W11 feature update. Menu has changed - no three dot pop-up menu. Select use "set defaults by file type" Select .txt change default app from Notepad to Wordpad, and OK. Then set it back to notepad. Now text file appears in Explorer context menu. Oct 10, 2022 at 8:17
  • 3
    Worked for me. It's now under "Installed Apps". After resetting Notepad I had to close all explorer windows then use Task Manager to restart Windows Explorer.
    – Bob Stein
    May 13 at 11:58

If you want to manually change the registry (always make a backup before editing) without resetting it to the Windows 10 look, here are the steps that worked for me:

  1. Open the registry editor and move to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.txt
  2. Add a new Key called ShellNew
  3. Move to the new key (i.e. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.txt\ShellNew)
  4. Add a new String Value with the name NullFile

Now, the only thing missing is the name shown in the context menu. Because it has none per default, the entry does not show up yet. To change this:

  1. Move to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfilelegacy
  2. Change the (Default) value to Text File (or any other name you'd like)

Et voilà! It should show up, no reboot needed. (Edit: Maybe you do need to restart explorer.exe, as David Moylan pointed out.) If you want to add a template for the file, this might work, but I did not try it.

  • 2
    I just tried this but the content menu didn't update. i used task manager to kill and restart explorer.exe and then it appears. obviously a machine restart would also do the same. but thanks - this was the quickest method to set this up. Jun 10, 2022 at 3:21

Not an answer to the question per se, but a quick work-around:

  1. New > Word Document
  2. Rename it to myfile.txt

Blank word files are just blank files, so this creates a blank file with a .txt extension, as needed.

  • Should be the best answer tbh, no need to configure anything though you have to have MS Office installed.
    – Luke Vo
    Jun 15, 2022 at 15:38
  • You can also select Rich Text Format, give it a different extension (.txt, .php, etc.) and then delete the one line that the file contains. RTF files are just text files with RTF tags in them. Oct 21, 2022 at 7:37
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    Windows 11 doesn't come with Word, and there is no "Word Document" in its context menu. Jul 29 at 23:21

Install Windows Notepad from Microsoft Store: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9MSMLRH6LZF3

Then either:

  1. Restart Windows Explorer by going to Task Manager > Processes > Windows Explorer > Right Click > Restart

  2. OR restart windows

and then it should pop up

  • 1
    I can confirm this works even if you've already set the clumsy new context menu back to the old one. If you'd have the bright idea to install and then uninstall hoping it'll leave the desired behavior without the software, I just want to note here don't bother, it'll remove it from the context menu after uninstall.
    – nopara73
    Jan 13 at 13:53

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