How to add right click search menu in Windows Vista

Windows XP had a nice option if you had to search only in folder. Just right click on any folder and select search. This is like one click option for searching in XP.

Folder Search in Windows XP
Folder Search in Windows XP

After i switched to Windows VIsta I was unable to find this option and Its not availble in any of the right click or shift right clck option. However when you press F3 on desktop it opens a search in the desktop meaning if you want to search in any of the folder in Windows VIsta it needs to be open and then you press F3. 

Searching a folder windows vista with F3
Searching a folder windows vista with F3

However if you want to get the right click context menu for folders and drives follw these steps

  • Open Registry Editor
  • Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDriveshellfind
  • Look for a string LegacyDisable
  • Delete this key
  • Now click on any folder and you would get the search options on the folder.
  • To disable the rigth click search context just add new string value by right click on the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDriveshellfind path
Vista add rigth click search context
Vista add rigth click search context

With Windows Vista Service pack 1this option was disabled by default. You can read more about it here


    why their usability “gurus” thought this was a good change is absolutely beyond me – they are too busy getting high I think

  2. Doesn’t seem to work for me – deleted the key, restarted the computer, but no search on right-click. Too bad….

  3. This worked for me, but only to enable the right-click search in the folders pane, not the main window when right-clicking on a folder.

    To get the main window folders searchable, I followed the above instructions, instead using the path:


    and deleted the LegacyDisable key

  4. To Dave F:

    This change was not a design choice by “usability gurus”, it was a mandatory requirement forced by Google after a lawsuit.

  5. There is no way that anything can mandate that an operating system not be alowed to search withing it’s own directory structure on a per directory basis. If you are to make such a claim you need to link to the proof.

    For me right click on directory, search for file is invaluable and am only just immering myself in the post XP environment. I have found annopyances I can overcome, thing I expect to be fixed and the huge drag and drop icon that I am seing a therapist about dealing with.

    No context search though? It’s core.

  6. Thanks buddy! It actually works! I have deleted both the keys and now am able to right click and get the “Search” option anywhere.


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