Special to the Times

I have lost the ability to create "New" folders. Using Explorer, the "New Folder" button on the upper task bar does nothing. If I right-click the mouse in a blank area of a folder or in the desktop and click on "New," there is no "Folder" option listed. I am running Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 10. I have tried restoring to earlier points and resetting Explorer to its defaults but neither has helped.

Did this start to happen after installing a particular program? That seems to be the common cause in many of the examples I've come across. The area of the registry that controls the New Folder menu context actions probably has been changed or corrupted. My first suggestion would be to go back to a System Restore even earlier than the ones you've tried until the functionality returns. If that's not possible, go to and read the solution there. It involves downloading a ZIP file and installing it into the registry (unzip then double-click the file). I usually don't like giving these types of solutions, but I've checked it out and it is legitimate and safe and the only other solution would be to do an in-place reinstall of Windows 7. Create a check point before doing any of this. Most programs create a checkpoint before installing, which would have made it easier for you to go back before you lost your New Folder ability. It is a good habit to create one manually before any program install.

When I click on a link that is on some of my email a pale blue screen with nothing on it opens up. When I hover the mouse over the top right hand corner of the screen there is something about "privack." When I looked online about "Privack" I found a free download for it, but I was not sure it would be safe. Can you advise me on this?

First of all, why in the world would you click on a link in an email that you know nothing about? That is very dangerous behavior. Instead, if it's driving you crazy to find out what it is, just hover the mouse over the link in the email and check the bottom of the screen bar to see the URL to which it points. Then Google the identifying part of that link to gather further information. But why even do that? Unsolicited email/web popups are almost always trouble. As it turns out "Privack" is an alternative Web browser, or so it says, that provides Web tracking privacy. Who knows what it really does? Why take a chance? Internet Explorer provides in-private browsing if that is what you're looking for (Tools, Safety, InPrivate Browsing). Just be forewarned that InPrivate browsing may interfere with the functionality of particular websites.

I have a Toshiba PC with Windows 7. How can I safely and easily remove Windows Messenger from my startup?

Click the Start button and type MSCONFIG and press enter (or press and hold the Windows key then R, this will bring up the Run window, where you would type MSCONFIG and click OK). This will bring up the System Configuration window. Click the Start tab. Look for Microsoft Messenger (or Microsoft Live Messenger) and click the option box to unselect it. Click OK. It may ask you to reboot or you can reboot later manually. Microsoft Messenger should now be gone from the startup.

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