Right-click menu/Ribbon disappears after a second or so

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  • Blood

    Hi, folks

    Microsoft Office 2013 Professional 32bit on Win7 64bit client. Been using it without issue for a couple of years.

    One of our staff reported a strange issue yesterday. When using Word/Excel if he right-clicks within the application the context menu appears then disappears after a second or so.

    I searched the web and saw various solutions, the commonest of which was to disable an add-in named Babylon which we don’t have installed. I have also examined the list of Add-ins via File > Options and tried disabling the Sage add-in for Excel (which is never used), but that made no difference. There are no Add-ins available for Word that can be disabled (no third party add-ins).

    Opening Word/Excel in safe mode results in the same behaviour. Double right-clicking, right-click and hold = same issue. Ribbon was fine.

    This morning I ran a Repair but it did not make any difference. Next, I uninstalled Office, rebooted, re-installed Office and now not only does the right-click menu disappear after a second, the Ribbon, which is usually hidden, disappears very quickly after being invoked. I have pinned the Ribbon so that it stays visible, but drop down menus disappear – although they stay visible for about 2 or 3 seconds which is difficult, but just about usable.

    Note that PowerPoint and One Note are not affected, and we don’t use Outlook. Other Windows software works normally and the right-click menu stays visible.

    I have also replaced the mouse and keyboard.

    I have used ShellExView to list the context menu handlers and cannot see anything that should not be there.

    Other Office 2013 Pro installations around the office are working fine.

    We still have Office 2003 installed but only use Access 2003 due to compatibility issues with one of our main databases. Word 2013, Excel 2013 etc., are the default programs for those file types.

    There is one other option and that is to remove the user account profile from the PC and re-create it. I’d rather not do this because, as luck would have it, the affected person is a manager and has been using his PC for quite some time so everything is set up ‘just so’. I thought I’d ask here first in case anyone has resolved this problem before.


    Just tried disabling Sophos Endpoint Protection – no effect.


    Have you tried the Office 2013 Removal Tool? Once run, to obviously Office, reboot and try installing Office again. The need for such a tool is because Microsoft uninstallers are such crap. :razz:


    Thank you – I won’t have access to the computer until Thurs morning.

    I’ll post back with the results.


    I ran into the same issue with a user today and the culprit was dropbox running in the background. The user had a full dropbox and somehow the program kept causing the disappearing context menu’s in excel.


    Brilliant Orrie!

    For days I had the same annoying problem as Blood and had already attempted all the fixes he tried but to no avail. My Dropbox was not full, but it was still the culprit! Many thanks for posting this observation.


    Thanks, Orrie. I came across this solution via Microsoft’s forums yesterday but I have to wait a while for the guy to try it (he’s really, really busy…). I mentioned it to him this morning and mentioned it again after seeing your confirmation this afternoon so hopefully I’ll find out if worked soon… :)


    Well done, Orrie. Disabling Dropbox has fixed it.



    Orrie. Worked for me as well. Thank you!!!!!


    Dear orrie,

    You are the real Sherlock Holmes!
    Thank you very much for sharing this solution.

    As far as I can see from the logs of my Windows 7 x64 the last update of the DropBox application version 33.4.23 was on 24.08.2017 and this update obviously brought this odd behavior of Excel.
    I will report on the issue to the DropBox team.

    I really appreciate your help.


    Orrie! I don’t know who you are or where you are, but I love you! I have been beating my head against the wall for over a week and had tried everything! I didn’t have Babylon, I updated my mouse and graphic drivers, repaired MS Office, reinstalled MS Office, deleted data and option registry files, ran Malewarebytes. I was at my wits end and ready to wipe my machine and I was losing sleep over this problem, it had slowed my productivity down to a crawl. I had just swapped machines with my business partner last night, because he doesn’t use Office to the extent that I do. And then I came across this thread at 4 am and all was right with the world again! I deleted Dropbox and will wait until they fix this issue before I reinstall it. It was also causing Excel spreadsheets to flash, which is cured as well. Thank you so much!


    I ran the same hair pulling experience except all the uninstalls/reinstalls, msconfigs, registry edits, etc. totally trashed my laptop. It seems my systems path somehow got corrupted as it will not run some programs it never had problems with before. Also, it will recognize a USB drive but will suddenly generate “Not Found” messages when trying to write to it. It would have been MUCH better had I found this fix before doing all the stuff MS tells us to do. Lucky I had good weekly backups to save me. I also have backups that run hourly. I’m sure I’ll get past this problem but am super grateful I found this forums posting. Thanks


    This issue is discussed on DropBox forums.

    Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365 are affected by this issue.

    The issue was coming from DropBox version 33.4.23 runnning under Windows 7. After reading posts on DropBox forums, the solution is to install DropBox bêta version 34.3.19

    This has solved the issue on all the affected computers in my office. No computers running Windows 10 were affected.

    Hpoe this helps.

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