During a retention test, a change in the nature of the incidental contextual information present during training can have a deleterious impact on response selection by not activating particular subsets of information in memory that help direct the retrieval process. The present experiment addressed whether a change in the incidental context also impacted the completion of processes associated with loading and searching the motor buffer during motor programming. A self-select paradigm was used to describe the planning and execution of one- and four-element sequences that consisted of short and long duration key-presses. During a test phase following training, changes in the incidental contextual information impeded the search of the motor buffer. However, loading specific timing information into the motor buffer was unaffected by shifts in contexts. These data support the contention that contextual information plays a fundamental role in a broad array of movement-planning operations that involve search and retrieval type activity.