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You may have noticed that your context menu (the menu which appears when you right-click an item on the desktop) is not a static entry. Instead it changes based on the software you add or remove. To a layman it appears you have relatively little control over this, but you can in fact customize the context menu 7 Awesome Tools To Enhance Your Right-Click Menu [Windows] 7 Awesome Tools To Enhance Your Right-Click Menu [Windows] The Windows right-click menu is a feature that we may often take for granted, but it can really make our lives easier. Advanced users probably don’t use it that much, having learned all the necessary... Read More as you’d like with third-party software. Here’s how to do it – and a handful of awesome shortcuts Windows Shortcuts Windows Shortcuts Read More to add.

How to Edit the Context Menu

Context menu items can be changed by directly editing the Windows Registr What Is The Windows Registry Editor & How Do I Use It? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is The Windows Registry Editor & How Do I Use It? [MakeUseOf Explains] The Windows registry can be scary at first glance. It’s a place where power users can change a wide variety of settings that aren’t exposed elsewhere. If you’re searching for how to change something in... Read More y, which is how they appear in the first place. This method is too difficult for most users to consider, however, and providing examples is challenging because the instructions can vary a bit from one item to the next. You’ll be better served by grabbing a software tool that can perform this same task.

edit Windows registry

My personal favorite for this job is Right Click Enhancer by RBSoft. This tool can be used to make a variety of changes to your context menu, and it’s entirely free. Check out our Right Click Enhancer review Did You Know You Could Customize The Windows Context Menu? Organize It With Right Click Enhancer Did You Know You Could Customize The Windows Context Menu? Organize It With Right Click Enhancer Have you ever wondered if there could be more to the Windows context menu? It has a dedicated key on every keyboard, yet are we really using it to it's full potential? Perhaps it's clogged... Read More for instructions on how to use it. Some of the recommendations in this article are only possible through Right Click Enhancer, so while you can use other software you won’t be able to follow my instructions.

Note that the adware warning in that review doesn’t apply at this time; I saw no such shenanigans when I used it.

I recommend getting rid of any junk items in your context menu before adding more. If you’ve been using your Windows rig for a few years there’s a very good chance you have broken or unwanted items lurking there. Tossing them before you add more will help you organize your menu. You use Right Click Enhancer for this or you can try a tool like CCleaner Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries Windows 7’s context menus can become cluttered over time, filled with different options from the various programs you’ve installed. Worse yet, badly behaved context menu entries can add delays before the context menu appears, slowing... Read More .

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With that said, let’s get to the shortcuts!

Best Shortcuts to Add

Copy Content

This context option available through Right Click Tweaker (a program within Right Click Enhancer) can automatically copy the content of bat, cmd, css, html, js, log, reg, rtf, txt, cs and vbs file types. In other words, you can copy the content of the file without moving the file, opening the file, or copying the entire file. This is a useful time saver for anyone who works with raw files frequently.

contextshortcut1

Run as Administrator

Windows executable files normally have a “Run as administrator Lost Your Windows Administrator Password? Here's How to Fix It Lost Your Windows Administrator Password? Here's How to Fix It You've lost control. All the accounts you can access on your Windows computer aren't Administrator accounts, meaning you're helpless to install software, update drivers or do any kind of administration whatsoever. Don't panic. There are... Read More ” option when you rightclick them, but other files don’t offer it. This can be an annoyance if you’re trying to run archive files or extract them into protected folders. With this option enabled you can side-step that problem entirely.

Run As Administrator

Take Ownership

This context add-on is a convenient way to transfer file and folder ownership rights between accounts on your machine. Normally this would be done through the Properties menu, but adding the Take Ownership command through Right Click Tweaker shortens the task to just two clicks. This is great if your machine has more than one frequently used account.

God Mode

This cleverly named addition tacks a God Mode option How To Make The Best Use Of God Mode In Windows Vista & 7 How To Make The Best Use Of God Mode In Windows Vista & 7 Read More to the context menu that appears when you rightclick an empty portion of the desktop. The so-called God Mode is really just a list of practically every utility and options menu Windows has. A bit disappointing, perhaps, but useful if you don’t want to use Windows Search or have forgotten the exact name of the menu you’re looking for.

Add File Types to “New” Menu

If you rightclick an empty area of your desktop or an explorer menu you’ll see a “New” entry. Hover over that and you’ll see some file types you can create immediately. Right Click Enhancer has a tool called New Menu Editor that will let you edit what appears there. Just open the New Menu Editor and view the list of what’s included (marked as true) and what’s not (marked as false).  Every file type your computer has in its registry is an option, so there’s plenty of choice.

newmenueditor

Add New “Send To” Options

Another context menu selection that provides multiple options is “Send To,” which appears whenever you rightclick a file. By default you only have a handful of choices, but with the Send To Manager in Right Click Enhancer you can add more. You can add both folders and files (including executable files). You can use this to send files directly to a specific .zip or .rar file, for example, or to open files in your web browser.

sendtomanager

Add Websites

If you have Right Click Enhancer Pro, a $9.99 upgrade (with a free trial available), you can add websites to your context menu. First, create a new Internet shortcut that points to the website. Then open the Right Click Shortcuts Creator and add a new file. Select the shortcut you created. It’s name may not be properly recognized, but you can re-name it within this editor. You also will have to select your web browser as the correct program to open the shortcut How To Change & Fix Broken File Type Associations In Windows 7 How To Change & Fix Broken File Type Associations In Windows 7 This article will discuss what file type associations are, how you can change them in general, and why so many people have issues with .lnk file associations in Windows. If you have been running into... Read More the first time you use any shortcut of this type.

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Adding a website may seem odd, but it can be great if you use online productivity tools Don't Install An Image Editor: Try These Cloud-Based Photo Editors Instead Don't Install An Image Editor: Try These Cloud-Based Photo Editors Instead If you want to get really good results, you need to download some kind of graphics software or other editing app, and put it through its paces. But now, you can do most of your... Read More . Rather than having them open constantly in your browser, or opening them individually in your browser when needed, you can use this technique to launch them directly from your context menu. It’s also useful for students learning to code Learn To Code: 8 Bundled Courses, Pay What You Want Learn To Code: 8 Bundled Courses, Pay What You Want If you'd like to know how to work with code it's not too late to start. This bundle of 8 Udemy courses is all you need. Read More who want to quickly launch a reference document when needed.

Note that this works with both real websites and local documents you can open in a browser. You could open a locally hosted wiki with this trick, for example.

Add Applications

You can also use the Right Click Shortcuts Creator to add applications of your choice to your context menu. Alternatively, you can add a folder full of applications using the Add Folder command in this editor. Both options provide benefits similar to adding a website; you’ll be able to open the program or folder instantly from any Explorer window or your desktop.  You could potentially add your entire Start Menu in this way, though it might not be the best idea.

Add Windows Features

A number of Windows Features can be added using Right Click Shortcuts Creator. However, the shortcut trick doesn’t work for this; a permissions error will appear when you try it. So instead you need to use a different feature called Add Custom Command. Its icon looks like a tiny command line 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know The command prompt is an antiquated tool from an era of text-based input. But some commands remain useful and Windows 8 even added new features. Find out which ones. Read More , and is just right of the Add Application icon.

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When you click this icon you’ll see a New Custom Command created in the left pane. Click it to open its details in the right pane. There you’ll see “location” which by default points to the Windows command line. However, you can change it to any shell location you desire. I recommend checking this list of shell commands as a reference. Note that the list only shows the shell location, so you’ll have to add the detail “explorer.exe” in front of each. In the screenshot above, for example, I’ve added Folder Options to my context menu.

Organize Context Menu Items

Now you know how to add applications and websites to your context menu, but adding numerous items can quickly bloat your menu to unusable proportions. Fortunately, you can solve this in the Right Click Shortcuts Creator by using the sub-menu option (the big plus on the far right).

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The software makes this an easy process. Sub-menus are organized via drag-and-drop, so you just drag the websites, software and other items you’re organizing into their appropriate location. You can further organize the look of these menus by changing names and icons. Just click on a sub-menu or an item in the menu and have a look at the Icon and Name fields to the right. Each of these can be changed to your preference.

Does a Custom Right-Click Menu Make You More Productive?

These 10 rightclick menu items can, used creatively, make many features quickly accessible. With proper use of sub-menus you could defeat the need for the start menu or start screen by adding all of your commonly used applications to your context menu instead. While this is an unusual technique, it provides immediate access to programs, features and websites from any open Explorer window or your desktop. Convenient? You bet!

What do you think of the context menu? Have you customized yours, or do you prefer more traditional menus (like Start) instead? Let us know in the comments!

  1. JD
    November 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Can I add a search option like how right click now has the "search Google" option in chrome?

  2. Dashakol
    April 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Windows 8 is dumb! So we are who buy that garbage.
    I Used to Alt+F>N>T for creating a new text document in Windows XP. Why should I bother with Windows 8's Registry for such a simple task? There is no "New" command on File menu of win 8!
    P.S I know I can right click and then W>T but that's not a keyboard shortcut!

  3. Amged Osman
    January 2, 2015 at 12:14 am

    This is the only way i was able to fix my New context menu, all my items were gone!

    Thank you so much!

  4. Barry W Brown
    October 11, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Norton Security deleted the setup files for the Professional version. After
    much swearing, I discovered that Norton has a restore option which
    then allowed installation.

    • Ravi
      October 12, 2014 at 5:54 am

      It's a false positive.

    • Tina
      October 13, 2014 at 10:26 am

      What makes you use Norton Security? Not that other security tools don't detect false positives, but Norton is known to be terrible.

    • DalSan M
      October 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Actually, Tina, Norton, along with McAfee of all things, made it to the top five in detection, performance, and usability in recent tests. http://www.majorgeeks.com/news/story/latest_round_of_av_testing_results.html But then again, years of incompatibility issues with software and slow performance makes me not want to use it, no matter how good it gets, at least for a long while.

      For instances like this, disable the antivirus (Norton), and try installing again. There are many other tools that can be used, as well. Some have been already listed.

    • Barry W Brown
      October 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      It was indeed a false positive. I really like the product. I merely
      posted this because others may (as I did initially) fault the product
      for disappearing when one tries to install it.

      I use Norton Security because it comes free with Comcast internet subscription. Incidentally, Norton didn'tt even blink when I installed
      the product on a Visa machine.

  5. Vicky
    October 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I am testing Win10....does this work on it?

    • Tina
      October 13, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Yes, it should. Have you tried it, yet?

  6. Mister Lee
    October 10, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I use this tiny utility app that adds "Copy Path Name" to the right click menu, (on every computer I have owned).

    I use it numerous times every day.

    If I use another computer that doesn't have it, it makes me want to say a bad word!

    Google "Copy Path Name" to find it.

    • bjosephs
      October 19, 2014 at 3:38 am

      Shift-Right click puts copy as path without any third party utilities...

  7. Katie F
    October 10, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I did not even realise you could do this! Brilliant, thanks for posting!

  8. Will
    October 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    there are a few prpgrams out there that do the jpb and yes it does increase productivity

  9. Will
    October 9, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    basic windpws xp software everyone loved
    SHELL TOYS

  10. Cho
    October 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Right Click Editor IE when opened shows no entries populated.
    How does it work? I don't get it.

    • Ravi
      October 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Right Click Editor IE only shows entries added by other applications and added using itself. It doesn't show default Internet Explorer entries. For example, if you use applications like Internet Download Manager you will see entries added by it in Right Click Editor IE.

  11. Robert Gagne
    October 7, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    ShellNewHandler 1.1.2:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/ShellNewHandler.shtml

    It helped me when I migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7.

  12. Jon Heil
    October 7, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    You forgot a huge one! The Copy to Folder and Move to Folder ones

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-copy-to-move-to-on-windows-vista-right-click-menu/

    • Ian
      October 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      You can always press the shift key to change the behavior of the copy/move options!

  13. Ravi
    October 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I'm the developer of Right Click Enhancer. What happened when you try to install it? You can also use portable version.

    • Howard Pearce
      October 7, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      It hangs ..... tried it 3 times .... when I finally deleted the install file, about 4 listers opened up which I didn't pay attention, I merely closed them.

    • Ravi
      October 8, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Did you try using Portable version?

  14. Howard Pearce
    October 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Lol, it seems to me that I can't even install RightClick Enhancer from DOPUS ..... it hangs.

    So I may not even install it to try it :)

  15. firstclass
    October 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    This is great especially for people complaining Windows 8 is hard to navigate.

  16. DalSan M
    October 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I've customized my context menus years ago, including adding the God Mode (much easier than searching through the Control Panel for specific utilities). Something to note is that having too many context menu items can cause performance issues, so care into adding new context menu items is a must! If you don't need one, don't add it. If you are not likely to use one, delete or don't add it. However, make sure to remove items that you know to be safe to remove and/or are able to easily get back if necessary. Also, care needs to be used when taking ownership of files, especially system files and folders; take ownership of the wrong files/folders and you will have issues to fix. Otherwise, have fun playing around with the context menu editor.

    • Tina
      October 13, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Great tips, thank you!

      How did you customize your context menu?

    • DalSan M
      October 13, 2014 at 11:19 am

      I started changing the context menu with manual registry tweaks, but recommend doing this by very knowledgeable users (mess a registry key up and it can be disastrous). For the past few years, I used Tweaking.com's Advanced System Tweaker in order to change the context menu. There are 109 items that can be added or removed from the context menu in Windows 7, 24 items for Websites XP. I stuck to Advanced System Tweaker because there are thousands of items to tweak and after within one program, though other programs are needed for other system changes. Use caution when using this program, but have fun with the tweaks, especially the performance ones. Most times, you can revert any changes if you don't like what occurred after the changes.

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