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If you’re like me, you frequently need to move the same types of files to the same places over and over again. While you could keep a shortcut pointing to that location on your Desktop, there’s an even easier (and more flexible) way to quickly move files to a favorite place. The secret lies in the “Send To” command found in your right-click contextual menu.

At this point you’re probably either thinking, “what command where?” or “that has a function?” Hopefully we’ll answer both of those in that order for you. First, right-click on any file or folder. Notice that the “contextual” menu, that is, the menu that drops down from your cursor, has several options on it. The one we’re interested in is “Send To.” Once you run your mouse over the ‘Send To’ command, it drops down with a list of locations.

Now when you first saw this tool, if you even noticed it at all, you probably thought it was pretty terrible. Most of the locations on the list, by default, are fairly useless. The only way I ever used ‘Send To’ in the past was to create shortcuts and put them on the Desktop. What you see above is my newly cleaned-up and customized ‘Send To’ menu.

One of the unadvertised features of ‘Send To’ is that you can directly change the items that show up in the list. This is done by going to a specific folder and changing its contents. That folder is found in “Documents and Settings/yourusername.” Note: replace “yourusername” with whatever your user account name is on your computer. Here’s what mine looks like.

customize send to menu

Notice that the Send To folder is somewhat transparent, indicating it is a hidden folder. If your hidden folders are not visible, go into “Tools->Folder Options->View (Tab)->Show Hidden Folders.” Once you have done this you are ready to go into your Send To folder.

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customize send to

In the folder, you will see all of the items that show up in the drop down. Most of these are actually shortcuts to those places, though a few are drives, commands to zip, or special system shortcuts to places like the Desktop or ‘My Documents’. Because they’re shortcuts, any other shortcuts you place in this folder will also show up in your Send To drop down.

As you can see above, I cleaned out my folder so it only has a few items in it. Now I have the ability to create shortcuts to the Desktop, zip files, and send files to My Documents, My Pictures, and Screenshots. This last folder, ‘Screenshots’, I added by holding the Alt key while dragging Screenshots into the ‘Send To’ folder. This created a shortcut of the selected folder instead of moving it. If you don’t feel comfortable with that hotkey, simply right click the desired item, click “New->Shortcut” and drag your new shortcut into the ‘Send To’ folder.

After tinkering with my ‘Send To’ list, it’s much more useful. Let’s send some pictures that I used for this article into the Screenshots folder:

Voila! This is a really useful little tool for me because I often need to play with several different types of files and find the best place to do that is on the Desktop. When I’m done using those files I either delete them or toss them into their relevant folders for safe keeping. ‘Send To’ now allows me to send all my screenshots in a batch into the Screenshots folder. This is also handy if you have any folders that take specific actions when items are added to them.

I’m sure there are a number of neat uses for this tip, so please tell us what you come up with in the comments!

[I found out about the Send To “hack” from Tekzilla Daily.]

  1. Nick Wallpaper
    February 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Finally a method without editing the windows registry! Thank you. Does that work with Windows 7 Beta?

  2. Wes
    November 16, 2008 at 7:39 am

    If you forget the path, an easier way is to just Run (Win + R) -> Type "shell:sendto".

  3. BigJim
    October 14, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for the reply, Steve. Sorry to have not got back sooner but things got crazy here. ShellExView only seems to work in Windows Explorer and (I think) doesn't deal with the drives there either.
    [Wish I know what the person above had to say. I'm not even sure what language it is. :(]

  4. BigJim
    September 15, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Yes, there is a SendTo folder there. But there's no more in it referring to drives as destinations as under my settings. Again, it seems very strange to me that some but not all of the drives on the machine are listed in the context menu - on all of my machines. You would think that it would be all of them or none of them.

    • Steve
      September 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm

      Try this.

      nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html

  5. BigJim
    September 15, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for your reply, Steve. But I don't seem to have AllUsers/SendTo on any of my XP machines. But, interestingly, three machines have different combinations of HDD's and CD drives which are or aren't on the SendTo even though they're physically present. Humm.

    Any more ideas?

    • Steve
      September 15, 2008 at 12:25 pm

      My apologies... try this folder "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\SendTo".

  6. BigJim
    September 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks for the tip!
    How do you get rid of all of the drive destinations that I have cluttering up my Send To menu? I don't think that I've ever used that for moving a file and they don't appear in the Send To folder.

    • Steve
      September 14, 2008 at 9:09 pm

      The usually store then in the "All Users" SendTo folder. If remove them from there you kill them for all users on your machine.

  7. Klaatu
    September 12, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    You can just type SendTo in the run box (Window Key-R) to open the folder. Also anthing marked hidden doesn't show up in the menu so I keep a hidden folder under ...\SendTo and store a bunch of scripts and small programs there. I then drop shortcuts to them into the SendTo folder which I can rename as desired so they list in the order I want. A folder under SendTo that is not marked hidden will appear in the menu and its contents (even more child folders) will appear as flyout submenus on the SendTo menu, allowing you to organize whole layers of SendTo targets here.

    I put a shortcut to the lightweight freeware TreeSize application under SendTo as well as shortcuts to some VB scripts that clean up filenames, send a list of filenames to the clipboard, rename known file patterns (ex: jpeg ->jpg), and one super script that will pull a listing of a directory, sort it into a temporary text file as .bat list of rename commands (column aligned even) and then launch UltraEdit against it so I can use the editor's column mode to easily edit a massive list of file name changes and then run the batch file.

    There's a buffer size limit to the number of file names a script can be passed as arguments from Explorer. This limits the number of files you can lasso and sendto your scripts at once. Usually you can get 20 or more at a time. If you pass it a directory (aka folder) name instead, your script can test for that and then use the FileSystemObject to loop across the files etc.

    I also use the free version of TeraCopy for big file copy/move operations so I don't keep many shortcuts to other folders as targets in my SendTo. If it gets crowded, use sub folders or just mark some hidden. You can always use the runbox to quickly open SendTo & unhide them when needed.

  8. Steve
    September 12, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Yeah I utilize my SendTo a lot. Outside of the default stuff preloaded in the SendTo, I've added links to:

    Locations:
    "SendTo" folder - makes it easier to add an addition location or app to the SendTo context menu
    "Fonts" folder - for quick font installation

    Auto-Added to SendTo:
    Rightload - Quick Ftp ( http://rightload.org/ )
    Unlocker - File Unlocker ( http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/ )

    App I Added to SendTo:
    HTML_Formatter - Indents and Formats HTML ( was freeware )
    ResHacker - view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources ( http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/ )
    Renamer - Bulk File Renamer ( http://www.den4b.com/downloads.php?project=ReNamer )

  9. jollyrogue
    September 12, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    for vista its:
    C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

  10. Richard
    September 12, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    In addition to folders, you can add programs to the Send To menu, allowing you to, for example, open a text file using something other than the default program. My Send To menu includes entries for notepad, wordpad, winzip, and more. I simply put the full path to the program I want to run as the value of the "target" field (and I enclose the path in double quotes if it contains embedded spaces). For example, to run wordpad I set the target to:
    "C:\Program Files\Windows\Accessories\wordpad.exe"

  11. Davin Peterson
    September 12, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    In Windows Vista the send to folder is located in a different location:
    C:\users\\AppData\Roaming.

  12. JP
    September 12, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Also see Send To Toys, gabrieleponti.com/software/#sendtotoys

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