Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

rightclick   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]As Chris recently described, Windows has its fair share of annoyances. By far, one of those annoyances that bugs me the most is the file right-click context menu. It’s a beast that seems to change and morph at will. It sometimes offers what you need, but most of the time it doesn’t.

The right-click menu is also probably the one area of Windows that has the potential to offer a lot of productivity. Instead of hunting around for commands, or searching through the start menu for where that application was installed, the right-click gives you lightning-fast access to everything in seconds. If you think about it, other than things like keyboard shortcuts and phrase-expanding, the right-click context menu is really the time-saving tool of choice.

You can change your right-click context menu by editing the registry, or using tools that will help you tweak it, but in all honesty, there is nothing as useful or as effective to do so than FileMenu Tools.

The Annoying Right-Click Context Menu

I don’t know why Microsoft made the right-click context so complicated to manipulate, or why it seems so fluid and every-changing. Depending on the file type you click it, the context menu changes (which of course is the point of “context”), but there are many times when the context that Windows assumes is not always the context that you want.

Before you download and install FileMenu Tools, your right-click context menu many look something like this.

filemenu1   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

As you can see, for an HTML file, it gives me the option to open with the browsers I have installed, or even Notepad or Word – but what about all of the other apps I have installed that can open an HTML file? I’ve installed a few WYSIWYG page editors that I’d like to use, and a list of other applications that can open HTML files, so this list feels a bit limited. The same can be said for the “Send to” menu and the other items on the context menu.

These can be edited, but it’s not something that just any user can do in a few simple clicks – for that, you’ll want to install FileMenu Tools. It’s a free app, but I should point out that since it’s free, it does attempt to install a few advertising-style apps. Keep a close eye and make sure to click “Skip” and notNext“!

filemenu2   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

Another window to watch for is the “Special Offer” step. Don’t use “Quick” – it’ll install the Delta toolbar in your browser.  Instead click on “Advanced” and uncheck all of the boxes (unless you want the toolbar of course).

filemenu3   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

Once you’re done, FileMenu Tools will be installed and active on your system. Now, you’re ready to start customizing your FileMenu items at will. What this tool does is gives you the ability to modify the “Send To” menu, and also build up a customized menu that will come under “FileMenu Tools” in the context menu. This customized area gives you you’re on personal space in the context menu to place anything you want.

filemenu4   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

To customize the Send To menu list, just click on the “Send To” Menu tab.

filemenu5   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

Then you can add new items to the list and tie it to any executable on your computer. All you need to do is browse to the exe file and assign that file as the target.

filemenu6   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

The ability to customize the Send To menu is cool, but the real power of this tool is that it adds the FileMenu Tools option to the right-click context menu. This is your own personal playground.

filemenu8   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

Not only can you add any program, command, batch job or anything else you want to this menu, but the FileTools Menu comes preloaded with a whole bunch of really useful tools, not the least of which is the “Shred Files” tool that’ll securely delete the file that you’ve right-clicked. You can choose from four deletion methods to ensure that once you delete that file, it’ll never be recovered again.

filemenu9   Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools [Windows]

Other tools available that come along with the FileMenu Tools install are things like duplicating files, altering the creation, last write and last access time stamps of the file, splitting the file, creating a symbolic link for the file, and more.

FileMenu Tools is one utility that I’ve installed and kept on my system for the long-haul, because it actually removed one of the worst annoyances I’ve had with Windows for a long time. I use the FileMenu Tools menu more than any other area of the right-click context menu, and I’m sure you will too.

Have you ever used FileMenu Tools? Does the right-click context menu annoy you too? Share your own solutions and tips on creative ways to use FileMenu Tools in the comments area below.

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16 Comments -

Ian Hart

I love the Right-Click menu and as you said it does alter depending on what program you are using it with.
One often overlooked command is to press the shift key when you right-click on a file, the sent-to menu extends itself as does the open with menu!
The shift key will also swap the actions of the move to/copy to command when dragging a file.

Aleksandra Huey

I discovered FileMenu Tools in 2009, and since than it is one of the first programs that get installed on my computer, whenever I reinstall Windows.

Akhil Kumar

FileMenu is great, no doubt about it. But is there any tool which will edit the windows right-click options, say to remove the Winrar options such as ‘Add to archive’ or ‘Compress and email’? I need the programs, but the right-click options are useless to me, they just use up my screen space. Btw, I also use Filerfrog which MUO had reviewed. It’s an excellent tool for Auto-numbering multiple files.

Chetan Sachdev

I am also looking for something similar, which can allow me to alter the right click menu options. Possibly remove most of the extra options :)

Henk van Setten

I’ve been using this for years, and like @Aleksandra said, it’s one of the first things I always install with Windows. Many of the options (like quickly copying the full path+name of a file, or efficiently renumbering a bunch of filenames) have become things I couldn’t live without.
The fact that FileMenu Tools is not yet compatible with Win8 (the Win8 installer will tell you so if you have FileMenu Tools installed in Win7), is one of the reasons why for now I will not make the switch from Win7 to Win8.

null

I use the right click menu for a lot of things. I always wanted to customize it like this. I think this menu is really important and being able to customize it is ideal. I hope in a future review I am able to say what the rest of the commenters say, “I have used it for years”

Nicut Alexandru

Very usefull application! I did not knew about it. Thanks for sharing with us!

Garris Rago

Wow! I’ve never thought about how useful the right click menu is before or about changing it, great article!

Keith Swartz

” If you think about it, other than things like keyboard shortcuts and phrase-expanding, the right-click context menu is really the time-saving tool of choice.” And all Windows users (excepting win 8] say, “Amen!”

I use the right-click context menu religiously (staying true to the above theme I set & for those who don’t understand… let’s insert the word “regularly” for “religiously”). I will look forward to installing and trying File Menu Tools for myself! Thank you Ryan & MUO!

Walter Gilbert

I use the Right-Click menu extensively and I will use some of these tips. Thank you

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Tying specific file extension to specific programs. Seems like a keeper. Previously reviewed FilerFrog is also good. Still, it’s much better if Microsoft allows us to edit the context menu right away instead of relying on third party app.

Jake T

I have been VERY happy with this app for a couple of years now. I’m particularly fond of the Advanced Renamer tool. I’m always going through photos or music files and re-organizing them trying to find the best catalog scheme I can and it really makes it easy when you don’t have to spend a couple hours and only accomplish renaming that single folder where all your pictures seem to have either been abandoned and forgotten or seemed to have been drawn there whilst you were away. Anyways, haha, this app is definitely one of my favorites and it’s at the VERY least worth trying out. Ryan definitely knows what he’s talking about here, guys :)

DT

The best file renaming tool I have ever found is here:

http://www.den4b.com/?x=products&product=renamer

Absolutely phenomenal ability to rename any series of files,
including ability to write custom “rules” for renaming.

Free for commercial use, otherwise €19.95.

Maxi3w

Thanks so much for this. I have been waiting for a Right-Click modifier/enhancer for ages that will work with Win 8 – I presume it does down to the date you wrote this.

I tried my own version of doing this and it failed miserably!