Add “Open in New Window” Option in Folders and Drives Context Menu in Windows

Recently one of our readers "CytoxX" asked us how can he add an option "Open in New Window" in folders context menu, so that whenever he right-clicks on a folder, he can get the option in the list.

In this tutorial, I'll tell you how to add "Open in New Window" option in folders as well as Drives context menu.


Although you can open a folder or drive in new window by pressing "Ctrl" or "Shift" key while double-clicking on it but this trick no longer works in Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Seven.

In Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Seven, you can open a folder or drive in new window by right-clicking on it and selecting "Open" option. "Explore" option opens the folder or drive in same window but "Open" option opens them in a new window.

Now to add a separate option "Open in New Window" in folders and drives context menu, follow these simple steps:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu Search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. We'll need to create a new key under "Shell" key. Right-click on "Shell" key and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of "Open in New Window" (without quotes). You can give any other name, the name you set here will be shown as the option label in context menu.

4. Now we'll need to create another new key. Right-click on the new key which we created in the last step e.g. Open in New Window and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of command.

5. Now select "command" key and in right-side pane, you'll see "Default" String value. Change its value to:

explorer %1

6. Now go to following key:


and follow steps 3-5 again for this key.

7. That's it. Once you set the value of "Default", you have done. Now right-click on any folder or drive and you'll get a new option "Open in New Window" which will open the selected folder or drive in a new window.

PS: If you want a ready-made script to do the task automatically, then download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:

Download Registry Script

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • This worked for the standard context menu, but after doing a search it isn't there. So I can't open the directory containing a file I found in the search in a new window. If I go back to a regular directory listing "open in new window" is back.

  • thanks for this it worked a treat, the manual regedit version that is.
    just to be clear for anyone else there is a space between explorer and %1.
    i know it is shown correctly but just to be clear.
    once again many thanks.

  • I have the same issue as shalom did. Is it possible to re-work this so that one can open a file in a search window in a new window? This would be a much appreciated improvement as I often need to search a server for some assets, which have variants located in different folders. Currently, its a drag to have run the search multiple times just to open all the folders from the initial results.


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