Customizing “Screen Resolution”, “Gadgets” and “Personalize” Options in Windows 7 Desktop Context Menu

Windows 7 Desktop context menu contains 2 extra options which were not present in Windows Vista:

  • Screen resolution
  • Gadgets

Win_7_Desktop_Context_Menu_with_Gad.png

Windows 7 stores all these 3 options "Screen resolution", "Gadgets" and "Personalize" under following Registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell

This key is new in Windows 7 and none of previous Windows versions including Vista used it.

Here in this tutorial, we'll learn:

  • How to remove "Screen resolution", "Gadgets" and "Personalize" options
  • How to change position of these options
  • How to change icons of these options
  • How to change names of these options
  • How to enable "Personalize" option in Safe Mode

1. How to Remove "Screen resolution", "Gadgets" and "Personalize" Options

Although Windows 7 provides these 2 extra options but it makes the whole context menu a bit larger and some people might not like it. If you are also among those people who prefer minimal things, here are the steps to remove all or any of these 3 context menu items:

Personalize_Only.png Screen_Resolution_Only.png Gadgets_Only.png

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

2. Now go to:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell

3. This key contains a sub-key for each option, i.e., You'll find 3 sub-keys under "Shell" key representing each context menu option:

Display (for Screen resolution)
Gadgets (for Gadgets)
Personalize (for Personalize)

Display_Background_Key.png

4. To remove these options, you'll need to simply delete the associated key. But all these keys are system protected and Windows will not allow you to delete any of these keys. So how will you delete them?

You'll need to take permission of the key to be able to delete it. To take permission, you just need to follow this simple procedure:

[Guide] How to Take Ownership (Permission) of a Registry Key in Windows?

You'll need to follow the above steps for each key including the "command" sub-key.

5. That's it. Now you'll be able to delete the key. As soon as you delete the key, the option will be removed from Desktop context menu.

2. How to Change Position of "Screen resolution", "Gadgets" and "Personalize" Options

By default all these 3 options are shown at bottom just below the "New" menu. But you can change their position and can move any or all of them above the "New" menu or at the top of menu:

Personalize_on_top.png All_options_on_top.png Display_at_top_personalize_at_botto.png

How to do that? Here is the step-by-step guide:

1. First follow the same steps 1-3 mentioned above.

2. Now to move any of these 3 options, select its associated key and look at the right-side pane. You'll see a String value "Position".

Position_Key.png

3. As you can see, its value is set to "Bottom". That's why its shown at bottom. You can change its value to "Top" to show the option at top or to "Middle" to show the option in the middle.

You can also delete the "Position" key and it'll move the option above "New" menu.

3. How to Change Icons of "Screen resolution", "Gadgets" and "Personalize" Options

You can also change icons of these 3 options.

Change_icons_of_options.png

To change the icons, follow these simple steps:

1. First follow the same 1-3 steps as mentioned above.

2. Now select any desired key and look at the right-side pane. You'll see a String value "Icon".

Icon_Key.png

3. That's the key which contains the icon which you see in the context menu. You can simply change its value to change the icon.

4. How to Change Names of "Screen resolution", "Gadgets" and "Personalize" Options

You can also customize names of these options.

Change_Names_of_Desktop_context_men.png

To change names, follow these simple steps:

1. First follow the same 1-3 steps as mentioned above.

2. Now select any desired key and look at the right-side pane. You'll see a String value "Default".

This key defines the display name of these options. Simply change its value to any desired string:

Change_Names.png

As you can see, we have changed it to "Settings" and that's why Desktop context menu is showing the option name as "Settings" instead of "Screen resolution".

5. How to Enable "Personalize" Option in Safe Mode

Windows 7 doesn't show "Personalize" option in Safe Mode. But you can enable it by using following steps:

1. As usual follow steps 1-3 mentioned above.

2. Now select "Personalize" key and in right-side pane, delete "HideInSafeMode" value.

Hide_in_Safe_Mode.png

PS: If you want to hide other options in Safe Mode, simply create a new String value "HideInSafeMode" for them.

NOTE: Here is a backup of all Desktop context menu default settings. Extract the ZIP file and run the extracted .REG file to restore default settings in case you mess up with them.

Download Registry Script to Restore Default Settings





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Posted in: Windows 7


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