How to Add or Remove Entries from Context Menus in Windows?

In this tutorial, we'll tell you how to add new entries in context menus (right-click menu) and remove existing entries from context menus in Windows.

A. Type regedit in RUN dialog box or Start Menu searchbox and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor, now go to following keys:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\* (for adding an option in All files context menu)
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory (for adding an option in folders context menu only)
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive (for adding an option in Drives context menu only)
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Unknown (for adding an option in unknown files context menu)

B. Now under the above mentioned keys, you'll find "Shell" and "Shellex" keys. Both keys contain various entries, which are displayed when you right-click on a file, folder or drive. We'll use "Shell" key in this tutorial:

  • Right-click on the "Shell" key and select "New -> Key".
  • Give it any name. Suppose we gave it name "vishal".
  • Now in right-side pane, double-click on "Default" String value and set its value to the Label which you want to display in context menu. Like if you want to add "Winamp" in context menu, then you can give it name "Open with Winamp" or similar.
  • Now create another key under this newly created key "vishal" with the name "command" and in right-side pane set value of "Default" to the path of application. For ex, for winamp you can set its value "%programfiles%\Winamp\winamp.exe".

That's it. Now you'll get it in the context menu.

A few Important points:

1. If you add just the path in "Command", then it'll open the application but if you append "%1" (without quotes) in the path, then it'll open the selected file with the application. So in case of setting the value to "%programfiles%\Winamp\winamp.exe", set it "%programfiles%\Winamp\winamp.exe %1" and now it'll open the file in winamp.

2. Step 3 can be omitted and you can assign the application name directly to the new key. i.e., either set "Default" String value to the name of application or directly set the key name to application name. e.g. instead of setting the key name to "vishal", you can directly set its name to "Winamp", in this case leave the "Default" as it is.

3. With the help of this tutorial, you can add application shortcuts in any filetype context menu. e.g., if you like to play with "*.txt" file context menu, then go to:


so you can follow this tutorial for any filetype.

C. Same methods apply for removing entries from context menu. Just go to "Shell" or "Shellex\ContextMenuHandlers" and delete the unwanted key under these keys.

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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