How to Customize Command Bar in Windows 7 Explorer? Add Cut, Copy, Paste and Other Useful Buttons

UPDATE: This tutorial has been updated to provide Windows 8 style one-click access for turning on/off the Navigation pane, Preview pane, and Details pane, etc in Windows 7.

SUMMARY: After following this tutorial, you'll be able to add Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Rename, Select all, Undo, Redo, Properties, Menu bar, Details pane, Preview pane, Navigation pane and Close buttons in Windows Explorer's Command bar aka Folder band or Toolbar in Windows 7.

PS: If you find the instructions given in this tutorial a bit hard to follow, you can use the ready-made registry script given here.

Windows 7 comes with a new re-designed Explorer which is pretty much different from Windows XP Explorer. Windows XP Explorer comes with Standard toolbar which allows us to easily add/remove buttons. On the other hand, Windows 7 Explorer comes with re-designed Command bar which is not customizable. You can't add/remove buttons from it.


Although Microsoft doesn't provide any option to customize the Command bar in Windows Explorer, you can use a Registry trick to add/remove buttons from it.

In this tutorial, we'll tell you how to add/remove buttons from Windows Explorer's Command bar in Windows 7 using Windows Registry.

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

STEP 2. Now go to following key:


We'll use the above mentioned key to add our desired buttons in Command bar.

PS: Before we go further, some IMPORTANT things to KNOW:

a. Windows uses the "FolderTypes" registry key mentioned in Step 2 to show Command bar buttons in each and every folder in Windows Explorer. That's why you see different buttons in command bar for different types of folders.

b. Windows changes these buttons dynamically based upon the user-defined event. For example, it shows different button when you open a folder but dynamically changes those buttons if you select an item in that folder.

c. These dynamic button changes occur based upon 2 Registry keys: TasksItemsSelected and TasksNoItemsSelected.

d. When you open a folder, the button set is shown as defined in TasksNoItemsSelected key and when you select an item, the button set is shown as defined in TasksItemsSelected key.

e. In this tutorial, we'll use the above mentioned 2 registry keys to add our desired buttons in Command bar.

Lets come back to our tutorial!

STEP 3. Under {5c4f28b5-f869-4e84-8e60-f11db97c5cc7} key, create following 2 keys:



NOTE: If you get an error message that you don't have permission to write to registry, it means you'll need to take permission on the key. You can use following simple steps to take permission:

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

Now you'll be able to create new keys.

STEP 4: Now last thing to do! You'll need to set value of "(Default)" present in right-side pane to tell Windows which buttons should be shown in Explorer.

As we discussed earlier, we'll use "TasksItemsSelected" key to show buttons when an item is selected in Explorer and "TasksNoItemsSelected" key when no item is selected i.e. we open a folder.

To set the value of "(Default)", we'll use built-in Windows commands which are stored in "CommandStore" in Registry. If you can remember, we used the same key in our Cascading context menu tutorial.

In Registry editor, go to following key to get a list of all built-in commands which can be used to show buttons in Command bar:



There are many Windows built-in commands listed in above mentioned key like Windows.cut, etc. Following are some useful and interesting commands which you can use in Step 5:


All the above mentioned commands do what their names suggest.

STEP 5. You just need to select the new keys created in Step 3 one by one and set value of "(Default)" in right-side pane to any of above mentioned built-in Windows commands.

If you want to add more than one commands, you can separate them using semi-colon (;).

a. Go to following key to add commands when you open a folder and don't select any item:


In right-side pane, set value of (Default) to:

Windows.selectall; Windows.Paste; Windows.undo; Windows.redo; Windows.menubar; Windows.previewpane; Windows.readingpane; Windows.navpane; Windows.closewindow

PS: Above are our favorite commands, you can add or remove the desired command according to your requirements.

It'll add "Select all, Paste, Undo, Redo, Menu bar, Details pane, Preview pane, Navigation pane and Close" buttons to Windows Explorer's Command bar. All these new buttons will be visible when you open a folder and don't select any item.


b. Now go to following key to add commands when you select an item in a folder:


In right-side pane, set value of (Default) to:

Windows.Cut; Windows.Copy; Windows.Delete; Windows.rename;; Windows.closewindow

PS: Above are our favorite commands, you can add or remove the desired command according to your requirements.

It'll add "Cut, Copy, Delete, Rename, Properties and Close" buttons to Windows Explorer's Command bar. All these new buttons will become visible when you select an item in a folder.


That's it. You can add/remove built-in commands from the value of (Default) key to add/remove buttons from Command bar in Windows Explorer.

PS: You might notice that "New folder" button is always displayed at the end of Command bar. If you want to show it before your custom buttons, simply go to "Windows.newfolder" key under "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\...\CommandStore\shell" key mentioned in Step 4 and delete "Position" string from right-side pane. You'll need to take permission on the key before deleting the string value.

NOTE: The above mentioned method will add the new buttons for normal folders in Explorer. If you want to add the buttons in Library folders as well, you'll need to repeat the same method in following keys:

Main Library folder:

Documents Library:

Music Library:

Pictures Library:

Videos Library:

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Posted in: Windows 7

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  • Only works when the drive is on a General.
    How it can be set when drive is on a Picture (in properties) ?

  • This question is repeated one, but since you have not answered this, I am asking it again.

    "How do I remove 'Organize, Include in library, Share with' commands from the bar?"

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:

  • Gr8. Thanks. Works fine with me.

  • As always, great job! Thanks! Following your article: will this tweak work in Windows 8?

  • Thanks for your info
    my command bar changed in all drives except my E drive
    E drive command bar has no change but in other drives it has changed
    please tell me what is the mistake i had done and suggestions to rectify it

    Thanks once again

  • VG

    ^^ Open E: drive, right-click on blank space and select customize this folder. Now make sure folder type is set to general items.

  • this was very much useful for copying and pasting very quick.

  • Hi guys,
    In addition to this usefull article, if you want buttons to be added to all folder types, follow this:

    Find these keys
    for "Documents" type

    for "Videos" type

    for "Musics" type

    for "Pictures" type

    Then create "TasksItemsSelected" and "TasksNoItemsSelected" keys for each one, finally change the default value as said in the article.
    have fun

  • Can I add a button in the command bar that links to my own .exe tool ?

  • VG

    ^^ Try the method given in following tutorial to add your own EXE path.

  • dear VG,please add separate .reg file to add "copy","paste","cut" options in the command bar.thanks

  • VG,
    I'm having a problem with your 'Customize Command Bar in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer' script. I know how to do it ;I did it manually & tested your easy .zip script; both worked. But now, on my new installation, I get following error:
    [Window Title]
    Registry Editor

    Cannot import C:\Users\MENTAL\Desktop\Customize Command Bar in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer\Add New Buttons.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes.


    It also seems to only allow me selected branch registry saves.Iget similar error when saving a Full Registry Export/Backup.
    Any ideas would be most appreciated.

  • VG

    ^^ Try to take ownership of following Registry key:


  • "Fix my Command Bar"?
    Well,you'll find a hard time doing that...

    You're a madman.Nobody fixes a Command Bar,nobody!


    Props to Vishal.Props to '300'.
    How you do dat dat?

  • Wait,check that. I got the ready-made registry scripts to all work.

    But something is wrong with my Registry Full or Selected Branch Backups.
    They appear to save just fine.They just aren't to be imported or merged,without an error message.

    [Window Title]
    Registry Editor

    Cannot import C:\~~ REGISTRY RELATED ~~\~ REGISTRY ' FULL ' BACKUPS ~\F2.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes.


    I recorded a quick problem-solving video, where it shows the steps that cause this to happen.Although, I doubt if that would help you.You 'prolly know the steps ,already.
    I mean,these backups used to work.
    I could Import a .reg file (full or selected branch) from inside Registry Editor. Or, I could Merge a .reg file from from outside Registry Editor.
    Anyway, I thank you for your help ,getting me this far.But, if you could look into this for me; I mean, I need my Registry to be able to be backed up.Well, backed up, AND RESTORED, if necessary.
    As always, I thank you for your service and this site.You know you rule, right?

  • VG

    ^^ It looks a permission problem to me. Most probably a non-administrator account. You can try with built-in Administrator account.

  • I am not quite sure what you are saying.

    I am running just one account, as administrator. I've read where it is a safer setup. Where you either make a non-administrator account to use primarily, and a second account, as administrator. Or, something like this. I tried and found it just too tedious, given the number of time I would need to use administrator's rights.
    Please tell me that's not what you're saying.
    BTW, back before I was aware, that a Government Unlimited-Potential to Total Advancement program, or G.U.P.T.A. had been given the go-ahead to build these cpu-enhanced systems. Which, is how, ironical enough, around the time I stumbled across your spookishly-similar website.
    Just before that, I tried to start a fresh install on another computer, and found the same issues. Even though I had a, relatively new OS installed. One, with a single-user account, as administrator.
    I attempted the backup/restores to registry, rather quickly after installation. JIC, there was something happening later on, that was running an unknown/unseen service, that would prevent me 'writing to the registry'.
    In case there is/was a pre-requisite I didn't have , that would then enable me to write to registry from a backup .reg file, I continued, intermittently, to try.
    What is going on? It is driving me mad, NTM, impedeing my progress.
    You must have alot going on, and this 'petty' issue was well past tiresome, long ago.
    I emplore you. There is no one else. You have to understand. ' You are, THE ONE '

  • VG

    ^^ I was talking about this:

  • Ahh.
    Yes, yes.
    Apologies, Majesty.

    But, didn't matter, my OS was corrupted.

    It's all good now. ^_^

  • Your comments are great. I would like to add a Favorites to my Win7 Toolbar. Not the TASKBAR, the Toolbar.

    I spend all day going through files in my group's directory structure. In WinXP, there was a Favorites item on the Toolbar. The locations of my files are 3-6 screens down in the Taskbar. In Win7, whenever I want to go to a Favorites location, I have to scroll the Taskbar all the way to the top to get to the Favorites there, where I use to be able to just click the Favorites item in the Toolbar.

    Do you know a way of adding Favorites back to the Windows (not Internet) Explorer or some button that will open Favorites?

  • VG

    ^^ I think Favorites bar is still accessible in Menu bar. You can access Menubar by pressing ALT key in Windows Explorer.

  • Your article is great!
    What I want to ask you, though, is how can you tell which folder types correspond to each of these long strings of numbers, like: {9efeadc8-c484-48fc-be40-973d419fe58a} or {94d6ddcc-4a68-4175-a374-bd584a510b78}, e.t.c.?

  • Excellent article, thanks!!
    I have two questions:
    a) Can it be done with a non-admin user?
    b) Is it possible to add buttons for a single user? For example, using HKEY_CURRENT_USER or something like that.

  • For whatever reason, it works in My Computer and Explorer Window but does not work for folders added to Libraries.

  • Very well explained HowTo - I will try it later.

    However what I was looking for was a command line I could use to share a photo on Google+ - either by marking the photo and using the command in the command bar to create a Google+ post form with the photo attached. Or by adding the command line to a new entry in the SendTo drop-down menu of the photo. Similar to the G+ button on many web pages. If I only knew the command line to use ...

  • Actually in my internet explorer or tool bar are missing ,there is no tool bar so that i click on any bar to bring back my command bar menu bar and all other bar , please tell me how can i bring that back

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:

  • You are awesome Man. Such details and I love the Registry Ownership article.
    Thanks a lot.

  • I'm having the same issue that babs is having. It works perfect if I navigate through "Computer" but not through "Libraries". If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know. Thank you.

  • VG

    ^^ Did you read the NOTE given at the end?

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