How to add an item to the Windows desktop context menu

When working on a computer, any user uses the Windows context menu items, various elements of the operating system, applications and programs installed on the computer. A right-click context menu opens.

Using the context menu, the user performs the necessary actions in programs or in the Windows operating system: launches applications, copies, cuts or deletes files, gains access to the necessary OS settings and functions.

With default settings, Windows automatically adds the necessary items to the context menu. Installed programs also add their own items to the context menu, depending on the features of their work.

The user may notice that immediately after installing the Windows operating system on the computer, the context menu is not overloaded with items. In the process of using a PC, after installing new programs, new items are gradually added to the context menu.

How to change the context menu

If you enter the settings of some programs, then there you can add or remove from the context some items related to this application. For example, this can be done in the settings of the popular WinRAR archiver, so I usually remove the unnecessary items that this program uses for me.

Some users need to make changes to the context menu in the Windows operating system. You need to customize the context menu, depending on your needs, for example, add a command to the context menu to launch a program, or to quickly call a system tool, or to speed up access to a specific option or tool.

Changing the context menu can be done using specialized programs, such as FileMenu Tools or Easy Context Menu. Another method is to edit the context menu in the system tool – the Windows Registry Editor.

Often users do not have enough standard menu items or need to add new ones designed for quick access to the programs they need.

Almost all information related to context menu settings is located in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT registry branch, which in turn contains subsections related to menu items:

  • “*” And “.” – information about all types of files available on the computer.
  • “AllFileSystemObjects” – all data related to files and folders.
  • “Folder” – changes the parameters of the context menu of Windows Explorer for the selected folder.
  • “Directory” – changes in parameters inside an open folder.
  • “Directory\Background” – change the context menu inside an open folder if no objects are selected.
  • “DesktopBackground” – change the context menu of the Windows Desktop.
  • “Drive” – ​​change the context menu items related to the PC disk system.
  • “Network” – network environment settings.
  • “Printers” – setting the context menu of printers.

To perform the necessary operations, we need the Registry Editor. Read the article on how to open the Registry Editor in the Windows operating system in different ways.

Most often, adding the necessary parameters to the context menu occurs in the following branches of the registry.

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/*/shell – section for changing the context menu of files.
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell – Change the context menu of the This PC icon (Computer, My Computer).
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\shell – Change the context menu of the Recycle Bin icon.
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell – change folder context menu.
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell – change the context menu of drives.

In this article, we will look at how to add an item to the context menu using Windows system tools, without using third-party software.

Before applying changes to the Windows system registry, first create a copy of the registry , a system restore point, or create a Windows backup. Thanks to this, you can return the computer to a working state if there are problems with Windows caused by incorrect user actions.

How to add a program to the desktop context menu

Now we will see how to add an application or system tool to the desktop context menu. Suppose we often need to launch Control Panelto perform computer settings. Therefore, we need to add the corresponding item to the Windows 10 context menu.

Do the following:

  1. Open the registry editor on your computer.
  2. Follow the path:
  1. Double-click the left mouse button on “Shell”, in the context menu, select first “Create”, and then “Partition”.
  2. Specify any name for the section in Latin letters, it is possible with numbers. Let this example be “New1”.
  3. Right-click on an empty space within the partition, select New → String Value.
  4. Name the parameter “MUIverb”. This is a required parameter that is required to display the command name in the menu.
  5. Right-click on the parameter, select “Edit…”.
  6. In the “Change string parameter” window, in the “Value:” field, write “Control Panel” or your own version, click on the “OK” button.

In this section, you can create several optional parameters:

  • Icon – to display the icon of a system tool or program in the context menu.
  • Position – the location of the item in the context menu list. If you do not set this parameter, this item will be in the center of the menu. You can set the values ​​to “Top” (top) or “Botton” (bottom).
  • Extended – if this option is present, the context menu item is displayed only when the “Shift” key is pressed.

Optionally, create an “Icon” string parameter to add an icon for a program or system tool. In the value field, you need to enter the path to the executable file or the path to the “dll” (dynamic link library) and the number of the icon (resource).

In the case of the control panel, you can specify “imageres.dll,22” (a standard icon with a resource number), or the path to the file “control.exe”. Since the control panel is located in the Windows system folder, you can only specify the file name, without the full path. Otherwise, specify the full path to the executable file. For tools from system folders, you can also specify the full path to the file.

If necessary, change the position of the item in the menu.

  1. In the “New1” section, create a “command” section.
  2. In the “command” section, right-click on the “(Default)” option, in the menu that opens, click on “Change …”. Creating this section is necessary to run the application.
  3. In the value field, enter the full path to the executable file of this application, in our case “C:\Windows\System32\control.exe”, or simply “control.exe”, because the control panel file is located in the Windows system folder.

As a result, the following parameters were added to the Registry Editor, which are displayed in this image.

If you right-click on an empty space on the Desktop, a context menu will open, in which an item has been added to quickly launch the Control Panel.

Other programs can be added to the context menu in a similar way.

How to specify a command in the context menu to open a site on the Internet

Some users wish to have a shortcut menu link to quickly open a website. In this case, to launch the site, it is enough to select the appropriate menu item, without unnecessary gestures.

Go through the following steps:

  1. In the registry editor, open the branch:
  1. In the “Shell” section, create a new section, give it a name in Latin, for example, “New2”.
  2. Create a required string parameter “MUIVerb”, add a value to the parameter. Let’s say “Website”.
  3. Optional steps: You can add a site icon, for example, using a suitable image from a computer, and set the desired position in the menu list.
  4. Right-click on the created parameter, in our case, “New2”.
  5. Create a “command” section.
  6. In the value of the default parameter “(Default)”, enter the path to the browser executable file, and add the site address without specifying the protocol, separated by a space.

In my case, when using the Google Chrome browser, it looks like this:

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\ChromeApplicationchrome.exe”

A link to quickly launch the site has appeared in the context menu of the desktop.

If the created context menu items are no longer needed, delete the previously created keys from the registry.

Adding new items to the “Submit” context menu

There is no need to use the Registry Editor to add programs to Explorer’s “Submit” context menu. You can do it in a simpler way.

Go through the steps:

  1. Press the “Win” + “R” keys.
  2. In the “Run” dialog box, enter the command “shell:sendto” (without quotes), click on the “OK” button.
  3. The “SendTo” folder will open, which contains application shortcuts.
  4. Copy the shortcuts of the programs you need to this folder. For example, I added a shortcut to the uTorrent program to the Send To menu.

To remove an item from the “Send” context menu, remove the program shortcut from the “SendTo” folder.

Article Conclusions

If necessary, the user can add a program or system tool to the Windows context menu to quickly launch the application. You can add your own items for launching programs to the context menu of the Desktop, folders, drives, etc.

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