6 Useful Hacks to Enhance Windows Context Menu

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Sometime back I showed how you can add your frequently used applications to the windows desktop context menu. Now in this post I will show some more useful hacks that will enhance your Windows right-click menu with more useful shortcuts.

Enhanced Windows Desktop Context Menu

Add Windows Shortcuts to Desktop Context Menu

Usually to access areas such as Control Panel, Task Scheduler or to even change a wallpaper we need to go through various tabs and windows. With this hack you can have all these options straight in your context menu.

For this example I am going to add Control Panel to the desktop context-menu.

Steps:
Step 1: Open up Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell

Step 2: Create a new key under the “shell” key by right-clicking on it, and then choose New > Key from the menu.

Name the new key “Control Panel.” This is what will show up in the menu.

Common Options:
You can add an icon to the menu entry by creating a new String value called Icon in the right pane. Double click on the Icon value and enter full path to the icon file. Supported formats: exe, ico and dll.
You can also set the position of the menu item by creating another String value called Position. Set it’s value to Top, to display at the top of the menu or Bottom, to display at bottom.
To show the item only when used in combination with the Shift key, create a String value called NoViewContextMenu. Leave value at default.

Step 3: Now create another new key under “Control Panel” key and name the key “command“.
Step 4: Select the “command” key and in right-side pane, double-click on the “(Default)” String value and enter rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL.

That’s it! Now right-click on your desktop and you will see the new menu entry.

Following the same steps you can add the following shortcuts:

  • Administrative Tools: control admintools
  • Change Themes: control desk.cpl,,@themes
  • Change Wallpaper: control desk.cpl,,@desktop
  • Change Screen Saver: control desk.cpl,,@screensaver
  • Change Appearance: control desk.cpl,,@appearance
  • Change Display Settings: control desk.cpl,,@display
  • Change Cursor: control main.cpl,,1
  • Change Date/Time: control timedate.cpl
  • Change Regional Settings: control intl.cpl
  • Desktop Icons Settings: control desk.cpl,,@web
  • Folder Options: control folders
  • Fonts: control fonts
  • Internet Options: control inetcpl.cpl
  • Network Connections: control ncpa.cpl
  • Power Options: control powercfg.cpl
  • Printers: control printers
  • Programs and Features: control appwiz.cpl
  • Registry Editor: regedit
  • Security Center: control wscui.cpl
  • Security Configuration: msconfig
  • System Properties: control sysdm.cpl
  • Task Manager: taskmgr
  • Task Scheduler: Control schedtasks
  • Turn Firewall On / Off: control firewall.cpl
  • User Accounts: Control userpasswords
  • User Accounts Classic: Control userpasswords2

Remember to give a new name for each entry in “Step 2.” To delete a key simply delete that particular key.

The above mentioned commands can also directly run from the “Run” dialog box and can also be used as a standard desktop shortcut.

Download: Control Panel Context Option Registry Hack

Add Website Shortcut to Desktop Context Menu

If you have a particular website that you frequently visit, you can add it’s shortcut to the context menu. And if you have multiple browsers installed, the website can also be directly opened in the browser of your choice.

Here I am going to add shortcut to SumTips in the context-menu, but you can add any URL you want.

Once again open Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell

Now create a new key under “shell” key and name it “SumTips.” The name you set here will be shown as the menu  name in the context menu.

Next create a “command” key under  the “SumTips” key. In the right-side pane, double click on (Default) String value and enter the following value:

chrome sumtips.com

The first part is the browser you want the URL to opened in, and latter is the website URL. If you have a portable version of Google Chrome, you need to enter full path to the executable file.
For other browsers:

Mozilla Firefox: firefox sumtips.com
Opera: exe_path sumtips.com
Internet Explorer: iexplore sumtips.com

That’s it. Right-click on Desktop and you’ll see the new menu entry for SumTips.
Download: Website Context Option Registry Hack

Add Encrypt/Decrypt Options to Windows File Context Menu

If you use the built-in Windows encryption feature to secure your files, this will speed up things for you.

Open up Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

In the right-hand pane, create a new 32-bit DWORD value called EncryptionContextMenu and give it a value of 1.

That’s it!

Now when you right-click on a file, you’ll see a new option called “Encrypt”.

Using this option you will be able to encrypt both files and folders.

Once the files are encrypted, the filename will turn to green, indicating that it’s been encrypted. On right-clicking the file again, you will see that the “Encrypt” option has changed to “Decrypt“.
Download: Encrypt Context Option Registry Hack

Context Menu Shortcut to Copy Text File Content To Windows Clipboard

If you want to copy some information from a text file, it needs to be opened and only then it’s possible. Now here’s a hack using which you will be able to quickly copy the entire content of a text file to the Windows clipboard even without opening it.

Open up Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell

First create a new key called “copytoclip” under shell, and change it’s (Default) value to something like “Copy to Clipboard.”

Next create another new key under “copytoclip” called “command” and set it’s (Default) value to:

cmd /c clip < "%1"

That’s it! If you right click on a text file, you will notice the new menu entry “Copy to Clipboard.” Clicking on it will copy the entire content of the text file into Windows clipboard.
Download: Copy Text File Content Registry Hack

Context Menu Shortcut to Copy List of Files in a Folder to Windows Clipboard

This registry hack will allow you to copy the entire list of files in a folder to the clipboard.

Open up Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell

First create a new key called “copylist” under shell, and then create a key under “copylist” called “command“.
Change the default value of “copylist” in the right pane to something like “Copy List to Clipboard“, and then set the default value of “command” to the following:

cmd /c dir "%1" /a:-d /o:n | clip

That’s it! Now you can right click on any directory and have all file listing copied to clipboard. The above code will give you all information such as file size, date, etc. but if you prefer to get only the file name modify the registry hack and add “/b” switch.
Download: Copy Folder File List Registry Hack

Add Defragment and Disk Cleanup to the Context Menu of a Drive

This registry hack will allow you to quickly defragment or clean up a drive straight from the right-click menu.

Open up Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell

Add Defragment:
Create a new key under “shell" called “runas“, and then set the (Default) value to “Defragment“. Next, create another new key called “command” under “runas” and set it’s default value to the following:

defrag %1 -v

Add Disk Cleanup:
Create a new key under “shell" called “Disk Cleanup“, and then create a key under “Disk Cleanup” called “command.” Now, change set the default value of “command” key to the following:

cleanmgr.exe /d %1

Download: Drive Defragment Registry Hack
Download: Drive Cleanup Registry Hack

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