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How to hack the right click menu in Windows 11

The right-click menu in Windows 11 is an essential shortcut to a host of functions and tools, adapting over time to the context of what you click. You can use it to copy and paste files, edit images, interact with the clipboard, access file properties, print documents, share files with other people, and much more.

What you may not know is that you can customize this right-click menu for yourself, bringing in the applications and shortcuts you use most and removing the ones you don’t need. It makes the menu more useful than ever, with the ability to boost your computer productivity even further.

There are a couple of ways to make changes to what you see in Windows 11’s right-click menu: edit the Windows Registry yourself or ask a third-party program to do the work for you.

Edit the registry

You can create new keys and values ​​by right-clicking.

In case you’re new to Windows, the Registry is basically a sprawling configuration file for Microsoft’s operating system – it’s something most users will never have to deal with, but it’s the place to go for advanced hacks like this one.

An important note: before we go any further, we must say that you edit the registry at your own risk – change the wrong setting the wrong way and it can cause serious problems. As long as you’re careful and stick to tried and trusted instructions (including the ones we’re about to give you), you should be fine. But like sideloading Android apps or browsing on public Wi-Fi, there’s a little extra risk involved that you should be aware of. We recommend backing up the registry before getting started – Microsoft’s instructions for that are here.

  • Open the Windows 11 Start menu, search for “regedit” in the box at the top, then choose Registry Editor when the shortcut appears to launch the utility.
  • You then have a huge list of so-called registry keys (or folders) on the left, each containing text strings and numeric values ​​that Windows 11 references when it needs to know how to act.
  • After any change you make, restart your computer for it to take effect.

Show all options

You can change the right-click menu to give you all your options right away, Windows 10 style.

Here’s a tweak to try first: Windows 11 changed the design of the right-click menu, putting most of the options behind a Show more options sub menu. To go back to the Windows 10 way of working, where all options are immediately available:

  • Go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID key
  • Right click on CLSIDand choose New > Key.
  • Give the key a name {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}.
  • Right click on the key you just created on the left, choose New > Key again, and name it InprocServer32.
  • Open that key, right click on the (Standard) entry in the right pane and select To process.
  • Leave everything as it is and click OK.

Restart your PC for the change to take effect. To undo your changes, right-click on the new keys you created and choose To delete.

Add shortcuts to programs

You can add menu shortcuts to any program you want; in this case there is a new shortcut to Notepad.

One way you can edit the right-click menu is to add program shortcuts to it so that they are always easily accessible.

  • In the Registry Editor navigation pane on the left, navigate to Computer\ HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ Directory\ Background\ shell.
  • Right click on the shell folder and then choose New > Key and give it the name of the program you are adding.
  • Right click on this newly created key (or folder), select New > Key again, and name it command.
  • With the command folder selected on the left, double click on it (Standard) value on the right.
  • In the next dialog box, enter the full path to the program you want to launch in the Value data field and then click OK.

The next time you open the right-click context menu and choose Show more options, you should see the program in the list. To undo your changes, simply delete the registry keys you created (right click and To delete).

Add move and copy files to specific folders

Another useful tweak is adding options for moving and copying files to specific folders. This can be useful if you right-click on a file or group of files.

  • The key you need to navigate to is HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ AllFilesystemObjects\ shellex\ ContextMenuHandlers
  • Right click on ContextMenuHandlersto elect New > Keyand name it Move to folder.
  • Double click on the {Standard} value in this new key and set {C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13} as the value before you click OK.

To create an option to copy files instead of moving them:

  • Go to the same ContextMenuHandlers key, but this time the new key you create in it is called “Copy to Folder” and the value you need to set to the (Standard) string is {C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}.
  • Select one of these new items from the right-click menu and a small window will appear where you can choose a destination folder.
  • As always, delete the keys you created to remove the options.

Edit SendTo options

The SendTo menu allows you to send files to specific folders, devices or programs – without the need for registry edits.

On a related comment, you can edit the options that appear when you choose Send to in the right-click menu, allowing you to send files to specific folders, devices, or programs. This not need a registry edit:

  • Of the Start Windows menu, launch the Walk utility
  • Enter shell: send to in the text box and press Enter.
  • A new File Explorer window appears, and any shortcuts you create here (for example, for an app or a folder) will appear in the Send To menu.
  • To create a shortcut, right-click on an empty area of ​​the right pane and choose New > Shortcut.

Third-party apps

A quick web search will reveal several third-party apps that will do some of the registry editing for you and put it in a more user-friendly interface than the one offered by the Windows 11 Registry Editor. I’ve tried them, and they worked for me. However, as before, use them at your own risk: some are now a few years old, and some parts of the Windows registry have changed over time.

Simple context menu

Easy Context Menu can perform various registry adjustments for you.

A tool that has been updated more recently is the Simple context menu. Among the items you can add to the right-click menu through the app are an option to select all files, quick links to the task manager and command prompt, and an option to restart the Windows Explorer shell. Once you’ve made your adjustments, click the button Apply changes button at the top to edit the relevant registry keys.

Another reason I like Easy Context Menu is that it can customize the right-click menu depending on what you right-click on – different options may appear when you right-click on a folder or right-click on the desktop , For example. There is a handy button at the top of the interface to quickly undo all your changes as well.

Send to toys

Send to Toys can be used to customize the Send To menu.

I mentioned the Send to submenu before, and if you’re looking for an even easier way to manage these options, Send to toys has you covered. You can specify certain folders (such as the last used folder) that always appear in this menu, set a default email recipient when sending files as attachments, and also add clipboard entries to the menu.

Windows Eleven forum

One final source to watch out for is the Windows Eleven forum, which packages registry edits as small executables that you can run. For example, here’s a kit which allows you to add shortcuts for creating folders, shortcuts and libraries to the right-click menu. There are also executable files to revert these changes – you simply download the files and then run them to perform the registry edits.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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