Add an Application Shortcut to Windows File Explorer’s Context Menu

Context menu for right click on folders in left panel of Windows File Explorer or on background of a directory in right panel

  1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell if you are administrator
  2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\directory\Background\shell if you are a normal user

Context menu for right click on folders in right panel of Windows File Explorer

  1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell if you are administrator
  2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\directory\shell if you are a normal user

Context menu for any file

  1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell if you are administrator
  2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\*\shell if you are a normal user

In all cases:

  1. add a new key under “shell”, naming it as you want to name the context menu item
  2. add a new key inside this key, named command (mandatory name)
  3. edit the “default” property in “command” to myprogrampath\path\path\executable.exe %1 to pass the file path and name of the selected file to your custom program.

C# Example

Add a String Value to the key called “AppliesTo” and set its value to “under:{path}”

In my example, I want it to only look in the T Drive, so my String value is “AppliesTo”:”under:T:”.

In C#, this is easily accomplished with the following:

RegistryKey _key = Registry.ClassesRoot.OpenSubKey("Folder\\Shell", true);
RegistryKey newkey = _key.CreateSubKey("My Menu Item");
newkey.SetValue("AppliesTo", "under:T:");

RegistryKey subNewkey = newkey.CreateSubKey("Command");
subNewkey.SetValue("", "C:\\yourApplication.exe");
subNewkey.Close();

newkey.Close();
_key.Close();

Full Detailed Example

With a quick registry tweak, you can add any application to any Windows Explorer context menu. You can even add application shortcuts to your desktop’s context menu and launch your favorite applications just by right-clicking on your desktop.

Getting Started

First, launch regedit.exe from the Start menu.

Expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key.

Specific File Types

As an example, let’s add an option to the context menu for .gif files.

First, scroll down to the .gif key under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

Select it and look at its “(Default)” value. In this case, the default value is “giffile”.

Head to down to the giffile\shell key, also under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

First, right-click the shell key and create a new key. Name the key what you want the option to appear as in the menu. Next, right-click the key you just created and create a new subkey under it. Name the new key “command.”

Double-click the “(Default)” value in the command key and enter the path to the .exe file in the following format:

C:\\Program Files\\Something\\something.exe %1

Be sure to use the double backslashes and end the path with %1. The %1 passes the selected file name to the program.

The option will appear immediately.

Only When Pressing Shift

To have a shortcut appear only when you press Shift while right-clicking, create a string value named “Extended” in the action’s main key.

All File Types

The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell key holds options that appear when you right-click any type of file.

First, navigate to the *\shell key.

Next, create a key with the same structure.

You’ll see the option when you right-click any type of file.

Desktop Menu

Use the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell key to have a shortcut appear when you right-click the desktop.

Omit the %1 part of the command because you only want Windows to launch the app, not try to pass anything to it.

Folder Menus

Use the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell key to have the option appear when you right-click a directory.

Use the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell key to have an option appear when you right-click the background of a directory in a Windows Explorer window.

Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/107965/how-to-add-any-application-shortcut-to-windows-explorers-context-menu/

 

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