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Episode 36 – Add Application into Context Menu

If you want quick access to launch a frequently used application(s) without putting extra icons on your desktop, you can add that application(s) to the context menu for the desktop with a simple registry hack.

Adding Applications to the Desktop Context Menu

In this blog I will show you guys how to add Notepad, QuickTime and Chrome to the menu, but you could add any applications you want instead. The first thing you’ll want to do is open up regedit.exe through the Start Menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell

The screen should look similar to this one if you are in the right place.

Next, you’ll want to create a new key underneath the shell key, the name of which is exactly what is going to show up on the desktop menu. Right-click on the “shell” key, and then choose New >> Key from the menu.

Give the new key the name that you want to show up on the desktop context menu. For this example we’ll be using Notepad.

Next you’ll need to create the command key that will actually hold the command used to launch the application. Right-click on the new Notepad key, and then choose New >> Key from the menu.

Give this key the name “command” and make sure it’s in lowercase.

To complete this step you’ll need the full path to the application that you want to launch. You can use Shift + Right-Click to get the Copy as Path menu item to find this more quickly.

Now click on “command” on the left side, and then double-click on the (Default) key in the right side to edit the string value.

Paste in the full path to the executable that you got from the “Copy as Path” step above, or you can put in the full path yourself if you’d like. *Note: make sure the that an exe file is inserted into the value data.

Once it’s done, it should look like this:

And right-clicking on the desktop will produce the new menu item… naturally, using this menu item should launch Notepad.

You can add as many applications to the desktop context menu as you’d like, just repeat the steps again with a new menu item name.

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About BjTechNews (891 Articles)
An IT guy trying to learn everything about technology and sharing it with you all. I'm a blogger and video blogger who highlights daily news in the tech industry, promoting tips and hacks for fellow techies.

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