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Easily Add Program Shortcuts to the Desktop Context Menu in Windows 7

00_lead_image_apps_on_context_menu

If you use the Desktop context menu often, wouldn’t it be useful if you could add program shortcuts to it so you can quickly access your favorite apps? We’ve shown you how to do this using a quick registry tweak, but there’s an easier way.

DeskIntegrator is a free, portable program that allows you to quickly and easily add applications to the Desktop context menu. It does not need to be installed. Extract the program files from the .zip file you downloaded (see the link at the end of the article) to a location on your hard drive.

NOTE: This article shows you how to use DeskIntegrator in Windows 7, but we tested it in Windows 8 Release Preview and it worked there as well.

To use DeskIntegrator, you must run it as administrator. Right-click on the DeskIntegrator.exe file and select Run as administrator from the popup menu.

01_running_deskintegrator

If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.

NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings.

02_uac_for_deskintegrator

On the DeskIntegrator dialog box, enter a name for the program you want to add in the Title edit box. This title is what displays on the context menu. Click the browse () button to the right of the path edit box.

03_clicking_browse_for_path

The Open dialog box displays. Navigate to the directory containing the .exe file for the program you want to add. Select the .exe file and click Open.

04_selecting_program_for_path

If you want an icon to display to the left of the program name on the context menu, use the browse () button to the right of the Icon edit box to select an icon (.ico) file to apply to the menu item.

NOTE: To use the icon from the program’s .exe file, see our article about extracting icons from application files.

Select the Position for the new menu item (the default is Middle) and click Add/Modify to add the item to the context menu.

05_clicking_add_modify

A dialog box displays telling you that the item was added successfully. Click OK to close the dialog box.

06_add_successful

NOTE: If you didn’t run DeskIntegrator as administrator, you’ll see the following error when you click Add/Modify. Click OK to close the error dialog box, close DeskIntegrator and re-run it as administrator.

07_no_registry_permissions

Here’s an example of a program added to the top of the context menu. Programs are added alphabetically, going up from the top of the current items on the menu (see the image at the beginning of this article for an example of multiple apps added).

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Here is a program added to the middle of the context menu.

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If you add a program to the bottom of the context menu, it’s added in alphabetical order with the items below the last separator.

10_gimp_added_to_bottom

To remove a program from the context menu, click the Remove Menu tab, select the item you want to remove, and click Remove.

11_removing_gimp

Again, a dialog box displays telling you the removal was successful.

12_remove_successful

To close DeskIntegrator, click the X button in the upper, right corner of the dialog box.

13_closing_deskintegrator

Download DeskIntegrator from http://vishal-gupta.deviantart.com/art/DeskIntegrator-181505934.

If you’re not comfortable editing the registry yourself, this tool makes it very easy to add programs to the Desktop context menu.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 06/20/12

Comments (9)

  1. penywyse

    Nice! Tnx a lot.

  2. ESC

    :MEGUSTA:

  3. tech27

    Awesomeness !

  4. Mike

    Prefect / easy to set up and use

  5. PeeDadDee

    This is just as easy without this app….

  6. Stokkie

    @ PeeDadDee (wise guy)

    Then show how it’s done without the suggested app…..

  7. jasray

    It’s a good find. I use File Menu Tools, and I am sure there are more ways. May want to focus on the source of the application. AskVG offers a number of “neat” little tools.

  8. spike

    @Stokkie: By manually editing the registry. There are plenty of guides on where the keys are (there aren’t that many) Google it.

  9. Jimbo

    Is the a similar program to ad commands to the context menu?

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