The context menu in Windows provides a convenient place to start programs, access websites, and open folders. There are several ways to add programs to the menu including a registry method and a free tool.
We’ve found another free tool, called Right Click Context Menu Adder, that allows you to add more than just programs to the desktop context menu and the folders context menu. It allows you to add folders, web addresses, and files to the menus, as well as programs.
Right Click Context Menu Adder is portable and doesn’t need to be installed. To run it, simply extract the .zip file you downloaded (see the link at the end of this article) and double-click on the .exe file.
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.
Make sure the Add items to menu tab is selected. Select the type of item to add to the context menu from the Item type to add box. First, we’ll add a program to our context menu. To do this, click Search to the right of the Program to add edit box.
On the Choose a program to add dialog box, navigate to folder containing the program you want to add and select the .exe file for the program. Click Open.
NOTE: You can also select to add .msi files or .bat files from the drop-down list to the right of the File name edit box.
The icon for a program file is automatically extracted from the file. However, if you want to select a custom icon, use the Search button in the Icon to show on Menu box to select an icon to display to the left of the program on the context menu, if desired.
NOTE: If you need to extract an icon from a file, such as a program file (.exe) or resource library (.dll) you can use the free BeCyIconGrabber tool. You can also search for and download free .ico files from the IconFinder website.
Because adding an icon to the menu item is optional, you can hide the Icon to show on Menu box by clicking the Compact link next to Switch to at the bottom of the dialog box. To show the Icon to show on Menu box again, click the Extended link.
Select where you want the item to display on the context menu from the Position on Menu drop down list. Enter the name of the item you want displayed on the menu in the Text on Menu edit box.
If you want the item to display on the context menu only when you press Shift, select the Show only when SHIFT key is pressed check box.
To add the item only to the Desktop context menu, select the Add only to Desktop Context Menu radio button. If you want the item added to both the Desktop and Folders context menus, select the Add to Desktop Context Menu and to Folders Context Menu radio button.
Once you have specified all the options, click Add to Context Menu.
A confirmation dialog box displays saying the item has been added to the menu. Click OK to close it.
To add a web address to the context menu, select Web Address in the Item type to add box. If you want to automatically download the favicon for the site, select the Download Website icon (Favicon) check box below the Web Address radio button.
Enter the URL for the desired website in the Program to add edit box. Select the Position on Menu and specify the Text on Menu as well as the other options discussed earlier. Click Add to Context Menu.
To add a folder you access often to the context menu, select Folder in the Item type to add box. In the Program to add box, click Choose Folder.
NOTE: You can also add files to the context menu. If you choose to add Any type of file, the Choose Folder button becomes the Search button. Select the file and then specify the other options the same way you would for a folder.
On the Browse For Folder dialog box, navigate to the desired folder, select it, and click OK. If you want to create a folder to add, use the Make New Folder button.
An icon is not automatically added to a folder. To select one, click Search in the Icon to show on Menu box (if you are in Extended mode).
On the Choose an icon dialog box, navigate to the folder containing the .ico file you want to use for the folder on the menu, select it, and click Open.
NOTE: If you want to use the standard folder icon, you can extract the icon from the shell32.dll file in the C:\Windows\System32 folder using the free BeCyIconGrabber tool. You can also search for and download free .ico files from the IconFinder website.
Click Add to Context Menu to add the folder to the context menu.
Here’s what our menu looks like after adding the How-To Geek website to the top, a folder to the middle, and GIMP to the bottom.
You can also easily remove items from the context menu. To do this, click the Remove items from menu tab.
NOTE: You may not see the options you added in the Select an item to remove list. This may be the case if the Show only items displayed on Desktop Context Menu option is selected in the Options box at the bottom of the tab. If you chose to add the item to both the Desktop and the Folders context menus, be sure to select the Show items displayed on Desktop Context Menu and Folders Context Menu radio button in the Options box.
In the Select an item to remove list, select the option you want to remove from the context menu and click Remove. Click Yes on the confirmation dialog box that displays.
To change settings for Right Click Context Menu Adder, click the Settings tab. Use the Choose Language drop-down list to change the language for the program.
If you don’t want the confirmation dialog box to display when you remove items from the context menu, select the Ask before remove items check box so there is NO check mark in the box.
To show the confirmation that an item has been added in the status bar only and not on a separate dialog box, select the Show ‘Added’ alert only in status bar check box so there is NO check mark in the box.
If you don’t want to specify icons for your menu items, you can choose to Always start in Compact mode.
For Web Addresses, you can specify which web browser you want to use to open the websites. This can be different from your default browser. Click the Change button in the Open Web addresses with this Browser box and select the .exe file for the desired browser.
Because Right Click Context Menu Adder is portable, you can choose to save these settings in an INI file in the same directory as the program. To do this, select the File in the program folder radio button in the Save settings in box. This way you can put the program folder on a USB flash drive and take it with you.
Right Click Context Menu Adder allows to easily use your context menu as a central place for running programs, accessing websites, and opening files and folders. We tested the program in Windows 7, but it’s supposed to work in Windows 8 as well.
Download Right Click Context Menu Adder from http://vishal-gupta.deviantart.com/art/Right-Click-Context-Menu-Adder-244062201.
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 06/27/12