Saturday, October 09, 2021

Microsoft Windows File Explorer Customization

The File Explorer in Microsoft Windows allows access to various context-sensitive menus by right-clicking the mouse button. You may customize many of the menus. This post will show you how to modify the context-sensitive menus for "new" file, "open with", and "send to".

The "new" menu may already have items for BMP image and several other document types. Look at your configuration by going to an empty place on the Desktop or in File Explorer, right-click the mouse button, and go to New.

Let's add an item to create a new JPEG image. Press the Windows Start Button and type registry. Click on the Registry Editor app. 

In the Registry Editor go to registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.jpg

Right-click on ".jpg" and add a new Key with name ShellNew.

In ShellNew, create a new "String Value" with value of FileName. Modify the FileName entry with "Value Data" of Template.jpg.

You may close the Registry Editor. Now right-click on the Desktop or in File Explorer, go to New, and there should be an option to create a new JPEG image.

The context-sensitive Open With menu shows appropriate choices for each file type. Because there are many file types, there are many settings which may be shown depending on the file type. In the following picture, this is a text file and the file type is ".txt".

Create the new text document, then right-click on the file and go to the Open With entry. You should see various text editors.

These settings are stored in the Windows registry and may be modified with the Registry Editor for each file type.

Let's add a program in the Open With menu. Click on the Windows Start Button, type regedit, and click on Registry Editor.

In the left pane of the Registry Editor, go to key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\

Go to the .txt entry, and click on OpenWithList.

Add the office writer application to the Open With menu for ".txt" files. In the right-hand panel, right-click and press New, String Value. The Value Name should be the next letter in the alphabet. 

Double-click the new entry and in the Value Data field add the office writer application of "soffice.exe".

Now when you go to the Open With item, you should see the office writer application as a choice.

While you are in Registry Editor, you may also remove items. Go to the file type, select the item, and then press Delete.

The Send To in File Explorer is a context-sensitive menu which appears when you right-click an item. Let's add an item to the list.

Press the Windows Start Button and type: run
Click the Run App. In the Run app, enter shell:sendto and press the OK button.

This will open a folder which contains the various items. 

Delete any items you do not want by selecting the item and deleting it. 

Add items by copying a shortcut to the program into this folder. For example, if you would like Microsoft Paint to appear in the Send To menu, find the path to the program (Start Button, scroll to Windows Accessories and expand it, right-click on Paint, choose More, then choose Open File Location. After the File Explorer window open, right-click on Paint and choose Copy. In the SendTo folder, right-click on a white sort and choose Paste Shortcut.)

The SendTo folder will look like:

Now when you are in File Explorer and right-click an item to display the context-sensitive menu, Send To will show the new entry which you just added. It may be useful to add the Notepad application to the Send To menu to make it easy to quickly bring up the editor for working with ".cmd" files (Windows command script files or batch files).

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