Looking for a free program to customize or edit the right-click context menu for the desktop or File Explorer in Windows? I think one of the main reasons people use Windows instead of Mac is that right-clicking on something in Windows is more natural. So why not overload the context menu to make it even more useful than it is now?
In this article, I’ll cover a couple of really useful right-click context menu editors that I use all the time. These advanced menu options can help you navigate Windows faster and perform file operations more easily.
File List Tools
FileMenu Tools is a great little application that makes it very easy to add a bunch of extra options to the context menu. You can add built-in utilities to the context menu that perform specific operations on files and folders. Basically, it just adds one item to the main right-click menu, and that one item can then be customized to have as many or fewer pre-configured options as you choose.
Here are a couple of other things you can do with the FileMenu tools that make your explorer more efficient:
- The ability to add custom commands to the context menu that allows you to launch external applications, copy / move to a specific folder or delete files for a specific file type, etc.
- Ability to customize the Send submenu option in File Explorer.
- Ability to enable / disable commands in the context menu that were added by other applications.
I really like FileMenu Tools because it allows you to do some pretty complex tasks that would be very tedious without it! Here are some of the options you can add to the context menu:
Synchronize folders – Synchronizes two folders. You can customize the type of sync (unidirectional, bidirectional, etc.) and the types of files you want to sync.
Advanced Delete – Need to delete all PDF files on your computer immediately? This item removes recursively defined file types from a folder. File types are specified using wildcards, for example: * .txt, * .t ?? etc.
Split and merge file – splits the selected file into different parts and then reconnects the parts that were previously split. If you are looking for a file separator, you can get one and many other features with this program! If you just want a file separator, you can check a post I wrote a while ago.
Copy Name – I like this utility because it copies the name of all selected items to the clipboard. So if you want to list all the files in a folder into a text file, you can simply select them, right-click and choose Copy Name.
Change time – changes the creation time, last access time, and last write time of the selected items. If a folder is selected, you can recursively change the time for all files and folders under it.
Folder size – displays the size of folders. With this utility, you can quickly find out how large a folder is.
Shred Files – Allows you to precisely shred selected files so that they cannot be recovered using advanced recovery tools.
If you don’t need all this. parameters in the context menu invoked by the right mouse button, you can simply deselect them in the program interface. It’s best to experiment with each one first and see if you actually use them or not. I only have about 5 out of the 30 or 40 options they include, but I use those 5 quite often. In addition, you can customize the Send menu and add / remove commands from other applications using other tabs as shown below.
Overall, this is a great free app with tons of features. If you are looking for a way to customize the context menu in File Explorer, then this is the perfect tool for that purpose! Basically, it bundles many small applications into one integrated, versatile utility!
The File menu tools are great, but they still don’t let you add items directly to the context menu. Instead, it creates its own main menu item and then adds all the other options to the submenu. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I’ve seen that right-clicking never has performance issues. Programs that add directly to the context menu can sometimes slow things down a lot, especially if you add a bunch of new menu items.
Anyway, Right Click Context Menu Adder is a good utility for customizing the main right click menu in Windows. Just download it and run the program, which luckily doesn’t even require installation.
While the File Menu Tools is a much more convenient tool, the context menu tool allows you to do it yourself. There are no pre-configured options or options to choose from. You have to decide what type of item you want to add to the context menu (program, folder, web address or other), select the options you want, and then add it.
I use this particular tool to be able to add mostly folders and websites. I found this to be really handy as I tend to keep opening the same set of folders in File Explorer all the time and it saves me a ton of time. When adding a program, you can choose EXE, MSI, or batch file. If you have scripts that you want to run on your computer, you can add them to the context menu for quick access.
Other than that, you simply select the icon that is usually automatically extracted from the EXE, select a position, and select the text you want to display in the context menu. You also have the option to show the new options only when you press the SHIFT key and then right-click. I found this feature to be really useful as it usually doesn’t clutter up the right-click menu, but only when you need it.
Finally, you choose whether you want it to appear only on the desktop context menu or this folder context menu. If you choose the second option, whenever you right-click on an empty space in File Explorer, you will see a menu. Here I have added a random folder and IE to my context menu, one at the bottom and one at the top.
If you want to remove anything, just click on the second tab and you can get rid of whatever you added to the context menu. In addition, there are no other options or functions in the program. It works well for what it does, and I actually use it in conjunction with the file menu tools, as they kind of let you do different things using the context menu.
Easy context menu
Another program that I like to recommend to friends is Easy Context Menu It has a very simple interface where you just check whatever you want in various context menus.
What I love about this program is that it really breaks down the options into pretty much every type of context menu that exists on the system. You can only add anything to the desktop by right-clicking, right-clicking on My Computer, right-clicking on a folder only, etc.
So this is how it works. Find the context menu you want to edit, then check the boxes next to the menu items you want to add, and then click the little mouse button at the top with a green plus sign. This will apply the changes to the registry. When you are done, click on “Tools” at the top and click on “Restart Windows Explorer”.
After restarting the explorer, the changes are displayed immediately after right-clicking. The only thing you need to understand is how the three columns work. The icon will simply display an icon next to the menu item in the context menu. Shift + Click will be enabled or disabled. If enabled, you will only see the item when you press and hold the SHIFT key. Finally, the position is where you want the menu item to appear. You can change these three parameters for each item in the list by selecting it and clicking the “Edit Above” button.
You will see the sections “Use Icon”, “No Icon”, “Enable Shift”, “Disable Shift”, “Position”, etc. Also, active means that the item is checked, and passive means that it is simply unchecked. This is a rather odd setting, which is why I mentioned it here.
Hopefully one of these three tools will help you customize the right-click context menu exactly the way you want. If you have another tool that works better, let us know in the comments. Enjoy!