I need to be able to open about 16 JPGs in Chrome all at once, without having to select each one and do Open With. When I select multiple files, the Open With option disappears. How do I make it available with multiple files selected?

Several answers so far have provided decent workarounds, but they're not very flexible when I work on a large variety of files where Open With would be useful. Is there a way to actually do Open With on multiple files?

For anyone coming here in the future, I don't believe there's any proper workaround. If this matters a lot to you, I've created a feedback item in the Feedback Hub that you can upvote.

Update 02/11/22: My best solution so far is to open Chrome on my second monitor (or on half of my main monitor), then have the folder open on my main monitor (or other half) and then double-click each file in quick succession. It's still tedious but so long as I make sure the last Chrome window I clicked on isn't going to appear over the top of the folder when the file opens, it's pretty quick.

  • 1
    Does it work to select all 16 and drag them into chrome?
    – pcnate
    Aug 15, 2016 at 3:49
  • @pcnate No, it only opens the first one.
    – Clonkex
    Aug 15, 2016 at 3:54
  • 1
    Is there really still no actual solution for this in 2019? None of the below hacks actually so what was asked. Apr 3, 2019 at 10:54
  • 1
    @Turkeyphant None that know of, unfortunately. For this to be fixed we would probably need at least a few hundred upvotes on a bug report in the feedback hub. I was unable to find any previous feedback on the hub mentioning this so I've created my own: aka.ms/AA4pnmw
    – Clonkex
    Apr 4, 2019 at 0:30

11 Answers 11


Save the below text to a text document name OpenWith.txt and then rename it to OpenWith.reg. You will next double-click to import the new registry settings. Now when you highlight all the applicable JPG files, the Open With option will be available, and it'll open all those with the Google Chrome app.

Create the Open With option when multiple JPG files are selected

Registry Settings to Import

You will need to point the below key's value that points to chrome.exe to the correct full path location on your system where the chrome.exe exists.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\Open With\command]
@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Google\\Chrome\\Application\\chrome.exe\" \"%1\""


enter image description here

Further Resources, Notes, and Considerations

  • Microsoft KB2022295
  • Please note that per the above Registry Settings to Import section, you can name the registry key named "Open With" as "Open With Chrome" or whatever else you wish and it'll still do the same thing, open all the selected JPG files with Chrome.exe as per the other configuration. So just know that whatever you name that key, this is the text you'll see in place of Open With. enter image description here
  • 7
    Great! But wouldn't it be better to call this "Open in Chrome" rather than "Open With"?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Aug 15, 2016 at 16:41
  • 1
    Definitely the best so far. Given my constraints (keep current file association with Photo Viewer, keep Edit opening with Paint) I'm marking this as the correct answer :) It's still not perfect but it looks like I won't get perfect and this does pretty well I think.
    – Clonkex
    Aug 15, 2016 at 22:48
  • 5
    This has nothing to do with the "Open With" shell functionality. You are just creating a new verb (the key under the shell key) and it just happens to have the same name as the Windows "Open With" shell extension. When hardcoding the executable like this you might as well name it "Chrome"...
    – Anders
    Aug 15, 2016 at 23:02
  • 1
    It's really frustrating, MS have NOT fixed the ugly and most-hated context-menu UI in W10 yet, unbelievable.. Look at the context-menu of XP in the other answer, how cool it is! Aug 16, 2016 at 8:59
  • Not working with build 1909?
    – Moab
    Feb 18, 2020 at 14:04

I need to be able to open about 16 JPGs in Chrome all at once, without having to select each one and do Open With.

You have the Google Chrome shortcut icon, you then have all JPG filez selected in another window beside that, you then drag all those over to the Google Chrome shortcut icon, and all those JPG files will open with Chrome.

This gives you just what you ask, select all applicable JPG files, and then open those up with Chrome without needing to select the open with option.

enter image description here

  • 7
    This works with the taskbar shortcuts but only if you hold down the Shift key before dropping.
    – user477799
    Aug 15, 2016 at 5:29
  • 2
    @FleetCommand doesn't work for me in Win10 AU, I do see "Open with" text appear by pressing shift, but nothing happens, whether chrome is running or not. Great answer nonetheless, right-click the taskbar + open file location will show the shortcut on which drag'n'drop then works.
    – mtone
    Aug 15, 2016 at 5:31
  • @mtone If you see the "Open with" text then Windows has done the job of transmitting the command to Chrome. You should check your Task Manager to find out what is wrong.
    – user477799
    Aug 15, 2016 at 5:33
  • Just wanted to note that I am seeing the exact same behavior as mtone in W10 AU. Both with Chrome and Firefox, so it might be a change in API or a bug in Windows. Aug 15, 2016 at 15:15
  • 1
    You are right. I just tested it in Windows 10 1607. Multiple items don't get opened. Only a single item does. And it does not work with UWP apps from Windows Store. Just traditional desktop apps.
    – user477799
    Aug 16, 2016 at 10:37

A workaround to this is to use "Send to" on the right click context menu in Windows File Explorer. Here's how -

Step 1
Add shortcut to Chrome executable (chrome.exe) to the SendTo folder.
SendTo folder:%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

This can be done in one of several ways. I will mention one of the easiest below.

  • Right-drag the Google Chrome shortcut that was created on the Desktop when Chrome installed, or the Chrome shortcut in the Start menu, to the SendTo folder and select Copy.

Note: Right-click this shortcut, select Properties, and confirm that the Target field contains no command line options, just the path + file name for Chrome.

This will enable you to push images and PDFs to chrome.

Step 2

Select 16 JPGs (or more), right click, go to "Send to" & select "Google Chrome".

That's it. All JPGs will open in Chrome, each in its own tab.
I use this with Firefox, but it should work with Chrome too.


Troubleshoot #1
If Google Chrome doesn't appear in the "Send to" menu, try restarting Windows File Explorer from Task Manager.

Troubleshoot #2
If the JPGs open in multiple windows, you might want to consider installing an extension in Chrome to prevent this behaviour.

  • As far as workarounds go, this answer and @PIMP_JUICE_IT's are both great options, though this one is the best so far since it doesn't require either having two windows open (side-by-side) or dragging to the taskbar and waiting for the Chrome window to restore/maximise, and it turns out using Send To doesn't open multiple windows.
    – Clonkex
    Aug 15, 2016 at 6:21
  • F5 on the desktop also works (same with registry changes).
    – wizzwizz4
    Aug 16, 2016 at 10:21
  • 1
    This is a very good solution – easy and fast to implement, and without registry patches. I'm using it not for Chrome, but for GIMP and VLC to open multiple files. Works like a charm!
    – jamacoe
    Jul 13 at 15:56

I'm not going to suggest a solution in my answer since the best you can do without 3rd-party tools is probably PIMP_JUICE_IT's answer (although that answer is simply adding a new supplemental verb and it has nothing to do with the Windows "Open With" functionality and should be named accordingly).

I will however try to explain the technical details about what is going on and why:

The "Open With" submenu is implemented as a IContextMenu shell extension and is registered under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers. When you right-click on one or more items in a shell folder the shell looks at various keys under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to build the menu. Entries under ...\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers are dynamic and execute actual computer code that determines how many menu items to add (if any).

It seems like Microsoft coded the "Open With" extension to only add the submenu when you select a single file, with one exception; multiple shortcuts (.lnk) can be selected and you will still get the submenu (at least on my Windows 8 machine). I'll go out on a limb and say that the shortcut handling is a bug.

There is no technical reason why the menu could not work for multiple files and in fact it used to work just fine on Windows XP:

WinXP Open With menu

I'm guessing the main reason they removed it is; what do you do when the user selects files of different types? However, there is already a precedent for this; you can select files of different types and press enter to open all of them. When you do this the shell just uses the action associated with item that has the focus rectangle.

It would be possible for a 3rd-party software vendor to create a similar menu that works for multiple files. The only restriction is that the "Choose another app"/"Choose default program" item at the bottom of the menu would probably have to be disabled when there are multiple files because the official way to invoke that dialog only supports a single file path. To fill the menu it would simply use SHAssocEnumHandlers to build a list of applications that are available for the specified file type.

This is such a edge case that nobody has spent to time to re-implement the "Open With" extension just to support multiple files even though it would be technically possible to do so...

  • 4
    As a programmer and someone working in IT, this is the most interesting answer. I actually find it hard to believe this is an edge case. In fact a search of windows open with multiple files results in several complaints but no answers. It's pretty frustrating.
    – Clonkex
    Aug 16, 2016 at 22:35
  • MultipleInvokePromptMinimum at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer may be available for a straight-up Open, albeit not Open With... I suppose your "Open" program for the extension could be a batch file that detects whether you are trying to open one or multiple files. If one: launch (previously) registered app for extension. If multiple: launch Chrome/other.
    – mpag
    Apr 10, 2019 at 17:24

This will open all jpg files in the folder in Chrome in separate tabs

1) Copy all the JPG files you want to open to a folder.

2) Open notepad. Paste the code below inside. Click save. Go to the folder mentioned above. Give the name as "open.bat" and select "All Files" below. Save.

3) Go to the folder and open "open.bat"!


set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application
SET names=
for /r %%i in (*.jpg) do call SET names= %%names%% "%%i"
echo %names%
start chrome.exe %names%

I've assumed the default installation directory of chrome. You may need to change it if you have done a custom installation.

  • 2
    Does not work with Chrome the way the question has desires it. It opens one Chrome window for each image.
    – user477799
    Aug 15, 2016 at 5:31
  • I told you to do something similar... not the same. Now you made me install chrome. Try commenting first before downvoting. Read the answer now.
    – pulsejet
    Aug 15, 2016 at 6:06
  • Still does not work. This script opens chrome but does not open any files. Of course all my JPEG files have space in their names.
    – user477799
    Aug 15, 2016 at 11:14
  • That shouldn't happen... Are there any files with extension jpeg instead of jpg? I'll try out the code again. Also, are you running it from a batch file (and not a command prompt after cd)?
    – pulsejet
    Aug 15, 2016 at 15:35
  • I put it in a folder in which there are .jpeg files and it actually worked. Of course, it only opened .jpg files but that's okay. I expected as much. I'll try different file names and if I found a what was wrong, I'll report it.
    – user477799
    Aug 16, 2016 at 10:14

My work pretty much requires that my images open by double-clicking with Windows Photo Viewer (because Windows 10's Photos app is crap). – Clonkex

Since you have the constraint on the default JPG viewer not being able to be changed, then you can change the default editor to be Google Chrome instead.

Once this is complete via the registry change described below, when you have all applicable JPG files selected, right-click, and then select the Edit option. All the files will open with Google Chrome.

enter image description here

The Registry Change

It seems the Registry Editor export of this option dumps in HEX value so I'll put the steps to change from the Registry Editor GUI.

The Key Path

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\edit\command

Change the value to the full path of the Chrome.exe application on your system followed by "%1" just as shown in the below screen shot:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" "%1".

enter image description here

  • 4
    LOL how many answers are you going to post? Aug 15, 2016 at 6:52
  • 2
    Dang haha you're really eager to solve my problem! :P Unfortunately I also rely on right-click > Edit opening in Paint. I didn't put these constraints in my question because a) I thought it would be easy to make Open With work with multiple files (I foolishly forgot I was dealing with a Microsoft product), and b) didn't realise people would go to such extents to provide workarounds! Thanks for posting, though; I'm sure someone else will find your answers invaluable :)
    – Clonkex
    Aug 15, 2016 at 6:56
  • 1
    Isn't it possible to add a new menu command in addition to Open and Edit?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Aug 15, 2016 at 9:23
  • 1
    @Mr.Wizard -- Yes, however when more than 15 files are selected, the Open With option wasn't appearing. I did some more research after you left this message and it appears there is an additional registry key needed for this option to show when 16 or more JPG files are selected, but once added it works just as expected. Please see my newest answer for the latest on that when you get a chance... Thanks for the comment or else I may not have looked into it more. Aug 15, 2016 at 12:33

When I've encountered this, I've done the following:

  1. "Open" Chrome
  2. Drag-&-drop each JPG onto a tab. You need to do this per tab (see below). Shortcut to add tabs is Ctrl + T so you won't worry using the mouse much.

Note: When you select multiple JPG then drag-& drop, only the first or the last one selected will be shown.

  • 1
    Thanks, but don't I still have to do them one at a time like that?
    – Clonkex
    Aug 15, 2016 at 3:55
  • Yes, but drag-&-drop is three-steps easier than using the "Open with" function. :)
    – falconaire
    Aug 15, 2016 at 4:30

Is there a way to actually do Open With on multiple files?

You could just select Open and all would do what you ask as well. . .

From the Control Panel, go to Default Programs, select Associate a file type or protocol with a program, and then change the default for both .jpg and .jpeg to Google Chrome.

Now when you select all applicable JPG files and select Open, all the selected JPG files will open with Google Chrome. This method uses the multiple-selected JPG file right-click Open option rather than Open With option so that may suffice for the need as you describe.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Nope, my work pretty much requires that my images open by double-clicking with Windows Photo Viewer (because Windows 10's Photos app is crap). Good job providing multiple answers though; I don't see that much :)
    – Clonkex
    Aug 15, 2016 at 6:32
  • Also I would say it's way easier to simply right-click a file and select Properties > Change... to change its default program than to go through Control Panel.
    – Clonkex
    Aug 15, 2016 at 6:34

If you prefer not to mess around with the registry,

You can use FileMenu Tools. It allows you to add custom commands to your context menu.

enter image description here

enter image description here

However, the custom command feature is not free. A license costs ~10 dollars. There is a 30-day trial.


I think this registry script will do a better job.

Explanation: It calls for a program.exe but this does not exist and therefore it opens the shell to chose an application. Because of this you can even do it with more files and even with different file extensions.

Disclaimer: This does not open only ones it actually opens for every file another application choser.

To install: paste the script in a txt file and save as filename.reg and dubble click the file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\Open With\command]

The simple answer is that there has been absolutely no way to do this since Windows Vista. There is some hope, however - with the new Microsoft's increasing emphasis on open source, there's a good chance that a significant enough amount of (Windows 10) users requesting the feature may be enough for them to finally introduce this as a feature. There's even an app bundled with Windows 10 for this express purpose: the Feedback Hub.

If, like me, you're coming across this answer and you really want the long-overdue capability of removing the single-file limit for the "Open With" context menu item, in the same way that it's currently possible to remove the 15-file limit for the "Open" and "Edit" content menu items, then you can make a request over at Windows 10's Feedback Hub. Currently, that is everyone's best chance at seeing this feature become a reality.

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