I want to know how to modify the registry so that I can group menu-items in the dropdown menu (right-clicking from file in the explorer) and put those menu-items in submenus.

The picture illustrates the programs associated with a file on my system. The first set of menu-items are for a program called SAS (7 items), followed by 7-zip (only 1 item), "CRC SHA"(1 item), and then ending file association menu-items with 8 menu-items for Vim. Notice the submenu arrows for 7-zip, "CRC SHA" on the right. By clicking into these arrows, more menu-items appear providing more associated actions for the individual programs. My goal is to organize the menu-items dealing with, SAS and Vim by grouping the items into submenus similar to 7-zip and "CRC SHA". (SAS is the program that is associated with the particular ".sas" file and Vim is associated with any file ".*".)

example dropdown

I mean... look at this dropdown... it's getting out of control, am I right?

I spent some time googling this. But I feel my failure is that I don't know what jargon to use to get a good hit. Any help will be appreciated.

retrospective edit

  • If my memory serves me, there is a hard maximum on the number of items for that context menu, I don't recall how the items within a sub-menu are treated. You are likely very close to that maximum number of items. – Ramhound Jun 5 '19 at 13:39
  • The limit is 16. Behavior beyond 16 entries will more likely be undefined and inconsistent. – Ramhound Jun 5 '19 at 13:45
  • I have 18 - Has this changed in Windows 10? do the submenus count? interesting – P.Coltharp Jun 5 '19 at 14:40
  • I was just pointing out a possible issue you might run into, even if you figure out how to create cascading menus, you might run into the hard limit for context options. The answer to that question was last edited in 2018, so I suspect it applies to all supported versions of Windows, I don't know how sub-menus might affect that limit though. – Ramhound Jun 5 '19 at 15:02
  • thanks for the help, I've noted your link in the question's text. – P.Coltharp Jun 6 '19 at 12:23

You can create static cascading menus in windows 7 and higher.

See articles:


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  • If I had the reputation, my vote up would be counted... thanks – P.Coltharp Jun 5 '19 at 13:44
  • Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change. – DavidPostill Jun 5 '19 at 15:46

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