When I right click anywhere I get an option to add a new file with a specified extension. I would like to add some custom files into this menu, so I can right click and create a new PHP file for instance.

How can I do this?

  • try new menu editor tool included in Right Click Enhancer at rbsoft.org/downloads/right-click-enhancer
    – Ravi Patel
    Dec 15, 2012 at 7:50
  • 2
    If you are having problems adding an entirely new file extension (rather than simply adding NullFile/FileName to an existing entry) in Windows 7, then see this other question... superuser.com/questions/588647/…
    – MrWhite
    Nov 1, 2013 at 10:58
  • 2
    Ramesh’s site is a good source for manually adding entries.
    – Synetech
    Nov 10, 2013 at 15:47
  • I tried the below approaches but w/o success. There's probably another obscure registry setting I'm missing. Anyway, it's really not worth wasting time on.
    – HappyNomad
    Mar 13, 2020 at 16:44
  • I tried this for Windows 10 and it works. I add png file to the new list.
    – zar
    Nov 17, 2020 at 18:50

11 Answers 11


To add extensions of your choice to the list: create a file, add the content below, save it as whatever.reg, and run it.

Note: Replace .png with the file extension you want to add and replace whatever with anything you want.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



  • 1
    This didn't work for me in Windows 7. I had two other existing keys below ".doc" (PersistentHandler and Word.Document.8.) Could that interfere with this? The contents of the .reg file I added to my Reg were: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.doc\ShellNew] "NullFile"="" Jan 31, 2011 at 15:15
  • @Clay: Did you try a restart?
    – surfasb
    Nov 20, 2011 at 19:29
  • 1
    +1, this works. How can we have a custom filename like "index.php" instead of that "New PHP file.php"?
    – fedmich
    Sep 28, 2012 at 3:14
  • 1
    I had to run the .reg file twice to make it work. Thank you for this answer.
    – Aakash
    Mar 15, 2016 at 13:00
  • 6
    Didn't work for me in Windows 10, 1709 :( Restarted explorer and restarted machine even, still...
    – Arete
    Jan 12, 2018 at 11:29

One more thing:

If you want to add a file as a template for the new item, use

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

and then place the file (html.html) in:

  • For your own profile: %Userprofile%\Templates
  • For all users: %Allusersprofile%\Templates
  • For the whole system: %Systemroot%\ShellNew

One more detail: if you want to delete the "Windows Live Call" entry, use:

  • Cool thought, to able to use a file as a template! Jan 28, 2011 at 20:02
  • 2
    In case anyone is wondering, the FileName entry appears to override the NullFile entry mentioned in other answers. You don't seem to need to delete an existing NullFile value. However, having both entries does seem to confuse some other 3rd party utilities, such as NirSoft's ShellMenuNew. (Windows 7)
    – MrWhite
    Nov 1, 2013 at 10:55
  • 2
    I don't think it needs to be in %Userprofile%Templates etc if you give the whole path name to the file.
    – jiggunjer
    Jun 20, 2015 at 2:39
  • 3
    What do I do if I want to create two shortcuts to two different templates for the same program? For instance, I used this method perfectly to create a context menu item for an "article" template for TeXworks. I now want to also add a "modified_article" template for TeXworks. Can I add both to the context menu? Thanks!
    – Prahar
    May 22, 2016 at 18:19
  • 3
    In Windows 8.1, the Templates folders you list do not work. I get an "access denied" error. Where Templates should be is now a shortcut folder thing called a "junction" apparently--and it is a hidden "operating system specific" file. Therefore, the Templates folder is now moved. See this link for the new mapping (jimmah.com/vista/Security/junctions.aspx). Apparently it's now C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates for your own profile, for example. Oct 30, 2016 at 20:29

ShellNewHandler helped me to restore my Windows 7 shell menu > New > txt document entry.

enter image description here

  1. Uncheck .txt
  2. Click Apply
  3. Check .txt
  4. Click Apply
  • 3
    Does this allow you to add new entries? From the screenshots and description it doesn't appear to.
    – MrWhite
    Nov 1, 2013 at 10:16
  • 4
    this does NOT allow you to add entries... so it is completely irrelevant to the topic. Jun 6, 2017 at 14:05

Go in to registry editor and expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT

Go to .file_extention

and create a key called ShellNew

Inside that, create a new string key called NullFile with no value

For example, if I wanted to create a new entry for a blank .wil object* I would create

NullFile = ""

*if the file extension such as .wil does not exist, I would first create a file with that extension and double click it. Open it with the program of my choice as this would then create the other needed registry keys and make your job easier.


It seems that the other solutions here are outdated. At least none of these worked for me in Windows 10 v. 1709 Build 16299.192 (Edit: still works in version 1809). I did some testing in a VM and this is what works in Windows 10 1709, as of 2018.01.12:

Add the registry file:

Create a new registry file file with the following content:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; new file type

; template

; file type name
@="XYZ test file"

Replace xyz with the extension you would like to add. And replace XYZ test file with the name of the file extension (e.g a .scss file would be "syntactically awesome style sheet file”). If you want to use a template file see the explanation below.

It might be necessary to restart Windows Explorer after you have added the registry file. You can restart explorer.exe by typing the following in CMD:

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe & start explorer.exe

enter image description here

enter image description here

Explanation of the code:


Will create a new file type in the registry.


This will enable you to use a template for all new files of this file format. We could for example write "template.xyz" and make a new file called “template.xyz” and use it a s a template. So each time you make a new file it will be populated with pre-made content. As Eduardo Molteni mentioned the paths for the template files are: %Userprofile%\Templates, %Allusersprofile%\Templates or for the whole system %Systemroot%\ShellNew. In this example we haven’t specified any template name because we don’t want to use any.

@="XYZ test file"

This will be the name of the file type both for the context menu and the newly created files. As far as I know leaving this value blank does not work.


The icon is added once Windows have associated a software with the file type.

  • 3
    Great answer, thanks. Please note in Windows 10, %userprofile%\Templates has moved to %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates and %Allusersprofile%\Templates has moved to %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates May 30, 2018 at 16:18
  • Worked for 1903 (Build 18362.900). Jun 22, 2020 at 1:35
  • 1
    Thank you! None of the other answers worked for me. Windows 10, build 19041.508
    – Richard
    Sep 11, 2020 at 3:11

For removing entries from the list, here is a program which allows you to enable/disable entries from a GUI. Much easier than searching the registry!

Unfortunately, it does not allow you to add entries.

  • This is just what I needed, thanks! Generally, all you really need is "New Text Document"...
    – Andrew
    Jun 14, 2011 at 15:51

None of these methods were working for me in Windows 10.

I finally found this page that explained that you need to reference another key that contains the name and default icon.

This is the minimum needed to create an entry, but it won't have an icon.

NOTE: the third entry is for a new key textfile referenced in the (Default) value of .txt

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



@="Text Document"

Here are two ways to specify an icon

  1. Tell Explorer to use the default icon for the content type:
"Content Type"="text/plain"

or 2. Specify an icon under textfile like so:


Oh, and at least for me, just closing and reopening Explorer (make sure to close all instances) is enough to reload the context menu. You don't need to restart the whole machine.

  • At my side "Notepad++" changed the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.txt to @="Notepad++_file". So adding HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Notepad++_file with @="Textfile" did the trick. Thanks, good find!
    – Tino
    Jul 28, 2017 at 20:38

You didn't say what version of Windows you're using--if it's XP you can download the TweakUI PowerToy from Microsoft (also covered in Wikipedia). Click on Templates and add/remove file types to your heart's content. Here's what it looks like: enter image description here


Create a plain text file and add the following line to it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Save the file and rename it's extention to a .reg file. E.g. "myNewItem.reg". Be sure that you renamed the extention and not only the file name like (myNewItem.reg.txt)

Double click the file and it will update your registry.

The next step, and that is very important, restart your computer directly. So DON'T try to open the content menu to see if it's already works! First restart you computer.

If you open the content menu to see if your amazing new item is already listed, the registry will be restored ...

Also try this program: http://sourceforge.net/projects/shellnewhandler/

  • whether or not I restart immediately I can't get this to work in Windows 8.1. No idea why. Oct 30, 2016 at 23:19

The registry key:


cannot be changed to accomplish what is displayed or not displayed on the "New" context menu. If you change that value, it will be overridden by Explorer the next time you right click and bring up the "New" context menu. Try it and you will see what I mean.


This information is all officially documented by Microsoft; normally intended for developers who are registering their own new file types.

Extending the New Submenu

When a user opens the File menu in Windows Explorer, the first command is New. Selecting this command displays a submenu. By default, it contains two commands, Folder and Shortcut, that allow users to create subfolders and shortcuts. This submenu can be extended to include file creation commands for any file type.

To add a file-creation command to the New submenu, your application's files must have a file type associated with them. Include a ShellNew subkey under the key for the file name extension. When the File menu's New command is selected, the Shell will add it to the New submenu. The command's display string will be the descriptive string that is assigned to the program's ProgID.

Assign one or more data values to the ShellNew subkey to specify the file creation method. The available values follow.

  • Command: Executes an application. This is a REG_SZ value specifying the path of the application to be executed. For example, you could set it to launch a wizard.
  • Data: Creates a file containing specified data. Data is a REG_BINARY value with the file's data. Data is ignored if either NullFile or FileName is specified.
  • FileName: Creates a file that is a copy of a specified file. FileName is a REG_SZ value, set to the fully qualified path of the file to be copied.
  • NullFile: Creates an empty file. NullFile is not assigned a value. If NullFile is specified, the Data and FileName values are ignored.

And example create a new empty mpy file:

  (Default) = MyProgram.1

To create a new file based on a specific template file:

      (Default) = MyProgram.1
            FileName: REG_SZ = "%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates\MyNewTemplate.myp"