I have a bunch of older Windows XP programs. When I install them, they used to create right-click context menu entries in Explorer, but in Windows 8 64bit they don't seem to be doing that anymore.

I've read a few superuser questions and forum entries describing the issue on a per-application basis, but I would like to know what causes this behavior to begin with and how to fix it for ALL programs instead of trying to manually create the Registry entries for every single program.

Let me give you an example - Daemon Tools Lite - on my Windows XP machine, I can click on a .ISO file with the right mouse button and receive a bunch of options about mounting and later unmounting the file in a virtual DVD drive, but not in my Windows 8 64bit installation. The ISO file interestingly is associated with Daemon Tools Lite - if I double-click it, it does get mounted, however I do not have a quick option of unmounting the file - I have to use the program's task bar icon for that. But the point is that the file is correctly identified as being associated with Daemon Tools Lite (so the installation must have been successful), but the context menu was not created.

This is just one example, and it is severely slowing down my productivity to the point where I'm starting to wonder if upgrading to Windows 8 was a mistake.

On the other hand, Notepad++ was successful in creating its context menu entries, but that entry is valid for any file type, so maybe that's where the difference lies.

I'm comfortable enough with regedit to create a backup and make changes, but I don't know quite where to go to look for things like this, especially since this is my first 64bit OS (I don't even know if this makes a difference or not).

So, any thoughts or advice on how I can stop this behavior?

I'm wondering if there's a registry key or setting I could remove or enable that will show the correct entries again - otherwise I might just have to manually "copy" them over from my Windows XP machine (rewriting paths as I go along).


  • Using you Daemon Tools example, did you update to the latest version? DAEMON Tools Lite v4.46.1 is the first one that is specifically supported on Windows 8, which one did you try? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 27 '13 at 18:20
  • I downloaded the newest version which is – semmelbroesel Mar 27 '13 at 18:24

Looks you run into the Bitness issue. I think your tools are 32Bit Apps and they don't show in the 64Bit Explorer. There is a Tool called WOW64Menu which opens the 32Bit contextmenu entries:

WOW64Menu allows using shell context menu of 32-bit applications on x64 editions of Windows. Just select the "WOW64 (32-bit) Menu" command when clicking on folders or files.

enter image description here

  • Ah, so Windows is ignoring the context menu entries of 32bit applications in Windows 64bit? Argh... Oh well... Thanks for your answer, I'll give it a shot as soon as I can! – semmelbroesel Mar 27 '13 at 20:11
  • I'm used to clicking the Windows menu key and then pressing the shortcut keys (e.g. E for Explore, or whatever letter is underlined), and turns out WOW64Menu supports that, so this will work as a solution - thanks! – semmelbroesel Mar 27 '13 at 20:22

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