How can I reorder and create sub-menus in the Windows 7 context menu? I've found ways to selective remove unwanted entries using the registry or third-party utilities, but I do not know about a way to rearrange or create my own customized submenus.

  • Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic. See On Topic. Try softwarerecs.stackexchange.com but please first read What is required for a question to contain “enough information”.
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 8 '15 at 6:36
  • Are you sure it's offtopic? I've seen similar questions around here except that they are outdated (most are related to Windows XP). I could rephrase the question in a way that focuses on the problem at hand, but I've mentioned a program specifically since manually going through the registry seems insane... Apr 9 '15 at 6:39
  • 1
    Alright, I've rephrased it. I'm no longer asking specifically for a software recommendation, a manual registry solution would be fine too. Apr 9 '15 at 6:48
  • 1
    I hadn't paid enough attention to the On Topic guidelines before posting, I was mostly basing my question on a topic I had read on Meta — related to software questions — and older questions on superuser about the same issue. It think it now fits properly since it's a question about Windows 7 (on topic: computer software) but the answers would be the same in comparison to the original question. Apr 9 '15 at 6:53
  • 1
    Much better ... ;)
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 9 '15 at 6:54

This isn't a conclusive answer but here's how Windows seems to be loading context menu entries:

Context menu entries are stored in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT (among other places) in the registry.

  1. Windows loads context menu entries for the specific object type (.zip, .doc, .txt, etc)
    • Windows loads all entries in "shell" in alphabetic order
  2. Windows loads context menu entries for the "all type" i.e. "*" for file or "Folder"/"Directory" for those
    • Windows loads everything in the "shell" key and appends it to the list above
  3. Windows loads everything from the specific object "shellex" key in alphabetic order and appends it to the shell menus
  4. Windows loads everything from the generic "shellex" key and appends it to the bottom of everything above (alphabetic)

There may be some peculiarities in here such as for context menu entries in other location LIKE HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes, but this is the general concept. If the menu items are in the same key you can rename the keys and get a little bit of reordering. You could also try moving them around if you can still obtain the desired menu items on all files types.

  • That was enlightening. Thanks for the answer! Feb 5 '16 at 13:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.