In Windows 7, when I hit the widows key and start typing to find a file, I can easily launch a found file by using the arrows to navigate to the file in question and hitting enter. That launches the file in its associated program. I can also hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch it as an administrator. That's all good.

However, sometimes I want to do something with that file other than launch it in its default program. Sometimes, I'd like to use the right click context menu to open the file. I know most places in the OS, I can use Shift + F10 or sometimes Ctrl + Shift + F10 to open that context menu. Unfortunately, those don't work when I have a file search result highlighted in the start menu. In that case, it brings up a generic and not very useful context menu with copy and paste options, rather than the right click menu. If my keyboard has the Menu/Application key on it, I can use that to open the actual context menu. Unfortunately, my laptop's keyboard doesn't have that key, and I have no way to do this.

Does anyone know how to make this happen?


I don't know if there is a solution build into Windows. A workaround you could use is install AutoHotKey and create your own shortcut for that action.

  • I tried for 40 minutes but could not get it automated with AutoHotkey. The only way to get the full context menu is to right-click an item apparently, but right-clicking cannot not be automated in this case where the navigation is done with the keys, as the mouse pointer is still at the bottom of the start menu, not where the selected item is. – Snark Jan 12 '10 at 18:04
  • It can obviously be automated with AutoHotKey if you know for a fact that there is a "Menu/Application" key that already does it. You just need to find a way to emulate that key. – Marcin Jan 12 '10 at 19:15
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I may eventually go to that, but a built-in solution is definitely what I'm looking for. – Abs Jan 12 '10 at 20:17
  • AutoHotkey works in Windows context (Explorer, uTorrent etc), but not in G Chrome... Chrome's fault? – Rudie Dec 18 '14 at 21:21

Most keyboards have a rightclick key. It is beside the right hand windows key. Highlight the menu entry and hit the key to emulate a right click.

  • 2
    That does work when it exists on the keyboard. The issue is that some keyboards don't have that key, and I want to know what to do when they key isn't there. – Abs Jan 12 '10 at 20:16
  • I have a keyboard with a right-click key but it doesn't work with the scenario described. – Snark Jan 12 '10 at 22:08

Open the search results in an own explorer window (2 times Tab, then Enter from the start menu search dialogue). Here, the Shift+F10 combination works as expected.

This workaround costs 3 more key presses but you can still avoid using the mouse.

The original problem is that the focus is not realy moved from the search input field to the search results.

  • Thanks for that suggestion. That's the closest way I've found so far. Sadly, it's probably faster just to reach for the mouse. – Abs Jul 18 '11 at 18:32

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