How To: Add any application to Desktop’s right click menu

Desktop Context Menu App

Among the tons of different ways to launch an application in Windows, one of the least known ones is the ability to add them to the right click context menu of the Desktop. Still, if you do not store icons in your desktop or your taskbar or you simply want to have an extra way to launch your favourite programs, a bit of registry hacking will do the trick. Before you continue it is a good idea to create a backup of the Registry or to create a System Restore point.

Desktop Context Menu Registry Editing

To open the Registry, press WinKey + R, type in regedit and hit Enter. Then, navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell. Right click on the select and create a new Key. Now, double click on the new “(Default)” value and name it the same as the Key. The name you enter here will also be the name of the context menu item. I will be using Chrome for this guide but you can substitute for whatever you want. Note that if you use “%” before the name in the value, like “%Chrome”, you will be able to launch it by right clicking and then pressing the first character, in this case “C” which you might find useful.

Desktop Context Menu Registry Editing

Now that you have the item, you need the actual command. Right click on your newly created key and create yet another one. You must name this new Key command. After you create it, double click on the value and on the Value data field, enter the path of the program you want to add. In my case, that is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”. Now it should be fully working and it will be available immediately without the need to restart.