Start Menu - Customize Context Menu

How to Customize the Start Menu Context Menu in Vista
This will show you how to add a shortcut item of your choice to the Start menu context (right click) menu.
How to Customize the Start Menu Context Menu in Vista

information   Information
When you right click on the Start Menu button (orb) or in the Start menu, you will see the context menu with it's default menu options. This will let you add your own shortcut items to this context menu.

EXAMPLE: Before and After Start Menu Button (Orb) Context Menu

Here's How:
For an example, I will add NotePad to the Start Menu context menu. You can add whatever program shortcuts you like and as many program shortcuts you would like.
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: It's there, you just have to scroll past all the file extensions. ;)

5. In left pane, right click on Shell and click on New and Key.​

6. Type the name you want to appear in the context menu and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This will usually be the name of the program. For example: NotePad.

7. In left pane, right click on the program name (Ex: NotePad) from step 6and click on New and Key. (See screenshot below)​

8. Type Command and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​

9. In the right pane of the Command Key, right click on (Default) and click on Modify. (See screenshot below)​

10. Type in the full path of the program you want to add a shortcut for and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For the NotePad example, you would type: C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe

11. The registry should now look similar to this, with the NotePad example.​

12. Close regedit.​
13. Right click on the Start Menu button (orb) and see the item in the Context Menu. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: You may need to click on a empty space on the desktop and press F5 to refresh the desktop first.

That's it,



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New Member
I am trying to get the windows explorer shortcut to show up here, but cannot find the location of explorer.exe. %SystemRoot% does not seem to work. Any idea where Windows Explorer can be found? I want to do this since it is impossible to configure the right-click -> Explore option to open to a desired folder. Thanks.


New Member
I also want to find out how to add a program to the right click menu within windows explorer, and to open the folder that I right clicked on within windows explorer.
e.g. I use a music file tagging utility that used to have a right click menu in XP, but has problems with this in Vista 64 bit. It used to open the folder in the program when I right clicked on a folder and chose this program. Any idea how to do this now in Vista 64? Please let me know.


Staff member
Hello Supsuper.

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Q1) The location for the Windows Explorer EXE is at C:\Windows\explorer.exe .

Q2) You can right click on the file and use Open With to have that file open in a selected program that supports the file extension type. This tutorial will show you how to if needed.

Hope this helps,


Re: Windows Explorer Default Opening

Despite what most people say I have discovered a way to right click - start - explore to open where you want however it does require a registry edit.

1. open registry editor and go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\Shell\Explore\Command
2. rename DelegateExecute to Old-DelegateExecute (or something similar just in case)
3. I added new string value and left the defaults but this step is probably not neccesary
4. Change the value of (Default) REG_EXPAND_SIZE to the path you want as in instuctions above. Mine was %SystemRoot%\Explore.exe /e, c:\

works great!