Adding entries to Desktop context menu in Windows XP

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by m00nbl00d, Jul 4, 2009.

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  1. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    I'm trying to find a way to add entries to the Desktop context menu in Windows XP, but, unlike Windows Vista and 7, Windows XP doesn't have the
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell.

    I manually created that directory, but it wouldn't add anything.

    I've seen some sites (like this one http://unlockforus.blogspot.com/2008/02/adding-entries-to-computer.html) mentioning that directory for Windows XP, as well, but, that directory doesn't exist in this operating system.

    I thought that TweakUI would allow it (I didn't know for sure, though), but it didn't. Not even an option for doing anything similar to that.

    I guess it is impossible to do it with XP? Has someone managed to make it work?
     
  2. Greg S

    Greg S Registered Member

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    What exactly are you trying to do as in which desktop context menu? Wallpapered desktop context menu, start button context menu, My Computer staic icon desktop context menu, folder/file on desktop context menu?
     
  3. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    The desktop is not real object, with an association to an object AFAIK in XP. It is very hard to simply add a value that is context sensitive to the desktop. Try adding an entry to * or file or folder in HKCR. These are easy to do, and you can still give a generic menu that applies to desktop, but that only is shown if you right click a file/folder. I have never found an easy way to add a context menu that applies specifically to the object 'desktop'.

    Sul.
     
  4. 1boss1

    1boss1 Registered Member

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    Coincidentally i was cleaning up my context items about an hour ago, and removed the ATI entry from the desktop context menu.

    They are sitting under there on XP, i didn't try and add one just deleted one.
     
  5. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    No, nothing like that.

    In Windows Vista, instead of having to go to the Start Menu - All programs or having shortcuts to the programs in the Desktop (or even inside a folder in the Desktop), I right-click in an empty space in the Desktop and all the applications (the ones I want) are just there, in the context menu. I just need to normally click the one I wish to work with.

    In Windows XP, is not like Vista. The registry directory doesn't exist.
     
  6. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    I noticed that directory in the registry, which is also in Vista. I didn't try to add things over there, though. Not sure if will work, but I guess I will try to add them there and see what comes.
     
  7. 1boss1

    1boss1 Registered Member

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    It should work, that's definitely the location. If adding items wasn't possible i don't see how some of my programs added items/menus like ATI Catalyst Center, Directory Opus, Groove Folder Sync etc would be able to do it otherwise.
     
  8. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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  9. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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  10. MICRO

    MICRO Registered Member

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  11. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    It is not as simple as a registry value. Look at the XP registry location
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
    you will note that these are all handlers, pointing to CLSID entries. Follow these to the CLSID, and you will find InProcServer32 values, many of them. Such as these use dll's or registered modules/components to do thier bit. It requires specialized methods to do this in the 'desktop' address space. It is not a real place to work with, like a file or folder or object is.

    That being said, you can use this registry key
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\Shell
    here, you can add subkeys, create anything you like for a right click item. It will show up pretty much everywhere. All you need to do is right click on an item of some kind rather than the 'desktop' itself.

    I have used some apps that can add items to desktop context menu in the past. I stopped trying, and started using * or File/Folder registry key to do all that stuff in.

    Sul.
     
  12. 1boss1

    1boss1 Registered Member

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    I just tried that tool to fix my Norton context menu, it didn't fix that but it "did" add a very extensive and customizable entry on the desktops context menu.

    This is what it does out of the box for desktop right click:

    http://i40.tinypic.com/2eygztt.png

    It's easy to add, remove or customize any of those to launch applications etc. The other bonus, it doesn't require the .exe to be running in the background it only launches when you go to "Configure FileMenu Tools" to make changes to the context items.
     
  13. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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  14. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    Have`t looked through all the responses you`v gotten so do`t know if you have found a solution.

    Ran across this as well.

    Just checked out GlobalForce`s link.

    Had totally forgotten about my participation in the thread. :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  15. Espresso

    Espresso Registered Member

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    FileMenu Tools is the first thing I install in a new system. I can't live without it.
     
  16. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    Yes it's an excellent utility.:thumb:
     
  17. estra

    estra Registered Member

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    There is also a tool called KuShellExtension:

     
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