How to add custom items to the “New” right-click context menu in Windows [Guide]

The Windows desktop context menu includes a New menu from which we can select various file types. Selecting a file type from that menu creates new shortcuts on the desktop. From the registry you can add a greater number of file types to that menu, or remove items instead. Read on to learn more.

Enter regedit in the Start menu search box or Run to open the registry. Then open the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key. Search for a specific file type to add to the New menu such as PNG.

new menu2

You should then right-click on the file key and select New > Key. Enter ShellNew as the new key title.

Now select the ShellNew key, and right-click in the right-side pane. Select New > String Value, give the string a NullFile title and press Enter. The file key should match the one in the shot below.

new menu

Close the registry window to return to the desktop. Right-click the desktop and select New to open the file submenu. You should now find that it includes the PNG image file, or whichever file you added the ShellNew key to, as in the shot below.

new menu3

To remove file shortcuts from the submenu shortcut, open the registry and find the file in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Then right-click on ShellNew key and select Delete. The file type will then be removed from the New submenu.

Adding more files to the New menu will give you more shortcuts. Selecting a file type from that menu adds a shortcut for it on the desktop. When you select that file shortcut, a suitable software package for it opens.

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1 comment

  1. melen001

    Thanks MatthewA for the reminder. I was looking up this registry hack yesterday and i find it today on Dottech.org. That was convenient i would say. This is very useful when you have a program or folder that you frequently use so i will save this tip for some other day. Love the info we receive here so again, thanks.