How to add ability to copy content from right-click context menu in Windows [Guide]

To copy and paste documents to the clipboard, you would usually have to select the file contents and then press the Ctrl + C shortcut key. However, with a few registry tweaks you can add an alternative Copy Content to Clipboard option to the Windows XP/Vista/7/8 context menus. Then, when you right-click a document or file or folder or icon, you can select Copy Content to Clipboard to add copy it.

To do this, press Win + R to open Run, and type regedit to open the registry. Then you should navigate to the file extension where you’ll add the shortcut to. You could navigate to any of the following:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\regfile\shell
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\rtffile\shell
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\batfile\shell
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\cmdfile\shell
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\htmlfile\shell
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell

For this example, I’ll be adding the Copy Content to Clipboard shortcut to the .txt context menu (HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell). You do exactly the same for any of the other alternative file types.

Right-click on shell, click New > Key and input the title Copy Content to Clipboard for the key title as in the shot below. Then you should right-click the right pane of Copy Content to Clipboard, and select New > String Value to add a new string. Add Icon as the new string’s title, right-click it and click Modify. That should open the Edit String window where you input DxpTaskSync.dll, -52.


Next you should right-click on the Copy Content to Clipboard key in the left pane, and select New > Key. Input command as the new key’s title. Then right-click Default in the right pane of command, and click Modify to open the Edit String window. There you should type cmd /c clip < “%1”, and click OK to close the window.


Now close the registry. Find some .txt files and right-click on one of them. Then there should be a Copy Content to Clipboard option on the file’s context menu as below. Click on that option to copy it to clipboard, and then open a word processor application and press Ctrl + V. The content of the .txt document should be pasted into the word processor document.

clipboard 3

You can add the Copy Content to Clipboard option to a variety of other document files in much the same way! To remove the option, delete the Copy Content to Clipboard key you added from the registry.

Related Posts

  • Spacebones

    Like Frank D I installed FileMenu Tools over 2yrs ago and find it invaluable,especially the copt to, move to and pack to folder functions. Didn’t have the loader then. I have been recommending this to my friends….wondered why they weren’t speaking to me.

  • David Roper

    [@Frank D] For Goodness sake, Frank, I am not blaming you at all. Maybe I AM making it too hard for myself. My bad. I am sorry as well.

  • Frank D

    [@David Roper] I’m sorry you got blindsided by those sideloads. I installed this about two years ago and didn’t have that happen to me. If I had just tried it just now and got bombed, I would have cautioned everyone about it. However, that said, it doesn’t have a learning curve. The commands are just as seen in the context menu. For example, Copy Path, Copy Name, Copy Content, etc., all do just what anyone would suppose they would do.

  • David Roper

    Holy Moly. LopeSoft’s FileMenu tool installation has more crapware offers than I have seen in a long time. Be careful installing the loader. You download a damned loader, not a file. All his files download a loader file, of 677 bytes. That’s too close to 666. It comes preloaded for everything in the selection menu, ie ALL BOXES are checked.
    Great Gooka Mooka.

    In fairness, the program MAY work fine as soon as I figure how how to work it. Yes, I read the HELP file tab.

    I still need someone to write an easy to use program.

  • David Roper

    And why doesn’t some Geek write a batch file or something to do the dirty work. Looks like everything is “standard”

    Needs to have an “undo” in case it fails.

    OMG, Frank D has already found one. Thanks Frank.

  • Frank D

    This is a powerful thing to be able to do. Thank you for the article.

    I’d like to add that there is a free utility that offers this capability, among many others, as a context menu item for any file: FileMenu Tools (