How to add Control Panel to Windows right-click context menu [Tip]

When you are working in Windows, the Windows right-click context menu is a very useful tool, offering you context sensitive relevant options to facilitate the task you are working on.

During the regular course of your work, if you find yourself accessing the Windows Control Panel more often than usual, why not include this feature in your Windows right-click context menu, where you can get to it very quickly?

No doubt the settings window or interface has taken over most of the tasks that the control panel does, but the control panel is a still a tool that most Windows users would like to continue using.

The Windows Right-Click Context Menu

If you check the default Windows right-click context menu it has the options of view, sort by, refresh, and so on until new, display settings and personalize. Some of these options have sub-menu’s to further expand on the option you select. From this Windows right-click context menu, how do you go about adding the all-important Control Panel?

Manually Adding the Control Panel

You can edit the registry manually to add the control panel to the context menu, by making a couple of quick edits in the Windows registry.

Before you start this process, it is strongly suggested to backup your computer and your registry, before you make any changes to the registry. You probably want to read relevant information on how to use the registry editor as it a very powerful tool that if used incorrectly, can render your computer inoperable or unstable.

Click on Start and type “regedit” to open the registry editor. Press the enter key and click on yes to permit the editor to make changes to your PC.

Use the sidebar in the registry editor to navigate to the key “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell”.

Now, to create a new key inside the shell key, right-click the shell key and choose New followed by Key, and type in the new name as Control Panel, for the context menu.

Next, right-click the control panel key and select New followed by Key and type in the name of the new command key.

Double click on the default value on the right side of the screen with the new command key selected on the left side of the screen and its properties window will now open.

Type “rundll32.exe shell32.dll, Control_RunDLL” into the input box for value data and then click OK.

You will now be able to test your Windows right-click context menu as changes are saved immediately. Just right click anywhere on your computer’s desktop screen or in your file explorer and confirm that you can now see the “Control Panel” option added.

Conclusion

This way, you will find it easy to include the control panel option to your Windows right-click context menu. The interesting thing is that you can test your new option immediately on adding it!

You are very strongly advised to backup your computer, including your registry before you attempt in manually editing it to add any additional option to your Windows right-click context menu.

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  • John Loewen

    I will re-post what I can remember of my comment from yesterday. I followed the instructions above to the letter (as best as that can be interpreted while reading those instructions above in the article). But the results i got did not work., Some issues I have with the instructions and my results are:

    1. The author instructs us to create the second key (right after creating the first key, Control Panel) and to type in the name of the new command key. But he/she doesn’t indicate what that name is or if it’s important.

    2. The author instructs us to enter a value into the default item on the right, but doesn’t indicate whether or not to include the quotation marks around that value.

    3. When I finish and right-click on the Windows Desktop, I do see the new context menu item for Control Panel. But when I click on it, i get the following error message: “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel.” Could this be due to the quotation marks included or not in the value above? Could it be the improper naming of the that second key? I tried various possibilities, but continued to get the same error message.

    It would have helped tremendously if the author had included a screen-shot of the added code with his instructions. That would have answered these questions and probably would have guaranteed success in duplicating this.

  • John Loewen

    I left a lengthy comment here yesterday and it doesn’t appear yet. What gives? What is the point of commenting if it won’t show up?