Leadership

Video: Add Copy To and Move To commands to Windows XP Explorer with this registry hack

Busy IT professionals know that every little shortcut is important. Simple hacks help you customize your tools to fit your work habits--saving you valuable time. Bill Detwiler shows you a quick Windows XP Registry hack that adds the Copy To and Move To commands to your Explorer context menu.

Busy IT professionals and even end-users know that every little shortcut is important. Simple hacks can help you customize your tools to fit your work habits -- and in the end -- save you some valuable time. In this IT Dojo video, I'll show you a quick Windows XP Registry hack that will add the Copy To and Move To commands to your Explorer context menu.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Mark Kaelin's article, "Add Copy To and Move To to Windows Explorer with this registry hack," on which this video is based.

You can also sign up to receive the latest IT Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

50 comments
Janetjoan7
Janetjoan7

Resume writing service This article was really informative and I have learnt so much after reading this. I wonder some day I would be able to share such valueable information on my own blog.

M.saadati
M.saadati

Mmm ... I just change the registry key but,tis not working!!!!do I have to do something else,I did it just like the video. thanks

paul.froehle
paul.froehle

That is nice, but in the windows 98 Powertoys they had a top sendtox that did that and an entry "Move Names to Clipboard". It still works in XP, but does anyone know how to do this in Vista? It is a dll and an inf to install it, but it won't run in Vista 32 bit.

donrhayes
donrhayes

I'll add copy to but I want more. It seems that whenever I want to open a file and see its innards, I must go through a number of steps to get to notepad. How do I get it to show up every time?

Densnet
Densnet

For those who refuse to read: Under the video is a tiny hidden word "Transcript" this will magically take you to " http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=445 " Which will supply you with a hardcopy of the 9 steps including copy paste info. Bill worked very hard to make it simple, and he did. For the other person. In the comments It is stated that it does work in Vista.

melekali
melekali

...can make a WinXP system a bit unstable. It doesn't crash it, in my experience, but the os behaves kind of like its possessed sometimes. I would recommend avoiding this one.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Some BIOS and CPU switches can be switched on or data can be altered from the registry.However,not all registry values can be changed.The registry is so complex in its design as to be super being alien.(Eesoteric?Synth Maker does not offer any frequency multiplier modules.)

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Select Copy or Move. No hack needed. Works great.

FatNGristle
FatNGristle

Entering keys manually is no good. Give us the keys in the transcript so we can cut and paste. Think 'Recliner'. Thanks for the tweak.

Fireplug52
Fireplug52

An outstanding hack and very useful. You and your teams lessons and information make it a worthwhile venture to learn the shortcuts and hacks needed to not be only a "user". A big Ho....ah!!!!!

MPG187
MPG187

I have a copy of XP called Crystal XP which is XP with a bunch of themes and included software and it has those commands there. So I guess whoever made it edited the registry. I have them on the toolbar in explorer, but if files are on the desktop then that doesn't help. Those commands should be there anyways, does this work only for XP or does it also apply to Vista and Windows 7? I am reading about the registry in my A+ course, I know what it is, but the only way I would know what keys to edit would be if someone said which keys to edit.

mklarson
mklarson

Thanks that was very useful. I recall years ago altering the registery so Explorer opens with the C drive contents collasped. How do I do that?

sparkcad
sparkcad

This hack actually reminds me of another hacks (Dos Here) that I use daily. This is an oldie but very effective. This will also add to the right click menu. This allows you to select a folder in Windows explorer and by selecting the Dos Here option will automatically open up the DOS screen on that folder. For those DOS commanders, you may already have it but for those who don't, enjoy.. here is the Reg entry. You can simply copy it and create a reg file. Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\DosHere] @="Dos &Prompt Here" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\DosHere\command] @="C:\\WIndows\\System32\\cmd.exe /k cd \"%1\"" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\DosHere] @="Dos &Prompt Here" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\DosHere\command] @="C:\\Windows\\System32\\cmd.exe /k cd \"%1\""

fonman805
fonman805

No mention was made that both of these functions are already available on the Windows Explorer toolbar, so Microsoft did think of them but didn't make them defaults. Also, "Registry hack" has a somewhat negative conotation. Since these were minor changes, "tweak" or "change" would have fit better.

bernard_w
bernard_w

works on vista as well. quite handy.

radioeng
radioeng

cool, this worked great right out the gate :)

denis
denis

File handling is one of the most important and time consuming task performed at the operating system level. For that reason I have never understood why MS insists on providing a brain-dead utility like Windows Explorer to do this..? Even before Windows I was using Norton Commander, then Windows Commander (now called Total Commander) that gives you file handling, including a great batch renaming function and FTP client... Instead of trying to sue the author because of the name (Windows Commander) MS would have been much better off buying the program and including it in the OS, that's what they do best, isn't it? Then we wouldn't have to hack into the registry just to get such a basic function as Copy To and Move To!

rcl2r
rcl2r

Finally, thanks.

CorkyMuldoon
CorkyMuldoon

Thanks for the great tip! I've got two .REG files ready to import into my other PCs at home!

aikimark
aikimark

It would have been more helpful if you walked us to this key and has us copy the GUID for copy to and move to into the clipboard. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Approved Three reasons for my recommendation: 1. This gives the viewer a list of shell extensions to add in addition to what you are showing. 2. It is easier to copy a GUID to the clipboard than to type. 3. There are fewer chances to screw up via a copy/paste than with a GUID typo.

leo8888
leo8888

Why didn't M$ include useful little things like this instead of making users search for registry hacks?

ctsanders
ctsanders

I have two wireless network cards. I wanted to know if there is a way to load-balance the cards similar to teaming/bonding nics?

janos_hefko
janos_hefko

total commander, click on file, F3 view only, F4 edit with notepad

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

is only as smart as it's DNA, while the registry is constantly learning more and more (and reporting to the MS reg.db file to update the new services via backdoor and critical updates. This is why the registry needs less help from frequency multiplier modules, while the Super Beings still need them. The Super being Aliens (from Costa Rica) have started using implanted chips which hookup to the cr1.db file to form a sort of super being botnet. I suspect that the super being aliens from other places have implemented the same.

eric.schell
eric.schell

Makes me think of things like Occam's Razor, If it ain't broke don't fix it, and the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

captxunderpants
captxunderpants

Yeah, I just drag-highlight the files and drop them where I want. If I know it's same drive, I don't even right click, just drag-drop, they will move by default. If it's a different drive, they will copy on the left click by default. I don't even use a mouse sometimes, I just Shift-arrow key up, select the files, and if I'm moving them, I Ctrl+X, do windows key + R and enter the destination, which opens in explorer, then Ctrl+V. I guess I am old and remember back when a mouse on a server was a strange sight.

Don McKay
Don McKay

This doesn't seem to work on network drives. Any ideas?

dfloer
dfloer

This could have been explained in a simple paragraph that included the strings. Instead we need to listen to a long monologue that flashes the strings on the screen. Surely TechRepublic can do better than this.

csailor
csailor

On my important data files I normally fire up a cmd prompt and xcopy my files with the verify switch. Is there a hack in the registry to always perform a verify on a copy or move? BTW - Thanks for the great tip!

TechRepublic
TechRepublic

I really like this idea, but I didn't find either of the keys to copy in that path. There are a lot of other really interesting GUIDs there and it is definitely worth looking at.

drumbeat
drumbeat

I have been using this since Windows 98. I downloaded a .VBS file (can't remember original site or creator, but I think it was PC Pitstop) that does the same thing. Once installed, it adds Copy to Folder and Move to Folder commands to the Context Menu. It also puts an entry in the Add/Remove Programs list. I used it on 98SE, W2K, XP Home, and XP Pro.

Par-Pro
Par-Pro

If your in the exploer folder then just look up on the tool bar. you can put the copy to or move to icon on the bar without getting in the reg and screwing your reg up. More then Techs read these post. and some of them do the s*** you post then call me cause they listened to your "Dojo" advice....

SoylentGreen
SoylentGreen

Added the hack to my system and just noticed a bug while trying to play an album from My Music, I selected the album and under the Music Task selecting Play Selection both the Copy To and the Move To dialogs came up. After canceling both media play would start playing the album.

fonman805
fonman805

Your question belongs under another topic.

martian
martian

LMAO... Great one Scummy. And the scary part is, it will probably make sense to him!

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...for this kind of article. 4+ minutes to explain what could have been both read and executed in less than 60 seconds. My favorite part was "type in the data", where you were supposed to freeze the video and then manually copy in a 38 character key! Fortunately, they did provide a link to a not-video page on this, so kudos for that.

techrepublic
techrepublic

Use the transcript link (below the video) next time if you have a problem with reg hacks shown in video.

oemtech
oemtech

Create a XP Reg install with Notepad Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers] [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Copy To] @="{C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Move To] @="{C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}" Uninstall Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers] [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Copy To] [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Move To]

aikimark
aikimark

Prior to my prior post, I found this key by searching for one of the GUIDs shown in this video. One had the following data: "Microsoft CopyTo Service" I am running WinXP-Pro.

marlb3
marlb3

Yes Par-Pro, if it wasnt for users messing things up, we would all be without JOBS!!

seanferd
seanferd

I've read, in the past, vague warnings that this hack might break something. I've used it for years myself, with no problems. I originally discovered the extensions browsing the Win 95 registry, and just tried them. Used the same hack in Win98, and XP. I guess the warnings I read were valid. (The handlers were never meant to be exposed to the UI.)

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

...he is looking for a registry hack to team his wireless network cards. Bill did ask us to leave our registry hacks and to ask if there are others out there that some might have to do some of things we want to do. Sounds like he is asking if anyone knows how to hack the registry to allow to wireless nics to be in a team. I'm willing to bet this falls more under a hardware driver issue than a registry hack. But the person asking the question doesn't know that, that's why he is asking the question.

aikimark
aikimark

I searched on the first 8 characters of one of the GUIDs shown in the video. I first seleted the HKLM section and then limited the search to Values and Data. There was no need to add any wildcard characters, and I'm not sure that wildcard searches can be performed using the Regedit user interface.

Hal_9001
Hal_9001

It was NOT in mine either. I'm running WinXP-Pro. BTW: How did you find the GUID? A wildcard search of the registry?

Editor's Picks