When in doubt, right-click, right? Since Windows 9x, that maxim has proved to be helpful advice when looking to accomplish a task within the Microsoft Windows GUI. Depending on the function you’re performing, the resulting context menu from right-clicking the mouse always seems to present the most relevant menu items. With Windows XP, there’s even a registry tweak that will allow you to customize the right-click context menu just as other applications do when they are installed.


Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

To see it in action, try this tweak that adds the ability to copy objects to a folder. Open the Registry Editor by choosing Start | Run and typing regedit.exe. The following steps will guide you the rest of the way:

  • As shown in Figure A, find the ContextMenuHandlers branch within the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT submenu:
  • Figure A

    • Add a new subkey named Copy To by selecting Edit | New | Key within the Registry Editor.
    • Select the Copy To subkey you just created and double-click the Default value for the key. In the resulting dialog box, enter the following value as shown in Figure B (include the curly braces).

    Figure B

    Now, whenever you right-click on a file or folder, you’ll see the new Copy To Folder… item. As shown in Figure C, the dialog box that results allows you to copy files and folders locally as well as over your network. You can even create a new folder by clicking on the Make New Folder button.

    Figure C