Context Menu – Windows Blog by Brink

Context Menu

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Enable or Disable “Pin to taskbar” and “Unpin from taskbar” in Windows 11

The taskbar in Windows 11 shows the Start menu, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store buttons (icons) aligned to the center by default.

The taskbar will also show the icon of the app for any window you have open. If you like, you can¬†pin an app to the taskbar¬†to always show the app’s icon on the taskbar whether the app is open or not. Pinning an app to the taskbar makes it easier to open the app on demand from the taskbar.

You can enable the Do not allow pinning programs to the taskbar policy to disable and remove Pin to taskbar and Unpin from taskbar from context menus.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Pin to taskbar and Unpin from taskbar for specific or all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add Create Restore Point Context Menu in Windows 11

Turning on system protection for a drive allows System Restore to include the drive when restore points are created so you can undo undesired system changes by reverting to a previous point in time.

System Restore monitors system changes and saves the system state as a restore point. If a system problem develops as a result of a system change, the user can return the system to a previous state using the data from a restore point.

Restore points are created to let users select a previous system state. Each restore point contains the required information to restore the system to the selected state. Restore points are created before key changes are made to the system.

System Restore automatically manages the disk space that is allocated for restore points. It purges the oldest restore points to make room for new ones. System Restore allocates space based on the size of the hard disk and the version of Windows that the computer runs, as shown in the following table. You can adjust the maximum disk space per drive used for system protection.

Use System Restore to make restore points when you install a new app, driver, or Windows update, and when you create a restore point manually. System Restore does not restore user data or documents, so it will not cause users to lose their files, e-mail, browsing history, or favorites. Restoring will remove apps, drivers, and updates installed after the restore point was made. System Restore is also made available to users in the Windows Recovery Environment or safe mode, making it easier for them to restore their computers to a state before problems occurred.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove a Create Restore Point context menu for all users in Windows 11.

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Add Optimize to Context Menu of Drives in Windows 11

Optimizing your drives can help your PC run smoother and boot up faster.

Windows 11 includes Optimize Drives that will automatically retrim a SSD or defrag a HDD as needed.

  • Retrim¬†= Generates TRIM and Unmap hints for all currently unused sectors of the SSD or NVMe volume, notifying the underlying storage that the sectors are no longer needed and can be purged. This can recover unused capacity on thinly provisioned drives.
  • Defrag¬†= Locates and consolidates fragmented files on local HDD volumes to improve system performance.

Optimize Drives runs automatically on a weekly schedule at the time set in automatic maintenance. You can also manually run Optimize Drives on demand as needed.

This tutorial will show you how to add Optimize to the context menu of drives in Windows 10 and Windows 11 to make it easier to optimize and defrag drives on demand.

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Add Install CAB Context Menu in Windows 11

A cabinet is a single file, usually with a .cab extension, that stores compressed files in a file library. The cabinet format is an efficient way to package multiple files because compression is performed across file boundaries, which significantly improves the compression ratio.

You can use the DISM /Add-Package command with Windows cabinet (.cab) files to install or remove updates, service packs, language packs, and to enable or disable Windows features.

This DISM command can be used to make installing a Windows Update CAB file easy with a single click in the CAB file context menu.

This tutorial will show you how to add Install to the context menu of .cab files for all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Pin to Quick access Context Menu in Windows 11

Quick access in the navigation pane of File Explorer (Win+E) allows you to quickly access and view your pinned locations, frequent folders, and recent files from one location in Quick Access.

You can¬†Pin to Quick access¬†and¬†Unpin from Quick access¬†locations. These locations include local and network folders, drives, libraries, OneDrive, This PC, Recycle Bin, etc… Files and apps cannot be pinned to Quick access.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Pin to Quick access context menu for all users in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Turn on BitLocker context menu in Windows 11

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned drives and computers.

You can turn on BitLocker to encrypt the operating system drive (Windows drive), fixed data drives (internal hard drives), and removable data drives (external hard drive or USB flash drive).

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Turn on BitLocker context menu for drives for all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add Unblock File Context Menu in Windows 11

When you download files from the Internet, Windows 11 shows you a security warning every time you try to open it by default. Some file types are blocked from opening.

The Attachment Manager is included in Windows to help protect your PC from unsafe attachments that you might receive with an e-mail message and from unsafe files that you might save from the Internet. If the Attachment Manager identifies an attachment that might be unsafe, the Attachment Manager prevents (blocks) you from opening the file, or it warns you before you open the file.

It uses the IAttachmentExecute application programming interface (API) to find the file type, to find the file association. When one of these applications saves a downloaded file on a disk formatted with NTFS, then it updates the metadata for the file with the zone it was downloaded from. The metadata is saved as an Alternate Data Stream (ADS). If you wish to unblock a downloaded file, you can do so by right-clicking it, selecting Properties and clicking on Unblock.

The following determine whether you are prevented from opening the file or whether you are warned before you open the file:

  • The type of program that you are using.
  • The file type that you are downloading or trying to open
  • The security settings of the Web content zone that you are downloading the file from.
    • Internet
    • Local intranet
    • Trusted sites
    • Restricted sites

The Attachment Manager classifies files that you receive or that you download based on the file type and the file name extension. Attachment Manager classifies files types as high risk, medium risk, and low risk.

  • High Risk¬†‚Äď If the attachment is in the list of high risk file types and is from the restricted zone, Windows blocks the user from accessing the file. If the file is from the Internet zone, Windows prompts the user with a Windows Security Warning: Windows found that this file is potentially harmful. To help protect your computer, Windows has blocked access to this file.
  • Moderate Risk¬†‚Äď If the attachment is in the list of moderate risk file types and is from the restricted or Internet zone, Windows prompts the user with a warning: “The publisher could not be verified. Are you sure you want to run this software?”.
  • Low Risk¬†‚Äď If the attachment is in the list of low risk file types, Windows will not prompt the user before accessing the file, regardless of the file‚Äôs zone information.

If you like, you can add Unblock to the context menu of files and folders to make unblocking files easier to do as needed.

When you click on Unblock in the context menu of a blocked file, you will be prompted by either a Open File РSecurity Warning or Windows Defender SmartScreen dialog to approve unblocking the file without opening or running the file.

When you click on Unblock in the context menu of a folder, you can select to Unblock files in folder or Unblock files in folder and subfolders. You will not get prompted by a Open File РSecurity Warning or Windows Defender SmartScreen dialog to approve.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove an Unblock file context menu to files and folders for all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add BitLocker Status for Drive Context Menu in Windows 11

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned drives and computers.

You can use BitLocker to encrypt the operating system drive (Windows drive), fixed data drives (internal hard drives), and removable data drives (external hard drive or USB flash drive).

The BitLocker Status context menu uses the manage-bde status command to provide information about a drive on the computer; whether or not it is BitLocker-protected, including:

  • Size
  • BitLocker version
  • Conversion status
  • Percentage encrypted
  • Encryption method
  • Protection status
  • Lock status
  • Identification field
  • Key protectors

Knowing the current BitLocker Drive Encryption status of a drive can help you to manage BitLocker settings for the drive.

This tutorial will show you how to add BitLocker Status to the context menu of all drives in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add Lock Drive with BitLocker Context Menu in Windows 11

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned drives and computers.

You can use BitLocker to encrypt the operating system drive (Windows drive), fixed data drives (internal hard drives), and removable data drives (external hard drive or USB flash drive).

You can choose how you want to unlock an encrypted data drive: with a password or a smart card. For removable data drives encrypted with BitLocker To Go, you can set the drive to automatically unlock when you sign in to the PC. For fixed data drives, you can also set the drive to automatically unlock when you unlock the PC, if you prefer, as long as the operating system drive is BitLocker-protected.

To lock a fixed data drive encrypted by BitLocker, you could restart the computer unless you set the drive to automatically unlock when you sign in next.

To lock a removable data drive encrypted by BitLocker To Go, you could disconnect the drive or restart the computer unless you set the drive to automatically unlock when you connect the drive or sign in next.

This tutorial will show you how to add Lock Drive to the context menu of all unlocked fixed and removable drives encrypted by BitLocker to lock the drive on demand in Windows 11.

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Add Turn off BitLocker context menu in Windows 11

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned drives and computers.

You can use BitLocker to encrypt the operating system drive (Windows drive), fixed data drives (internal hard drives), and removable data drives (external hard drive or USB flash drive).

When you turn off BitLocker for a drive encrypted by BitLocker, it will completely decrypt the drive.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove a Turn off BitLocker context menu for all drives encrypted by BitLocker for all users in Windows 11.

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Add Safe Mode to Desktop Context Menu in Windows 11

Safe mode¬†starts Windows in a basic state, using a limited set of files and drivers. If a problem doesn’t happen in safe mode, this means that default settings and basic device drivers aren’t causing the issue. Observing Windows in safe mode enables you to narrow down the source of a problem, and can help you troubleshoot problems on your PC.

There are three different versions of safe mode:

  • Safe Mode:¬†Starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services without an Internet connection.
  • Safe Mode with Networking:¬†Starts Windows in safe mode and includes the network drivers and services needed to access the Internet or other computers on your network.
  • Safe Mode with Command Prompt:¬†Starts Windows in safe mode without an Internet connection with a Command Prompt window instead of the usual Windows interface. This option is intended for IT pros and system admins.

This tutorial will show you how to add a Safe Mode cascading desktop context menu with options to restart in normal mode, safe mode, safe mode with networking, and safe mode with command prompt in Windows 11.

If you often need to boot into Safe mode, this context menu will make it much easier and faster to do so and go back to normal mode when ready.

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Add or Remove “Open in Windows Terminal” context menu in Windows 11

Windows Terminal is included by default in Windows 11.

The Windows Terminal is a modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL. Its main features include multiple tabs, panes, Unicode and UTF-8 character support, a GPU accelerated text rendering engine, and custom themes, styles, and configurations.

Windows 11 includes a Open in Windows Terminal context menu by default when you right click or shift + right click on a folder or folder background, but this does not open Windows Terminal elevated (run as administrator).

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Open in Windows Terminal context menu for all users in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove “Choose Power Plan” context menu in Windows 11

A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how your computer uses power. Power plans can help you save energy, maximize system performance, or achieve a balance between the two.

Changes made to a power plan will affect all users that use the same power plan as their default active power scheme.

Windows 11 includes the following default power plans:

  • Balanced¬†= Offers full performance when you need it and saves power when you don’t. This is the best power plan for most people. Allows you to change your¬†Power Mode.
  • Power saver¬†= Saves power by reducing PC performance and screen brightness. If you’re using a laptop, this plan can help you get the most from a single battery charge.
  • High performance¬†= Maximizes screen brightness and might increase PC performance. This plan uses a lot more energy, so your laptop battery won’t last as long between charges.
  • Ultimate Performance¬†= Only available in the¬†Windows 11 Pro for Workstations¬†edition¬†by default. Provides ultimate performance on higher end PCs. It builds on the current High-Performance policy, and goes a step further to eliminate micro-latencies associated with fine grained power management techniques. As the power scheme is geared towards reducing micro-latencies it may directly impact hardware; and consume more power than the default balanced plan. The Ultimate Performance power policy is currently not available on battery powered systems.
  • Custom¬†= These are custom power plans created by a user on the PC and/or included by your PC manufacturer (OEM).

This tutorial will show you how to add Choose Power Plan to the desktop context menu for all users to be able to open Power Options or instantly switch between using the Power Saver, Balanced, High Performance, or Ultimate Performance plan for their account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Cast to Device context menu in Windows 11

Cast to Device is a feature that allows you to directly (wired or wirelessly) stream media from your PC or tablet to a Miracast or DLNA supported device (ex: TV or Xbox) on your home network.

The¬†Cast to Device¬†context menu is available on media files (music, photos, videos, etc…) and folders that are supported for this feature. Cast to Device is also available as an option in supported apps, such as Microsoft Edge and Movies & TV.

This tutorial will show you how to remove the Cast to Device context menu from files and folders for all users in Windows 11. This can be handy if you don’t use or want the context menu.

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Disable “Show more options” context menu in Windows 11

When you right click on an item in Windows 11, you will see a new modern condensed context menu with Show more options (Shift+F10) at the bottom you have to click on to see all available options.

If you use the context menu a lot, then you will most likely find having to click on Show more options annoying anytime you need more options.

If you like, you can disable this condensed Show more options context menu to always see the full context menu again when you right click on an item.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the “Show more options” context menu for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove “Copy To folder” and “Move To folder” Context Menu in Windows 11

When you press and hold or right click on selected file(s) and folder(s) and click/tap on Copy To folder, it will copy them to a location you select immediately.

When you press and hold or right click on selected file(s) and folder(s) and click/tap on Move to folder, it will remove them from their current location and move them to a location you select immediately.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Copy To folder and Move to folder to the context menu for all users in Windows 11.

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Add Take Ownership to Context Menu in Windows 11

This tutorial will show you how to add Take Ownership to the context menu of all files, folders, and drives for all users in Windows 11.

This will allow you to be able to instantly take ownership of a file, folder (and all contents), or drive (and all contents) by changing the owner to the current user and grant the Owner_Rights SID (for current owner) full access permission.

When you right click or press and hold on a file, folder, or drive, click/tap on Show more options, and click/tap on Take Ownership, you will be prompted by UAC for approval first.

If a user is signed in as an administrator, then the user would just click/tap on Yes to approve and take ownership. The owner of the file, folder, or drive would be changed to the current user account. Permissions would be set to allow this current owner (Owner_Rights SID) full control of the file, folder, or drive.

If a user is signed in as a¬†standard user, then the user would need to enter a selected¬†administrator’s password¬†to approve and take ownership. The owner of the file, folder, or drive would be changed to the selected administrator account and not the standard user. Permissions would be set to allow this current owner (Owner_Rights SID) full control of the file, folder, or drive.

The¬†Take Ownership¬†context menu will not be available when you right click or press and hold only on the specific¬†C:¬†drive,¬†C:\Program Files¬†folder,¬†C:\Program Files (x86) folder,¬†C:\ProgramData¬†folder,¬†C:\Users¬†folder, and¬†C:\Windows¬†folder. This was done by design since taking ownership of the Windows “C:” drive and these specific system folders can make Windows unstable as it would also take ownership of all their content at the same time.

You will still be able to use the Take Ownership context menu on files and folders inside the locations above, and on all drives other than the C drive and FAT32 drives.

Application files (ex: EXE, CMD, MSI) will have the Take Ownership context menu without replacing Run as administrator.

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Add Restart Explorer Context Menu in Windows 11

The¬†explorer.exe¬†process is the user shell for Windows, and is used by such items as the desktop, File Explorer, Start menu, notification area, and taskbar. Restarting the explorer.exe process is to stop and start it to effectively refresh explorer.exe. When the explorer.exe process has been stopped (aka: “end task”), you will see a blank black desktop with your mouse pointer showing until explorer.exe has been started again.

If you are having issues with the explorer.exe process (ex: hang), restarting the explorer.exe process may sort it without having to restart the computer.

If you are applying a registry tweak, sometimes you can just restart the explorer.exe process to apply instead of having to restart the computer or sign out and sign in.

This tutorial will show you how to add Restart Explorer to the desktop context menu of all users in Windows 11.

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Add “Open in Windows Terminal” expandable context menu in Windows 11

Windows Terminal is included by default in Windows 11.

The Windows Terminal is a modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL. Its main features include multiple tabs, panes, Unicode and UTF-8 character support, a GPU accelerated text rendering engine, and custom themes, styles, and configurations.

See also: An overview on Windows Terminal

Windows 11 includes a Open in Windows Terminal context menu by default when you right click or shift + right click on a folder or folder background, but this does not open Windows Terminal elevated (run as administrator).

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove a custom Open in Windows Terminal expandable context menu for all users in Windows 11.

The Open in Windows Terminal expandable context menu will allow you to select to open Windows Terminal to the current folder path with the default shell profile, Command Prompt shell profile, or Windows PowerShell shell profile.

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