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How to create a custom Open with menu on Windows 10

When you right-click a file on Windows 10, the context menu shows an ‘Open with’ option. This Open With option has a sub-menu that features apps the file can be opened with.

The submenu of the Open with option i.e., the apps featured under it, are context-aware. The apps that you see will change based on the type of file that you right-clicked. You can select any app that you want to open the file with but the apps that you see in the menu will be populated by Windows 10.

Windows 10 Open with menu

Open With is a stock feature on Windows 10 and there isn’t much a user can do to tell Windows 10 which apps to list under it for a file. If you often find that the Open with option doesn’t list the app you need to open a particular file, you can create a custom Open with menu.

To create a custom Open with menu on Windows 10, we’re going to use a free, open-source app called Open with++. As an example, we’re going to add Notepad to the custom Open with list for all file types however you can use any app and set it for any and all types of files

Custome Open with menu

  1. Download Open with++ from Gihub.
  2. Extract the 7z file.
  3. Run the executable inside the extracted folder.
  4. Go to the Install tab and install the app.
  5. Go to the Add tab.
  6. Enter a name for the app that you want to add e.g., Notepad.
  7. In File Type, enter the extension for the file you want to add this option for. For example, enter mp4 fr MP4 files or *.* for all file types. 
  8. In the Path field, enter the complete path to the EXE of the app you want to open the file with.
  9. Enable the ‘Show in sub menu’ option.
  10. Click OK.

Using custom Open With menu

To use the custom Open with menu that you’ve created, follow these steps.

  1. Right-click a file type that you’ve added a custom Open With menu option for.
  2. Look for Open with++ in the context menu.
  3. Move the cursor to this option and wait for the sub-menu to appear.
  4. Select the app added to the sub-menu to open the file.

Add custom arguments

Some apps can accept arguments when opening a file. If you’ve added such an app to the custom Open with menu, you can define the custom argument in the Arguments field.

Remove custom Open With menu options

To remove an option/app added to the custom Open With menu, follow these steps.

  1. Run the Open with++ executable.
  2. Go to the Add tab.
  3. Select the option that you want to remove.
  4. Click the Remove tab.
  5. The option will be removed.

Uninstall Open With++

If you do not want to use Open With anymore, follow these steps to uninstall it.

  1. Open the Open with++ folder and run the executable in it.
  2. Go to the Uninstall tab.
  3. Confirm that you want want to uninstall Open With++.
  4. The option will be removed from the context menu.

Conclusion

The Open With++ menu option will remain separate from the stock Open With option. The custom option allows you to quickly select the app you want to use to open a file, without having to manually select it from a long list of apps, or from an app selection menu. 

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