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How to find the registry value for a context menu item on Windows 10

Context menu entries can be edited fairly easily. If you’ve created a script that you’d like to run from the context menu, you can add it by editing the registry, or using a context menu editing tool. There’s no shortage of these types of tools and they provide users a simple GUI for adding entries taking human error out of the equation. If you’re not looking to edit the context menu, and instead need to find the registry value for a particular context menu item, you can use a free, light-weight tool called ShellExView.

Registry value for context menu item

Download ShellExView. Run the app and use the Find tool to look for the context menu entry that you want to find the registry entry for. The search isn’t case sensitive, but you do need to enter the correct term. Once you find the entry in the list of context menu items, right-click any one of the column headers.

From the context menu of the column header, select the ‘Open CLSID In RegEdit’ option. This will open the registry editor and jump to the key and value that controls that particular context menu item.

In theory, you can now edit the item but there are certain restrictions that you may run into. You can add items to the context menu but you can’t easily edit the stock items e.g., the Open With option is a default option and the registry editor doesn’t let you change anything under its key. You might be able to force the change by using a context menu editor, or by taking ownership of the key but it’s risky. Make sure you back up the registry first.

For entries made by third-party apps, you will have a much easier time editing their respective context menu entries but you should still back up the registry.

This app should be able to find all context menu entries but if you can’t find a particular entry, try the ShellMenuView app from the same developer. It focuses on the various entries that third-party apps add and not as much on the stock/default Windows 10 entries but it may help you find what you’re looking for. Between these two apps, you’ll be able to find all context menu entries and look them up in the registry. With ShellMenuView, there’s a dedicated column for the registry value that you can use to go to the registry entry for it.

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