Adding items to Windows 10’s “Create New” context menu involves manipulating the registry. Here’s how to do it.
Creating a new file in Windows 10 is easy: Right-clicking on the desktop or in a folder brings up a list of new file types you can create (under the New menu). But what if the file type you want isn’t included in Windows 10 New context menu?
You’ll have to run the program (that uses the file type) to create a new file of this type. Not the most convenient thing to do. To make things more efficient, you can add items to the Windows 10 New context menu.
This technique will add items to the Windows New context menu, but there are a few things you should know before you do it.
1. It Involves Editing the Registry
Adding items to the New context menu in Windows 10 involves playing around with registry entries. Proceed only if you know what you’re doing or you’re confident of manipulating the registry. In such cases, you should always create a backup of the registry or specific items in the registry so that you can restore your PC if things don’t go as planned.
If editing the registry causes wider issues, you can always reset the Windows registry to default.
2. Files Created This Way Will Be “Empty”
You are creating a new file of a certain type. As such, the file will be “empty;” there will be nothing in it. For example, you could create a video file this way, but it wouldn’t hold any data and wouldn’t play anything if you tried opening it with a video player.
This is akin to creating a new Microsoft Word document. You have to open the newly created Word file and type text into it to make it meaningful. The same goes with any file type created this way. You cannot use this method to copy data or files; it does come handy, however, to quickly create a new file of a certain type.
3. Not All File Types Will Work as Intended
While you can add just about any file type to the New context menu in Windows, some file types may not function as you intend. For instance, Google Doc files will not work properly because they require other tools and more data to be able to function as Google Docs. It’s best to stick to data file types.
The method is straightforward, but may not give the results you want in every case. Follow these steps to expand your New context menu.
- Open the Windows registry by pressing the Windows key + R and typing “regedit” or by typing “regedit” at the Start menu.
- Navigate to and expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT folder. Under this folder, the folders or keys that begin with a dot refer to file extensions. You can create a context menu item for any of these. We’ve chosen the comic book format .cbr as an example, which is just a more specific version of a RAR file. This allows you to create new comic book files.
- Right-click on the extension of the file type you want and go to New > Key.
- Rename the new key ShellNew.
- Right-click the key you just created (ShellNew) and select New > String Value. A new string value should be created under the key.
- Rename this NullFile.
- Double-click this string to open it and give it value 1.
- You can close the registry editor.
- Refresh or reload File Explorer.
Now when you right-click on the desktop or in File Explorer and go to the New context menu, you should see this newly created file type.
Adding items to the New context menu in Windows 10 via a registry edit involves creating registry keys and strings. A simple rule to follow is to add those file types that you normally work with. This will save you the extra effort of having to browse to a location to save new iterations of the files and data you create.
If, on the other hand, you want to clear out some of your right-click menu clutter by removing items from New context menu, that is a simple fix, too.