Adding Items to the "New" Context Menu

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 27, 2019)

3

If you right-click on an open area of the Desktop, you'll see a Context menu that includes the "New" menu item. By hovering your mouse over "New," a submenu appears, allowing you to create various items (e.g., a Microsoft Word document, a text document, etc.). (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Desktop's 'New' menu before changes.

It's possible to add your own document types to the "New" menu if you don't mind editing the Registry.

As an example, let's say that I have an application that processes PNG files that have a special file extension of ".bdd". I therefore want to be able to right-click the Desktop and create a new .bdd file.

To do this, click the Start button, type "regedit" (without the quotes), and press Enter. This launches the Registry Editor. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Windows Registry Editor.

In the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and create a new key named .bdd. Set the value of its (Default) to be Bdd.Document. Create a sub-key to .bdd named ShellNew. In ShellNew create two string items named ~NullFile and NullFile. They should be empty.

Navigate again to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and create a new key named Bdd.Document. Set the value of its (Default) to be JPEG File. Create a sub-key under Bdd.Document named DefaultIcon and set the value of its (Default) to be the file name of the icon you want to appear in the New menu. Exit the Registry Editor.

You may need to reboot or at least restart Explorer, but after you do, you'll have a new item listed in the Desktop's New menu. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The Desktop's 'New' menu after changes.

 This tip (5836) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Changing the Default Program for a File

Files are opened by programs depending upon the file's type. If you want to change this association so that a different ...

Discover More

Moving Files Using the Command Line

The MOVE command can be a timesaver over trying to do the similar sort of thing with Windows Explorer. You can move ...

Discover More

Disabling System Restore

Restore points are good to have in case a problem occurs while trying to make changes to your system. If for some reason ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Changing Your Sound Theme

Don't like the sounds that Windows has chosen to play when system events occur? Here's how to change the sound theme that ...

Discover More

Adjusting the Taskbar for Multiple Displays

When you have multiple displays attached to your computer you might want to change how the Taskbar looks on your extra ...

Discover More

Controlling the Mouse Pointer Speed

One of the personalization settings you can control is how fast the cursor moves when you move your mouse. You can ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 6?

2018-04-24 12:14:34

registry hound

Barry, what's the purpose of the "~NullFile" value?
When I look in other HCR items (like .txt, .docx) I don't see "~NullFile" values- thus the question.
Thx!


2018-04-17 20:37:03

Paul-Joseph de Werk

Follow the instructions here https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/add-a-new-new-to-win-explorer-context-menu/c12acf24-60d9-4dd4-bb22-5349ff874f6a


2017-01-14 17:25:21

Tom Freeman

Thanks for the great tip. Instead of creating a new blank/empty document, can this method be used to create a document (e.g. a txt file) with specific content in it ?

I'd like to be able to create a "form" template file which can then be edited.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.