If you add a program/application shortcut to Windows desktop right-click menu, you can quickly start this program by right click on the desktop, which can save you clicks. Now this page will show you how to add an application to Windows 10 desktop right-click menu.

How to add an application to desktop right-click menu

By default, when you right click on Windows 10 desktop, you will find only a few items such as “Display settings”, “Personalize” are included in the popup menu. You can add some commonly used items such as programs, apps to the right-click menu for easier access to them. To realize this, you will need to edit the registry. Do as follows.

Tips: Generally, people are advised to firstly backup Windows 10 registry before editing it just in case making mistakes. But then again, if you are careful enough, backup is unnecessary for such a simple operation on Registry.

Step 1: Open Registry Editor in Windows 10 by searching “regedit” in Start menu or running “regedit” in Run box.

Step 2: Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell. Right click on the “shell” entry and select New -> Key to create a new key. Name the new key the target program/app name you want to add to Windows 10 desktop right-click menu, such as “Notepad”.

create new key under shell

Step 3: Right click on the new key, and select New -> Key to create a new sub key. Name the sub key “command”.

create new sub key

Step 4: Go to your Windows 10 root directory to find the full path to the app you want to add to the desktop right-click menu. You can right click on the program while holding on the “Shift” key and select “Copy as path” to quickly copy its full path.

copy as path

Step 5: Go back to the Registry editor. Select the “command” key you’ve just created in the Step 3, and on the right-side pane double click on the Default value. Then paste the program path you just got in the Step 4 to the “Value data” box and click “OK” to finish.

Paste program path

Step 6: Now when you right click on your Windows 10 desktop you will find the Notepad application is added into the popup menu. Select the Notepad and Notepad will immediately open.

Notepad added to Windows 10 desktop right-click menu