How To Add the Missing Open With Option Back to Context Menu in Windows

Open With” is a very useful item in right-click context menu in Windows. You can often use it to open unknown type of files or pick a different application to open certain known type of files. For example, if the default Windows Media Play is having difficulty playing MKV file, I can use Open With to open the file in VLC instead.

If for some reason it disappeared on you, here is a quick registry hack to get it back without going through any repairing or recovering processes.

Open Registry Editor (search Regedit from Start menu), navigate to

HKEY_ClASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers

Right-click ContextMenuHandlers, select New, and Key.

RegEdit - shellex - ContextMenuHandlers

Name the key as “Open With“, and set the default value as

{09799AFB-AD67-11d1-ABCD-00C04FC30936}

RegEdit - shellex - ContextMenuHandlers - Open With

Restart Windows Explorer or just simply reboot. And it’s all set.

Bonus tip

Here are some bonus tips for you if you are the Context Menu junkie like us. You can actually have another set of very useful new Context Menu items, Copy To and Move To.

Under the key ContextMenuHandlers, create a new key call Copy To with the default value as {C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}, and another new key Move To with the value as {C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}.

RegEdit - shellex - ContextMenuHandlers - Copy To Move To

After restart Windows Explorer services, you will see these two new items showing up in the right-click Context Menu.

Right Click Context Menu with Copy To and Move To

That’s about it. These registry hacks apply to Windows 7 and above, including Windows 10.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 03/02/2016

Posted in: Tips & Tricks
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