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Command Prompt in Explorer Context MenuTip for starting a command prompt from Windows Explorer

Updated 2011.01.23 17:22 +0100

Ikke tilgængelig på Dansk

By Michael Suodenjoki, michael@suodenjoki.dk.

Version 1.0 January 2003.


This tiny article describes a tip of how you setup your Windows system so that you easily can start up a command prompt in the selected folder from within the Windows Explorer context menu. The tip works both on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.


1 Introduction
2 How to


I've been looking for something to launch a shell from explorer for a while. Thanks.
Ron Belaire, 2003.12.11
I just ran across your tip on the web. I use this feature all the time at work on Windows NT. At one point a while back, I found some documentation on it (I don't remember where), but it said NOT to use it on Windows 98. I run Windows 98 at home, and would love to have this feature at home. Will what you presented in your article work on Windows 98? [Yes, I think so.]
Erik P. Verret
Harris Corporation, GCSD, 2003.04.30

1 Introduction

The best way to open a command prompt in a selected folder from Explorer is to add a context menu option to folders that will then open a command prompt at the selected folder.

Figure illustrating handy Command Prompt menu item in the Explorer context menu.

2 How to

  1. Startup the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) using the Start menu's Run menu. Simply type in: regedit

    The Run dialog
  2. Browse to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\Shell key.
  3. Add a new key (using the Edit menu or the context menu) and name it: MenuText.
  4. Double-click the default of the new key and enter the text you want to display when you right-click a folder (e.g. "Command Prompt").
  5. Select the key MenuText and add a new key under it called "Command." Double-click the default value of this key and enter:

      <system dir>\System32\Cmd.exe /k cd "%1"

    where you must substitute the <system dir> with the your systems Windows directory (e.g., C:\Windows or C:\Winnt).

    The Registry Editor in action
  6. Close the Registry editor.

You don't have to reboot the machine for this to work. Now, when you select a folder in Explorer and right-click, a new option in the menu called Command Prompt takes you to the currently selected folder.

Hope you can use it.

Tip also available at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techenthusiast/tricks/administration/registry.asp