Three Handy Windows Right-Click Tricks


Many average home PC owners are unaware of the power of the right-click in Windows. However, there are many useful things that can be done with the right-click. Here are three tips worth knowing about.

Right-click drag and drop

When you drag and drop a file with the left-click, the result varies. A shortcut may be created or the file may be copied or it may be moved. It depends on the circumstances. That is fine, if you remember which action takes place when. Instead, I prefer to use the right-click to drag and drop. In this case you first get a menu, which allows you to choose the operation that you had in mind.

Combine Shift with right-click

If you hold down the Shift key when right-clicking a file, the context menu will contain some added items. The extra entries vary, depending on which version of Windows you are using. For example, in Windows XP, “Pin to Start Menu” is added. In Windows Vista/7, “Copy as Path” is added.  In Windows 7, the “Send To” menu is augmented. A somewhat different set of options is added to the context menu in Windows Vista/7 when clicking a folder instead of a file. I have already mentioned the "Open command window here" option.

Get standard context menu for a Windows 7 file pinned to taskbar

Windows 7 has a new feature involving the taskbar. Programs can be pinned there for ready access. When you right-click a taskbar icon, however, you get the new “jumplist” instead of the conventional context menu. To show the context menu, hold down both the Control and Shift keys and right-click. This will bring up the standard expanded context menu that is obtained when combining Shift with a right-click on an unpinned icon.

More information

These tips are just the beginning of what you can do with the right-click. Go to this link for many more ways that the right-click can make using Windows easier.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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