Right-clicking on a file or folder brings up a context-sensitive menu, but sometimes that menu doesn’t show all your options. Hold down the Shift key when you right-click to find hidden but useful commands like copying a file path or expanding the Send To options.
We briefly mentioned the Shift + Right-click shortcut in our previous master list of Windows 7 shortcuts, but here’s a closer look at all the neat tricks the Shift key turns up when combined with right-clicking in Windows Explorer or the Desktop.
Expand the Send To menu
The typical Send To menu includes a handful of items like the Desktop (as a shortcut), your Documents folder, a zipped folder and an email recipient.
If you hold down the Shift key, you get many more options, including the Desktop (as a folder location), your Dropbox folder (if you have Dropbox installed), your Favorites folder, Pictures folder, and other commonly used locations.
Keep holding down the Shift key when you select one of these options to actually move the file to a new location; otherwise the Send To command will copy it.
If you want to add more items to the Send To menu, How-To Geek says we can type
into the location bar and then drag frequently-used shortcuts (like your web server) to that folder.
Copy as Path
The “Copy as path” option only shows up in a folder’s or file’s right-click context menu when you hold down the Shift key. As you’ve probably guessed, this command copies to the clipboard the complete path of the folder or file. This is handy if you need to share a link to a network file or reference file locations.[imgclear]
Pin to Start Menu
Another self-explanatory hidden menu option, this command puts links to often-used files right on Windows’ Start Menu.
Open in a New Process
Hold down the Shift key while right-clicking on a folder in Windows Explorer and you’ll get a “Open in a new process” menu option. You probably don’t need to use this option unless you have frequent crashing problems or are troubleshooting, but what this does is open a separate process for that object (i.e. a new instance of the object in a different part of your computer’s memory). So if Firefox is crashing a lot, for example, you can open it in a new process and if the first instance crashes your second instance won’t be affected.[imgclear]
Open a Command Window
A quick way to get to the command prompt in Windows is to hold down the Shift key and right-click on the Desktop or in Windows Explorer (when no files are selected).
So those are some secret menu options you can unlock with just the Shift key. Got a cool Windows shortcut tip? Pass it our way by emailing [email protected] or share it with us in the comments.