Add Preview Pane Context Menu in Windows 10

Today, we will see how to add Preview Pane to the context menu in Windows 10. This will allow you to toggle the Preview pane in File Explorer directly from the context menu.

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The Preview pane is a special area in File Explorer which shows a small preview of the file contents quickly for certain file types. The preview can tell you what the selected file contains without opening it in its associated program. This is especially useful when an image file, media file or document is selected.

Preview Pane Context Menu In Windows 10Preview Pane Context Menu In Action

You can enable or disable the Preview pane using a button on the View tab of the Ribbon user interface. Here is how you can add the Preview Pane command to the context menu to toggle visibility of the Preview pane in File Explorer.

To Add Preview Pane Context Menu in Windows 10, do the following.

Apply the Registry tweak listed below. Paste its contents inside Notepad and save as a *.reg file.Preview Pane Context Tweak Contents

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shell\Windows.readingpane]
"CanonicalName"="{831e1a71-5be9-4934-be77-04baedc9f21b}"
"Description"="@shell32.dll,-31424"
"Icon"="shell32.dll,-16757"
"MUIVerb"="@shell32.dll,-31423"
"PaneID"="{893c63d1-45c8-4d17-be19-223be71be365}"
"PaneVisibleProperty"="ReadingPaneSizer_Visible"
"PolicyID"="{33dcce8d-b6f8-4b7a-ac93-45e301f956aa}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\Windows.readingpane]
"CanonicalName"="{831e1a71-5be9-4934-be77-04baedc9f21b}"
"Description"="@shell32.dll,-31424"
"Icon"="shell32.dll,-16757"
"MUIVerb"="@shell32.dll,-31423"
"PaneID"="{893c63d1-45c8-4d17-be19-223be71be365}"
"PaneVisibleProperty"="ReadingPaneSizer_Visible"
"PolicyID"="{33dcce8d-b6f8-4b7a-ac93-45e301f956aa}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\Windows.readingpane]
"CanonicalName"="{831e1a71-5be9-4934-be77-04baedc9f21b}"
"Description"="@shell32.dll,-31424"
"Icon"="shell32.dll,-16757"
"MUIVerb"="@shell32.dll,-31423"
"PaneID"="{893c63d1-45c8-4d17-be19-223be71be365}"
"PaneVisibleProperty"="ReadingPaneSizer_Visible"
"PolicyID"="{33dcce8d-b6f8-4b7a-ac93-45e301f956aa}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\LibraryFolder\Background\shell\Windows.readingpane]
"CanonicalName"="{831e1a71-5be9-4934-be77-04baedc9f21b}"
"Description"="@shell32.dll,-31424"
"Icon"="shell32.dll,-16757"
"MUIVerb"="@shell32.dll,-31423"
"PaneID"="{893c63d1-45c8-4d17-be19-223be71be365}"
"PaneVisibleProperty"="ReadingPaneSizer_Visible"
"PolicyID"="{33dcce8d-b6f8-4b7a-ac93-45e301f956aa}"

In Notepad, press Ctrl + S or execute the File - Save item from the File menu. This will open the Save dialog. There, type or copy-paste the name "preview pane.reg" including quotes. Double quotes are important to ensure that the file will get the "*.reg" extension and not *.reg.txt. You can save the file to any desired location, for example, you can put it in your Desktop folder.Preview Pane Context Save Tweak

Double click the file you created, confirm the import operation and you are done!Preview Pane Context Import Tweak 1 Preview Pane Context Import Tweak 2

To understand how this tweak works, refer to my previous article where I explained how to add any Ribbon command to the Context menu in Windows 10. See

How to add any Ribbon command to the right click menu in Windows 10

In short, all the Ribbon commands are stored under this Registry key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CommandStore\shell

You can export the desired command and modify the exported *.Reg in order to add it to the context menu of files, folders, or any other object visible in File Explorer.

To save your time, I made ready-to-use Registry files. You can download them here:

Download Registry Files

Alternatively, you can use Context Menu Tuner. It will allow you to add any Ribbon command to the context menu.

Preview Pane Context Menu Tuner

Select "Preview pane" in the list of available commands, select "All Files" on the right side and click the "Add" button. See the screenshot above. Now, add the same command to Folder, Drive and Library. You can get the app here:

Download Context Menu Tuner

That's it.

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4 thoughts on “Add Preview Pane Context Menu in Windows 10

  1. Gordon Hay

    If you use the Windows.Layout registry key details you get a single Layout option on the context menu with the grouped sub-items of Menu Bar, Details Pane, Preview Pane and Navigation Pane rather than adding these items separately.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Great! Actually, the appropriate article is in my to-do list. Good idea to write it today.

      Reply
      1. Gordon Hay

        Glad to have been able to give something in return for all your excellent work, Sergey!

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate it!

          Reply

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