How to Customize Shortcut Tooltips in Windows 10

File shortcuts have been in Windows since Windows 95. A shortcut is merely a link to another file or folder on your hard drive's file system or to some system object. The object that they link to is called the target. Shortcut files can be placed anywhere - on your Desktop, in the Start menu or pinned to your Taskbar. When you hover over a shortcut with the mouse, a tooltip appears. Today, we will see how to make those tootlips useful and display more details about shortcuts instead of just the shortcut comment.


When you hover over a shortcut, you get a tooltip (also known as an infotip) showing the comment property.

The comment and such other related properties are usually stored on the file system or inside the shortcut file.

Shortcut files have the extension .LNK but it is always hidden by File Explorer. Shortcuts store information such as the target command line, shortcut hotkey, target type, icon, info on whether to run the shortcut as admin and other information. This is all quite useful information.
In addition to these classic details, starting with Windows Vista, the Explorer app is able to read the metadata values for files and folders. The updated Explorer app can display this additional information from a very huge list of properties described on MSDN.
These metadata properties can be shown, for instance, in the Details pane of Explorer. Let's see how to show some of the more useful ones that are applicable to shortcuts via their tooltips.

This can be done with a simple Registry tweak.

To Customize Shortcut Tooltips in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellEx\{00021500-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

    Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click.

  3. Right click the key called {00021500-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} and export it as a file for backup purposes. Then, right click it again and delete this {00021500-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} subkey.
  4. Next go to the following Registry path:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile
  5. Create here a new string value and name it InfoTip. Set its value data to the following value (you can copy this and paste it into the PreviewDetails value's data):
    prop:System.Comment;System.Link.TargetParsingPath;System.ItemFolderPathDisplay

    See the following screenshot:

Now hover over a shortcut. The result will be as follows:

Using this simple trick, you can make shortcut tooltips really useful in Windows 10. Besides the comment, it will also show the shortcut target path and shortcut's location.

To save you time, I prepared ready-to-use Registry files:

Download Registry Files

Double click the "enable custom shortcut tooltip.reg" file to enable these extended tooltips. The undo file is included.

I recommend you to read our previous article about this trick: How to show more details for shortcuts in Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7. It has more technical details of how this tweak works.

That's it.

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2 thoughts on “How to Customize Shortcut Tooltips in Windows 10

  1. Corey

    Is there a windows 10 utility or program that can easily change and add more custom tooltips information? Most files in windows 10 show only useless info, like folder size, type, date modified… I want more!

    Reply
  2. Ardwych

    This looks good, but with anything other than a standard mouse cursor, tooltips can often be obscured by a larger cursor.
    Is there a way of moving tooltips to a greater distance from the current cursor position?

    Reply

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