In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced a feature for mouse users which can be accessed with a right click in the bottom left corner of the screen - the Win+X menu. In Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, you can simply right click on the Start button to show it. This menu has shortcuts to useful administrative tools and system functions. However, it is not a customizable part of the operating system. The user cannot add the desired apps and commands he wants to the Win+X menu. In this article, we will see how to bypass this limitation and customize this menu in Windows 10.
The Win+X menu entries actually are all shortcut files (.LNK) but customizing the Win+X menu is not an easy task because Microsoft intentionally made it harder to customize it to prevent third party apps from abusing it and putting their own shortcuts there. The shortcuts are all special - they are passed though a Windows API hashing function and the hash is then stored inside those shortcuts. Its presence tells the Win+X menu that the shortcut is special and only then it will show up in the menu, otherwise it will be ignored.
To customize the Power user menu, you can use my Win + X Menu Editor app. Win+X Menu Editor is a free tool with an easy-to-use GUI that does not patch any system files to disable the hash check. Using it, you can add or remove shortcuts to the Win+X menu, change their names and order.
Here is what you have to do.
- Download Win+X Menu Editor from here.
- In the archive, you will find two folders - x64 and x86. For 64-bit Windows, enter the x64 folder, for 32-bit, extract and use the files from x86 folder. Then run WinXEditor.exe to open the app.
- The UI is pretty self-explanatory and shows all items which already exist in the Win+X menu. You can add any program or use presets for common system tools. You can organize shortcuts into groups and reorder them. You can also use the buttons on the right to move commands Up or Down.
- When you are done editing the menu, click the Restart Explorer button to save changes and restart Explorer.exe.
Let's see some use cases in detail.
Add programs to Win+X menu
Using Win+X Menu Editor, it is possible to add any application to the Win+X menu of Windows 10. For example, let's add "UAC Settings" options to the menu. Here is how.
The Open file dialog will appear, select the following file there:
Besides custom apps and presets, it is possible to add Control Panel items and Administrative Tools to this menu. Use the appropriate commands "Add a program"->"Add a Control Panel item" and "Add a program"->"Add an Administrative tools item" to do so. See these screenshots:
Remove Win+X items in Windows 10
Win+X Menu Editor allows to delete pre-defined items from the menu. For example, I use Disk Management and Device Manager very rarely, so I would like to remove them.
To remove the item from Win+X menu, you only need to select it in the items list and click "Remove" on the toolbar:
Managing shortcut groups
Groups in the Win+X menu are horizontal lines which separate the shortcuts visually. Groups are represented by folders named "Group 1", "Group 2" and "Group 3". You can remove pre-defined groups or create more than 3 groups.
After that, you can put apps and commands in new groups as described above, or you can move existing items between groups.
Move items between groups
By right clicking the items, you can perform most operations the application supports for the Win+X menu. To move the item to another group, right click it and select "Move to group":
That's it. Using Win+X Menu Editor, you can tweak the Win+X menu in Windows 10 as you want. Version 2.7 comes with full Windows 10 support and is tested under the latest Insider Preview, which as of this writing, is build 14332. You can download it here:
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