Enable Underline Access Keys for Menus in Windows 10

Organize Context Menu Icon

In Windows 10, you can use special access keys to execute the menu commands faster. Almost every menu item in Windows apps has such a key. By pressing Alt + <access key> keys on the keyboard, you will jump to the specific menu item and execute it. This is very useful.

To see available access keys, you need to press the Alt key to activate the specific menu. Note: Sometimes you need to press the F10 key. Try it when the Alt key doesn't work in the current app. Then, press the underlined letter of the desired menu item you want to open. Also, you can press the underlined letters to navigate between submenus and execute their commands.

Also, if you press the Alt in File Explorer, you will see the available keyboard shortcuts for the Ribbon.

To see underlined access keys in a context menu, you need to perform the Shift + Right-click. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for certain apps.

To enable Underline Access Keys for menus in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Ease of access -> Keyboard.
  3. On the right, click enable the option Underline access key shortcuts in menus when they are available under Change how keyboard shortcuts behave.
  4. Windows 10 will show access keys underlined in all apps.

Alternatively, you can enable this feature in the classic Control Panel app.

Enable Underline Access Keys for menus with Control Panel

  1. Open the classic Control Panel app.
  2. Go to Control Panel\Ease of Access\Ease of Access Center.
  3. Click on the link Make the keyboard easier to use.
  4. On the next page, enable the option Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys under the section Make it easier to use keyboard shortcuts.

Finally, the same option can be enabled or disabled with a Registry tweak

Using the Registry tweak

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Accessibility\Keyboard Preference

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. On the right, create or modify the string (REG_SZ) value "On".
    Set its value to 1 to enable the feature. A value data of 0 will disable it.
  4. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in to your user account.

You might want to download the following ready-to-use Registry files:

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is included.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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