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Right Clicking the Start Menu in Windows 7

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When you use the right mouse button (assuming you're right handed) to click something in Windows, you usually get what is called a "context menu".  It's called that because the items in the menu vary according to context, that is, according to where and when you clicked.  In Windows Vista, if you click one of the programs in the left pane of the Start Menu (in the list of Recently Used Programs), you will normally get these items on your menu:

- Open
- Open File Location
- Run as Administrator
- Pin to Start Menu
- Add to Quick Launch
- Backup
- Restore previous versions
- Send To
- Copy
- Remove from this list
- Rename
- Properties.

Depending upon what programs you have installed, you might get other items in the context menu.  For example, my Avira antivirus program adds an item "Scan selected files with AntiVir" to that list, and the program called SuperAntiSpyware adds an item "Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware".

In Vista, if you hold down the Shift key as you right click a program in the left pane, you get an additional item:

- Copy as path.

Below is a screenshot of what you get when right clicking on a program in the left pane of the Start Menu in Windows 7.  As you can see, a number of the items in the Vista context menu list are left out, and one new item, "Pin to Taskar", is added taking the place of "Add to Quick Launch".

 Right click a program in Win7 Start MenuNow take a look at what you see when shift right clicking a program in the Start Menu left pane of Windows 7.  You will see that a number of those Vista options have been restored, and there are the following additional items in the list:

- Troubleshoot compatibility
- Run as different user

The AVG Free antivirus program I used in Windows 7 has also added an option to the shift right click menu.
 Shift right click a program in Win7 Start MenuSuppose instead you right clicked an item on the right pane of the Start Menu?  In Vista, you would normally get these items:

- Open
- Explore
- Share...
- Restore previous versions
- Backup
- Send To
- Copy
- Rename
- Properties.

And by shift right clicking, you have these additional items:

- Open Command Window here
- Copy as Path.

Compare this with what Windows 7 gives you when you right click an item in the right pane of the Start Menu:
 Right click a right pane item in Win7 Start MenuThen compare what Windows 7 gives you when you shift right click an item in the right pane:
 Shift right click a right pane item in Win7 Start MenuIn sum, the context menus of Windows that are displayed when you right click something on your Desktop, in a window, on a menu, or elsewhere can often be very useful.  And the context menus available when you hold down the Shift key as you right click are sometimes even more useful.  This article has shown you some of these capabilities that are related to the Windows 7 Start Menu.
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