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Posted 23 Oct 2015

Open Files Via "Send To" Context Menu

, 23 Oct 2015
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Save time by opening files via Windows Explorer's "send to" context menu


Programmers's time is precious, right? This is a kind of hack I use when I want to quickly open some kind of file that's doesn't have a default program to be opened or this program is not accessible via a context menu entry.

Example of Use

Let's say you want to calculate the hash of some file you've recently downloaded or transferred from an external drive. It would be convenient to do it with just a couple clicks, right?

In this picture, I show how easy it is to open a file in the Hashing Application:

Creating a 'send to' Entry

While in Windows Explorer, type "sendto" in the address bar. If Windows does not recognize it, then go the full path, which should be:


where [username] is the user currently logged in at Windows.

Now, you should see a list of shortcuts that represent actions in the "send to" context menu. You just have to create a new action, as you desire.

Click on the blank space in the screen and point at New->Shortcut, then browse and choose the app you want.

Voilà! Now you have your way to start the app at your fingertips!


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Jerome Vonk
Systems Engineer
Brazil Brazil
C/C++ developer for Windows and Linux. Cryptography enthusiast.

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Comments and Discussions

SuggestionThe next step... Pin
dandy7226-Oct-15 5:57
memberdandy7226-Oct-15 5:57 
This has been well documented since Send To was introduced in Windows 95. Even so, while this is great for developers and those who know their way around the file system, creating a SendTo entry is too much to ask for a lot of users, and they're missing out on useful functionality.

Therefore, the next step is to write a simple generic class that you can embed and re-use in any of your apps that are a "natural fit" for being a SendTo target. If your apps can take care of creating/removing the shortcut automatically or on-demand (for example, a checkbox in your app's Tools|Options if it had such a screen), users would benefit. It's the small things that make a huge usability difference.

Also, as this is a tip/trick, it's probably worth mentioning that apps have to be designed to expect a path/filename that specifies the file selected from Explorer, otherwise the app happily launches but doesn't do anything with the file.

GeneralRe: The next step... Pin
John Torjo26-Oct-15 11:39
professionalJohn Torjo26-Oct-15 11:39 
GeneralRe: The next step... Pin
dandy7226-Oct-15 11:55
memberdandy7226-Oct-15 11:55 
GeneralRe: The next step... Pin
John Torjo26-Oct-15 12:00
professionalJohn Torjo26-Oct-15 12:00 
GeneralRe: The next step... Pin
Jerome Vonk27-Oct-15 3:14
memberJerome Vonk27-Oct-15 3:14 

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