July 19, 2024


The Joy of Technology

What Is the Menu Key For? (and How to Remap It)


Menu key between Alt and Ctrl keys on a PC keyboard
All the things You Need/Shutterstock.com

Did you know your keyboard has a menu crucial? On full-sizing keyboards, you will find it to the left of your appropriate Ctrl key. This important opens context menus, but you can tweak it to make it additional helpful.

Where’s the Menu Essential on Your Keyboard?

Position of the menu key highlighted on a physical keyboard

On whole-dimensions keyboards, the menu essential is situated between the right Home windows important and the suitable Ctrl important to the correct of the Room bar. The menu important is also at times identified as the “application important.”

Some smaller keyboards—for case in point, laptop keyboards—omit the menu essential to save house. Other more compact keyboards omit the ideal Windows key and depart the menu critical among the proper Alt and Ctrl keys.

Either way, if your keyboard has a menu vital, it’ll be to the still left of your ideal Ctrl critical. It doesn’t have the phrase “menu” printed on it—it has a minimal image that seems like a menu. This photograph is not standardized and will search diverse on diverse keyboards. Often it displays a smaller pointer hovering above a menu and sometimes it appears like a stylized menu—a square or rectangle with some horizontal lines inside of it.

What’s the Menu Vital For?

The menu vital opens a context menu for your present application. It’s generally like ideal-clicking on your range in the application.

Try out it—press the menu key when viewing this world-wide-web website page and you will see your net browser’s context menu, just as if you experienced ideal-clicked on the site.

This is crucial is beneficial if you never have a mouse or really don’t have a mouse with a right mouse button. It works in several distinct purposes. If you pick a file or folder in File Explorer and press the menu essential, you will see a context menu just as if you had appropriate-clicked on the file.

Context menu open in File Explorer

This key makes it attainable to use the context menu with just the keyboard and without the need of a mouse. Press the menu critical, use the arrow keys to pick out an option, and push Enter to activate it. Decide on text or other things with keyboard shortcuts and press the menu critical to activate context menu options—all with out your hands leaving the keyboard.

Microsoft is now speaking about converting this important into an Place of work vital to match the Windows essential. Most Computer system customers probable do not contact this vital, which points out why Microsoft is floating the thought of modifying it. It is a little bit of a relic, like the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause Split keys.

Related: What Are the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause Crack Keys on My Keyboard?

Change+F10 Can Functionality Like a Menu Important, Too

Shift and F10 keys highlighted on a PC keyboard

If your keyboard does not have a menu crucial, but you want to open a context menu with a keyboard shortcut, in no way panic. You can press Shift+F10 in most apps to open up a context menu. It is essentially the similar point as the menu important.

This does not operate in every software, however—it is dependent on the apps. If practically nothing takes place in the software you are applying, attempt Ctrl+Shift+F10.

How to Remap the Menu Critical

The menu essential isn’t very as annoying as the Windows essential, which can consider you out of game titles and other complete-monitor purposes if you accidentally press it. Nevertheless, you could want to change the actions of the menu vital and have it do anything far more handy. Immediately after all, which is primary keyboard actual estate going to squander if you’re not employing the critical.

We like SharpKeys for rapidly remapping a essential to yet another vital. You can remap keys in the Windows Registry, but it’s substantially far more complex. SharpKeys offers a practical graphical interface that customizes the fundamental registry values for you.

After setting up and launching SharpKeys, click on the “Add” button to insert a new remapping.

SharpKeys window showing Add button

Choose “Special: Software (E0_5D)” in the left pane. You can also click “Type Key” and press the menu key—as we mentioned earlier mentioned, it’s from time to time termed the “application essential,” as it is below.

In the ideal pane, decide on whichever critical you want to remap the menu important to. For instance, you can select “Web: Back” and the vital will perform as a again essential in your website browser and any other software that supports this key.

When you’re accomplished, click “OK.”

Remapping the menu key in SharpKeys

Click “Write to Registry” to write your modifications to the Windows Registry. You are going to now have to close the SharpKeys window and then possibly reboot your Computer system or indication out and signal again in. Your modifications will acquire impact when you next sign in.

If you want to improve what the vital does or undo your alterations, open up SharpKeys when again, pick your rule, and use the “Edit” or “Delete” button to modify or delete it. Produce your alterations to the registry and then sign out and back again in all over again.

Write to Registry button in SharpKeys

You can use SharpKeys to reassign other keys, too—for instance, you can make the Caps Lock or Windows crucial purpose as other keys.

How to Customize the Menu Crucial Applying AutoHotkey

For extra innovative customization, we advocate AutoHotkey. You can use AutoHotkey to compose a fast little script that will pay attention for the menu crucial and accomplish other steps when you push it. In AutoHotkey, this key is referred to as the “AppsKey.”

For illustration, the pursuing line in an AutoHotkey script will disable the menu important (“AppsKey”) and induce it to do nothing (“Return”):


This code in an AutoHotkey script will hear for the menu essential and launch Microsoft Term when you push it:


Making the menu key launch Word with an AutoHotkey script

There is a good likelihood the menu vital will go away at some issue. With keyboards nevertheless having Scroll Lock keys, even so, there is a very good chance the menu critical will continue to be around for a long time to arrive.

Linked: How to Produce an AutoHotkey Script


Supply connection