The Power of the Right-Click

"Send to" - A Versatile Feature of the Context Menu

Find out the many ways to make the very useful function called "Send to" work for you. Learn how to add or delete options of your choice from this right-click context menu item.

Many PC users are unaware that there is a quick and easy way in Windows to do such useful things as opening new programs or moving or copying files from the right-click. All of these can be done from the "Send to" menu. Sadly, this useful and quite versatile feature of the right-click context menu seems to be much under-utilized. This may be true in part because realizing its full power requires customization by the user. However, the steps necessary to modify the "Send To" menu to suit your own needs are actually quite easy. Learn the process of adding functions and you will be provided with a whole new array of useful ways to do things.

Basics of the "Send to" Feature

The "Send to" function is a standard entry in the right-click context menu for files and folders. Figure 1 below shows the basic Send-to menu for a new installation of Windows 7. Once you begin using a system, applications will sometimes place additional entries. Also, if you attach drives, they will be listed.

Figure 1. Basic "Send to" menu
Basic Send-to menu

Use the Shift key to open extended "Send to" menu

There is also an extended "Send to" menu with additional entries that is shown when you hold down the Shift key while right-clicking. A basic example is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Extended "Send to" menu
Extended Send-to menu

How to manually put your own choices in the Send To menu

The great utility of the "Send to" menu comes from the ease of changing things. The contents are actually shortcuts placed in a hidden file:
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

In Windows 7, you can open this file by entering shell:sendto (with no spaces) in the Start search bar. In Windows 8, open the Run box with the keyboard shortcut: Winkey+R. Then enter shell:sendto.

Place a shortcut in this folder to any application's executable file or a shortcut to any folder that you wish to appear in the "Send to" menu. Conversely, you can delete shortcuts to those entries you wish to remove from the menu.

Add your favorite folder to "Send to"

Make your favorite folders readily accessible as a destination from almost anywhere by placing an entry for them in "Send to". Then any time you wish to copy a file to your folders, they are right at hand. Placing a folder in the “Send To” menu is simply a matter of adding a shortcut from the desired folder into the SendTo folder.

Example of an added program

“Send to” also provides a way to use a program to open (or try to open) any file of your choice regardless of file associations. For example, I often like to use Notepad as a safe way to check out the contents of suspicious files. Notepad is normally associated only with text files with extension TXT but it can be added to the “Send to” menu and used to look at any file. Create a shortcut to Notepad.exe and place it in the SendTo folder. Other programs of your choice can be added in the same way.

A Useful Program for Managing the "Send to" Menu

A way to make the "Send to" function even more powerful is provided by the free program Send To Toys. It provides an easy-to-use interface for adding new functions and managing existing ones. I give details about this useful application at this link.