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


Menu key between Alt and Ctrl keys on a PC keyboard
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Did you know your keyboard has a menu essential? On entire-dimension keyboards, you will discover it to the remaining of your right Ctrl crucial. This vital opens context menus, but you can tweak it to make it far more practical.

Where’s the Menu Essential on Your Keyboard?

Position of the menu key highlighted on a physical keyboard

On full-sizing keyboards, the menu vital is situated in between the correct Windows crucial and the proper Ctrl crucial to the ideal of the Space bar. The menu important is also sometimes termed the “application essential.”

Some smaller keyboards—for example, laptop computer keyboards—omit the menu crucial to preserve house. Other more compact keyboards omit the proper Home windows critical and go away the menu vital amongst the ideal Alt and Ctrl keys.

Possibly way, if your keyboard has a menu crucial, it’ll be to the remaining of your suitable Ctrl essential. It does not have the term “menu” printed on it—it has a small photo that looks like a menu. This photograph isn’t standardized and will glance unique on distinctive keyboards. At times it exhibits a modest pointer hovering higher than a menu and sometimes it seems to be like a stylized menu—a square or rectangle with some horizontal traces within it.

What’s the Menu Vital For?

The menu crucial opens a context menu for your present-day application. It’s mainly like right-clicking on your choice in the software.

Test it—press the menu important even though viewing this net web page and you are going to see your world-wide-web browser’s context menu, just as if you experienced ideal-clicked on the web site.

This is essential is valuable if you do not have a mouse or really do not have a mouse with a correct mouse button. It performs in many distinct applications. If you pick out a file or folder in File Explorer and push the menu essential, you are going to see a context menu just as if you experienced correct-clicked on the file.

Context menu open in File Explorer

This essential would make it feasible to use the context menu with just the keyboard and without the need of a mouse. Press the menu vital, use the arrow keys to decide on an solution, and press Enter to activate it. Pick out textual content or other things with keyboard shortcuts and press the menu important to activate context menu options—all with no your palms leaving the keyboard.

Microsoft is now speaking about changing this vital into an Business essential to match the Windows crucial. Most Computer end users possible never touch this important, which explains why Microsoft is floating the strategy of transforming it. It is a bit of a relic, like the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause Split keys.

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

Shift+F10 Can Operate Like a Menu Crucial, Far too

Shift and F10 keys highlighted on a PC keyboard

If your keyboard doesn’t have a menu vital, but you want to open up a context menu with a keyboard shortcut, by no means dread. You can push Shift+F10 in most applications to open up a context menu. It’s fundamentally the very same point as the menu key.

This doesn’t operate in each and every application, however—it depends on the applications. If very little transpires in the software you’re using, attempt Ctrl+Change+F10.

How to Remap the Menu Important

The menu critical is not pretty as irritating as the Home windows important, which can get you out of video games and other complete-display programs if you unintentionally push it. On the other hand, you might want to alter the actions of the menu crucial and have it do some thing much more practical. Just after all, that’s prime keyboard actual estate going to waste if you’re not applying the key.

We like SharpKeys for speedily remapping a critical to one more vital. You can remap keys in the Home windows Registry, but it is a great deal a lot more difficult. SharpKeys gives a easy graphical interface that customizes the fundamental registry values for you.

Just after putting in and launching SharpKeys, click on the “Add” button to insert a new remapping.

SharpKeys window showing Add button

Find “Special: Application (E0_5D)” in the left pane. You can also click on “Type Key” and push the menu key—as we mentioned previously mentioned, it’s from time to time called the “application important,” as it is listed here.

In the ideal pane, find whichever important you want to remap the menu critical to. For example, you can pick out “Web: Back” and the essential will perform as a back again critical in your internet browser and any other software that supports this crucial.

When you’re accomplished, click “OK.”

Remapping the menu key in SharpKeys

Simply click “Write to Registry” to publish your improvements to the Windows Registry. You’ll now have to shut the SharpKeys window and then either reboot your Computer system or signal out and signal again in. Your variations will just take influence when you following signal in.

If you want to modify what the vital does or undo your changes, open up SharpKeys at the time again, find your rule, and use the “Edit” or “Delete” button to modify or delete it. Produce your modifications to the registry and then sign out and again in once again.

Write to Registry button in SharpKeys

You can use SharpKeys to reassign other keys, too—for illustration, you can make the Caps Lock or Windows key function as other keys.

How to Customize the Menu Essential Applying AutoHotkey

For additional advanced customization, we suggest AutoHotkey. You can use AutoHotkey to create a fast minor script that will hear for the menu important and perform other actions when you press it. In AutoHotkey, this important is called the “AppsKey.”

For example, the next line in an AutoHotkey script will disable the menu vital (“AppsKey”) and result in it to do practically nothing (“Return”):


This code in an AutoHotkey script will pay attention for the menu critical and launch Microsoft Term when you press it:


Making the menu key launch Word with an AutoHotkey script

There is a excellent chance the menu critical will go absent at some level. With keyboards nevertheless possessing Scroll Lock keys, on the other hand, there’s a very good probability the menu critical will even now be close to for decades to come.

Relevant: How to Publish an AutoHotkey Script


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