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 critical? On comprehensive-dimension keyboards, you will come across it to the left of your suitable Ctrl important. This vital opens context menus, but you can tweak it to make it a lot more useful.

Where’s the Menu Vital on Your Keyboard?

Position of the menu key highlighted on a physical keyboard

On full-size keyboards, the menu vital is situated between the appropriate Home windows important and the suitable Ctrl key to the proper of the Space bar. The menu vital is also occasionally termed the “application important.”

Some smaller keyboards—for case in point, laptop keyboards—omit the menu important to conserve room. Other smaller sized keyboards omit the right Windows important and go away the menu vital amongst the proper Alt and Ctrl keys.

Possibly way, if your keyboard has a menu critical, it’ll be to the left of your right Ctrl key. It does not have the word “menu” printed on it—it has a minor picture that appears to be like like a menu. This photograph isn’t standardized and will look distinctive on distinct keyboards. At times it reveals a compact pointer hovering over a menu and from time to time it looks like a stylized menu—a sq. or rectangle with some horizontal traces within it.

What’s the Menu Important For?

The menu essential opens a context menu for your latest application. It is essentially like correct-clicking on your assortment in the software.

Test it—press the menu essential when viewing this world-wide-web web page and you’ll see your world-wide-web browser’s context menu, just as if you had correct-clicked on the website page.

This is critical is helpful if you really don’t have a mouse or never have a mouse with a right mouse button. It performs in several different apps. If you choose a file or folder in File Explorer and push the menu vital, you will see a context menu just as if you experienced proper-clicked on the file.

Context menu open in File Explorer

This important would make it probable to use the context menu with just the keyboard and without a mouse. Press the menu key, use the arrow keys to pick out an possibility, and press Enter to activate it. Pick out text or other aspects with keyboard shortcuts and push the menu key to activate context menu options—all without having your arms leaving the keyboard.

Microsoft is now talking about converting this crucial into an Place of work important to match the Home windows crucial. Most Pc people probable don’t touch this important, which explains why Microsoft is floating the idea of switching it. It’s a little bit of a relic, like the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause Break keys.

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

Shift+F10 Can Operate Like a Menu Critical, Way too

Shift and F10 keys highlighted on a PC keyboard

If your keyboard doesn’t have a menu critical, but you want to open a context menu with a keyboard shortcut, in no way fear. You can press Change+F10 in most apps to open up a context menu. It is essentially the exact same matter as the menu important.

This doesn’t function in just about every software, however—it relies upon on the apps. If nothing at all takes place in the software you’re utilizing, check out Ctrl+Shift+F10.

How to Remap the Menu Essential

The menu critical is not pretty as annoying as the Home windows key, which can take you out of video games and other total-display apps if you accidentally push it. Having said that, you could want to alter the conduct of the menu key and have it do something more useful. Just after all, that is primary keyboard serious estate likely to waste if you’re not making use of the crucial.

We like SharpKeys for quickly remapping a vital to an additional key. You can remap keys in the Home windows Registry, but it’s much much more challenging. SharpKeys supplies a handy graphical interface that customizes the fundamental registry values for you.

After putting in and launching SharpKeys, click the “Add” button to add a new remapping.

SharpKeys window showing Add button

Find “Special: Software (E0_5D)” in the still left pane. You can also click “Type Key” and push the menu key—as we described over, it’s occasionally called the “application essential,” as it is listed here.

In the appropriate pane, pick out whichever crucial you want to remap the menu vital to. For case in point, you can pick “Web: Back” and the vital will purpose as a back key in your internet browser and any other software that supports this critical.

When you’re accomplished, click on “OK.”

Remapping the menu key in SharpKeys

Click on “Write to Registry” to create your alterations to the Home windows Registry. You are going to now have to near the SharpKeys window and then either reboot your Personal computer or sign out and sign back in. Your alterations will choose influence when you next indication in.

If you want to improve what the crucial does or undo your improvements, open SharpKeys at the time all over again, find your rule, and use the “Edit” or “Delete” button to modify or delete it. Compose your changes to the registry and then indicator out and back 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 Home windows key operate as other keys.

How to Customise the Menu Crucial Employing AutoHotkey

For much more state-of-the-art customization, we propose AutoHotkey. You can use AutoHotkey to generate a speedy small script that will pay attention for the menu crucial and execute other actions when you push it. In AutoHotkey, this important is termed the “AppsKey.”

For case in point, the adhering to line in an AutoHotkey script will disable the menu vital (“AppsKey”) and induce it to do almost nothing (“Return”):


This code in an AutoHotkey script will pay attention for the menu vital and start Microsoft Phrase when you press it:


Making the menu key launch Word with an AutoHotkey script

There is a great probability the menu important will go absent at some level. With keyboards even now owning Scroll Lock keys, nevertheless, there’s a good chance the menu key will still be close to for many years to come.

Associated: How to Generate an AutoHotkey Script


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