Microsoft has decided to remove several context menu entries from Windows 7's Windows Explorer context menu if more than 15 items are selected at once.
The open, print and edit links are specifically removed whenever more than 15 files or folders are selected. This limit may affect context menu entries of other programs as well.
The reason for the behavior? Apparently to protect users from "accidentally performing these actions on a large number of files". While that may make sense some times, it does not if you want to perform one of the missing operations on the selected files.
Take a look at the screenshots below. First a screenshot when one file is selected:
Now compare that context menu with one when 16 files are selected in Windows Explorer.
Notice the difference? Several context menu entries that programs have added are removed, for instance the option to securely delete the selected files or to run the files sandboxed.
The only option to correct the situation is to add a new key to the Windows Registry. But first, lets take a look at a screenshot that shows the same situation with the Registry setting in place:
Notice that some of the context menu entries are visible again. Please note that some are missing because of the mix of file types.
A parameter needs to be added to the Windows Registry to change the limit of the context menu. The fastest way to open the Registry Editor is to press Windows-R, type regedit, and the return key afterwards.
Navigate to the following Registry key
and look for the entry MultipleInvokePromptMinimum on the right side. If it is there good, if not create it with a right-click on the right side and the selection of New > DWORD (32-Bit Value). Copy and paste the name from above into the text field and hit return.
Double-click the item afterwards and change the Value data to 16.
16 is interpreted by Windows as unlimited.
The change is immediate and it is a good idea to test it right away in Windows Explorer. Keep the Registry editor window open in case you need to make changes to the parameter.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.