Windows 7 and Windows Vista already include the useful Copy as Path option in the context menu, which helps you quickly copy the complete path of the selected file or folder to the Clipboard.

Earlier, we added the Add to Quick Launch and Open file location options to the context menu in Windows XP, as in Windows 7/Vista. This post explains how to add the Copy as Path functionality in Windows XP via the context menu.

There are two methods discussed, both of them require the Clip.exe file from Microsoft. Clip.exe redirects command-line output to the Windows Clipboard. For example, typing the command dir | clip in a Command Prompt window places a copy of the current directory listing into the Windows clipboard.

Note: When using the Copy as Path command after following the steps in Method 1, you’ll see a Command Prompt window opening and closing briefly. Method 2 uses a VBScript which launches the Command Prompt window in invisible mode.

Download Clip.exe from the Microsoft FTP site here and save the file to your Windows directory.

(To open the Windows directory in your system, click Start – Run, type %systemroot% and press ENTER.)

Then, follow one of the methods below.

METHOD 1

Download copypath.reg and save it to the Desktop. Right-click on the file and choose Merge. Click Yes when asked for confirmation.

METHOD 2

Download copypath.vbs and save it to your Windows directory.

Double-click copypath.vbs to run it.

Press ENTER when you see the following prompt:

To remove the Copy as Path context menu option, double-click the copypath.vbs file, type UNINSTALL and press ENTER. Then delete the file copypath.vbs manually from your Windows directory.

After following one of the methods above, Copy as Path option will be added to the context menu. To copy a file or folder path to Clipboard, press and hold the SHIFT key, right-click on the file or folder and click Copy as Path.

Additional Tip: If you want to make the Copy as Path command always available (without needing to use the SHIFT key), simply delete the value named Extended in the registry location below, using the Registry Editor:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Allfilesystemobjects \ shell \ CopyPath

If you think of any other script ideas, feel free to post them in the Comments section below :)


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9 Comments

  1. Tim
    said this on Wednesday, April 10th 2013 8:22 pm

    Is there any way to modify the program to use the full network address to a mapped drive rather than the letter name? For example: “\\servername\folder\file” rather than “X:\folder\file”

  2. said this on Monday, January 2nd 2012 9:05 pm

    Hi! I have a problem with copying files, the solution here:
    http://runakay.blogspot.com/2011/12/problem-copying-large-path-files.html

  3. said this on Monday, July 18th 2011 10:57 am

    To remove the Copy as Path context menu option, double-click the copypath.vbs file, type UNINSTALL and press ENTER. Then delete the file copypath.vbs manually from your Windows directory.

  4. l3ny
    said this on Monday, July 18th 2011 4:11 am

    How do i uninstall Clip.exe, I don’t like the cmd window popping up.
    thanks

  5. Juha
    said this on Thursday, March 17th 2011 7:49 pm

    Works, but messes up non-ascii characters (e.g. the scandinavian ä and ö).

  6. Jonathan Daggar
    said this on Friday, June 25th 2010 12:50 am

    Rather than use the clip.exe, I use the ancient but perfectly functional SendtoX power toy from windows 95 days. It works perfectly with every copy of XP I’ve tried it on. There’s a mirror of them here: http://www.ise.ufl.edu/kisko/files/freeware/Powertoy%20-%20Win95%20tools%20from%20Microsoft/

  7. Tom
    said this on Saturday, February 6th 2010 4:44 pm

    Awe_some!

    I just discovered your site, Ramesh, and I wish I’d discovered it five years ago! I’m finding so many little tips I wish I’d had — Download Places (got rid of the default My Documents, that I never use) — this one, which saves a LOT of hand-typing as well as clicking … I’m sure I’ll find many more! Can’t wait to browse the rest of the site.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  8. mike
    said this on Wednesday, August 12th 2009 1:37 am

    I had to remove the quotes from the copied text to work with the web app I’m pasting a path into. Goto HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shell\CopyPath\command and alter the default key to %comspec% /c echo %1|clip.exe , really just removing the quotes from around the percent1 pipe clip.exe

  9. Eric
    said this on Wednesday, September 17th 2008 9:45 pm

    Nevermind, figured it out myself.

    After a little digging, I found this page: http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/add-copy-as-path-option-to-the-context-menu-in-windows-xp/

    So, if using your Method 2, replace line 20 and 21, which were:
    WshShell.run “%comspec% /c ” & “echo ” & chr(34) & _
    WScript.Arguments.Item(0) & chr(34) & “| clip.exe”,0

    with:

    WshShell.run “%comspec% /c ” & “<nul (set/p anyvariable=” & chr(34) & _
    WScript.Arguments.Item(0) & chr(34) & “)| clip.exe”,0

    This gives you the bonus of no quote marks as well.

    Or, if using Method 1, use regedit to replace the value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFileSystemObjects\shell\CopyPath\command
    Originally, this is: %comspec% /c echo “%1″|clip.exe
    Change it to: %comspec% /c <nul (set/p anyvariable=”%1″)|clip.exe

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