Add “Settings” Cascading Context Menu on the Desktop in Windows 10

Microsoft has moved most of the Control Panel features into the Settings UI in Windows 10, and at some point the classic Control Panel may be removed altogether. The Settings panel has different categories: System, Devices, Phone, Network & Internet, Personalization, Apps, Accounts, Time & language, Gaming, Ease of Access, Cortana, Privacy, Update & security, and Mixed reality.

All those categories have different sub-pages, most of which are accessible using the ms-settings: URI command directly. The list of ms-settings: URI is documented in post Launch Windows 10 Settings Pages using ms-settings URL shortcuts, and here by Microsoft.

Add “Settings” Context Menu on the Desktop

If you want to add those Windows 10 “Settings” categories into your desktop right-click cascading menu, use the registry edit discussed in this post. No administrative privileges required to apply this registry edit, as we’re implementing the cascading menu only for the current user profile.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings]
"Position"="Middle"
"Icon"="SystemSettingsBroker.exe"
"SubCommands"=""

; Settings home
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\01subcmd]
"Icon"="SystemSettingsBroker.exe"
"MUIVerb"="Settings"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\01subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:"

; System
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\02subcmd]
"CommandFlags"=dword:00000020
"MUIVerb"="System"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\02subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:display"

; Devices
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\03subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Devices"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\03subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:bluetooth"

; Network & Internet
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\04subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Network && Internet"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\04subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:network"

; Personalization
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\05subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Personalization"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\05subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:personalization"

; Apps
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\06subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Apps"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\06subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:appsfeatures"

; Accounts
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\07subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Accounts"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\07subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:yourinfo"

; Time & language
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\08subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Time && language"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\08subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:dateandtime"

; Gaming
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\09subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Gaming"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\09subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:gaming-gamebar"

; Ease of Access
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\10subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Ease of Access"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\10subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:easeofaccess-narrator"

; Cortana
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\11subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Cortana"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\11subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:cortana"

; Privacy
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\12subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Privacy"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\12subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:privacy"

; Update & security
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\13subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Update && security"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\13subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:windowsupdate"

; Mixed Reality
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\14subcmd]
"MUIVerb"="Mixed Reality"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings\shell\14subcmd\command]
@="explorer ms-settings:holographic"

Copy the above contents to Notepad, and save the file as settings-menu.reg. Double-click on the REG file to apply the settings to the registry. Right-click an empty area on the desktop, and you’ll see the “Settings” cascading context menu in the middle.

ms-settings URI Settings context menu on desktop

You can configure where the Settings menu appears: Top, Middle and Bottom are the accepted values. The REG file sets the position to Middle — change it accordingly by modifying the following line in the REG file before (re)applying it.

"Position"="Middle"

How to Remove Settings Context Menu?

To remove the Settings context menu entry, start the Registry Editor regedit.exe and go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\DesktopBackground\Shell\Settings

Right-click on the Settings key and choose Delete. Exit the Registry Editor.

Similar Context Menu Tweaks of Interest

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

1 thought on “Add “Settings” Cascading Context Menu on the Desktop in Windows 10

  1. You see a lot of these types of “fixes” listed on various web pages. This one is actually pretty useful. Thank you!

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