Add “Edit HOSTS file” option in the context menu

The HOSTS file, originally introduced to resolve hostnames to IP addresses, is also an effective tool to block Malware. To modify the HOSTS file in Windows, you need to elevate Notepad.exe or any other text editor which you use. Otherwise, you’ll see the following error when trying to save the HOSTS file:

Cannot create the C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file.

Make sure that the path and the file name are correct.



Here is a registry edit which adds the Edit HOSTS file option in the (This PC) Computer context menu, which when clicked, runs Notepad.exe elevated and opens the HOSTS file for you. This uses the runas verb for elevation.

“Edit HOSTS File” context menu option

  • Download edit-hosts-context-menu.zip and save to Desktop
  • Extract the files EditHosts.reg and undo.reg to a folder
  • Double-click EditHosts.reg to apply the contents to the registry. Click Yes when asked for confirmation.

    Edit HOSTS file option is now in the context menu of This PC (Computer).

  • To remove Edit HOSTS file from the context menu, apply the undo.reg file.

Related Posts

We’ve used the runas verb in the past to do the following:


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

1 thought on “Add “Edit HOSTS file” option in the context menu”

  1. Remove_Edit_HOSTS_file_to_(My) Computer_Context_Menu.reg

    And for those who wish to remove it again, Enter the following in notepad and save as .reg file.

    For Example: (Remove_Edit_HOSTS_file_to_(My) Computer_Context_Menu.reg)

    Enter the following, WITHOUT the Asterisks…
    ************************************
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    ;EditHosts.reg – created on March 25, 2008
    ;Created by Ramesh Srinivasan, https://www.winhelponline.com
    ;Desc: Adds the “Edit HOSTS file” context menu option to Computer (My Computer)
    ;Desc: Starts Notepad under elevated user rights to edit the HOSTS file.

    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\runas]
    ************************************

    Hope this helps someone, enjoy… (“,

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