How To Add Search To Context Menu In Windows 7/8/10

We all know that Search is a must-have feature for any operating system. Since Windows 8 doesn’t have Start Menu, the search has been shifted to Charms Bar or by you can bring it up by pressing Windows Key + Q. New users are sometimes confused by this change, so it would be beneficial for them if they can make a search directly from the context menu of their current directory.

In this article, I’ll tell you the manual way to add the search option to context menus at different locations of your Windows PC using Registry Editor

Add Search To Context Menus

1. Press Windows Key + R combination on keyboard and type Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box. Press OK.

2. Navigate to following location:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CABFolder\shell\find

3. In the right pane of this location, create a string with Value Name as Icon and put its Value Data equals to imageres.dll,-177.

Also ensure that there must have 32-bit value for SuppresionPolicy is 80.

4. Repeat step 3 for these locations as well:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\find

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\find

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Search

5. Now rush to this location:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search\command

In case you didn’t found HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search\command, then go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell\Search and create a subkey as command.

In the right pane of this location, edit the Default string with Value Data as explorer.exe search-ms:.

6. Repeat the step 5 for this location also:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Search\command

That’s it! You can now make searches directly from the right-click context menu.

Have fun searching!

These tips on how to search in Windows 8 may also interest you.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.

7 Comments

  1. PMS Witch

    I struggled to get this to work. Maybe I misread the instructions. When I finally succeeded, here’s the .REG file that worked.

    Cheers, PW.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    ; Add Search to Context Menu for Drive, Folder, Cabinets, & DeskTop

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCABFoldershellSearch]
    “Icon”=”imageres.dll,-177″

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCABFoldershellSearchcommand]
    @=”explorer.exe search-ms:”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshellSearch]
    “Icon”=”imageres.dll,-177″

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshellSearchcommand]
    @=”explorer.exe search-ms:”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDriveshellSearch]
    “Icon”=”imageres.dll,-177″

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDriveshellSearchcommand]
    @=”explorer.exe search-ms:”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundshellSearch]
    “Icon”=”imageres.dll,-177″

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellSearchcommand]
    @=”explorer.exe search-ms:”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}shellSearch]
    “Icon”=”imageres.dll,-177″

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}shellSearchcommand]
    @=”explorer.exe search-ms:”

  2. Btan31

    the “Search” at the end of “[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundshellSearch]” doesn’t exist. what i see when i expand “shell” are the words “Display and Personalize”.

  3. Hello Btan31, welcome to TWC 🙂

    If you’re unable to found HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundshellSearch, then go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundshell and create a subkey Search and in the right pane of it create a string named Icon and put its value data equals to imageres.dll,-177.

    Then create subkey of Search and name it as command, edit its default string with value data equal to explorer.exe search-ms:.

    Hope this helps, Goodluck 🙂

  4. Thewindowsclub Tgv

    I just tried this on my 64-Bit Windows 7 Workstation and it did not work. I went back and double checked all values.

  5. Btan31

    Thank you Kapil Arya.

  6. Djaenul Arifin

    Thank you so much Kapil Arya for your great tips. I’ve just finished to add “search” on Win7 context menu. And I have to add improvement otherwise it won’t work, as follows :

    1. For CabFolder : (which i think it’s not necessary)
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCABFoldershellsearch
    String Value
    Value Name : Icon
    Value Data : imageres.dll,-177
    DWORD (32-bit) Value
    Value Name : SuppressionPolicy
    Value Data : 80 (Base: Hexadimal)

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCABFoldershellsearchcommand
    Change the deafult value data to be “explore.exe search-ms:” (without “)

    2. For Drive:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDriveshellSearch
    String Value
    Value Name : Icon
    Value Data : imageres.dll,-177
    DWORD (32-bit) Value
    Value Name : SuppressionPolicy
    Value Data : 80 (Base: Hexadimal)

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDriveshellSearchcommand
    Change the deafult value data to be “explore.exe search-ms:” (without “)

    3. For Directory or Folder
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshellSearch
    String Value
    Value Name : Icon
    Value Data : imageres.dll,-177
    DWORD (32-bit) Value
    Value Name : SuppressionPolicy
    Value Data : 80 (Base: Hexadimal)

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshellSearchcommand
    Change the deafult value data to be “explore.exe search-ms:” (without “)

    4. For My Computer/Computer
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}shellSearch
    String Value
    Value Name : Icon
    Value Data : imageres.dll,-177
    DWORD (32-bit) Value
    Value Name : SuppressionPolicy
    Value Data : 80 (Base: Hexadimal)

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}shellSearchcommand
    Change the deafult value data to be “explore.exe search-ms:” (without “)

    5. For Desktop
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellSearch
    String Value
    Value Name : Icon
    Value Data : imageres.dll,-177
    DWORD (32-bit) Value
    Value Name : SuppressionPolicy
    Value Data : 80 (Base: Hexadimal)

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellSearchcommand
    Change the deafult value data to be “explore.exe search-ms:” (without “)

    I added search key and command subkey as they were not there before for each parrent key

  7. aNYagenda

    Thank you.

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