What Is the Menu Key For? (and How to Remap It)

ByJosephine J. Romero

Jul 2, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
What Is the Menu Key For? (and How to Remap It)


Menu key between Alt and Ctrl keys on a PC keyboard
Everything You Need/Shutterstock.com

Did you know your keyboard has a menu key? On entire-measurement keyboards, you’ll obtain it to the still left of your appropriate Ctrl crucial. This critical opens context menus, but you can tweak it to make it much more valuable.

Where’s the Menu Essential on Your Keyboard?

Position of the menu key highlighted on a physical keyboard

On total-measurement keyboards, the menu vital is situated concerning the right Windows key and the ideal Ctrl critical to the proper of the Space bar. The menu important is also at times called the “application crucial.”

Some scaled-down keyboards—for example, laptop keyboards—omit the menu vital to help save room. Other smaller keyboards omit the right Home windows important and go away the menu critical among the suitable Alt and Ctrl keys.

Possibly way, if your keyboard has a menu crucial, it’ll be to the left of your suitable Ctrl important. It does not have the phrase “menu” printed on it—it has a little photo that seems like a menu. This image is not standardized and will search distinctive on various keyboards. From time to time it exhibits a smaller pointer hovering higher than a menu and sometimes it seems to be like a stylized menu—a square or rectangle with some horizontal strains within it.

What is the Menu Vital For?

The menu critical opens a context menu for your present application. It is in essence like correct-clicking on your variety in the application.

Check out it—press the menu crucial though viewing this world wide web web page and you’ll see your website browser’s context menu, just as if you had proper-clicked on the web page.

This is vital is useful if you do not have a mouse or really don’t have a mouse with a right mouse button. It will work in several various applications. If you find a file or folder in File Explorer and press the menu important, you’ll see a context menu just as if you had suitable-clicked on the file.

Context menu open in File Explorer

This key can make it attainable to use the context menu with just the keyboard and with no a mouse. Press the menu key, use the arrow keys to select an possibility, and push Enter to activate it. Pick text or other factors with keyboard shortcuts and push the menu key to activate context menu options—all without having your palms leaving the keyboard.

Microsoft is now talking about converting this crucial into an Business important to match the Windows key. Most Laptop people probable never touch this important, which explains why Microsoft is floating the plan of shifting it. It’s a little bit of a relic, like the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause Crack keys.

Connected: What Are the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause Crack Keys on My Keyboard?

Shift+F10 Can Functionality Like a Menu Vital, Way too

Shift and F10 keys highlighted on a PC keyboard

If your keyboard doesn’t have a menu critical, but you want to open up a context menu with a keyboard shortcut, never ever anxiety. You can press Change+F10 in most apps to open a context menu. It is generally the very same point as the menu crucial.

This doesn’t do the job in just about every software, however—it relies upon on the purposes. If nothing at all transpires in the application you’re employing, test Ctrl+Shift+F10.

How to Remap the Menu Important

The menu essential is not very as aggravating as the Home windows essential, which can take you out of online games and other comprehensive-monitor purposes if you accidentally push it. Even so, you might want to adjust the conduct of the menu crucial and have it do a thing additional beneficial. Soon after all, which is primary keyboard genuine estate heading to waste if you’re not applying the important.

We like SharpKeys for promptly remapping a essential to a different vital. You can remap keys in the Home windows Registry, but it is much a lot more complex. SharpKeys offers a convenient graphical interface that customizes the fundamental registry values for you.

Soon after installing and launching SharpKeys, click on the “Add” button to include a new remapping.

SharpKeys window showing Add button

Pick “Special: Application (E0_5D)” in the left pane. You can also click “Type Key” and push the menu key—as we stated higher than, it’s in some cases identified as the “application important,” as it is right here.

In the right pane, select no matter what crucial you want to remap the menu important to. For case in point, you can opt for “Web: Back” and the crucial will perform as a back key in your internet browser and any other software that supports this critical.

When you’re accomplished, simply click “OK.”

Remapping the menu key in SharpKeys

Click on “Write to Registry” to create your adjustments to the Windows Registry. You will now have to near the SharpKeys window and then both reboot your Computer or sign out and signal back again in. Your improvements will choose influence when you future sign in.

If you want to alter what the crucial does or undo your variations, open SharpKeys once all over again, decide on your rule, and use the “Edit” or “Delete” button to modify or delete it. Compose your adjustments to the registry and then indicator out and back in once again.

Write to Registry button in SharpKeys

You can use SharpKeys to reassign other keys, too—for example, you can make the Caps Lock or Windows essential function as other keys.

How to Customize the Menu Key Employing AutoHotkey

For more advanced customization, we suggest AutoHotkey. You can use AutoHotkey to produce a rapid tiny script that will listen for the menu essential and execute other steps when you press it. In AutoHotkey, this essential is called the “AppsKey.”

For illustration, the next line in an AutoHotkey script will disable the menu important (“AppsKey”) and induce it to do practically nothing (“Return”):


This code in an AutoHotkey script will listen for the menu important and start Microsoft Phrase when you press it:


Making the menu key launch Word with an AutoHotkey script

There’s a superior prospect the menu important will go absent at some point. With keyboards nonetheless acquiring Scroll Lock keys, nonetheless, there is a very good likelihood the menu vital will however be around for a long time to arrive.

Associated: How to Create an AutoHotkey Script


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