What Is The Menu Key For? (and Learn how to Remap It)


Do you know your keyboard has a menu key? On full-size keyboards, you’ll discover it to the left of your proper Ctrl key. This key opens context menus, however you’ll be able to tweak it to make it extra helpful.

The place’s the Menu Key on Your Keyboard?


On full-size keyboards, the menu key’s situated between the suitable Home windows key and the suitable Ctrl key to the suitable of the Area bar. The menu key can be typically referred to as the “software key.”

Some smaller keyboards—for instance, laptop computer keyboards—omit the menu key to avoid wasting area. Different smaller keyboards omit the suitable Home windows key and depart the menu key between the suitable Alt and Ctrl keys.

Both manner, in case your keyboard has a menu key, it’ll be to the left of your proper Ctrl key. It doesn’t have the phrase “menu” printed on it—it has a little bit image that appears like a menu. This image isn’t standardized and can look completely different on completely different keyboards. Typically it reveals a small pointer hovering above a menu and typically it appears like a stylized menu—a sq. or rectangle with some horizontal strains inside it.

What’s the Menu Key For?

The menu key opens a context menu in your present software. It’s mainly like right-clicking in your choice within the software.

Strive it—press the menu key whereas viewing this internet web page and also you’ll see your internet browser’s context menu, simply as in the event you had right-clicked on the web page.

That is key’s helpful in the event you don’t have a mouse or don’t have a mouse with a proper mouse button. It really works in many alternative purposes. If you choose a file or folder in File Explorer and press the menu key, you’ll see a context menu simply as in the event you had right-clicked on the file.


This key makes it potential to make use of the context menu with simply the keyboard and with out a mouse. Press the menu key, use the arrow keys to pick an possibility, and press Enter to activate it. Choose textual content or different components with keyboard shortcuts and press the menu key to activate context menu choices—all with out your palms leaving the keyboard.

Microsoft is now speaking about changing this key into an Workplace key to match the Home windows key. Most PC customers possible don’t contact this key, which explains why Microsoft is floating the thought of adjusting it. It’s a little bit of a relic, like the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause Break keys.

Shift+F10 Can Operate Like a Menu Key, Too



In case your keyboard doesn’t have a menu key, however you need to open a context menu with a keyboard shortcut, by no means concern. You possibly can press Shift+F10 in most purposes to open a context menu. It’s mainly the identical factor because the menu key.

This doesn’t work in each software, nevertheless—it will depend on the purposes. If nothing occurs within the software you’re utilizing, strive Ctrl+Shift+F10.

Learn how to Remap the Menu Key

The menu key isn’t fairly as annoying because the Home windows key, which might take you out of video games and different full-screen purposes in the event you by chance press it. Nevertheless, it’s possible you’ll need to change the habits of the menu key and have it do one thing extra helpful. In spite of everything, that’s prime keyboard actual property going to waste in the event you’re not utilizing the important thing.

We like SharpKeys for rapidly remapping a key to a different key. You possibly can remap keys within the Home windows Registry, however it’s way more sophisticated. SharpKeys supplies a handy graphical interface that customizes the underlying registry values for you.

After putting in and launching SharpKeys, click on the “Add” button so as to add a brand new remapping.


Choose “Particular: Software (E0_5D)” within the left pane. You may as well click on “Kind Key” and press the menu key—as we talked about above, it’s typically referred to as the “software key,” as it’s right here.

In the suitable pane, choose no matter key you need to remap the menu key to. For instance, you’ll be able to select “Net: Again” and the important thing will perform as a again key in your internet browser and another software that helps this key.

While you’re performed, click on “OK.”


Click on “Write to Registry” to jot down your adjustments to the Home windows Registry. You’ll now have to shut the SharpKeys window after which both reboot your PC or signal out and signal again in. Your adjustments will take impact while you subsequent register.

If you wish to change what the important thing does or undo your adjustments, open SharpKeys as soon as once more, choose your rule, and use the “Edit” or “Delete” button to change or delete it. Write your adjustments to the registry after which signal out and again in once more.


You need to use SharpKeys to reassign different keys, too—for instance, you may make the Caps Lock or Home windows key perform as different keys.

Learn how to Customise the Menu Key Utilizing AutoHotkey

For extra superior customization, we advocate AutoHotkey. You possibly can use AutoHotkey to jot down a fast little script that may pay attention for the menu key and carry out different actions while you press it. In AutoHotkey, this key known as the “AppsKey.”

For instance, the next line in an AutoHotkey script will disable the menu key (“AppsKey”) and trigger it to do nothing (“Return”):


This code in an AutoHotkey script will pay attention for the menu key and launch Microsoft Phrase while you press it:





There’s an excellent probability the menu key will go away sooner or later. With keyboards nonetheless having Scroll Lock keys, nevertheless, there’s an excellent probability the menu key will nonetheless be round for many years to return.