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Windows XP and Vista expert tweaking guide

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Right-click to open a command prompt

Got a problem with Windows? There's no need to put up with elements that don't suit you. We've got the tools to help you get XP or Vista looking and acting just right.

To accomplish certain tasks, such as mass deleting or renaming of files, the command prompt is the ideal tool.

Often, you'll combine its use with Windows Explorer. Because of this, you may want to open the command prompt at the folder that's your current location in Explorer.

But wouldn't it be nice to add an option to the right-click context menu that would open a command prompt at your current folder? For example, if you were to right-click the C:\My Stuff folder, you could then open a command prompt directly at C:\My Stuff.

1. In Vista, it's easy to do. Hold down Shift when you right-click in a folder window and a new option appears on the context menu: 'Open Command Window Here'. Select it and there you are – in an appropriately located command prompt.

2. In XP, that option doesn't appear, but you can add it with a Registry tweak. Launch the Registry Editor by typing 'regedit' at the Start Search box, then go to Hkey_Local_Machine\Software\Classes\Folder\shell.

3. Create a new key called 'Command Prompt'. For the default value, enter the text you want to appear when you right-click a folder – for example, 'Open Command Prompt'.

4. Create a subkey beneath the Command Prompt key called 'Command'. Set the default value to 'Cmd.exe /k pushd %'.

5. Exit the Registry. The new menu option will show up immediately. Note that it won't appear when you right-click a file; it shows up only when you right-click a folder.

Open command prompt

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