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How to Set Up Windows Tools Shortcuts in Windows 11



Windows 11 includes a Windows Tools folder, which replaces the Administrative Tools one. Windows Tools is a Control Panel folder (applet) that includes 32 different built-in utilities. You can open Task Manager, Disk Clean-up, Command Prompt, PowerShell, Registry Editor, Run, Character Map, and more besides from there.

You can access Windows Tools via the Control Panel. However, setting up a Windows Tools shortcut will give you more direct access to all that folder’s utilities whenever you need them. Here is how you can set up a desktop, context menu, keyboard, Explorer, and taskbar shortcut for the Windows Tools folder in Windows 11.

The desktop is the place many users add shortcuts to in Windows. The Windows Tools folder will be very easy to access from there. You can add Windows Tools to the desktop with Create Shortcut like this.

  1. Right-click an empty area of your desktop to select New.
  2. Select Shortcut on the New submenu.
    The New and Shortcut context menu options
  3. Type explorer.exe shell:::{D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153} in the item location box, and press the Next button.
    The Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders option
  4. Input Windows Tools within the shortcut name box.
  5. Click Finish to add the shortcut.
  6. Double-click the Windows Tools shortcut to open its folder.

The Windows Tools folder and desktop shortcut

Read also: What Is a Desktop Shortcut and How Does It Work?


A keyboard shortcut for Windows Tools will place all that folder’s utilities at your fingertips. Setting up a Windows Tools desktop shortcut is the first step for establishing a hotkey for that folder. From there, you can assign a hotkey to that desktop shortcut as follows.

  1. Right-click a Windows Tools desktop shortcut and select Properties.
    properties context menu option
  2. Click the Shortcut key box.
  3. Press W to establish a Ctrl + Alt + W hotkey.
    shortcut key box
  4. Select Apply and click OK.

That hotkey depends on the Windows Tools desktop shortcut. If you want to set up a hotkey for that folder without adding a desktop shortcut, you’ll need to install third-party software. Software like WinHotKey enables you to set up custom hotkeys without any desktop shortcuts.

Read also: How to Set Up Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

The taskbar and Start menu are two other places you can add Windows Tools shortcuts to in Windows 11. You can already open the Windows Tools folder from the Start menu’s app list. However, pinning that folder will add it to the front of the menu. This is how you can select to pin Windows Tools to the Start menu and taskbar.

  1. Click the Start taskbar button.
  2. Enter Windows Tools in the Start menu’s search box.
  3. Right-click Windows Tools and select Pin to Start to add a shortcut to the Start menu.
    The pin to options
  4. Alternatively, select Pin to taskbar to set up a shortcut.
    A Windows Tools taskbar shortcut

The context menu is a good alternative place to add shortcuts if you prefer not to clutter your desktop with too many of them. All desktop context menu shortcuts are out of the way but directly accessible. Windows 11 doesn’t have any built-in options for adding shortcuts to the right-click menu. However, you can still add a Windows Tools option there with the freeware Winaero Tweaker software as follows.

  1. Open the homepage for Winaero Tweaker.
  2. Scroll down that page and select Download Winaero Tweaker.
  3. Launch File Explorer by clicking its folder icon on the taskbar.
  4. Open the folder where you downloaded the compressed ZIP archive for Winaero Tweaker.
  5. Double-click Winaero’s ZIP and click Extract all.
    The Extract all option
  6. To select a different extraction path, click the Browse button.
  7. Select the Show extracted files when complete option, and click the Extract button.
    The Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders option
  8. Double-click WinaeroTweaker- in its extracted folder.
  9. Click the Next buttons and select the Normal Mode and I accept the agreement options within the setup wizard.
  10. To choose an alternative path for the Winaero Tweaker folder, press the Browse button.
    The Winaero Tweaker setup window
  11. Continue clicking Next, and then select the Install option.
  12. Double-click the Winaero Tweaker shortcut on your desktop to launch the software.
  13. Click Context Menu in Winaero Tweaker.
  14. Select Windows Tools on the left of Winaero Tweaker.
    The Windows Tools option in Winaero Tweaker
  15. Click Add Windows Tools to desktop context menu to select that setting.

Check out the Windows Tools shortcut on the context menu. Right-click the Windows 11 desktop and select Show more options to view the classic menu. There select the Windows Tools option to open that folder. Select a utility from there to launch it.

The Windows Tools context menu option

As Windows Tools is a folder, it’s a good idea to set up a shortcut for it within File Explorer. The “This PC” section of File Explorer is an ideal place for shortcuts. Explorer doesn’t include any options for adding shortcuts there, but you can still do so with some registry editing. All you’ve got to do is add a new key to the registry with Windows Tools’ CLSID code like this.

  1. Press the magnifying glass taskbar button to view the search tool.
  2. To find the Registry Editor, input regedit in the search box.
  3. Select Run as administrator for the Registry Editor search result.
  4. Open this key within the Registry Editor: ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputerNameSpace. You can copy and paste that location into the Registry Editor’s address bar with the Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V keyboard shortcuts.
  5. Right-click the NameSpace key within the left navigation pane and select New.
  6. Select Key to add one.
    The New and Key options
  7. Input {D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153} for the new key’s name. It might be easier to copy and paste that CLSID code in.
    The Windows Tools registry key
  8. Click the Registry Editor’s X button to close it.
  9. Restart your desktop or laptop.

That’s it, now you can try out the new Windows Tools shortcut in File Explorer. Open Explorer’s window, and select This PC in its navigation bar. You’ll see a Windows Tools shortcut within the Devices and drives section there. Double-click Windows Tools to view the utilities in that folder.

The Windows Tools shortcut in Explorer

You can add that shortcut to Quick access as well. Right-click Windows Tools in This PC and select Pin to Quick access. Then you can open Windows Tools by selecting its folder in Quick access within Explorer’s left navigation pane.

A Windows Tools Quick access shortcut

Read also: How to Add the Recycle Bin to File Explorer in Windows 11

So, there are quite a few ways you can set up shortcuts for Windows Tools. Whatever way you set up a Windows Tools shortcut will enable you to open that folder a bit quicker than without one. As you can launch many useful system utilities from Windows Tools, it’s a very handy folder to set up a shortcut for.

Woman using a silver Windows PC
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