Did you know your keyboard has a menu key? On full-sized keyboards, you’ll find it to the left of the right Ctrl key. This key opens context menus, but you can tweak it to make it more useful.
Where is the menu key on the keyboard?
On full-size keyboards, the menu key is located between the right Windows key and the right Ctrl key to the right of the space bar. The menu key is also sometimes referred to as the «application key».
Some smaller keyboards, such as laptop keyboards, are not listed on the keyboard to save space. Other smaller keyboards skip the right Windows key and leave the menu key between the right Alt and Ctrl keys.
In any case, if your keyboard has a menu key, it will be to the left of the right Ctrl key. It doesn’t have the word «menu» printed on it — it has a small picture that looks like a menu. This image is not standardized and will look different on different keyboards. Sometimes it shows a little pointer hovering over the menu, and sometimes it looks like a stylized menu — a square or rectangle with some horizontal lines inside.
What is Menu Key For?
The menu key opens the context menu for your current application. It’s like right clicking on your choice in the application.
Give it a try — press the menu key while browsing this web page and you will see your web browser’s context menu, just like you would right-click on the page.
This key is useful if you don’t have a mouse or don’t have a right-click mouse. It works in many different applications. If you select a file or folder in File Explorer and press the menu key, you will see a context menu, just like you would right-click on the file.
This key allows you to use the context menu only with the keyboard and without a mouse. Press the menu key, use the arrow keys to select an option, and press Enter to activate it. Select text or other items using keyboard shortcuts and press the menu key to activate context menu options—all without taking your hands off the keyboard.
Microsoft is currently talking about converting this key to an Office key to match the Windows key. Most PC users most likely don’t touch this key, which explains why Microsoft comes up with this idea. It’s kind of like a relic like the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock and Pause Break keys.
RELATED: What are Sys Rq, Scroll Lock and Pause Break Keys on my keyboard?
Shift + F10 can function as a menu key, too
If your keyboard doesn’t have a menu key, but you want to open the context menu with a keyboard shortcut, fear not. You can press Shift + F10 in most applications to open the context menu. It’s basically the same as the menu keys.
This does not work in all applications, however, it depends on the applications. If nothing happens in the application you are using, try Ctrl + Shift + F10.