Heed! Windows shell extensions

Posted on Fri 19 August 2016

I could see its benefit and I decided to approach this by tampering with the windows registry to create my context menu. Everything started off smoothly and I was wondering why people even bother writing COM just to right this simple extension to the operating system. about 16-20 items into my registry hack I found out.

There is an undocumented restriction to how many items you can have in place on the context menu. At least I think it is undocumented. Having searched through MSDN, stackoverflow and other google-bits I could not find any substantial reference that would discuss this. On MSDN there are bits discussing other limits such as 16 files https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsdesktop/en-US/f65cba01-b11b-4a87-a724-2be0bb101427/how-to-get-past-16-file-limit-of-dragqueryfile-for-shell-extensions-in-windows-7?forum=windowsuidevelopment or on Stack overflow I found one other being <http://stackoverflow.com/questions/25799022/can-i-bypass-the-20-item-limit-for-statc-cascading-context-menus-in-windows-reg> in the world who knew at some point in 2014 what I know now. Alas, the question is still unanswered.

Conclusion: if you need proper limit-less shell extension, you need COM!