Add “Open with code” to Windows 11 Context Menu

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

If you just switched to Windows 11, you might see something different when you right-click a file or folder. In Windows 10, there was a handy “Open with Code” option for opening files in Visual Studio Code quickly. But in Windows 11, you need to go through an extra step, clicking “Show more options” to find it. This is a bit of a hassle, especially for people who code a lot and want to get to their tools fast. We’re going to talk about a few ways you can get that “Open with Code” option back on your main right-click menu in Windows 11.

Also see: How to Customize Right-Click Menu in Windows 11

Add Open with code to Windows 11 Context Menu

Update Visual Studio Code to the latest version

Start by updating Visual Studio Code. The people who make it have fixed this in the latest versions, and you should see the “Open with Code” option right in your Windows 11 right-click menu after updating. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Open Visual Studio Code, head to the “Help” menu, and click “Check for Updates.” If there’s an update, go ahead and install it.How to check VS Code for updates
  2. If updating doesn’t do the trick, try uninstalling Visual Studio Code and then reinstalling it. Grab the newest version from their official website.Download Visual Studio Code latest version
  3. Also, make sure your Windows 11 is up to date. Check for updates in “Settings” > “Windows Update.” Install any that are available.Check for Windows Update

Update: You might need the Insider version for this fix. It looks like these changes are still being tested and aren’t out for everyone yet. Or, try updating both Windows 11 and Visual Studio Code to the latest versions and see if that adds “Open with Code” to your main context menu.

Related resource: How to Uninstall VS Code and All Extensions Completely

Use Shift + Right-click instead

If updating doesn’t solve it, there’s a simple trick. By holding down the Shift key while right-clicking on a file or folder, you can skip the new menu and get the full old one with “Open with Code” included. Here’s how:

  1. Open File Explorer and find the file or folder you want to work on.
  2. Hold the Shift key and right-click on your item. This brings up the full menu straight away.
  3. Find “Open with Code” in the menu and click it to open your file or folder in Visual Studio Code.Open with code Windows 11 right-click menu

This method is quick and doesn’t need any changes to your computer. It’s great if you need a fast fix or don’t want to adjust your Windows settings.

Pro tip: How to Remove Items from Right-Click Menu in Windows 11

Use a third-party context menu editor

If you want a lasting solution without needing to be tech-savvy, try a third-party context menu editor. A tool called “Custom Context Menu” in the Microsoft Store lets you add to your right-click menu easily.

Just find “Custom Context Menu” in the Microsoft Store and install it. Open it up and follow the steps to add “Open with Code” to your menu. This app is easy to use and walks you through everything.
Add open with vs code in main context menu Windows 11

Or, you can check out the GitHub page at for more info or to download it from there.

Final thoughts

Not having “Open with Code” in the main Windows 11 right-click menu has been a big annoyance for lots of coders and developers. It’s made things slower for them. But, there’s hope. An insider version of Windows 11 hints that a fix is coming, which would put this option back in the main menu.

Even though it’s just in testing and not out for everyone yet, it’s a good sign. Microsoft is paying attention to what users want and working on making things better. For now, using the tips we talked about can help, but keep an eye out for that update that might make coding a bit smoother again.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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