Are administrator rights required to install QAP?

If the Quick Access Popup setup program asks for an administrator password, you have two options: ask your system administrator to install it for you (using the setup program). Or, if you have some basic technical knowledge and prefer to get it done yourself, install Quick Access Popup in portable mode since this type of installation does not require administrative rights.

Now, for your sysadmin…

The QAP setup program requires elevated rights (via a User Account Control dialog) when the installation is started. If the setup program was started by an unprivileged user, Windows will ask for the password of an account that has administrative privileges, and the setup will then run under that account.

In order to allow installation by the admin and to set configuration files specific to end users, the setup program is executing the following steps.

  1. It creates a group Quick Access Popup in the All Users Start Menu with the Start In parameter set to the common appdata folder (for example: C:\ProgramData\Quick Access Popup).
  2. In the common appdata folder, the setup program creates file named quickaccesspopup-setup.ini where QAP stores the language selected by user during setup. This folder can also include customized templates of the files QuickAccessPopup.ini and QAPconnect.ini. This would allow the sysadmin to create a default menu and default configuration for the needs of his organization’s end users.
  3. When Quick Access Popup is launched for the first time by an end user, it creates its Settings Folder.
    1. With QAP v10 or more recent: this folder is created in user’s My Document (for example: C:\Users\Username\Documents). User can change its Settings Folder in OptionsGeneral tab. The current value is saved in Registry key “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Jean Lalonde\Quick Access Popup\WorkingFolder”.
    2. With QAP v9 or earlier: this folder is created in user’s appdata folder (for example: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Quick Access Popup). With v9 or earlier, the Settings Folder cannot be changed.
  4. In its Settings Folder, QAP creates the files QuickAccessPopup.ini and QAPconnect.ini from an internal template, unless templates of these files are found in the common appdata folder. In this case, these files are copied to user’s Settings Folder. Original files in the common appdata folder are never changed by end users.
  5. If the end user selects the Run at Startup option:
    1. With QAP v10: the startup command is stored in the Run Registry key “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Quick Access Popup”.
    2. With QAP v9 or earlier: a Windows file shortcut is created in user’s personal Startup folder.

As seen at step #2 above, sysadmins could create or edit the quickaccesspopup.ini file in the common appdata folder to give their users a template with favorites of interest for all users: network folders, path to shared applications or documents, intranet URLs, etc. Administrator could also edit this file to enable the Shared Menus Catalogue to facilitate the addition of shared menus by end users (see Can I create a catalogue of shared menus for my team or workgroup?).

To facilitate the creation of a new quickaccesspopup.ini file, admin can run QAP in portable mode, configure options and favorites and copy to fresh ini file the common appdata folder.

About Explorer Context Menus

When installed with in setup mode, QAP always enable its Explorer Context Menus. There are two exceptions: context menus will *not* be enabled if “ExplorerContextMenus=0” under the “[Global]” section either of the quickaccesspopup.ini file in current user’s appdata folder or in common appdata folder. More about Explorer context menus: Explorer Context Menus Help.

What are the Alternative menu features?

Alternative menu features are actions to be executed on one of the favorites in your QAP menu. After you click one of the options in the Alternative menu, the full QAP menu is displayed to let you choose on what favorite you want to execute the Alternative menu command.

You open the Alternative  menu with a mouse or a keyboard triggers. The default mouse trigger is Shift + Middle Mouse Button and the default keyboard trigger is Shift + Windows + W.

  • These triggers show the Alternative menu over any windows.
  • In the Alternative menu, you select the actions to apply to one of your favorites (see the list of Alternative menu features below).
  • Then, in your QAP menu, select the target favorite on which the Alternative menu feature will be executed.

Alternative menu features

The Alternative menu offers the following features:

  • Open in new window: open the favorite in a new window instead of changing the folder in the target window (even if the menu is opened in an existing Explorer window or in a file dialog box).
  • Edit a Favorite: change a favorite settings directly from the QAP menu (without having to open the Customize window).
  • Copy a Favorite’s Path or URL: copy the file path, the URL or the content of a Snippet to the Clipboard in order to paste it in any other window.
  • Run as administrator: run the application with administrator access (elevated privileges).
  • Open the Containing Folder in the Current Window: open, in the current Explorer window, the parent folder of the selected favorite document, application or folder.
  • Open the Containing Folder in a New Window: open the parent folder of the selected favorite in a new window (even if the menu is opened in an existing Explorer window or in a file dialog box).
  • Move the selected file to a favorite folder (requires v11.5.7.1 or more recent): move the selected file(s) or folder(s) to one of the favorite folders in your QAP menu. The selected files or folders are the selected items in the active Windows Explorer, Directory Opus window or on the Desktop (not available with Total Commander at this time).
  • Copy the selected file to a favorite folder (requires v11.5.7.1 or more recent): copy the selected file(s) or folder(s) to one of the favorite folders in your QAP menu. See Move the selecte file above.

Alternative menu features are also available directly from the regular menu by using various keyboard modifiers when clicking a favorite in the popup menu. By default these keyboard modifiers are available:

  • Left Shift + Click:  Open in new window.
  • Left Control + Click: Copy a Favorite’s Path or URL.
  • Left Shift + Left Control + Click: Edit a Favorite.
  • Right Shift + Click:  Open the Containing Folder in the Current Window.
  • Right Control + Click: Open the Containing Folder in a New Window.
  • Right Shift + Right Control + Click: Run as administrator.
  • Move the selected file to a favorite folder and Copy the selected file to a favorite folder do not have default keyboard modifiers but you can remove modifiers from the less used features above to free them for the new ones.

About this, see how to configure Alternative menu features shortcuts: Can I launch Alternative menu features directly from the regular popup menu?

Finally, you can also use these Alternative menu features in the Quick Launch search box. See Can I quickly search QAP to launch one of my favorites? for more details.

Video on the Alternative menu

My AHK colleague and friend Joe Glines asked me what was the most useful but least known feature of Quick Access Popup. Answer: the Alternative menu!

Can I quickly search QAP to launch one of my favorites?

Can I quickly search QAP to launch one of my favorites?

Can QAP launch an application with administrator privileges?

Yes. If QAP is running with administrator permission, all applications it will launch will automatically inherit the admin level. Is it a good idea to launch QAP as Administrator? This could allow the launched applications to do changes on your system without prompting you. From a system security point of view, this may put your system at risk. In other words, you have to know what you are doing.

If QAP is running with normal user privileges, you can launch only some favorite applications with elevated privileges. Check the option Elevate application with administration privileges in the Advanced Settings of the Edit Favorite dialog box. Of course, before launching the application, Windows will display the usual approval dialog box or ask for the admin password.

See more information about Windows ACL (Access Control List) and QAP.

Can I launch QAP with administrator privileges?

Yes, starting with QAP v8.7.1. But do you really want to launch QAP as an administrator? Keep in mind that User Account Control (UAC) is there to protect you against yourselves or against hackers. When running Quick Access Popup in Administrator mode, every application launched by QAP inherits administrative privileges. This can result in unexpected consequences when launching programs that may themselves be infected with malicious code. This could allow malicious programs to inherit administrative privileges and to damage, infect or take control of your computer.

Windows User Account Control (UAC) logo

To launch QAP with “elevated UAC privileges”, click the checkbox Run as administrator in the Options window, Launch Advanced Options tab. After saving options with Run as administrator enabled, QAP will offer to reload itself in Admin mode. On the opposite, after saving with this option turned OFF, QAP could not relaunch itself as normal user because the reloaded instance of QAP would inherit admin privileges. Instead, QAP will offer to quit and you will have to relaunch it yourselves.

When launching QAP with administrator privileges, Windows asks for an administrator password if the current user has normal privileges. If user declines elevation (ie: do not enter the admin password), QAP is launched with normal privileges. If user enters the admin password, QAP displays a security alert to remind user about the risks described earlier. Also, the QAP icon in the Notification zone (tray icon) embeds the Windows UAC logo and the “[admin]” tag is added to the application name in Settings window and other dialog boxes when QAP is running as administrator (only if QAP is running as admin because of the “Run as administrator” option, ie: not if user launched QAP as administrator by other means).

Power user who need to run QAP in admin mode and want to skip the security alert can launch QAP with the command-line parameter /AdminSilent (you can use a Windows shortcut to add this parameter).

Why are the middle mouse button or keyboard shortcuts not working over some windows?

Most of the time, this issue is related to ACL (Windows Access Control List).

Each window in Windows is launched with a given set of rights. Basically, there are two levels:

  • user level (standard permissions)
  • administrator level (elevated permissions)

With elevated permissions (or privileges), user can make system changes that affect his configuration, security, etc. and that can also affect all other users on the system.

Quick Access Popup hotkey (by default, middle mouse button) only works on windows that have equal or lower access level. If you start an application with an higher “administrator” privileges (using the Run As Administrator Windows Explorer menu), QAP will not have the permission to open its menu over the windows created by this app. To do so, you would have to also launch QAP with administrator privileges.

Is it a good idea to launch QAP as Administrator? You have to know that every program started from QAP will the also inherit these enhanced rights. This could allow them to do changes on your system without prompting you. From a system security point of view, this may put your system at risk. In other words, you have to know what you are doing.

Why are QAP context menus not working in some windows?

In some setup, the QAP context menus may work well in Windows Explorer windows but not in a custom file manager.  Or the opposite.

This is generally because some applications are running with different access privileges.

For example, if your file manager is running with administrator permissions while QAPmessenger.exe (that app transmitting commands from context menus to QAP) is running with standard permissions, messages sent from the context menu could not be received by QAP. Maybe you should run your file manager with regular permission or, on the opposite, launch QAPmessenger.exe with elevated privileges.

The opposite could also be true: if QAP runs in admin mode and Windows Explorer (or your custom file manager) in standard mode, context menus in Explorer could not launch QAP commands because QAP has higher permissions than Explorer. Context menu can only call apps having privileges equal or lower than Windows Explorer has.

Please read more about Why is the middle mouse button not working over some windows?.

To find more about installation and enabling of Explorer context menu, read the Explorer Context Menus Help.

[Tips] Browse folders in CMD or PowerShell

In this tip, you will see how QAP can help system administrators and power users change folders instantly in Windows command line (CMD) or PowerShell. This trick is very simple but frequent users of these tools must not ignore it! You will also see how to add the various flavors of these tools to your QAP menu and how to make them run with or without administrative privileges.

Read more