QAP 101: What should I know about Quick Access Popup before I start (and can’t stop) using it?

> Quick Access Popup Installation Demo (9 min.)
> First steps with Quick Access Popup (9 min.)

When you run it, Quick Access Popup (QAP) adds an icon in the Notification Area and awaits your orders. When you want to open a frequently used folder, launch an application or work on a document, open the Quick Access Popup menu.

  1. There are different ways to to open the Quick Access Popup menu. The most common are:
    • click the Middle Mouse Button ANYWHERE on your Desktop;
    • or if you are a keyboard shortcut addict, press Windows + W.

Quick Access Popup icon in the Notification Area (System Tray)

You can also open the QAP menu from the Quick Access Popup icon in the Notification Area (System Tray).

Launching favorites

In the QAP menu, select your favorite folder, application or document. Quick Access Popup will instantly launch it!

You are already working in a Windows Explorer and just want to change the folder in the current window?

Click the Middle Mouse Button while the mouse pointer is over the Explorer window (or press Windows + W while the Explorer window is active). In the popup menu, select the desired folder. Quick Access Popup will instantly navigate your Explorer to the selected folder! Changing folders in file dialog boxes (Open, Save As, etc.) is also available if you enable this option (see  Can I change folders in file dialog boxes?).

Customize your menu

Now, you can’t resist to customize your popup menu? Adding your own folders, applications, documents, web links or FTP site is very easy.

  1. Open the QAP popup menu (Middle Mouse Button or Windows + W) and choose the Customize menu.
  2. In the Customize window, click the Add button, select the type of favorite to add (for example Folder, Document or Application) and click Continue.
  3. In the Add Favorite window, enter the menu name and the path to your favorite folder, application or document. There are plenty of options to discover in the other tabs but all you need to enter is in the first one justly named Basic Settings.
  4. Click Add when you are finished with the favorite’s settings.
  5. Back in the Customize window, use the various buttons to add, reorder, remove or edit your favorites. Don’t forget to click the big Save & Close button in the Customize window to keep your changes.

There are other ways to add favorites:

  • Add folders or web pages on the fly. When you are in a favorite folder or web page, open the QAP popup menu, select the menu Add Active Folder or Web page (or press Shift + Control + A) and enter the menu name of this new favorite. See more info about the Add Active Folder or Web page feature.
  • Drag & drop favorite folders, documents or applications from your file manager to the Customize window and give them a menu name. That’s it!
  • Add favorite folders, documents or application using the Windows Explorer context menu. See Which QAP commands are available using Explorer Context menus?
  • There are special items in the My QAP Essentials, My Special Folders, My Snippets and My Windows Apps allowing to add new QAP Features, new Windows Special Folders, new Windows Apps and new Snippets.

What else should I know when I’ll get familiar with the basics?

  1. Can I change folders in file dialog boxes?
  2. What are these special folders in the My Special Folders menu?
  3. What are these options in the My QAP Essentials menu?
  4. Gather favorites in submenus.
  5. Launch groups of related favorites.
  6. Harness the Alternative features
  7. Iron the QAP icon in the Notification Area
  8. What are the QAP global options?

Could you give me a quick tour of the Customize window and the menu bar?

Welcome aboard!

Favorites list


  1. Most Customize window commands are available in the QAP menu bar. See a description of these menus below.
  2. In the drop down list Menu or group to edit, select the Main menu or the submenu to display in the Customize window. You can also use the Up arrow on the top-left to navigate to the parent menu.
  3. The Back and Forward arrows allows to move back and forth in the previously displayed submenus or search results.
  4. Move the selected favorite(s) up or down in the current submenu using the Up and Down round icons.
  5. Add of these types of separators to your menu: horizontal bar, column break or text separator.
  6. Launch the favorite selected in the favorites list (new button added in v11.6.3); this button is enabled for favorite of types Folder, Document, Application, Special, URL, FTP, QAP and Group. View the items in the Customize window in a temporary popup menu with the eye icon. Sort the selected favorites in the current submenu. With the pin icon above, make the window Always on top to make files or folders drag and drop easier.
  7. Click the magnifier icon to reveal the Search box to filter the favorites by keyword in favorite name or in more properties if you check Extended Search.
  8. Use the AddEditRemoveMove or Copy buttons to manage the favorites in the current submenu.
  9. This is the list of favorites in the current submenu or filtered by keyword. Double-click a favorite to edit it or double-click a submenu to navigate to this menu.
  10. After you’ve made changes to your menu, click Save & Close to save your changes and close the Customize window, Save to save changes but stay in the Customize window or Cancel to forget your changes.
Menu bar


In the File menu, save your changes, manage your QAP settings file QuickAccessPopup.ini or quit QAP.


In the Favorite menu, add single or multiple favorites, manage your favorites, insert separators or sort the favorites in the current menu.



In the Tools menu, Search for favorites, under the Special Searches search for all favorites or broken favorites, manage all your ShortcutsHotstrings or Icons, update the Live Folders and Shared menus or suspend QAP hotkeys.


In the Options menu, manage your QAP preferences in 14 sections.



In the Help menu, get basic help, get more help from the QAP website, check for updates, get your QAP license (if you do not already own it), manage your license or get more info about QAP development.

Keyboard shortcuts


Hit F1 to get the list of keyboard shortcuts available in the Customize window.

Can I sort the favorites in my menu?

Yes. There are two approaches to sort sort favorites in a menu: you can sort them on demand or have them sorted automatically.

Sort on demand

In the Customize window, open the menu that you want to sort and click the Sort button on the left side of the window. This opens a popup menu when you can select the sort criteria. Selecting the same criteria again will sort in the reverse order.

If no favorite is selected, all favorites are selected and sorted. To sort only part of your menu, select multiple favorites using Shift + Click or Control + Click. After you sorted your menu, you can still use the Up/Down arrows on the left to change the order manually.

Automatic sorting

Menu can also be sorted automatically by a sort criteria that will be maintained whenever you add favorites to tour menu. To select the sorting criteria, edit the menu by selecting it in the favorites list and clicking on the Edit button on the right side or, if you are already in the menu, by selecting the Edit this menu item in the Sort popup menu.

Enable the Sort menu automatically checkbox and click the Change button to choose the sort criteria and the sort order.

If you select a sort criteria for a column that is not currently displayed in the Customize window, you should enable the Display dates and stats columns in Favorites list and Search results option in Options, Customize Window and enable the QAP database in Options, Database.

You can also open the Sort popup menu in a menu sorted automatically to select another sort criteria.

Can I search inside my favorites?

Yes, you can filter the favorites by keywords. As you add favorites to your main menu and your submenus, it can become tricky to find the favorite you want to edit. In addition to easing favorites edition, this tool also gives you a global view of your favorites, allowing to eliminate unwanted duplicates or to better organize your menu.

Using the Search tool

First, to reveal the Search box, click the Magnifier icon, select the menu ToolsSearch for favorites or hit Ctrl-F.

To filter you favorites, simply type a few characters in the Search box just above the favorite list. To restore the full list, simply click the X button on the right.

By default, only the favorites with the searched string in their name will appear in the filtered list. But you can select the check box Extended Search to extend the search to more favorites properties: favorite submenu, type, shortcut, hotstring trigger, location (file or folder path), snippet content, FTP login name and password, and advanced settings Parameters and Start in folder.

You can now search one or more sequence of characters. For example, searching “qui” list find items with this sequence of characters in their name (or other properties). You could also search “qui pop” to find items containing both “qui” AND “pop”.

On the left column, the Sort button sorts the search result by any column, ascending or descending if you select again the current sort column. You can also sort using the context menu that you open by right-clicking inside the list.

Just above, the View button (eye icon) shows a popup menu with the items currently in the search result (see an example, below). This allows you to review the content of these favorites in addition to editing them. If multiple search result items have the same name, the [!] suffix is used to differentiate them. More info: What is the “eye” icon on the left side of the Customize window?.

And above again is the Open the submenu button that opens the submenu containing the item currently selected in the search result.

With the Tools menu, you can open the Search box and select the Extended Search option. In addition, the Special Searches  menu offer very powerful search results. See: What are the Special Searches?

Editing favorites from the search result

To edit your favorites, select one or multiple items in the list (using Click, Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click) and hit one of the buttons in the right column.

  • Edit: edit the selected favorite or submenu (you can also double-click to edit an item).
  • Remove: remove one or multiple favorites or submenus (and all the submenus content).
  • Copy: copy one or multiple favorites, or copy one submenu and its content (submenus, groups and shared menus can only be copied or moved individually).
  • Move: move one or multiple favorites, or move one submenu and its content.
  • Add: close the search result and add a new favorite.

Search options

Various options under the Customize Windows section of the Options dialog box will affect hot the Search tool works.

  • Search scope: by default, the search result includes all menu items, from the Main menu down to the last submenus but you can select the second radio button to search only in the menu (or group) currently displayed in the Customize window and its submenu.
  • Search result with edit dates and stats columns: by default, only the NameMenuTypeHotkey (or Hotstring) and Location or content columns are displayed in search results but enabling this options allows to add the Last ModifiedCreated and Last Used dates and the Usage columns are added. See an example below.The Usage column is shown only if the QAP database is enabled in the Database section of the Options dialog box. It displays the number of times an item was launched using the QAP menu or appeared in the Windows Recent Items special folder during the period covered by the database (see: How can I control how the Frequent Items database works?).
  • Search with language settings: by default, the search filter uses the Windows locale language settings (aka regional settings) when handling accentuated characters (for example, searching for “école” and “ecole” will return the same result) but, by disabling this option, accentuated letters will be treated as specific characters.

The following screen capture shows an example of the search result with additional columns.

A few notes, for those who want to know everything:

  • filtering is case insensitive;
  • filtered favorites are displayed in the order they were found, starting from the current menu;
  • changing menu using the dropdown list or the navigation arrows restore the regular unfiltered list;
  • the back and forward arrows allows to return to the previously closed search results as well as to previously opened submenus.

How do I move a favorite or a submenu to another submenu?

You can edit a favorite, open the Menu Options tab and select a new submenu in the Favorite parent menu list.

But a quicker way, in the Customize window, is to select the favorite (or multiple favorites with Shift + Click or Ctrl + Click) and hit the Move button or press Control + M. You can move submenus or groups as well, using the same techniques.


In the Move Favorites dialog box, select the new submenu for your favorite(s) and the position in this menu. And click the Move button.

What is the “eye” icon on the left side of the Customize window?

This “eye” icon opens a popup menu containing the favorites currently displayed in the Customize window. The favorites do not need to be saved to be viewed in this menu. It can be used as a preview of the menu you are editing.

This popup menu can also be used to see the favorites found in the Search window. If some favorites in the search result have the same name, duplicates name in the popup menu will have the [!] suffix in order to make each name temporarily unique. 

How can I stop showing the QAP Customize window at startup? How can I show it on demand?

The Customize window is where you make Quick Access Popup work for you by managing your favorites. It is also where you can access various options and tools using the QAP menu bar.

After QAP installation, the Customize window is displayed automatically at QAP startup. If, after you customized your QAP menu, you prefer this window to open only on demand, you can stop showing it at startup: open Options, Customize Window and deselect the checkbox Open “Customize” window at Startup. Other options for this window are described below.

When the Customize window is closed, you can reopen it in different ways.

  • The most common way is to click the Customize menu item in the QAP menu (see How do I display the Quick Access Popup menu?); this item is included in the default menu created the first time you run QAP:

  • As the menu shows, you can also hit the Shift + Ctrl + C hotkey to open the Customize window.
  • Finally, you can open the Customize window from the QAP system menu by right-clicking on the QAP icon in the task bar Notification zone.

By default, the Customize window is displayed at the last position you used it. There is an exception on dual-display or multiple-monitor systems: when QAP detects that the “active” monitor has changed, it centers its window on the newly activated monitor. QAP detects the active monitor based on the mouse or active window position when you opened the QAP menu.

Customize window options

To change the Customize Window settings, select the OptionsCustomize Window item in the QAP menu bar.

  • Open “Customize” window at startup: If, after you customized your QAP menu, you prefer this window to open only on demand, turn this option off.
  • Display dates and stats columns in Favorites list and Search results: display additional columns in the Customize window.
  • Remember “Customize” window position: check this option to re-open the window at its last position after you quit QAP.
  • Open “Customize” window on Active monitorif you prefer the Customize window to be always open at its last position on the same monitor, uncheck this option.
  • When saving a favorite, check if an existing favorite has the same location or content: check this option to avoid duplicate favorites in your menu.
  • When using commands that add favorites automatically to the menu (for example, when using the Add Active Folder or Web page Express QAP feature), select if these new items are added at the top or the bottom of the main menu.

In the right column, you can set options for search results.

  • Search scope: set the root of searches to be always from the main menu or from the current menu or group.
  • Search using locale settings (e.g. “é” considered as “e”): decide how international characters are treated in the search string.
Customizing the “Customize” menu item

The Customize menu item was automatically added to your menu the first time you ran QAP. You can move this menu item up or down, move it to any submenu or change the menu hotkey to anything better fitting your preferences by editing the Customize item in the favorites list.

If you deleted this menu item and wish to restore it in your QAP menu, click the Add button, select the type QAP Feature and choose Customize under the QAP Management category (more info on adding favorites in How do I add a favorite to my menu?).


How can I gather numerous favorites in a clutter-free popup menu?

If your QAP menu gets too long, divide and conquer! Gather your favorites by types, subjects or projects in submenus. To add a submenu, in the Customize window, click the Add button and, in the Add Favorite Type dialog box, select the Submenu radio button.

  • In the Basic Settings window, give your submenu a name.
  • Optionally, you can also:
    • enable the Sort menu automatically and select the sort criteria;
    • have this menu reopen after you launched one of its items (select Close this menu when you don’t need to open another favorite);
    • disable or hide this favorite;
    • have this menu displayed automatically after QAP startup.
  • In the Menu Options tab, you can select an icon for your menu.
  • You can choose the size of the icons inside this submenu. For each menu, the dropdown list Size of icons in this menu allows to:
    • select a custom size (from 16 to 64 pixels) for this menu;
    • inherit the size from the parent menu;
    • use the default size from Options, Menu Icons dialog box;
    • choose to display no icon in this menu.
  • You can also assign a shortcut that will allow to open this specific section of your menu by hitting a shortcut, without having to browse from the main menu.

This will create an empty submenu named My Project Submenu. You will see below how you can move existing favorites to this new menu or how to add new favorites to it.

Submenus can be nested in submenus at will. For example, in the screen shot above, the Final Report is a submenu of My Project Submenu.

To move a favorite from one menu to another, click the Edit button or double-click the favorite name and, in the Menu Options tab, select the new menu in the Favorite parent menu drop down list and choose the favorite’s position in the list Insert the favorite before this item.

To add a new favorite in a submenu, you can also open this menu in the Customize window and select the new favorite position before clicking on the Add button.


Can I copy a favorite with all its settings?

Yes. In the Customize window, you can copy favorites of types Folder, Document, Application, Special Folder, LinkSnippetFTP and QAP Feature. The Menus and Groups cannot be copied.

To copy a favorite, select it and click the Copy button or hit Control + Y. Rename the new favorite or select another submenu using the Menu Options tab.


You can copy multiple favorites in one click. Select the favorites with Shift + Click or Ctrl + Click, click the Copy button and select the destination menu (you cannot copy multiple favorites in their original menu).


Does QAP support Windows dark mode?

Yes. You can enable QAP dark mode support in Options, General. When this option is enabled and Windows colors personalization for applications is set to Dark, QAP menus will be displayed with white text on black background. The QAP Customize windows will also be displayed with dark background after you restart QAP. At this time, not all QAP dialog boxes support dark mode.

Note 1: When using dark mode, the QAP Theme (also in Options, General) is automatically set to Windows.

Note 2: Know issue… Menu having multiple columns (using the column break in your QAP menu), do not obey the command that sets the dark mode. See this example.

Can I change the colors of the Customize window or the popup menu?

You can choose Quick Access Popup colors for Customize window and other dialog boxes. You can also change the popup menu background color (see About menu colors, below).

Note: QAP Theme colors are not supported when using the Windows Dark Mode. See: Does QAP support Windows dark mode?

Colors are managed using “themes”. The available themes are listed in the Options dialog box, General tab. Themes can be edited or added in the QAP settings file. Here are the instructions if you want to edit or add themes.

1) Open the quickaccesspopup.ini file

See How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini?

2) Add the code for the new theme

At the end of the .ini file, add your theme following this syntax:

[Gui-New Theme]

Replace “New Theme” with a name of your choice (use only letters, numbers and spaces – no special characters) and color codes with your own colors. You can use this color picker to select your colors.

3) Under the [Global] ini file section, update the list of themes offered in the Options window:

AvailableThemes=Grey|Yellow|Light Blue|Light Red|Light Green|New Theme

Again, replace “New Theme” with the name of the new theme (exact same name as in step 2).

4) Choose your new theme

Save the QuickAccessPopup.ini file and restart Quick Access Popup. Select your theme in the Options dialog box, General tab. That’s it!

About menu colors
Color management capabilities are limited by QAP’s development framework. Especially for menu background color (the MenuBackgroundColor value above), note that the color of menu text cannot be changed. Since the text must stay black, dark color background should be avoided for menus. Also, the background color behind menu icons cannot be changed.

Why these limitations? QAP could offer more flexibility. But this would be done at the cost of completely redrawing menus instead of using the standard basic Windows command to build menus. This is not in my plan to do it.

About Windows themes
QAP themes has been designed with the “normal” Windows theme (as selected in Windows SettingsPersonalisationThemes). QAP themes may not work well with some Windows themes. If you use Windows themes, you should choose the QAP theme named Windows that will not interfere with Windows themes

QAP is running but my Customize window is not visible. What happened?

Each time you exit Quick Access Popup, the position of the Customize window and the Quick Launch window are saved in the settings file and restored the next time you open them.

The most probable explanation for the “disappearance” of these windows is that your screen configuration changed and that last positions of the windows are now not visible on your current screen(s) configuration (they are somewhere “outside” of the visible area of you screen). This issue could also be explained by Windows reporting an incorrect position.

To restore the default position of the Customize and Quick Launch windows, open the QAP system menu (right-click the QAP icon in the Notification zone) and select Tools, Restore “Customize” window position or Tools, Restore “Quick Launch” window position. The windows will now be centered in your main screen.

Right-click the QAP icon in the Notification zone to open the QAP system menu

Why some buttons or icons are not displayed correctly in the Customize window?

This is probably because you enabled screen scaling (under Windows 10 Settings, Ease of Access, Display) as most users with an High-DPI (HDPI) displays (like Surface Book) do. This can cause two issues.

First, with QAP versions before v11.5.3, some buttons intended to be centered were shifted to the right of the window and could overlap with other components of the window. This has been fixed with QAP v11.5.3.

The other issue is that icons on QAP windows are not scaled and look smaller than on screens with regular DPI. See this example (taken from an old QAP version but this has not changed since): on the left, the Customize window on a standard desktop PC and, on the right, the same window on a Surface Book.

To solve it, you can set a Windows compatibility option to fix the high DPI scaling behavior. This may affect the quality of your display and you could prefer to keep the small buttons. Here is how you can try this setting:

  1. Find the Quick Access Popup executable file (normally in C:\Program Files\Quick Access Popup).
  2. Right-click the QuickAccessPopup.exe executable icon in Windows Explorer.
  3. Select Properties, then Compatibility, then Change high DPI settings.
  4. In the new dialog box, check Override high DPI scaling behavior and select System (Enhanced) or System from the dropdown list. Choose the option that gives the best results on your screen.
  5. It is recommended to reboot the computer in order to enforce the change and clear out older settings or window displays.

Labels or options can vary depending on your Windows 10 version. Thanks to QAP user Jörg Giencke, you can use this tip from brianapps (the developer of Sizer 4.0).