How do I make sure that Quick Access Popup is launched when I start Windows?

If you installed Quick Access Popup with the Easy Setup installation, the application is launched automatically when you start Windows. If you prefered the portable installation (ZIP file) you will see hot to enable the auto-start here (this will create a shortcut in the Windows Startup folder).

This option can be turned on or off in one of these ways.

  • Right-click the QAP icon in the Notification Area (System Tray) menu to open the QAP system menu and select/deselect Run at Startup.
    or
  • In the Customize dialog box, select Options, General in the menu bar to open the Options dialog box and check/uncheck the Run at Startup option in General tab.

Notes for users who choose portable install: When you install a the new version of QAP, the shortcut in your Startup folder is automatically updated to launch the new version, if automatic startup is enabled.

How can I use QAP if an anti-virus is blocking its download or its execution?

Status: Clean

Analysis by VirusTotal.com for QAP setup file and for portable ZIP file

All you need to know about anti-virus false positives (false alerts)…

Protection software block malware applications that could harm your PC. But, sometime, they can also make collateral damages and block legit software like Quick Access Popup.

To prevent bad programs from taking control or infiltrate your PC, protection programs use two protection approaches.

  • Some protection programs block known malware and frequently update a blacklist database to catch these apps before they can do damage.
  • But, more often, protection software have a more aggressive approach: they block any app that could cause damage based on various criteria. To allow good applications to work, they maintain a whitelist of trusted apps.

This may result in occasional false malware alerts. In the case of Quick Access Popup, between 0% and 4% of the various detection softwares can produce such false alerts. All others declare Quick Access Popup as clean and safe!  If your protection software is blocking it, please see if you can approve (whitelist) Quick Access Popup in the configuration of your software. Also, you can probably go to your software website and report Quick Access Popup as a good app to add to the whitelist database. See this list many major Anti-Virus companies websites where you can ask to test and clear Quick Access Popup. See also this discussion on the page on this subject for my older app Folders Popup.

More about this issue in this post from another independent developer: Antivirus companies cause a big headache to small developers.

Needless to say – all these virus-related email messages that I receive every day are a big headache and require me to waste my time on answering/handling them, instead of adding new features to my utilities and updating my site. [ more… ]

At least, I know I’m not the only small developer facing this issue…

Windows Defender is blocking Quick Access Popup

Until any new version of Quick Access Popup is recognized as a legit software by Windows Defender, this protection software could delete the QAP setup file when you try to install it. If you trust me and want to run QAP, you can prevent it: launch Windows Defender (type “Defender” in the search/launch bar) and open the History tab. See the instructions below (screen capture is in French; I translated to the best of my knowledge).

Windows-Defender-Instructions

Google Chrome is blocking Quick Access Popup

Until a new version of Quick Access Popup is recognized by Google Chrome as a legit software, you may see the following alert messages on your download bar (in your own Chrome language – this one is in French).

If Chrome tells you (my own translation to English): “The file quickaccesspopup-setup.exe is not commonly downloaded. It could harm your computer“. If you trust me and want to run QAP, in the menu, click Keep.

chrome-alerte

 

Windows SmartScreen

Since September 2016, Quick Access Popup setup and executable files are signed with a software certificate assessing that the publisher is known (that’s me!) and that the executable file has not been modified by a third-party (thanks to users who helped me share the expense of buying this software publisher certificate!).

Now that QAP is a “signed” software you should not see “publisher unknown alerts” from protection software like Windows SmartScreen.

However, if Windows tells you: “quickaccesspopup-setup.exe is not commonly downloaded and might harm your computer“, if you trust me and want to try QAP, Click Execute.

QAP-SmartScreen-1

Then, the following message could appear: “Windows protected your PC“. Click More info.

QAP-SmartScreen-2

In the next message, you should see Publisher: Jean Lalonde. Click Run anyway. This will install QAP.

QAP-SmartScreen-3

 

 

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 these special folders in the “My Special Folders” menu?

When Windows is installed, numerous system folders are created. Quick Access Popup knows more than 50 of these “Windows Special Folders”. The My Special folders menu gives access to the most known and used:

  • Desktop
  • Document
  • Pictures
  • Downloads
  • My Computer
  • Network Neighborhood
  • Control Panel
  • Recycle Bin

With the first item of this menu Add Favorite – Special Folder…, you can add new system folders to this menu (see How do I add a favorite to my menu? for help on adding favorites to your menu). There are plenty of other special folders that you can also add using the Add Favorite button in the Customize window, for example: Libraries, Recent items, Startup folder, History, Favorites, Quick Launch, Cookies, Temporary files, etc. Special folders can be inserted in any QAP menu or submenu. For your convenience, the My Special Folders menu was built when you installed QAP. Feel free to add special folders to this menu or to move them around.

Edit the My Special Folders menu

The My Special Folders menu was added automatically to your main menu when you launched QAP. Using the Customize window, you will be able, if you wish, to rename this menu, move it or break up its content in other submenus. See how to open the Customize window and how to use it to customize your menu.

Can I change the font, size, color or behavior of the QAP popup menu items?

Yes and no. QAP is building its menus using standard Windows commands. Depending on your Windows version, you may be able to change menu fonts, size or color in Windows Settings (aka Windows Control Panel). But you can’t change the menu font only in QAP menus.

If you want to reduce the space occupied by your menu, you can change the size of menu icons, or even completely remove them. This will allow you to have more menu entries in the same space. Open the Menu Appearance tab of the Options window change the Menu icon size. Also, you can use sub-menus to group menu entries under a single entry.

The left menu has icons size of 48 pixels, the middle one has the default size 32 pixels and the right one has the smallest 16 pixels width.

For the same reason (because QAP is relying on standard Windows menus), QAP cannot do the followings:

  • Make some menu items bold: only one “default” item Customize in the Main menu is displayed bold.
  • Decide on what side will popup a sub menu: this is determined by Windows depending on the space available on the right side of the menu (if not, the submenu will on on the left – I know, I hate this too…).
  • Have a Live Folder submenu entry to be clickable to open the Live folder itself. In Windows menus, submenu entries are not clickable.
  • Trigger an action if you right-click on a menu item: the right-click on a menu cannot be catched to trigger an action. It just does nothing (but you could be interested by these options: Can I launch Alternative menu features directly from the regular popup menu?)
  • Scroll inside the popup menu using the mouse wheel.
  • Etc…

The alternative would be to completely rewrite the QAP menu (using the AHK platform and much advanced libraries) but this would be way too much work and would open the door to a whole new set of bugs and issues. Sorry but this is not on the QAP roadmap.

Can I create a favorite for an internal command (also called DOS commands) like DIR or XCOPY?

Yes. But creating an application favorite for a Windows/DOS built-in command (like dir, copy, rd, start, etc.) is a bit tricky. You have to create an Application favorite and insert as the application path:

%COMSPEC%

This is an environment variable containing the path to the Console (or CMD) executable. Then, in the Advanced Settings tab, enter the following Parameters:

/k command param1 "param 2"
or
/c command param1 "param 2"

With “/k” the Console window remain open after the command is executed. With “/c”, it will be closed. “command” is the command you want to launch (“DIR” in the following example). And “param1” (etc.) are the parameters for the command. Enclose each of them in double-quotes if they include spaces.

In the following example, the DIR command is called to list the .EXE files in the current folder (“{cur_loc}” is replaced with the path of the folder on which you middle-clicked to open the QAP popup menu):

 

Can I change folder in Windows command line CMD or PowerShell?

Sysadmins love it! Yes, you can popup the QAP menu over the Windows Console (CMD command line utility) and the newer PowerShell application. The console emulator ConEmu is also supported. Ans, since v11, the Windows app Windows Terminal is supported as well.

To change folder in these applications, click the Middle Mouse Button over the CMD or PowerShell window (or activate the CMD/PowerShell window and hit Windows + W) and select a folder in your popup menu. The folder will be sent to the target window with the appropriate command to change folder in CMD or PowerShell.

 

Users of international Windows versions who had issues with accentuated characters not being sent properly to the CMD window, this issue has been solved since v8.7.

Can I control how my computer is closed with QAP?

Quick Access Popup gives you full control on how you close your computer or your screen. With the new QAP Feature Close Computer Control Center, you can Power down, Shutdown, Restart your computer or simply Logoff. You can tell Windows to forced the selected command if required (if you really require it, because this can cause loss of data).

You can also Sleep or Hibernate your computer with two options: Sleep immediately (which may cause data loss) and Disable wake events which prevents some events (like alerts) to wake up you computer when you do not want it.

Finally, you can simply Turn monitor off, Put monitor in low-power mode or Start screen saver.

The Close Computer Control Center feature is available in the QAP Features tree view under the category Windows Features. In addition, other individual QAP Features are available under the Close Computer Commands subcategory: Restart computer, Logoff userSleep computerHibernate computer, Turn monitor off, Put monitor in low-power mode and Start screen saver.

Can I close all running applications and windows in one click?

The QAP Feature Close All Windows displays a dialog box listing all the windows of applications running on your PC. In this list you can select the windows to close. Use the Select/Deselect all buttons or select the check boxes individually. Then click Close selected windows to proceed.

You can double-click (or press Enter) on one window to see more info about its application and close this app individually.

To add this QAP Feature, select the menu Favorite, Add, choose the favorite type QAP Feature and select the feature Close all windows under the section Window Management.

Can I make the active window always on top?

The QAP Feature Window Always on top will turn any window to be the top-most window even if another normal window should cover part or all of it. If the window already has the Always on Top property enabled, the QAP feature will toggle it it to OFF.

To use this feature, you must add it to your menu, add a QAP Feature favorite and select the item under the Window Management category.

Can I sync menu icons with custom Windows folder icons?

QAP can read the current Windows folders custom icons and even set new custom icons to Windows folders .

When you create a favorite folder, if the folder already has a custom icon (configured in the hidden system file desktop.ini), this icon will automatically be associated to your new favorite and shown in your QAP menu.

If the folder has no icon, you can use the Add/Edit favorite dialog box link Set Windows folder icon to change the icon in the folder’s desktop.ini files to the image selected for your favorite. That way, your QAP menu and your Windows file system will show the same icons for your favorite folders. QAP can also Remove Windows folder icon if you want to revert your changes.

See this YouTube video!

 

From where comes the content of the Recent folders and Recent files menus?

The Recent folders and Recent files menus list the recent places or documents memorized by Windows. An option in the Menu tab of the Options window determines the number of items displayed in these menus (default is 10).

Quick Access Popup Recent folders and Recent files are taken from the Windows virtual folder Recent items (C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent or, using the appdata variable, %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent).

This Windows system folder lists the files and folders recently accessed by the user. The Recent Folders menu includes only folder items from this list and the Recent Files includes the rest of it.

Windows is also using this list to populate the Recent Places virtual folder found in Explorer left pane. Recent items are also used to populate the Microsoft applications Jump Lists.

If you want to delete the content of Recent Items folder and of these QAP menus, see these instructions: How can I delete the content of the Recent Folders or Recent Files menus?

How can I delete the content of the Frequent and Recent items menus?

The Frequent folders, Frequent filesRecent folders and Recent Files menus under the In the works menu are populated by scanning periodically the Recent items Windows system folder. Since QAP v9.2, these items are collected in the QAP database allowing to calculate the frequency and determine the order of items in the Frequent items menus. This also improves performance when refreshing Recent items and Frequent items menus.

If, for privacy or any other reason, you want to remove the content of the Recent and Frequent items menus, you need to delete this content from the database:

  1. In the Options window, under the More tab, click the Quick Access Popup Database button.
  2. At the bottom of the Quick Access Popup Database dialog box, click the Flush Frequent Items from database button. This will delete all items from the database.

After you restart QAP, the Frequent and Recent items menus will be empty. If you keep the database enabled, these menus will be repopulated as new contents from the Windows recent items will be added, starting at the time of the last collection.

If you disable the Quick Access Popup Database (by unchecking the first check box in this dialog box), the QAP Recent folders and Recent files menus are populated by reading directly the Windows Recent items menus. To remove these items from the QAP menus, you need to reset the Windows special folder by following these instructions:

  1. Open this folder:
    C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
    or use this shortcut:
    %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
  2. Select all items in this folder and delete them.
  3. The Recent Folders and Recent Files menus in Quick Access Popup are now empty.

More info:

Can I create favorites on network drives?

Yes. Quick Access Popup menu can include favorites from network drives using UNC locations (like \\MyPortablePC\c\SomeFolder\…), a network drive letter (like N:\SomeFolder) and WebDAV locations (like https://sharepoint.server.com/SomeFolder). However, you have to pay attention to some situations that can occur when using network drives with QAP.

Network drives online or offline

In IT environments, corporate servers are normally always online. But in other environments, it can happen that network drives are temporarily offline. For example, if you attach your portable PC drive to your desktop PC, this network resource can be offline if the portable is on the road or just turned off.

When you use folders or files on a network drive, Windows remembers them in its Recent Items system folder. QAP reads this folder to add these resources to its Frequent and Recent menus. When QAP refreshes these menus, it normally accesses the resource’s drive (to check if a file exists or to read a menu icon, for example). If QAP was not protected against offline drives, accessing a network resources when a QAP background task refreshes its menus could cause a long delay before the menu is displayed (see: Why does QAP sometimes look frozen or takes time to show its popup menu?).

Starting with v11.0.7, QAP adds more robust protection against offline drives and add new options in Options, Menus Advanced Options.

If network drives can sometimes be OFFLINE

Keep the checkbox Network drives (“\\” or with drive letters) can sometimes be offline selected. QAP will avoid actions that could cause unexpected delays when refreshing its menus.

If you use drive letters to attach your network drives, enter the letters of these drives in the Drive letters for network drives text box. For example, enter “NSW” for if drives N:, S: and W: are sometimes offline (in fact, you could also enter “N: S: W:” if you prefer since non-letters characters in this field are ignored). Resources on these drives will be treated as network resources.

Of course, if you try to launch a favorite from a network drive when it is offline, expect a delay (that could be as long as 20-60 seconds) during which QAP will be not responding as it waits for a response from Windows.

Also, avoid using Shared menus and Live folders on network drives that could be offline.

Note about USB drives and USB keys

USB drives and USB keys assigned to drive letters do *not* cause a delay when QAP refreshes its menu. This is because Windows “knows” rapidly when these resources are unplugged and does not cause a delay when accessed by QAP. For this reason, these drives letters for these USB resources do not need a special treatment and do not have to be considered in this option.

If network drives are always ONLINE

If your network servers are normally always online, uncheck the checkbox Network drives (“\\” or with drive letters) can sometimes be offline (you do not need to specify network drive letters). In this case, QAP will check if files or folders exist before including them in its Recent and Frequent menus, retrieve custom icon folder and display the network drive’s label and free space in the Drives QAP feature (under My QAP Essentials).

Various notes

Password protection

If a network location is password protected, you may need to be logged in manually *before* navigating to it using Quick Access Popup.

HTTP locations

HTTP locations (URL format) will be automatically transformed to network path (UNC format) for compatibility with Windows Explorer. For example, http://abc.server.com/folder/subfolder/My Name.doc will be replaced by \\abc.server.com\folder\subfolder\My%20Name.doc.

Can I use system environment variables in favorite settings?

Yes. Tech support, sysadmin and other power users love it!

In any file path (folder, document or application), the system environment variables like %appdata%, %public%, %temp% or %userprofile% (etc.) are supported in favorite location (for example: “%appdata%\Microsoft\Templates” will take you to the folder “C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates”).

System variables can also be inserted in favorite advanced settings Parameters, Launch with this application and Start in. See What are favorites advanced settings?

You can also enter a location without path. In this case, the file is searched in the PATH environment variable directories or in app paths in the Windows registry. See Can I use relative paths in favorite settings?.

Finally, you can enter environment variables in favorites name. For example, a favorite name could be “Docs of %username%”.

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.

How do I add Windows Special Folders to my menu?

Adding one of the 50 Windows Special Folders to your menu is as easy as adding a normal folder, and even easier. All you have to do is to select the Special folder in one of the section of the Special Folders tree view, grouped by type of usage:

  • Basic for folders used by everyday usage;
  • Power User for folders used by more advanced users;
  • Sysadmin for PC and network administrative tasks;
  • Contents for folders related to various media;
  • Hardware for folders about PC components.

In addition, the section All (alphabetical order) at the bottom of the tree view shows all 50 Special Folders.

When you select a Special Folders in the tree view, its name is automatically entered in the Short name for menu text zone (if it was not already filled) and the default icon for this special folder is selected in the Menu Options tab. You can change these default name and icon. In the Menu Options tab, as for other types of favorites, you can also select in what submenu and at what position the Special Folder will be inserted, as well as assigning it a shortcut or an hotstring.

Settings in the Window Options tab are identical to those of Folders favorites, as described in the FAQ page about advanced options for favorite folders.

How can I make the QAP icon always stay in the Notification Area?

When you run it, Quick Access Popup (QAP) adds an icon in the Notification Area (System Tray) and await your orders. You can click this icon to open the QAP menu.

But icons in the Notification zone have a tendency to fidget and disappear in an obscure sub menu… There is a method to iron the QAP icon in the Notification zone. Follow the instructions for your Windows version:

See also: When do I need to use the QAP icon in the Notifications Area?

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.

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).