What order do the items in the “New” menu appear? It looks kind of random.

Raymond Chen

When you right-click on an empty space in an Explorer folder and select the New menu item, you always start with Folder and Shortcut, but the rest seems to be a jumbled list of file types.

Microsoft Access Database
Bitmap image
Microsoft Word Document
Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation
Microsoft Publisher Document
Rich Text Document
Text Document
Microsoft Excel Worksheet
Compressed (zipped) folder

The list looks jumbled, but it’s a very specific kind of jumbled.

The items in the New menu are discovered by looking for Shell­New subkeys in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. And a side effect of the way Explorer walks through the registry and collects the results is that they end up sorted alphabetically by file extension.

.accdbMicrosoft Access Database
.bmpBitmap image
.docxMicrosoft Word Document
.pptxMicrosoft PowerPoint Presentation
.pubMicrosoft Publisher Document
.rtfRich Text Document
.txtText Document
.xlsxMicrosoft Excel Worksheet
.zipCompressed (zipped) folder

This behavior is not contractual. It’s just an artifact of the implementation. Maybe it’ll change someday.