IContextMenu::InvokeCommand method (shobjidl_core.h)

Carries out the command associated with a shortcut menu item.


HRESULT InvokeCommand(




A pointer to a CMINVOKECOMMANDINFO or CMINVOKECOMMANDINFOEX structure that contains specifics about the command.

Return value


If this method succeeds, it returns S_OK. Otherwise, it returns an HRESULT error code.


The IContextMenu interface is exported by several Shell extension handlers and namespace extensions. It is used to add commands to shortcut menus. When the user selects one of the commands that the handler or namespace extension added to a shortcut menu, the Shell calls that command's InvokeCommand method. The command can be specified by its menu identifier offset, defined when IContextMenu::QueryContextMenu was called, or by its associated verb. An application can invoke this method directly by obtaining a pointer to an object's IContextMenu interface. An application can also invoke this method indirectly by calling ShellExecute or ShellExecuteEx and specifying a verb that is supported by the namespace extension or handler.

Note to Users

Although the pici parameter is declared in Shlobj.h as a CMINVOKECOMMANDINFO structure, you can use either CMINVOKECOMMANDINFO or CMINVOKECOMMANDINFOEX. Either will work for ANSI strings, but you must use a CMINVOKECOMMANDINFOEX structure for Unicode strings.

Notes to Implementers

Check the cbSize member of pici to determine which structure (CMINVOKECOMMANDINFO or CMINVOKECOMMANDINFOEX) was passed in. If it is a CMINVOKECOMMANDINFOEX structure and the fMask member has the CMIC_MASK_UNICODE flag set, you must cast pici to CMINVOKECOMMANDINFOEX to use the Unicode information contained in the last five members of the structure.

If the verb, specified either by a canonical verb name or the command ID is not recognized by the context menu handler, it must return a failure (E_FAIL) so that the verb can be passed on to other context menu handlers that might implement it.

As of Windows Vista, it is not sufficient invoke the command asynchronously simply by setting the CMIC_MASK_ASYNCOK flag in the fMask member of the CMINVOKECOMMANDINFO or CMINVOKECOMMANDINFOEX structure. You must also set a thread reference on the calling thread as explained in Managing Thread References.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows XP [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header shobjidl_core.h (include Shobjidl.h)
DLL Shell32.dll (version 4.0 or later)

See also