Clear Context menu in Windows 10

I love installing new software’s on my laptop to try out the latest applications and chances are you too Isn’t’?

Over the time what happens is these software’s install a lot of features depending upon the software some of them gets added into you context options or you can say right-click options which you get on file or normally clicking anywhere. These options are added into the registry while installing the software.

While these are added there for a purpose to quickly use those applications for that particular file but not all of the features are useful and you might not even use most of them from the context menu.

Even there are cases because of too many context options right click options gets slowed down and that can be solved simply by decluttering the options which are there by default and options you never use.

This a very small change but makes a lot of difference, right-click is the most used option for every Windows user and having only the things you need is great plus no chances of getting slowed down for no reason and even better restore the changes whenever you like so why not let start removing some of those options.

Backup Registry

First things first, Let’s take the backup of all the current context menu options as it is.

  • Open RUN by pressing Windows + R
  • Type regedit and press enter to launch Registry Editor
open regedit using run
  • Now in registry editor open File Menu and select export
  • Save the Exported file somewhere safe
backup regedit

Now you have backed up Registry in any case if something bad happens you can restore your registry by selecting import from Registry Editors file menu.

Cleanup Context Menu

All thease settings are saved in Registry, you can always go to Registry Editor and edit the values, real question is this process will be time consuming and we also don’t know everylocation of every context menu.

So here I am going to use some useful windows utilities that will make things easier for you to do.

Here are two small utilities completely free which will take care of the background part and you don’t need to open any registry editor or complex steps.

ShellMenuView

ShellMenuView is made by NirSoft famous for making useful windows utilites, after downloading the utility extract it and run to start using it.

ShellMenuView lists all the static context menu items on your system, you can enable quick filter by pressing the Ctrl + Q or select it from “View” menu’s dropdown,

You can now disable any context menu you find not useful by selecting the row and selecting “Disable Selected Item” from right-click menu or by pressing the keyboard shortcut F7 to Disable and F8 to Enable,

disable static context menu

When you disable any item it’s background will be greyed out so you can easily identify which one is disabled and which one is not.

You customize the all the columns shown to you by going to “View” menu and selecting “Choose Columns” to reduce and reorder the columns as you like,

You can also drilldown your hunt if you are looking for any context menu that appears on any specific file type extension like, an image or pdf,

ShellMenuView also shows you the registry key location from where it reads the information you can open the registry editor of that location by selecting the one row and pressing F6 .

While all changes you do in ShellMenuView applied instantly for some changes you have to restart your system.

shellMenu View application

ShellExView

ShellExView will show all the Extensions installed into the system by Operating System and all other third party software in one view, ShellExView shows the context menu items that are dynamic means these are context menu that always depends on what file type and directory right-click is made like an image, archive file, video or a directory.

ShellExView gives you a long list of items that are shell extension while we are only interested in Context Menu Items,

So first you should find the “Type” column and sort it, now all the context menu items are at one place, you can always hide and unhide unnecessary columns from “View” > “Choose Columns” option.

You can also hide all the Microsoft Extensions from the list by selecting “Hide All Microsoft Extensions” from the options menu, it’s really useful because third party extensions are always the reason for the slowness of context menu.

hide microsoft extensions

Enabling and Disabling of any item is same as ShellMenuView F7 to Disable, F8 to Enable and F2 to open in the registry editor,

File Explorer restart required after enabling and disabling any context menu or other items from the list or you can simply restart your system.

To restart the File Explorer while ShellExView is opened press Ctrl + E or you can select the restart option from “Options” Menu

ShellEx View application

What to Disable

Here are few things you can disable using the above mentiond utilities

  • Edit with Paint 3D (using ShellMenuView)
  • Include in Library (using ShellExView)
  • Edit on image and text based files (using ShellMenuView)

This list will depend upon what you need or what you don’t but know you know how to declutter your windows context menu.

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