Saturday, September 10, 2011

Removing Items from the Context Menu in Windows 7

Over time, your context menus can become cluttered with program entries from old programs that you may not use anymore. You might experience programs that take over all your context menus. Compression apps such as WinZip, WinRaR, or Picozip always end up adding program entries to all the context menus. I have Picozip installed on my computer and every time I right-click any file or folder, I see five entries from Picozip giving me different compression options. This can be a convenient feature, but if you don’t compress and extract zip files very often; you might not need the added convenience. Instead, you could remove these entries from your context menu, which will give your system a cleaner interface as well as a small performance boost if you have a lot of extra entries in your context menu.

Removing these programs from your context menus can be a little tricky because they can be spread in different places in the registry. The only way to remove these types of entries is to edit the registry directly. Follow these steps:

1. Click the Start button, type regedit in the Search box, and then press Enter.

2. When the Registry Editor appears, expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT folder. You will now see a list of every file type that is set up on your computer.

3. If the entry that you want to remove from the context menu appears in all context menus, such as the preceding WinZip example, you will have to expand the * folder. Otherwise, expand the folder with the file extension you want to modify.

4. After expanding the correct folder, expand the ShellEx and ContextMenuHandlers folders. Your registry path should be HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\ShellEx\ContextMenuHandlers.

5. Look through the list until you find the entry that you want to remove. Right-click the entry and select Delete. You will find that identifying some of the programs is easy. For example, WinRaR is labeled WinRaR. However, you may run into some items that are listed using their application/class ID or a vague name. If so, do a registry search of the class ID (Ctrl+F), which is formatted as {XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX}, to find other references that will give you clues to what the ID belongs to. If that does not work, try doing a search on Google to see whether that turns up anything.

6. After you are finished removing all the entries from your context menus, just close Registry Editor and you are finished. Your changes will be in effect immediately.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Tweaks 2010
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