We install new software’s every day and some of them add shell extensions or menu items to your context menu. This article will quickly help you to remove items from context menu that you don’t use in your day to day activities.

Removing unwanted items from context menu will also speed it up hence it’s advised to clean them up.

CCleaner

If you have already installed CCleaner then you can easily disable some of the context menu items.

If you don’t have it just go ahead and get it installed (5 MB) from here

  • Launch CCleaner.
  • Go to Tools, Startup and click on the Context Menu tab.

Remove items from context menu using CCleaner

  • The program items that are mapped at your Directory, Drive or File level are listed here.
  • If you are curious like me and want to know where exactly these items are stored in registry then right click on any of the listed item and click Open in RegEdit… option.
  • The registry editor will be launched and the appropriate location of the item will be shown to you. That’s how I came to know where context menu items are placed in registry, cool isn’t it?
  • Below are the Registry Locations where File, Drive and Directory items are placed

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\7-Zip

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\AgentRansack

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\7-Zip

ShellMenuView

  • The portable versions are available for both x86 (38 KB) and x64 (51 KB) bit machines.
  • Extract and run the shmnview.exe
  • Right click on the item that you don’t want to be associated with the file extension and click Disable Selected Items.

Remove Items from Context Menu using ShellMenuView

  • Let’s see how the items are disabled behind the scenes, right click on the item that you have disabled and click Open in RegEdit option.
  • Registry Editor will be launched and the location where the entry is available will be displayed to you. You should see a LegacyDisable String Value added which removes the item from the Context Menu.
  • Try enabling the item from the Shell Menu View and you should see the LegacyDisable string value removed.

ShellExView

  • The portable versions are available for both x86 (65 KB) and x64 (95 KB) bit machines.
  • Extract and run the shexview.exe
  • Right click on the item that you don’t want to be listed in the context menu and click Disable Selected Items.
  • Restart Explorer Process (explorer.exe)
  • You can right click on any item and click Google Search – Filename or Google Search Extension Name to launch Google and know more about the item.
  • You can also get an HTML report of all the items displayed in ShellExView.

Steps to Restart Explorer Process

  • Start Task Manager.
  • Under Process Tab find the explorer.exe, select it and click End Process button.


End explorer.exe

  • When you end the explorer.exe process you may not find your taskbar. Do not panic just follow the next step which will bring the task bar again.
  • Now in windows Task Manager go to File Menu, New Task (Run…) and type explorer.exe and press Ok to launch the process again.
  • The items that you have disabled will no longer be displayed in context menu now.

ShellExView Vs ShellMenuView

Both Shell Ex View and Shell Menu View are from the same Nirsoft. Below are some of the differences between them, if you have something more to add feel free to let me know through the comments, I am still learning :-)

Shell Menu View

  • Shell Menu View displays all file extensions and allows you disable the context menu option per file extension basis. For example, you can just disable the VLC Media player context menu options that are shown when you right click mp3 files.
  • You don’t have to restart explorer process when you disable something in Shell Menu View.

Shell Ex View

  • Shell Ex View displays items that were not displayed in Shell Menu view. For example, context menu items for software’s like Agent Ransack, Cyphertite, and Drop box were not listed in Shell Menu View.
  • You have to restart the explorer process once you disable items in Shell Ex View to reflect the changes.

So how cluttered is your context menu and which tools do you use to clean them up?