Windows – How to remove items from the right click (context) menu in Windows

context menuwindows

The right click (context) menu is minimal and clean on a fresh installation of Windows. Install a bunch of applications and soon the context menu is loaded with all kinds of opening options from various applications.

How do I remove items from the right click (context) menu?

I find that there are different types of right click menu items:

  • Global items that appear in all context menus.

  • Items that appear only on folders.

  • Items that appear only on files.

  • Items that appear only on special folders (Ex: Right clicking a folder of MP3s shows up a context menu with items like Play with Windows Media Player.)

  • Items that appear only on certain file types (Ex: Right clicking a MP3 file shows up a context menu with items from Windows Media Player/Foobar2000/VLC/your-favorite-media-player begging to open this file.)

I want to be able to delete all these kinds items from the right click (context) menu.

Best Answer

I've written a lengthy explanation of how to clean up a messy context menu, using either the registry editor:

If you want to clean things up the truly geeky way, you can open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to one of the following keys…

Most of the menu items that used for all files and folders can be found by looking at one of these keys:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFileSystemObjects\ShellEx

Items that are specific to folders can usually be found in one of these keys instead:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers

You can read more at: How to Clean Up Your Messy Windows Context Menu

Or use some freeware NirSoft tools like ShellMenuView or ShellExView.

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