How to Modify the Right-Click Menu

The context menu, often called the "right-click" menu, can get out-of-hand. Learn how to modify it to suit your needs.
Published: Sep 11, 2006
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows

This question submitted by John Caldwell, Jane Johnson, Blake Devlin,Bob Stevens, Pamela Kendrik, and numerous others

I received so many questions about the "right click" menu thatI've finally decided to do an article on it. The majority of emailscomplain about all of the things added to the right-click menu and askhow to remove things. I can certainly identify with that since I installso many programs and many of them add things to the right-clickmenu. Just for future reference this menu is actually called thecontext menu.

The thing to note is that all of these "right-click" menu additions arelocated in the Windows Registry. The "Registry" controls everythingunder Windows. It contains information about every program and everydevice. To remove right-click menu items you will have to edit theWindows Registry. Do exactly what this article describes andyou'll be just fine. Over the years I've performed this operation onevery computer I own, more than once, so I know it is perfectly safe.Remember, following these directions precisely.

Under the Start menu, click Run and then enter:


and press the Enter key. This will open up the built-in Windows Registryeditor. When you open the editor you see a display something like this:

You'll want to click on the "plus" sign next toHKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. At the very top of the listing you'll see anasterisk and you want to click on that.

Then click on "shellex" and under that click on"ContextMenuHandlers. Extending down from this you'll see allkinds of things that have placed entries in your "right-click" orcontext menus. I've intentionally used the Registry of a new virtualmachine I'm building so the list isn't too long. All you have to do isdelete the key which is located on the right-hand side of the Registryeditor.

If, for whatever reason, you hesitate to delete an entry, you candisable it instead. Just right click on the key, on the right side, andselect Modify. The key will look somewhat like this:


To disable the key just insert a minus sign (-) like so:

- {6EE51AA0-77A0-11D7-B4E1-000347126E46}

Once you've deleted the unwanted entries all you have to do is exit theRegistry editor. You can also remove entries that pertain to folders,but that's found in an other location. We'll get into that another time. Sometime down the road I'll also explain how to add entries forthings that you might want.

Remember, it's perfectly safe to edit the Registry. Just follow theseinstructions exactly.

I'd like to thank John Caldwell, Jane Johnson, Blake Devlin,Bob Stevens, Pamela Kendrik, and numerous others for asking this question.

If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you cansubmit it via email by clicking HERE You will not receive areply, but all topics will be considered.

About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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