Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cleaning out the context menu, finally!

Here at the lab, we’ve always hated the cluttered context menu. . . it’s always been one of those areas where windows application installers are given free reign to pollute the day to day operation of the system, through a mechanism the user is not conveniently able to access. To clean it out one has to use the registry editor. Using the registry is a pain in the ass. Nonetheless, around here we do it a lot.

We’ve been able to remove most of the garbage from the menu, but in XP, that left no convenient method to create a new folder. See, that was in the ‘new’ submenu of the right click menu. . . along with a bunch of other things. That this author has never clicked on. Ever. In 15 years or so of windows.

Now that ‘new menu’ functionality is provided in explorer windows, It can finally go. None of this is new information, but it does seem that in windows vista much of this information has been moved to a new location described below. 

Without further adieu, the quick and dirty registry hack:

Navigate to


Export this tree, for safe keeping.

Delete what you don’t want. Or delete everything. Deleting everything killed open as, which we need. Good thing there was that registry backup.

Other related locations of interest include:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ ContextMenuHandlers 

There are an uncounted number of other 'ContextMenuHandlers' in the registry, and it's a giant pain to search for them all, but these seem to be all the one's that do anything, as of Windows 7. 

The right click menu on the Desktop and in empty areas of explorer windows should be exorcized of those graphics options, file compression options, and whatever else has accumulated there. This goes a long way to extending some of the personalization enhancements in windows 7.

This post contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer. It may also hose your windows. If it doesn’t make much sense to you don’t bother with it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey!!! i need to disable the "copy" and "paste" keys for the folders and files.... can you tell me a way to do tht?