It's Time To Clean Up Your Windows Context Menu

We might agonise over operating system start-up times, but it's not the occasional restart that affects your productivity. It's the little delays that add up over time that you should worry about. Take the humble Windows context menu. It can get filled with crud from application installs and if it's not appearing near-instantly when you right-click, it's time to clean it out.

As Martin Brinkmann over at gHacks points out, there are a number of utilities perfect for this purpose, though NirSoft's ShellExView is the best of the lot.

The tool is designed to reveal shell extensions registered with Windows, including the majority of items you see when you right-click.

Once you fire up ShellExView, you shouldn't have much trouble identifying what extensions should stay or go. The app even comes with additional options, including one to mark "suspicious" extensions -- those that have hidden attributes -- which makes it easier to remove malware that might have previously escaped notice.

ShellExView [NirSoft, via gHacks]


    Good timing, thanks. I was looking at my context menu earlier today and noticed some stuff that had been added. ShellExView here I come.

    started that app, took one look and decided id just put up with the right click menu. thats confusing as fuck.

    An alternative that's (sort of) endorsed by Microsoft is: Autoruns. It was part of the sysinternals bundle but became available standalone as a lightweight, unobtrusive declutter app.

    For a completely software-less method, delete unwanted entries from the following registry keys:

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