How to clean Windows right-click context menu and remove useless clutter [Guide]

When you right-click a file or folder in Windows Explorer, a context menu opens with various shortcuts and options. They can include a multitude of shell extensions such as Scan with AVG and Find Empty Folders with Glary Utilities. Indeed, if you install a lot of software then your right-click context menu may be very messy. With suitable software you can remove shell extensions to clear up your Windows Explorer context menu.

To clear up the Windows Explorer context menu, download ShellExView. That’s a software application with which you can remove the shell extensions from the context menu. Any shell extension removed, can also be put back on the context menus with the software.

You can add the ShellExView software to Windows 98 up to Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) from this website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and then select Download self-install executable for installing ShellExView with uninstall support. Then click Run to add the software to Windows.

Once added to Windows, open the ShellExView software window below. What you have there is a list of the shell extensions on your context menus. Now you can remove some of them.

ShellEx1

Firstly, right-click a folder icon in Windows Explorer to open its context menu as below. In the context menu below there are a few shell extensions, such as Find Empty Folders with Glary Utilities and Scan with AVG, that could be removed from it.

ShellEx2

Find the corresponding shell extensions listed in ShellExView. To list them alphabetically, click the Extension column heading at the top left of the window. Then locate the shell extension’s software with ShellExView. For example, the software lists Scan with AVG as AVG Shell Extension Class; and the Find Empty Folders with Glary Utilities shell extension is listed as Glary Utilities Context Menu Shell Extension.

ShellEx3

Once you have found the pertinent shell extension in ShellExView, select it and then click on the Disable Selected Items option (the red circle) at the top left of the window. That then removes the shell extension from the Windows Explorer context menus. I removed all the Glary Utility options from the context menu below by disabling the Glary Utilities Context Menu Shell Extension. To put the shell extensions back on the Windows Explorer context menus, select them and click on the green circle at the top left of the window.

ShellEx4

You can remove the Windows Explorer context menu shortcuts much the same with ShellExView. The only other way to remove them would be to uninstall their software such as Glary Utilities. Or you could delve in and tweak the registry without the ShellExView software.

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8 comments

  1. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@Bruce] You can run the AVs side-by-side if you disable live protection for all of them except one. This means you would use the other ones for on-demand scanning only. Always remember: NEVER enable live protection for more than one AV at a time.

  2. Bruce

    Matthew — I’m just curious, but if the examples you show above are screen shots from your own computer… I’m wondering why you have 3 different anti-virus programs running. I see Avast, AVG, and Norton 360. Perhaps the Norton suite is not handling anti-virus, but still… these programs seem to be at odds with one another.

    B.

  3. David Roper

    [@CJ Cotter] CJ, I would second the motion here of CJ for some more articles on NIR. I think the two greatest living Freeware Living software authors in 2014 is NIR and IRFAN. Karen died a while back.

    If only NIR could write Porn, that would be the greatest feat of the century so far.

    Okay, but seriously, NIR reviews would be great to read.

  4. CJ Cotter

    I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again: NirSoft is one of those off-the-beaten-path websites with a plethora of quirky programs with cheesy-looking UIs. Yet, in the end, it grows on you, like the loveable uncle who doesn’t dress well. It’s a great place to spend an idle amount of hours on the internet, checking out all of the software they have, instead of looking at porn. This is the second review of NirSoft programs I’ve seen here lately. I hope to see more.