[Windows] Cleanup the right-click context menu for files/folders in Windows Explorer with ShellMenuView

An annoying habit of programmers is to make their programs place an entry in the right-click context menu for files/folders in Windows Explorer. If you have a lot of programs installed, this leads to a cluttered right-click menu that is not only annoying to use but also slow to load. If you are fed up with the right-click context menu for files/folders in Windows Explorer being more dirty than your dorm room then give ShellMenuView a try.

ShellMenuView is a small, portable application that allows users to cleanup the right-click context menu for files/folders in Windows Explorer. It does this by analyzing and displaying the entries assigned for all file types and folders; then it allows you to enable/disable any entries you see fit:

ShellMenuView works in “real time” so as soon as you enable or disable an entry, the change is made to your computer — there is no save button. (The save button in the button bar at the top is for something different, not applying the changes you have made) Also, ShellMenuView supports batch processing so you can enable/disable multiple entries at a time simply by selecting them all. (Once an entry has been disabled, it appears with a gray background and has a Yes under the Disabled column.)

In addition to enabling/disabling entries, ShellMenuView allows users to move entries to/remove entries from Extended Mode. Extended mode is the the menu that pops up when you hold Shift on your keyboard while right-clicking on a file or folder; it is basically a secondary right-click context menu.

To help make it easy to enable/disable specific entries, ShellMenuView provides information about exactly which extension a particular right-click context menu appears for. For example, the Edit entry appears for .DOC and .DOCX files on my computer:

[Folders are listed as Directory, drives are listed as Drives, DVDs are listed as DVD, and audio CDs are listed as AudioCD.]

Having this capability allows users to disable an entry for a specific file extension while leaving the entry for other file extensions. Very useful, if you ask me. (If you want to disable the same entry for multiple file extensions, simply sort the list by Menu Name, find the entry you want to disable, select all the entries for the file extensions, and disable.)

Other features of ShellMenuView are:

  • The ability to save entry data in a text file:

  • The ability to copy entry data to Windows Clipboard
  • The ability to view/modify the context menu entry in RegEdit
  • The ability to look up information about the extension on NirSofer’s extension database on Nirsoft.net
  • The ability to generate HTML reports about all the right-click context menu entries on your comp or just the ones you have selected:

  • The ability to view the Properties of an entry:

  • The ability to search existing right-click context menu entries, making it easier to find a specific one

While I do wish ShellMenuView did a few more things, specifically allowing users to add new entries and delete existing ones – not just disabling them – ShellMenuView is a very useful tool as it stands. Time to put those pesky context menu entries on the endangered annoyances list.

You can grab ShellMenuView from the links below. There is a separate download for 32-bit and 64-bit machines; both versions are portable, so no installation is necessary.

Version reviewed: v1.15

Supported OS: Windows 2000 and higher

Download size: 38-51 KB

ShellMenuView homepage

[Direct download – 32-bit]

[Direct download – 64-bit]

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  • ebony

    Ashraf :)

    Thank you for posting regarding this program. It was just what I needed or so I thought. I have to agree with Paul. There were 3 files that I checked and rechecked that did not appear in the View but was on my right click menu, Peazip, Shredder, and, Tune up disk space explorer.

    I wanted to remove these so that I do not click by accident. Is it possible that these “types” of files just does not show up? (Wild guess, no logic)

    I am going to keep looking because my menu is in real need of some maintainence.

  • Ashraf

    @Paul: Don’t worry — I am not offended at all by your comments. In fact, I appreciate the feedback dotTechies provide. Not only do comments fill the gaps that I may have left but it also helps other people that may be having the same issue/thinking the same thing. I try my best to fully review software but I ain’t perfect so I might miss some criticism/functionality. It may sound odd but comments help improve dotTech.

    @Juanita: You are very welcome!

  • Juanita

    Thanks for your reply. I had seen that statement but wasn’t sure whether it included simply adding items, as opposed to adding customized commands for external apps. I’d have preferred a clear, straightforward statement like the one you helpfully offered re ShellMenu View. I realize that I could simply download FileMenu Tools and try it out, but I thought I’d see whether anyone had direct experience with the program and could let me know.

  • Paul

    @Ashraf: No difference. Anyway, my user has full admin privileges anyway.

    Hey, I’m not saying this is bad. I still got rid of quite a few unwanted entries.

  • Ashraf

    @Paul: Have you tried running as administrator? Don’t know if that will help, but it might.

    Maybe I picked a bad lemon this time around…

  • Paul

    Well it doesn’t – not even close. And I’ve rechecked in Windows Explorer proper before responding.

    There appear to be levels in WE context menus, divided by separator lines. This app seems to work on the top level only

  • Ashraf

    @Panama Patrick: Thanks! I will look into it.

    @Juanita: Maybe. Their website list the following as a feature: “Add customised commands which run external applications, copy/move to a specific folder or delete specific file types.”

    @Paul: What do you mean? This is specifically only for the right-click context menu for files/folders in Explorer. It should list all the entries for that.

  • Paul

    FileMenu Tools crashes my Explorer replacement (xplorer¬≤), so that’s out.

    This one isn’t bad as far as it goes, but it doesn’t list a lot of the context menu entries I really want to get rid of.

  • Juanita

    @Panama Patrick:
    Patrick, does FileMenu Tools permit the user to add entries to the context menu? I went to the website but was unable to tell whether that is possible.

  • Panama Patrick

    Another, in my opinion easier, content menu control program is FileMenu Tools at: http://www.lopesoft.com/en/index.html

    Just my two cents.