Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries

cluttered context menu icon   Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries Windows 7’s context menus can become cluttered over time, filled with different options from the various programs you’ve installed. Worse yet, badly behaved context menu entries can add delays before the context menu appears, slowing you down and making you wait every time you right-click a file or folder.

What happens when you right-click a file on your Windows 7 system? Is there a significant delay before the context menu appears? (Go on, feel free to try it – we’ll wait.) If there is, you should remove some context menu entries to speed things up. Even if it pops up quickly, you might want to remove some context entries just to tidy things up.

CCleaner

One of the quickest, easiest ways to remove context menu entries is with CCleaner, a popular application we’ve covered in the past. The context-menu-editing feature was added to CCleaner fairly recently, so be sure you have the latest version of CCleaner or you may not have the feature. Launch CCleaner and click the Check for Updates link at the bottom of its window to check that you have the latest version.

In CCleaner, click the Tools icon in the sidebar, select Startup, and click the Context Menu tab at the top of the list. You’ll see a list of context menu items you can easily disable.

ccleaner context menu cleaning   Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries

Some items in this list may have the same name as the context menu entry itself, while some are named after the program the context menu is associated with. For example, the “ANotepad++64” item in my list here corresponds to the Edit with Notepad++ context menu entry.

To disable a context menu entry, select it and click the Disable button. You probably shouldn’t use the Delete button – if you disable a context menu entry, you can easily re-enable it from here later. If you want a context menu entry back after deleting it, you may have to reinstall its associated application.

ccleaner disable a context menu entry   Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries

Changes you make here take effect immediately – you don’t have to restart your computer.

If your context menu is slow to appear when you right-click a file, try disabling each context menu entry here one at a time. After disabling one, right-click a file and see if your problem is solved – if it is, you’ve pinned down the problematic context menu entry and solved your problem.

ShellExView

CCleaner is great and easy-to-use, but you may have noticed that it doesn’t show all context menu entries. If you need to see them all, try ShellExView by NirSoft.

After downloading and launching ShellExView, it automatically scans your system for context menu entries and other shell extensions.

shellexview main window   Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries

To view only context menu entries, click the Options menu, select Filter By Extension Type, and choose Context Menu.

shellexview filter by extension type   Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries

The list shows both third-party context menu entries and built-in ones that come with Windows. Third-party context menu entries are highlighted in pink – they’re the ones you’ll want to disable. (You can also disable some of the built-in context menu entries, if you like.)

To disable a context menu entry, click it and click the red Disable button on the toolbar. The word “Yes” will appear in the Disabled column. If you want to re-enable it later, open ShellExView, select the disabled context menu entry, and click the green Enable button on the toolbar.

You’ll have to restart your computer for your changes here to take effect. It’s not as convenient as CCleaner’s tool, but you can manage many more context menu entries.

shellexview context menu entries   Make Windows 7 Faster By Removing Context Menu Entries

It’s also possible to remove context menu entries by editing your registry directly, but we don’t recommend this. Even for experienced users, this process is much more tedious and time-consuming (context menu entries are stored in five different places in the registry). It’s also not possible to easily disable a context menu entry, only delete them – so you’d have to back up each key before deleting it if you wanted to restore it later. Computers excel at automating tedious tasks, and this is one tedious task computers can handle for us.

If you’re still using Windows XP, you can actually remove some context menu entries without installing any other software – but this option is no longer present in Windows 7.

Did you catch any context menu entries slowing your computer down, or did you just tidy up a cluttered context menu? Leave a comment and let us know, especially if you identify a misbehaving context menu entry that was slowing you down.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

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34 Comments -

0 votes

Trevor Sullivan

Before blindly removing context menu entries, you might want to visit “Programs and Features” (formerly “Add/Remove Programs”) and uninstall any applications that might have created those entries.

Cheers,
Trevor Sullivan

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

True enough, but some misbehaving apps won’t uninstall properly. Or, you might want to remove a context menu entry and leave its associated program installed.

0 votes

Sebastian Cork

Both, great points considered.

0 votes

Nart Barileva

I’ve been trying to find something like this for a while now!

0 votes

Erlis Dhima

I think context-menu should really be organized. Since many programs are installed on the computer, a lot of context menu options are added. But not all of them are needed! I removed a lot of them time ago.. Also for those who know how to edit the computer register, it even better! I added some necessary options for playing video with MPC, and some others!
Anyway, I think your post is really great! But adding a section as advanced, using registry keys, won’t be as bad option… Even if there are thousands of programs out there!

0 votes
0 votes

Nguyen Tran

Thanks a lot, Chris Hoffman!

0 votes

James Graham

Thanks! I never realized CC Cleaner did this!

0 votes

Ben Mordecai

Wow this is surprisingly helpful.

0 votes

Alan Wade

Clearing out my right click context menu’s is something that I attack firstly after a re-install then once a month. I use the good old registry method as the first entry to get a cleanup is the ‘New’ entry. Once I have removed not only program entries but system entries that I dont want, I then put in my own to frequently used folers and apps.

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

It’s too bad they removed Windows XP’s GUI for this.

0 votes

Silviu Despa

I have tried this but it didin’t really seem to change anything :(…

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Depends on whether you have a misbehaving application in your right-click menu.

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Depends on whether you have a misbehaving application in your right-click menu.

0 votes

Ganesh Kumar

useful information thanks

0 votes

Emmanuel Olalere

Thanks for the tip, will try it out sometime

0 votes

Dan Valentin

I prefer to this in the old fashioned way, not by using ectra applications.

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Fair enough, but many (most) readers won’t!

0 votes

GrrGrrr

Thanks Chris. For me Ccleaner shows 18 entries. Few with Key as Directory, File and Drive. Could you pls help understanding the difference between these keys?

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

They’re shown when you right-click the type of item. For example, a Directory item is shown when you right-click a folder (directory). The others are shown when you right-click a file or drive (for example, C:)

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GrrGrrr

Thanks Chris, i got it now.

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sanjay_addya

really helpful thanx

0 votes

venkatp16

Thanks , good article. I’ using CCcleaner but never seen this option.

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

It’s a fairly new feature!

0 votes

lance burn

Im gona use ccleaner as I have it installed already.

0 votes

Joe Cool

Hey All,

Chris mentions that if you use Nirsoft’s ShellExView to make changes you will need to reboot your system for the changes to take effect.

Well, I’ve discovered that you can make the changes take effect immediately without the need for a reboot if you do a system refresh using another of Nirsoft’s tools named Nircmd, available here:

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/nircmd.html

Nircmd provides a command named “sysrefresh” that initiates a general system refresh (which basically means applying the registry changes immediately instead of waiting for the system to do things in its own good time). You’ll need to use the command-line version, nircmdc.exe, since the GUI version always seems to want to copy itself to the Windows directory, but doesn’t do anything else.

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Chris Hoffman

Oh, very cool, thanks! I was wondering why CCleaner could do that but ShellExView couldn’t.

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Chris Hoffman

Or reinstall Windows (or restore your computer’s recovery partition)!

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Alan Wade

Getting a new PC or a re-install wont stop the amount of entries in the right click ‘New’ folder. I mean that is the first thing I attack, just how many of the shortcuts in that folder do you actually use? With me its two – Folder and Shortcut so that is all I have.

0 votes

Luis Gallegos

Thanks Trevor Williams & Chris Hoffman for that tips and on of visiting “Programs and Features” (formerly “Add/Remove Programs”) and uninstalling any applications that might have been created by those entries, Before removing context menu entries, makes it mucho easier!

Very useful information thanks.

Luis M. G.

0 votes

fatihamzah

Oh man!, my context menu entries is many. But, is the removed context make my PC faster very significantly? hmm, ive seen this before, but now i would like to try it!

Thanks!

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

I’ve seen some buggy ones add delays, so it can — it will only be noticeable if you have a buggy one, though.

0 votes

Rich Mc.

Great information, I never really paid attention to the lag time when right clicking folders but now that I did I will definately be trying out some of these removals…..thanks

0 votes

~MM~

By use of ShellExView, I disabled Norton’s “IEContextMenu Class”, which resolved a friends slow right click contextual menu blues! Cheers, & thanks! :)