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Windows gets a lot of things right, but we’ve also learned to live with lots of annoyances. Some of these problems are large-scale issues, like when Windows won’t boot, but you can actually remedy a good number of smaller problems if you know where to look.
You probably use the right-click context menu in the File Explorer every day, but over time it gets cluttered with entries you don’t care about. If it takes you ten seconds to scroll down to the context menu entry you need, use these tools to tidy it up.
Remove Unneeded Entries
Just like adding a desktop shortcut and setting itself to run at startup, a lot of Windows software adds a context menu entry when you install it. Sometimes, these are useful, like quickly unzipping a compressed file with 7-Zip, but you probably have plenty more that you’ve never touched.
Have a look now: open a File Explorer window and right-click any file. How many of these shortcuts have you used in the past month?
Thankfully, we can get rid of these extraneous entries without much trouble. The excellent tool CCleaner makes this a cinch, so head on over to the download page and install a copy if you don’t use it already. Once you’ve installed it, open CCleaner and click the Tools button on the left sidebar. Choose the Startup tab, then select Context Menu above the list to show those entries.
This list is fairly self-explanatory. You can disable any entry by right-clicking it and choosing Disable. Each app’s status is shown, along with the associated program and publisher. You may have difficulty distinguishing between multiple entries from one program, so keep a window open for testing while you make changes here.
Add Useful Shortcuts
Once you’ve removed junk you don’t need, the next step is adding cool shortcuts that you’ll actually use. For this, the free tool Right Click Enhancer (RCE) provides everything you’ll need. Install that, and let’s walk through what you can do with it. We’ve looked at RCE in-depth before, so we’ll hit the highlights this time.
Once you open RCE, you’ll see a list of utilities included in the app.
Right Click Tweaker
Right Click Tweaker adds new shortcuts to your right-click menu. Each item in the list contains a brief description; some of the best shortcuts are:
- Encrypt: If you often encrypt files to keep them from prying eyes, this shortcut lets you do so even faster.
- Copy Content lets you copy a text file’s contents right onto your clipboard without opening it.
- Copy as Path lets you copy the directory location of an item.
- New folder allows you to create a new folder faster than the New > Folder method.
- Take Ownership gives you control over a file without going through user account control.
- God Mode places a shortcut to the all-powerful secret configuration menu.
Send to Manager
The Send to entry appears in the right-click menu, and branches out to a menu of its own. Most people use this menu to quickly create a desktop shortcut or zip a file, but you can add much more using this utility.
Have a look over the existing entries, and use the red X icon to remove any of them you don’t use. Most people probably never use the Fax Recipient option, so you can cut that and save space. To add more items, use the two icons at the top of the window to add a folder location or a program. You could add a “to-do” folder here, or perhaps your image editing program to quickly send images to.
Right Click Editor IE
Chances are, you don’t use internet Explorer much anymore. It’s only included in Windows 10 for compatibility, and you can install a superior browser on any version of Windows. However, if there’s a specific entry on the right-click menu in IE bothering you, you can remove it here. The app also lets you add a script to the right-click menu, but we doubt anyone will need this.
New Menu Editor
Yet another sub-menu when you right-click is the New menu, which lets you quickly create a new file of various types. Programs often install shortcuts in this menu, allowing you to create a new LibreOffice or Photoshop document without opening their programs.
Using this editor, you can remove any entry that you don’t often use. It also lets you browse through every currently disabled file type, so you can create a new MP3 file from the shortcut menu if you desire.
Everything above comes with the free version of the application, but there’s a $10 Professional upgrade available, as well. Its two main advantages are adding sub-menus to the right-click menu, and adding shortcuts to programs and files to the right-click menu. If you want to go all-out in your customizing, $10 isn’t a bad price. However, there’s still plenty you can do with the free version, so try that first.
Unfortunately, many of the tools that we covered years ago for additional right-click functionality are abandoned and don’t work on modern versions of Windows. However, these two utilities should provide all you need to get your right-click menus in order. By removing entries you never use and adding shortcuts that save time, you’ll be zipping around menus faster than before.
For more quick customization, check out creative ways to launch software and access folders.
Is your right-click menu a mess? Let us know which entries you cut from the list, and which shortcuts are most useful for you!