The context menu is immensely useful in most circumstances. You can quickly gain access to various commands that you would otherwise have to spend a lot of time getting to. Individual programs like antivirus software and archive programs like 7-zip can also add their own options to the context menu. Although this feature can be very useful as well, it can also clutter the context menu so much that it becomes unbearable. This is even worse when you have removed a program but something went wrong during the uninstallation and it stayed on the context menu. This guide will show you how to remove individual entries using the Windows Registry Editor.
To start with, you will need to open the registry. Do this by pressing your Windows key, typing “regedit.exe” and then pressing Enter. The context menu items should be located in the following three directories:
Now you might be asking about the differences between them. The two are mainly reserved for third party applications while the last one gives you advanced context menu properties, like when you are right clicking while holding the Shift key. Third party applications should not be located there but you can still visit the directory if you want.
Regarding the other two, they are different in how you can disable them. Obviously, the easiest solution for both of them is to simply delete the entire items. You can even back them up and restore them in the future if you want to add them again. However, you might want to simply disable them so that you do not mess with the registry too much or because you do not want to go through the hassle of restoring them in the future.
For the shell items, you will need to create a new string value. Once you have found the context menu entry that you want to disable it, click on its directory and then right click on the right side panel. Create a new string value and name it Extended. This will hide the item from the menu. Otherwise, name the new string key LegacyDisable to disable the key instead of hiding it.
Shellex items are a bit different. You will need to double click on the value and enter a few dashes (-) before its name, like “——ContextItem”. To enable it again, you will only have to delete the dashes. So these are the ways to disable context menu entries without using any software. If you are not feeling confident about this method, you can always download a third party program to automate the process.