In almost every Operating System and applications, the context menu (the menu that pops up when you right click the mouse) is always an important feature that is often overlooked by the users. Imagine a life without context menu, you won’t be able to right-click the mouse and quickly change the desktop settings, or to open a folder with another application. How unproductive would it be? On the other hand, if you are able to manage and edit your context menu rather than accepting the default, you will be able improve your efficiency and productivity to a higher level. Let’s see how you can achieve this in Windows.
Here are 5 free tools and utilities that you can use to manage the context menu in Windows.
ShellExView is a very small, simple and portable tool from Nirsoft which can be used to view and alter the shell extensions installed in the context menu of Windows. It also lists down the type of the shell extension. The type determines where the shell extension will appear in the context menu. For example, if registered, you will find “Set as Desktop Background” option in the context menu options if you right click an image in Windows 7. Since more items in the context menu make the right click menu heavy, you can lighten it by removing unnecessary items. To find unnecessary items, see their names from the context menu and then find (Ctrl + F) them in ShellExView to remove them.
2. Context Menu Editor
Context Menu Editor has a better graphical user interface (GUI) than ShellExView. Unlike ShellExView, context Menu Editor deletes and removes the items present in the context menu. There is no way to backup or restore the menu items so you should be very careful when using Context Menu Editor. The benefit of this tool is that it gives a lot of information about each context menu item. You can select different types of context menus from the drop down menu. This will only show the items present in the selected context menu. If you want to remove any item, just select it from menu items and press the “Delete From Menu” button. Please be careful as doing this is an irreversible process.
3. Right Click Context Menu Extender
Right Click Context Menu Extender is not exactly a full fledge tool to manage the context menu. Context Menu Extender can add many useful options to the right click menu. Context Menu Extender can also take a backup of Windows registry so that you may be able to restore it if anything goes wrong. You will not be able to remove any items from the context menus using Context Menu Extender.
4. FileMenu Tools
FileMenu Tools adds the functionality of Context Menu Extender and Context Menu Editor. You can add or remove items and menus from the context menu. There are some important options pre-defined that can be added to the context menu with a single click. FileMenu Tools also takes care of the Send To items. You can add and remove items from Send To menu. This is the best tool for managing the context menus in my opinion. It also lets you define and create your own context menu item. Just click on “Add Command” under Actions pane and build up your own customized context menu.
5. Ultimate Windows Context Menu Customizer
Ultimate Windows Context Menu Customizer is yet another tool for adding, removing and customizing the existing context menu. I like the graphical user interface of Ultimate Windows Context Menu Customizer as it gives me details about everything on the same window. I can add or remove an item according to the location of the context menu i.e, if I want to change the context menu of the Desktop, I can choose Desktop in the first step and then add or remove context menu items from there. You can also make use of the pre-defined items shown on the same window.
Did you ever need a context menu editor? What did you use for removing or adding new context menu items?
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