What's on the menu?

View and enable or disable context-menu items with this free tool.

Right-clicking a file or folder in Windows Explorer opens a context menu containing links to properties pages, documents, and other programs as well as commands like Copy, Save, and Send To. Both users and programs can add items to context menus. That's great, most of the time, since the ability to right-click a file and perform a wide range of operations right from the menu is one of the things we love about Windows. But it's possible to have too much of a good thing. NirSoft's ShellMenuView can help you bring order to context-menu chaos. It's a free tool that displays all the static menu items in Explorer, allowing you to easily disable any you don't need or want.

ShellMenuView is fully portable and requires no installation, so it opened as soon as we clicked the extracted download. The program's interface opened with our system's context-menu entries already displayed. We could Enable, Disable, Save, Copy, and Find items, Refresh the view, and access various options from the toolbar, including HTML Reports, but most of this tool's value is in the information it displays in its main list view. Its headers can be dragged to rearrange and resize columns, and we could choose which ones we wanted the program to display. By default, all 14 columns are enabled; they display everything from File Name and Type to location, status, and even data about the software maker, if available. To disable or enable an item, we merely had to click the appropriate icon or access the commands from the File Menu. From the File Menu we could also open the program in RegEdit, access Extended Mode, and open the Properties page of each entry. You can choose to hide standard context-menu items to reduce the list ShellMenuView displays.

ShellMenuView is another great example of the type of small but useful portable freeware that can help you tweak, tune, and maintain Windows. It'd be a great addition to a portable USB toolkit, too.

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