You right-click a file — perhaps to open it with an alternative program or to look for previous versions — and you get a menu that’s as long as a list of pumpkin-pie recipes.
It’s a pain to have to wade through the list to find a commonly used option. Here’s how to shorten the number of choices.
The context menu plays a major role in our Windows life. Right-click a file or folder in Windows Explorer or File Explorer, and a menu pops up of things you can do with that object. Some of the choices turn up no matter what type of file you right-click; others appear only with specific files types — or in a specific context.
Just as we call malicious software “malware,” I call arrogant software “arrware.” One common form of arrware is any program that inserts itself onto context menus and doesn’t offer an easy way to remove it. Some programs will stick in three or four items, without even the courtesy of a submenu.
For example, when I started working on this article, right-clicking a .jpg file inside my Dropbox folder gave me a very long list (see Figure 1).
But after making some tweaks, it’s now considerably shorter, as you can see in Figure 2. (Dropbox adds four items to the menu if the object you right-click is in the Dropbox folder.) If I right-clicked a different type of file, especially one outside of the Dropbox folder, it would be shorter still. I’ll probably shorten the list of options even more — this is an on-going process.
Here’s how to trim the arrware from your own over-populated context menu. But first, make a full-system backup or, at least, create a restore point, just in case something goes wrong.