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Windows 7: Context menu cleanup time!


16 Jul 2009   #1

Windows 7 7600-16385
 
 
Context menu cleanup time!

I really like Windows 7... but I like my Windows experience to be "minimal". I don't like stuff like "libraries" popping up when I already have my libraries... they are folders!

I also hate all the "convenient" shortcuts in context menus. There are sometimes so many that it is a dozen items.

So I've attempted to remove these visual distractions through various registry keys... the ones I've found so far are below.

But I need help finding just two more!

I haven't found the keys for "Turn on Bitlocker..." and the "Share with" context menus. I've looked everywhere and cannot find them. I cannot believe these are in my face... when they are in "properties" dialog boxes instead. Does the Microsoft usability team really think
saving ONE mouse click is worth a context menu item? Why not toss context menus for every control panel in there too. Sheesh.

Anyway, if someone knows about those two keys.. please post! In the meantime below is my "cleanup" reg file.

To make this work just paste these lines into a .REG file and run it. Do this at your own risk!


Code:
 
; Delete icons from the explorer left pane:
 
; HOMEGROUP ICON: Default item should be "Other users". Delete the folder from the registry.
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}]
 
; LIBRARIES ICON: This is the registry entry This is the Libraries icon. Default item should be "Libraries". Delete the folder from the registry.
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
 
; NETWORK ICON
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}]
 
; Recycle bin
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}]
 
 
; Context menu: "send to"
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\SendTo]
 
 
; Context menu: Restore Previous Versions
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}]

Other keys I tweaked:


Code:
 
; Reduce menu popup pause
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"MenuShowDelay"="50"
 
;Disable the User Account Control (UAC)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"EnableLUA"=dword:00000000
 
; NTFS, Disable 8.3 names and Last Access (speeds up disk access)
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]
"NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation"=dword:00000001
"NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate"=dword:00000001
 
; Disable Low disk space checks
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"NoLowDiskSpaceChecks"=dword:00000001
 
;Turn Off Remote Assistance
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Remote Assistance]
"fAllowToGetHelp"=dword:00000000
 
 
 
; Disable various network snooping activities
; Stop sending packets to teredo.ipv6.microsoft.com
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\TCPIP6\Parameters]
"DisabledComponents"=dword:00000008
 
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences\HME]
"DisableDiscovery"=dword:00000001
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet]
"EnableActiveProbing"=dword:00000000
 
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"NoDriveTypeAutoRun"=dword:000000FF
"NoSharedDocuments"=dword:00000001
Enjoy!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Jul 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Lepton, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Not sure, but you might see looking for Context Menu types in the free program ShellExView may help find them.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2009   #3

Windows 7 7600-16385
 
 

Shawn,

Ahhh... Thank you! This is a handy utility. It didn't disable the context menus (I tried EVERY key and even rebooted)... but it made me remember about the Sysinternals Process Monitor. I used it to dump the registry queries made by explorer.exe.

After looking through the data I found the keys!

Now my context menu is a private party with my favorite friends: TortoiseSVN, WinRAR, and Beyond Compare... and no uninvited guests!

Here's the keys to delete:



Code:
 
; Share with
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Sharing]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Sharing]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Sharing]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Sharing]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\LibraryFolder\background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Sharing]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\UserLibraryFolder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Sharing]
 
 
; Bitlocker
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\encrypt-bde]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\encrypt-bde-elev]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\manage-bde]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\resume-bde]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\resume-bde-elev]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\unlock-bde]

And with IE and Media Player uninstalled... Windows 7 is the best ever!

Ohh... and try TrueCrypt before considering Bitlocker. I like it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Jul 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Lepton,

I'm happy to hear that you found them. Thank you for sharing this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2009   #5

Win 7
 
 

Lepton, you are possibly a lifesaver. I also like Windows 7 but dislike Explorer to the extent that I was just about to give up on it and go back to XP. Like you, I rely heavily on Explorer and use folders exclusively -- a system I've used for over 10 years and have no need to change. "Libraries," "Homegroup" and the rest are unnecessary clutter for me.

I'm a bit of a computer noob, however. Could you give slightly more info re how to make the registry changes & what specific info should be copied/pasted and what should be deleted. As registry changes come with a little risk, I want to make sure I get it right.

Again, many thanks !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2009   #6

Windows 7 7600-16385
 
 

rontokyo,

I'm glad I could help! I too use Explorer for my job... many hours a week managing files and directories. Having to skip over context menus I don't need is annoying. Even if it is one or two things... it is "neural bandwidth" consumed and lost.

I just don't understand Microsoft. They know not everyone needs everything. But some of their Marketing people think "No you MUST see Bitlocker pop up", and they have no (non-registry) way of disabling it.

Anyway, I found these keys necessary to remove the MENU items for Homegroup/Libraries! My explorer is completely clean now.

Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CommandStore\shell\
Take ownership of and delete. They have to be forcibly deleted because of permissions (go take ownership in the permissions dialog).

Code:
 
Windows.includeinlibrary
Windows.Share
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2009   #7

Windows 7 7600-16385
 
 

Quote:
I'm a bit of a computer noob, however. Could you give slightly more info re how to make the registry changes & what specific info should be copied/pasted and what should be deleted. As registry changes come with a little risk, I want to make sure I get it right.
It is easy. Just open Notepad and copy/paste the lines above into it. Then save that file to a name with ".reg" on the end. The icon will turn from being a text document into one with little green cubes on it.

You then run that file and those features will be removed.

But! This is permanent... if you want to save those keys you must export them from the registry first. This involves manually navigating within Regedit.exe and then right clicking on the folder ("key") at the end of that path. In there is an Export command to save it. This saves it to the same kind of .reg file that you can run and restore the feature.

You will notice the little dash in front of those keys "[-blahblah]" which means remove them.

The registry was a terrible idea though... MS wanted to store settings in a database instead of files... and this is what we get. A giant swamp of dead/uninstalled keys, GUIDs which points to GUIDs which point to COM interfaces, and no logical grouping of keys by vendor to save/restore settings.

I feel happy when a program stores settings in an INI or XML file in C:\users. I know I can back up my settings and use it on another computer without the !@^%!@^% registry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2009   #8

Windows 7 7600-16385
 
 

More to add. I noticed those icons still showed up in 32-bit apps in File/Open dialog boxes. This is because there is a Windows-on-Windows layer duplicates everything (even the registry) for 32 and 64-bit. This also means you have either 4 or 6 copies of every DLL/EXE in C:\Windows. I have 6 copies of Notepad.exe... Efficient!

So just add these lines to your .reg file:

Code:
 
; Delete icons from the explorer left pane (including 32-bit on 64-bit OS):
 
; Homegroup icon
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}]
; Libraries
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
; Shared documents
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}]
; Recycle bin
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}]
; Network
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2009   #9

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Quote:
program stores settings in an INI or XML file in C:\users. I know I can back up my settings and use it on another computer without the !@^%!@^% registry.
I totaly agree with this. More apps need to adopt this method. There is no reason for a large majority of apps to even touch the registry at all anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2009   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

lepton, I love you! I've been asking about this and even Brink didn't have the answer.

This is more than just helpful. You showed how to customize/personalize Windows 7 and you showed the way to learn how to do that and more. I absolutely love to learn how to do these things, not just apply someone else's script. I have read about and even played a little with "show process" but now I'll go back and try to use it.

Bravo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Context menu cleanup time!




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