How to remove programs from “Open with” Context Menu in Windows 10/8/7?

“Open With” right-click context menu is a handy feature to open files with multiple programs. If your “Open With” right-click menu is getting a little cluttered, you can get rid of these entries using Registry hack or a third-party freeware tool, “OpenWithView.”

Whenever you open a file with a specific program, that program adds itself to the “Open With” right-click context menu for that type of file. If you’ve ever by mistake opens a file with the wrong program or with a program you don’t use any more, though, you’ll probably want to get rid of a few.

While Windows shows only four or five programs, when you right-click on a file and select the “Open with” option, you can see many installed programs with the “Choose default program” option.

If you want to clean-up all unwanted programs in the “Open with” right-click menu, you can use the following method:-

  1. Remove programs from the “Open with” Context Menu in Windows 10/8/7 using Windows Registry Editor.
  2. Remove programs from the “Open with” Context Menu in Windows 10/8/7 using a third-party tool.
Note: You should be aware that some built-in Microsoft programs cannot be removed by any means. For instance, you may work with the .PNG image file type. Both Microsoft Paint and Photos are included on the “Open with” right-menu. Even if you remove these entries with any procedure, the programs will remain on the “Open With” menu. However, this procedure works with any third-party programs you have installed.

How to delete programs from the “Open with” Context Menu in Windows 10/8/7 using Windows Registry Editor?

If you want to remove unwanted programs from the “Open with” right-click menu without any third-party tool, you need to modify the Windows Registry. Making a mistake in the Windows Registry may dump your Windows, and it may not boot next time; hence we advise you to create a System Restore Point and take a full Registry backup.

Once you create a System Restore Point and take full Windows Registry backup, perform the following recommended steps to remove programs from the “Open with” Context Menu:-

Step 1. Press the Windows logo + R keys to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2. Type in regedit and hit Enter from the keyboard or press the OK button.

Step 3. If the User Account Control window prompts, click the Yes button to open the Registry Editor window.

Step 4. In the Registry Editor window that opens, navigate to the following key:-

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts

Step 5. Expand the FileExts key to see a list of all the file extensions registered on your PC.

Step 6. Locate the key named after the file extension for the type of file you want to change. Expand that key, click the OpenWithList subkey. For instance, we’re changing the “Open With” menu for .PNG image files.

Step 7. On the right-side pane of OpenWithList, right-click on the string value and select the Delete option. We are removing the “ashsnap” program from the list because we don’t use it anymore for the .PNG file.

Step 8. When Registry Editor asks if you’re sure you want to permanently delete this value, click Yes to continue.

You need to repeat these steps to remove from the “Open With” menu for any file types. Once you have removed the unwanted right-click “Open with” menu, you can close the Registry Editor window. Restart your computer, and you’ll see that the “Open With” menu no longer contains the programs you removed.

How to remove programs from the “Open with” menu in Windows 10/8/7 using a third-party tool?

If Windows Registry editing is not your preferred method, you can use a free third-party tool, “OpenWithView,” to cut down the “Open with” menu. To remove the unwanted programs from the “Open with” context menu, perform the following steps:-

Step 1. Download and run the portable tool “OpenWithView.”

Step 2. Select the application to enable or disable in the “Open with” menu. Perform the right-click on the application and choose the desired option to enable or disable it from the “Open with” menu.

OpenWithView is useful for those users who want to disable any application from the “Open with” context menu but don’t actually want to delete it.

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