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How to Clean Up Your Messy Internet Explorer Context Menu

Is your Internet Explorer context menu completely out of control? Is it so long that it actually runs off the screen? Here’s how to quickly take a few steps to get rid of all that ridiculous clutter without installing Google Chrome instead.

Giant Context Menus!

Here’s a screenshot of the actual context menu in the browser on my PC, which is clearly completely out of control—and I don’t even use Internet Explorer on a regular basis.

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Clean Out the Messy Context Menu

The first thing you’ll notice is that there’s an “Accelerators” section of the context menu, and if you don’t use any of them, you can easily get rid of them all. Just head into Tools –> Manage Add-ons, click on Accelerators on the left-hand menu, and then disable any of the items that you don’t use.

While you’re in here, you should also click on Toolbars and Extensions and get rid of anything else that you don’t actually need—it’ll make Internet Explorer run a whole lot faster.

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Next you’ll want to open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MenuExt

Once you’re there, right-click on the key and choose Export, and then save out the file somewhere just in case you need to revert the changes—if you do, you can simply double-click on the exported file to put everything back.

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And now you can start deleting all the items that you don’t use.

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You’ll need to restart Internet Explorer once you’re done, but you should notice that the context menu is much smaller than it used to be.

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Much better, though still not great. Hopefully Internet Explorer 9 will make the menu system simpler.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/8/10

Comments (12)

  1. Tor Røttum

    Or even better: stop using IE.

  2. Hosup

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MenuExt

    This registry key may not for Accelerators add-ons.
    That key may be related to other context menus in Internet Explorer.

    Thanks.

  3. Jrod37

    Step 1: install another browser – any other browser.
    Step 2: only use IE when the idiotic people who designed that worthless website you’re using force you to use IE.

  4. Yoshiyah

    What’s up with the Internet Explorer Hate. IE 8 is one of the safest browsers out there with a very little memory footprint. That said, I use HiJackThis to remove Context menu. It works.

  5. FlyingNinja

    IE 8 is horrible. I won’t be using internet explorer again until version 9 comes out!

  6. Midnight

    @Tor Røttum…The Best solution ever!!

    I haven’t used Internet Exploder since I was forced to, when I worked for Microslop!!
    What a Nightmare that job was!! :(

    Can’t go wrong with Firefox! :D

  7. Midnight

    @Yoshiyah….So little you know!!

  8. Cassandra_IE_Team

    Thanks for sharing this tip. This is a great way to cut out line items of features that you do not need in the Context Menu. Also deleting add-ons that you don’t regularly use is a great way to enhance performance times in IE!

    Thanks again for sharing! Keep those IE tips coming :)

    Cheers,
    Cassandra
    IE Outreach Team

  9. Erez

    Thanks!! it helped me a lot!!

  10. kmmarti

    Mine was already that short to begin with…

  11. DarkBlood

    Best choice would be stop using IE then switch to Firefox and install the extension “Menu Editor”.

  12. LiveAmmo

    I’m not so clued on with browser comparisons but ever since I’ve downloaded Google Chrome my internet seems to be the best thing around on my laptop. Whereas whenever I use any other browsers on the home, office, friends and public computers, the experience is not the same. I have heard some bad remarks about chrome, like bugs n stuff, but i’ve had it for over 4 years now and I haven’t come across a single problem to-date….so what’s peoples view on GC?

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