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Remove “Troubleshoot Compatibility” from the Windows Context Menu

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Reader Jeevus wrote in asking how to remove the “Troubleshoot Compatibility” item from the Windows context menu whenever you right-click on an application—naturally, we were happy to explain how to do it, and share with the rest of you.

You’ll want to note that we’re not necessarily recommending that you remove this item, since it could be useful if you’re having compatibility issues with an application, but we’re fans of showing how to do something—also, we just like tinkering in the registry.

Removing Troubleshoot Compatibility

Open up regedit.exe through the Start Menu search or Run box, and then head down to the following registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Compatibility

You should see a key over on the right-hand side, and if you add a “-“ character to the beginning of the value, the item will disappear entirely from the context menu for executables, at least . Of course, you could also delete the key, but please don’t just delete it without testing this way out first.

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Next you’ll want to head down to this registry key, which does the same thing for application shortcuts:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Compatibility

Make the same change on the right-hand side.

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It’s probably a better bet to right-click on the key on the left-hand pane, choose Export, and then save it out to a registry file that can be restored later by simply double-clicking on it. Once you’ve done that, then you can remove the key entirely, which will reduce the registry calls for this item, and give you a solid 0.000000000000001% speed increase.

At this point you can right-click on an application file, and you won’t see the troubleshoot compatibility item anymore.

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Make sure to check out our guide to using Program Compatibility Mode in Windows 7 before you make this registry hack—it’s really a very useful feature.

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 11/24/10

Comments (12)

  1. Daniel

    Simple .reg file to do it and undo it?

  2. vonvon

    not work

  3. Tarek Aboulaynein

    Didn’t Work!
    Can’t Find “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Compatibility”
    -Using Windows 7

  4. John Tod

    Why would you want to? Someday you might need it. If you don’t like it just ignore it.

  5. Jeevus

    Hey thanks for the write up.
    Windows 7 64 bit.

    I tried the – dash on the key, it didn’t work. I deleted the key, it didn’t work.

    I searched the registry for inkfile, inkfile is no where to be found in the registry.

    Any other possible ways?

    @John Tod
    This is for ones that do not want or need it. I have been running windows 7 since beta, never ran into a compatibility problem.

  6. Jeevus

    I mean’t when I ran Win7 64bit beta up to the Win7 retail 64bit I have never had a compatibility problem.

    btw, I’m running Win7 64 bit retail with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate (KB976932).

  7. kjdem

    @Jeevus – it’s lnkfile (with an L)

  8. Jeevus

    @kjdem

    Nice catch! Foolish of me.

    Applied and working well.

    That darn thing was so annoying.

    Thanks How-To Geek!

  9. wwww

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Compatibility]

    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Compatibility]

    copy and paste above in notepad and save as Remove Troubleshoot Compatibility.reg

  10. Timothy873261.0

    That work^?

  11. yes

    yes it is. w7 64 sp1. tx wwww!

  12. ajfudge

    can this be done for other items like “Delete”, “Copy”, “Cut” and “Paste”? If so, how?
    I wanted to de-clutter my context menu and those commands that can be done with keyboard shortcuts are the ones to go.

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