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Remove NVIDIA Control Panel from Desktop Right-Click Menu

Have you ever wondered how to remove the “NVIDIA Control Panel” item from the desktop context menu? If so, you probably didn’t realize that it’s trivially easy to remove.

Note: This method works the same for XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

For those of you in the dark about what we’re talking about, here’s the menu item we’re looking to remove:

image

I rarely need to use the NVIDIA Control Panel, and it’s accessible via the control panel’s Additional Options section if I really needed to get to it.

Remove the Easy Way

Just open up the NVIDIA Control Panel, and uncheck View \ Add Desktop Context Menu

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This will immediately remove the item from the context menu:

image

The only problem with this is that the shell menu item doesn’t actually get removed, just disabled.

Remove With a Registry Hack

If you want to make remove the menu item from the registry, you can open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\

image

Find the NvCplDesktopContext key on the left-hand side, and then make sure to Export the current key out to a file for backup purposes. Once you’ve done that, delete that key.

Completely Disable the Shell Extension

If you don’t want that shell extension loading at all, you can use the awesome Nirsoft ShellExView application to just completely disable the extension and prevent it from running.

Note: make sure to launch ShellExView by right-clicking and choosing Run as Administrator if you are using Vista.

Find “DesktopContextClass” with the description “NVIDIA Display Properties Extension”, and click the Disable button.

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If you aren’t sure it’s the right one, double-click on it to see the details, and verify that it’s similar to this one (although your version could be different)

 image

As soon as you use the Disable button, the menu item will be gone.

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 09/14/08

Comments (10)

  1. Keith

    Thanks for the tip! That’s been annoying me for awhile. In my NVIDIA Control Panel there was no View \ Add Desktop Context Menu at all so I had to do the registry hack. So they might have gotten rid of that option.

  2. Ruzzel.S

    Now how to do this with Ati’s Catalyst…

  3. Ike

    Any chance you could cover the program, Nirsoft ShellExView?

    Seems like a great utility, but I’d like to know how the geek-man uses it!

  4. takis

    A great application…Thanks!!!

  5. Ted Creagh

    I have a GeForce 8800 GTX video card and everytime I try to open the “nVidia Control Panel” to adjust the card settings the Control Panel will not open…says it’s encountered a problem (2.2.300.00) and must close…it’s an application error.

    Any suggestions???

  6. Thanks for the tip

    Thanks for the tip. I somehow ended up with two entries for the Control Panel in my desktop context menu (from playing with beta drivers, I reckon) and this helped me find the rogue registry entry and kill it. It was in:

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\NvContextMenu]

    in case anyone else ends up with this sort of rougue double entry!

  7. me

    why not just unregister the dll?

    regsvr32 /u nvcpl.dll

  8. Julie

    Hello,
    When I tried to install an update for my nvidia Geforce8800 Gts I lost my control panel and I can’t recover it’ it seems vanished from my computer. Can I download a new control panel and where can I do that?
    Thanx for help
    Grts
    Julie

  9. jt s

    I thought i was crazy one day after updating Nvidia Drivers and Riva turner my right click would freeze
    (Explorer would Freeze, i would have to ctrl -alt -del and end process for explorer.exe and run new task “explorer.exe-such a pain)
    With you guide all is normal.

    Thanks

  10. Ian Bond

    For some unknown reason, (occasionally) the nVidia control panel thinks I have a second monitor attached and sets the drivers to “clone mode”. In doing so it also changes the display resolution and therefore stuffs up my carefully laid out desktop icons.

    Tried the methods in your aticle, but it stubbonly refused to go away until the Nirsoft ShellExView method.

    This worked a treat, and now there is no nVidia Control Panel in the display properties menu. So far, there seem to be no bad side effects.

    Thanks for this advice. Much appreciated Regards, Ian Bond

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