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The New Item menu in File Explorer lets you create new files in the current folder, but you might not ever use some of the options. Here’s how to remove unwanted entries from the list.

You can access the New Item menu by clicking the “New item” button option when you’re in a File Explorer folder.

The "New item" menu.

You can also access it by right-clicking an empty area in a folder and then pointing to the “New” option on the context menu that appears.

The "New item" menu, accessed from the context menu.

Some programs will add new file types to this menu automatically, which can clutter up the menu if you’re never likely to use them. To remove an entry, you need to go into the Windows Registry and delete an entry.

RELATED: How to Clean Up Your Messy Windows Context Menu

Standard Warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack, and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

Open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and then permit it to make changes to your PC.

The regedit search result.

In the left sidebar of the Registry Editor will be a top-level key named HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

The Registry Editor showing the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key.

All of the files types are stored in here. We’re going to remove the “Contact” file type from the New Item menu. Expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key by clicking on the arrow next to it and then scroll down to find the file extension you want to remove from the New Item menu (in our case, this is “.contact” for a Contact file).

Expand that key, and you’ll see a subkey called “ShellNew.”

The .contact key expanded to show the ShellNew key.

Right-click this key and click “Delete” on the context menu.

The context menu with the Delete command highlighted.

A confirmation message will appear. If you’re sure you want to remove the file type from the New Item menu, click “Yes.”

The deletion confirmation message.

And that’s it. The file type—in this case, the Contact file type—is no longer in the New Item menu.

The "New Item" menu shoing that the Contact file type is now gone.

If you’ve deleted something incorrectly, you can add it back in, although you’ll need to create a template file first. This usually is as simple as creating a blank file and using that, but check out our guide for the full instructions.

Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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