How-To Geek

Cleanup & Make the Windows Context Menu’s “New” Folder Open Faster

By default when you right-click your desktop to get to the Context Menu’s New folder, there is a lot of items you probably don’t use. Here we look at how to clean up the menu for faster access in creating a new folder.

Creating a New Folder on the Desktop

To create a new folder on the desktop Right-Click an empty area New \ Folder. The problem with this is there is a bunch of items in the list that you probably don’t even use and it takes longer to get to the Folder.


It really depends on where you are on the screen though. Sometimes you can right-click and Folder is right there for easy access.


Then other times it might be over the the left up high on the list.



Rather than having to deal with worrying about proper Desktop placement, we’re going to use a slick utility called ShellNewHandler to clean up the unnecessary items on the list. It is a small executable that requires no installation and is portable. Simply launch ShellNewHandler.exe then uncheck the items from the Context Menu that you don’t use and click Ok.

In our example we are using Windows7 x64 Ultimate edition and ended up disabling everything…


Now when we go to create a new folder on your Desktop, it’s right there!  Although, there’s still the Briefcase…yep the Briefcase still exists!


Remove the Briefcase

We can go a step further and remove the Briefcase from the context menu as well with a simple Registry hack. Open the Registry by typing regedit into the Search box in the Start Menu.


Now Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Briefcase (If you don’t want to scroll all the way down to it. Go to Edit \ Find and type in Briefcase). Expand the Briefcase folder and delete the ShellNew sub-key and all of it’s values.


Select Yes to the confirmation dialog box and close out of the Registry editor.


That’s it! Now it’s a clean Context Menu with only New Folder…Awesome!


If you’ve found it to be very annoying to create a new folder on your desktop, using ShellNewHandler will allow you to clean up the Context Menu for faster access. If all you want is the new folder option, with a quick Registry hack, you can get rid of that too.

Download ShellNewHandlerVista and Windows 7

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 06/30/10

Comments (14)

  1. Chris

    Used ShellNewHandler recently. Good article. However I think it’s worth pointing out that if you disable everything in the program your shortcut option will also disappear.

  2. SquareWheel

    I like this little tool. Very handy.

    I don’t suppose you guys know how to move a context menu entry to a “shift” context menu entry? I don’t need to see “Scan this item” every time I right click, I’d rather clean the clutter and move it to shift+right click.

  3. 216

    Useful stuff, thanks

  4. Alexx

    It also works on WIndows XP SP 3.
    I’ve just tested it and it works great.

  5. dreadlock_alex

    Wow! Can’t thank you enough for this Mysticgeek – I’ve tried a ton of times to get rid of three or four ‘Firefox Document’ links on my context menu – all to no avail, this program sorted it out in all of 10 seconds, looks a lot neater now!

    Thanks again!

  6. Aethec

    Awesome !
    It seems the Folder entry can be disabled too (it’s in HKCR\Folder), which is nice since you can already create a new folder with Ctrl+Shift+N.

  7. Lucky Man

    Yes! thanks It is so useful for me for now cuz you’re right about take too much seconds to create new folder so that’s more like 2 or 3 seconds to click for create folder. thanks.

  8. FuturePerfect

    Is this better than the free ShellMenuNew on

  9. edmenje

    Seeing this article has prompted me to check out my “New” menu to discover that MS Office entries had re-appeared there. So I cleaned them up using regedit and deleting the “ShellNew” keys for the extensions. When I originally did the cleanup I exported the keys to enable putting them back myself, but I guess Windows Updates for Office went ahead and put them back. I would suggest anyone going the regedit route like I did export the entries in case you decide to undo the removal. Just name the files so you can remember what they are and double-click the .reg file you want to put back into the registry. I keep only folder and text file in the New menu since they are the only two I ever use.

  10. Arnol

    A great tip and program for clean up but even more important to me was finding the area in the registry where this information is stored.

    With my memory every download requires an information file containing the source .url, tips, instructions etc. After trying out MS Office and UltraEdit both NEW TEXT and NEW RICH TEXT entries disappeared. Uninstalling did not bring the entries back.

    Looking in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT on another computer revealed the .txt and .rtf entries should contain “txtfile” and “rtffile” not notepad.exe and wordpad.exe as I had expected.

    I am one happy Geek to have them back!

  11. Henri_MTL

    Personaly I always use the underline letters… For example :

    Right click then N then D and I obtain the new folder…. (my Windows is French).

    Or in English, I suppose it would be : Right Click – W – F and that’s it.

  12. chris

    It did exactly what it said on the box.

    I didn’t even know this machine had a copy of Works on it.
    Thanx Dell – nice documentation.

  13. wwww

    simply press ctrl-shift-n

  14. emil


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