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.