Speed up the Windows right-click menu

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 20, 2016

The following guide provides you with information on how to speed up the time it takes to display the right-click menu on machines running the Windows operating system.

I noticed recently on a machine running Windows 10 that some right-clicks on files, folders or the taskbar, would take several seconds to load on the first right-click.

Windows would display a spinning loading or processing icon when that happened, and it was kinda puzzling that this happened on the machine as its was powered by a fast SSD, 16 Gigabyte of RAM and an Intel Core i7 processor.

The issue happened regularly, and it did not seem to matter if the computer was idle or under load at the time.

Context Menu Bloat

right-click context menu loading issues

One reason why it may take time to display the right-click context menu on Windows devices is bloat, or more precisely, if a lot of programs have added entries to the context menu which Windows needs to display.

Another reason why you may notice delays is if entries are buggy or corrupt.

The right-click menu changes somewhat depending on the item you right-click on, but if you get a lot of items and a loading delay, then this may very well be the reason for it.

Note: If you notice a delay only after idle time, it may also be a hard drive's sleep mode, especially if you hear the spinning up sound of a hard drive whenever there is a delay in displaying context menu items. You may want to try programs like Sleep Blocker or NoSleep HD to prevent the powering down from happening.

Several programs allow you to disable or remove entries from the right-click menu that you don't need there.

Some users swear on CCleaner for that, while I personally like Nirsoft's ShellExView better as it offers better option and more entries that you can deal with.

remove context menu entries

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Download the free program from the developer website. Make sure you download the 32-bit or 64-bit version that matches the version of Windows you are using.
  2. Extract the archive to the system and run the program afterwards.
  3. First thing you may want to do is click on Options and check the "Hide all Microsoft Extensions" preference there to avoid removing Windows-specific items. You may still distinguish between Microsoft and third-party extensions if you don't do it as third-party extensions are displayed with a pink background by the application.
  4. What remains are entries added by third-party programs to the system. While it is often possible to remove those entries in the preferences of those programs, it is usually faster and easier to remove them with the help of a program like ShellExView.

You may be able to identify some items directly by their extension name or description, but it may not always be that easy, especially for items that offer no information.

Select one or multiple items (by holding Ctrl while left-clicking), and then either right-click on the selection to select disable, or click on the red button in the main toolbar for that.

For items that you cannot identify, select File > Google Search Filename or Google Search Extension, to run an online search to find out more about it.

You may use trial and error as well, but since items are not removed right away from the context menu, you may need to restart the computer often to use that method.

Another useful option that ShellExView provides you with is to display the entry in the Registry. Since it does not support removing entries, using the Registry for that is one of the options you have to delete items permanently.

Speed up the Windows right-click menu
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Speed up the Windows right-click menu
The following guide provides you with information on how to speed up the time it takes to display the right-click menu on machines running the Windows operating system.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


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