June 29, 2005

Windows Freezing on Right-Click

For the last couple of months I’ve been having a Windows problem, where if I right-click, delete, or try to open certain files, the window would freeze up and hang for a while. Not the whole system, just the window where the file was. It seemed like a Windows Shell problem. It was getting pretty frustrating, and Google wasn’t any help, and so I was at the point where I was ready to just format and reinstall. Not something I love to do, since it takes weeks to get the system back to the way it was. But things were just unusable.

So I figured that as long as I was reinstalling anyway, I should take the opportunity to muck around in the registry. After all, I didn’t have to worry about destroying anything, right? So I was poking around, and I kind of had an idea where to go, so I deleted a few keys here and there. Then I tried to open a file, and guess what? No lag time! No freezing! By blindly taking a machete to the Windows registry, I was actually able to fix the problem. So, I figure I should pass along the bits that I chopped out, in case it might help someone else. In any case, it will make Google a little bit smarter.

Open regedit.exe, and go to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex. Underneath the shellex key is another key named ContextMenuHandlers. And underneath that is a list of crap that you’ll probably never use, a list of programs that get to look at every file you right-click on. I had things in the list like PowerArchiver and WinZip, and bunch of others that I’ve forgotten by now. The point is that I deleted all of them. All of them, at least, except for these three:

  • {a2a9545d-a0c2-42b4-9708-a0b2badd77c8}
  • Open With
  • Open With EncryptionMenu

On the first one, I’ve learned that whenever Windows doesn’t want you to touch something it gives it an ugly name like that. So I left it alone. And the other two seem to be related to the Open With submenu, which I definitely didn’t want to go away. Everything else was crap, so I deleted it. And you know what, it solved my problem. Now right-clicking and opening files is as fast as when I first loaded Windows, even though now things like WinZip are gone from the context menu when I right click. Which, actually, is a good thing.

So, if you’re in the same boat and on the verge of formatting, give that a try first. Sure, you can really bollocks up your system by mucking around in the registry too much. But sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can really fix things too.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (4)

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  1. Kamiza Ikioi says:

    I have the exact same problem. Except that mine problem has just happened the last 2 days. I too have deleted everything, including:


    This was an entry for PGP 8.1, which causes some people problems: http://www.all-usenet-archive.com/File.asp?service=36537

    I recently used Hijack This, and removed a lot of unnecessary service loads. One of those was PGP 8.1. I think this may have in turn broken my context menu.

    I’m going to reboot my system, because the effects are not yet visible (even when stopping and restarting explorer.exe). But, maybe this information will shed some light on others with similar problems.

    My current Context Menu Entries:

    Start Menu Pin

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Open With

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Open With EncryptionMenu

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Offline Files

    Posted July 17, 2005 @ 5:12 am
  2. krogg says:

    Thx dude for the tip!!!
    Had the same problem and fixed it.
    I had to delete a DrDivX thingy in ContextMenuHandlers,
    and it stop hanging.

    Posted July 28, 2005 @ 12:44 pm
  3. Matt says:

    I just did what u mentioned to do, and like the user before me… I deleted the DRDIVX program and it is no longer hanging…

    so if u use DRDIVX try removing it first and see how things work…

    Posted December 2, 2006 @ 4:45 am
  4. Rustie says:

    I love this site so so so much 🙂 Cool site!!

    Posted November 16, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

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