Review: ShellNewHandler lets you clean up the file creation context menu

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder ShellNewHandler

    PCWorld Rating

Windows Explorer's right-click menu is one of those ideas that sound great on paper: Right-click any file, or even just a blank spot in a folder, and you instantly get a list of useful commands. What could possibly go wrong? A single right-click on any common Windows computer will tell you: When you start installing applications, the context menu quickly turns into a dense jungle of random commands for any number of applications, and so does the New submenu. ShellNewHandler, a free utility, can't do much about the former issue, but it can help you trim down the number of entries in the New submenu–and it takes only a few seconds.

ShellNewHandler is a portable download that comes bundled in an 11KB Zip archive. Unzipped, the utility weighs in at an impressively tiny 29KB. As soon as you launch it, you'll see why: All you get is a list of the current entries in your New submenu, with a checkbox next to each. Untick the checkbox, and the entry goes away from your New submenu. It's that simple, and you don't lose any speed or responsiveness.

ShellNewHandler's no-nonsense interface makes it easy to switch context menu entries on and off.

Before running ShellNewHandler, I was able to create all sorts of random files from my right-click menu, including files for applications I never even used. I could create "Journal documents," "Briefcase" files, and CLK files, amongst over a dozen of other cluttered options. After twenty seconds with ShellNewHandler, my New submenu contains just two entries: A shortcut, and a text file. What a relief, to reclaim a submenu and make it usable again.

My only wish is that ShellNewHandler's trimming powers extended to the right-click menu as a whole, and not just the New submenu. But even with its narrow focus, ShellNewHandler is a very useful utility for your toolbox.

Note: The "Try it for free" button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Simple
    • Focused
    • Free

    Cons

    • Doesn't handle other context menu entries
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