Do you use Microsoft™ Windows® operating system in your PC? If so, have you ever seen your Windows Explorer crash after right-clicking any executable file or shortcut in your hard disk? This is a pretty common problem that many Windows users suffer from. In these cases, while it is perfectly logical that the file you had right-clicked had some problem in it (corruption, virus infection, etc.), it can also be some rogue software messing with your context Menu. The context Menu is the little menu that pops up whenever you right-click on a file.

In Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista, the context menu can behave erratically due to any software installed in your PC that adds an entry to the menu. Some of these software utilities add an entry to the context menu, which interferes with the other Windows default processes listed in the menu. So, whenever you right-click on an executable file or shortcut and the context menu is about to pop up, it crashes and so does the Explorer.

This problem is, thankfully, not that difficult to fix. You can fix it simply by tinkering with the registry a bit. In order to do so, use the following guide:

  1. Click on the Start menu, and then click on Run.
  2. In the box named “Open”, type “regedit” (without the quotation marks) and hit Enter.
  3. The regedit window will open, showing you a tree named “My Computer”, with several trees under it, named HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_USERS, and HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG. For fixing the context menu, you will have to work with the tree named HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.
  4. Click on the addition (+) sign beside the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to expand the tree.
  5. Next open the following keys one by one: *, shellex, ContextMenuHandlers.
  6. When you expand the key named “ContextMenuHandlers”, you will see a set of sub-keys under it.
  7. Look for the keys referring to applications apart from those included in Windows®. Entries made by antivirus software usually do not cause problems either, so you should check it out only after you are sure that none of the other entries are causing the problem.
  8. If you see the name of any recently installed application among the sub-keys, then that software may be the culprit. Uninstall it, reboot your PC and check your context menu by right clicking on an executable file or a shortcut.

By eliminating all non-Windows® processes listed among the sub-keys, you should be able to track down the rogue application. Uninstall that application and your context menu will work fine once more.

Share and Enjoy: