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MenuMaid - Right-Clicks in a New Context

by Alan German

Those of you who follow the postings in The Pub's general conference area will know that I recently had a problem with the display of the context menu that appears when you right-click on a disk or file folder in the tree directory pane of Windows Explorer. The spacing had suddenly changed, so that the icons on the left were separated by a huge blank space from the associated text on the right, and the text was truncated so as to be almost unreadable (see screenshot at right).

I eventually tracked down the culprit as a recent upgrade to my AVG virus scanner and, in particular, to AVG's entry on the right-click menu to scan the selected item.

Initially, I thought I would remove AVG and replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials, a combined virus and adware scanner ( that has had good reviews since its release in September. However, while searching the web for a solution to the right-click menu issue, I came across a number of links to techniques to edit the registry to add, remove and modify entries on this menu.

One particular product that sparked my interest was MenuMaid, a free program that offered "a fast and easy way to clean up your Window Explorer and Internet Explorer right-click (context) menu." MenuMaid allows you to just uncheck any items you don't want to show up, and lets you restore them at any later time.

The download is only 124 KB and the program installs very quickly. MenuMaid modifies the registry so, in Vista, one has to right-click (very ironic!) on the executable file and select the "Run as administrator" option. Running the program, with an administrator's authorization, brings up a dialogue box with tabs for both Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer. A number of applications are listed under the Windows Explorer tab, with check boxes indicating that entries for these programs are included in the right-click context menu. Solving my problem was then simply a matter of deselecting two items marked as "AVG Shell Extension Class" and pressing the "Close" button. Once AVG no longer appeared on the context menu, the menu's display returned to normal. "Fast and easy" - as advertised! So, while you may not run into the same glitch that I did, if every application you own adds an entry to the right-click context menu of Windows Explorer, MenuMaid will certainly help you clean up the mess - and without you having to deal directly with the registry settings.

Users who look no further into the source of this fine little utility may be taken aback if they click on the "Free Book" button in MenuMaid's dialogue box. This offers a free copy of "Even The Demons Believe" by Timothy Williams of SD Software, the distributor of MenuMaid and a number of other freeware packages, and a member of a Christian faith group known as the Sound Doctrine Ministries.

Bottom Line:

Version 1.0 (Freeware)
SD Software

Originally published: March, 2010

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