There are a lot of integration points in Windows that developers can take advantage of, and many of them do. For example, if you have a program like 7-Zip or WinZip installed you may see related entries when you right-click on a file or folder. A lot of times context menu entries like these are done for your convenience, but at some point you may see something that you aren’t sure how it got there… that’s when you’ll turn to the free (and portable) ShellExView app.
With ShellExView you’ll be able to see all of the shell extensions that are currently enabled and disabled on your system. This includes things like the context menu entries described above, Internet Explorer toolbars, and much more. What’s even nicer is that any non-Microsoft extensions will be highlighted (like the 7-Zip ones in the screenshot) so that you can think twice as to whether those entries should actually be there.
Here are the various types of shell extensions that are supported:
- Shell Folder – Provides special system folders like “Printers”, “Fonts”, “Recycle Bin”, and more…
- Context Menu – Provides the ability to add new items to the context menu of particular file type.
- Drag & Drop Handler – Provides the ability to add new items to the context menu that appears when you drag a file with right mouse button.
- Icon Handler – Provides the ability to dynamically assign icons to file objects.
- Copy Hook Handler – This type of shell extension is called when a file is moved, copies, renamed or deleted.
- Drop Handler – Provides the ability to control the “Drop” behavior of files.
- Data Handler – Provides the ability to copy files/objects to the clipboard.
- Property Sheet – Property Sheet dialog boxes.
- Search Handler – Provides the ability to create a system search engine (Like the standard “Search For Files or Folders” module)
- Column Handler – Provides the ability to add new columns to the details view of Explorer window.
- Thumbnail – Provides the ability to display images in “Thumbnail” view.
- Browser Helper Object – Provides the ability to customize and control the Internet Explorer browser.
- IE Toolbar – Provides the ability to add new toolbars into Internet Explorer (like Yahoo! Toolbar)
- Explorer Bar – Provides the ability to add Explorer bars to Internet Explorer.
- URL Search Hook – Browser extension stored under Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks.
- System – All other types of shell extensions that ShellExView utility cannot recognize are categorized as “System” type.
Use this app to get rid of those pesky toolbars and/or context menu entries you don’t want hanging around anymore. Or, at the very least, you can use it just to verify that you don’t have any shell extensions installed that you weren’t already aware of.
ShellExView Homepage (Windows only; Freeware/Portable)