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Miscellaneous Software

Remove Items from the "Open With" Dialog Box

SUMMARY: Disable and re-enable programs as desired in the Windows "Open With" dialog box with OpenWithView.

When you right-click files in Windows Explorer, you are given the option to "Open With", allowing you to open the selected file with a program that is not set as the default. For example, if Notepad is the default program used to open .TXT files, the "Open With" dialog box may allow you to open the file with WordPad, Microsoft Word (if installed), or another application.

Other software packages that you install may add themselves to the list of possible programs, making it quite large. Worse yet, if you uninstall such software, references may remain in this dialog box. One way you can manage this list of programs is via NirSoft's OpenWithView.


Sample "Open With" dialog box in Windows Vista



Disabling applications is simple - select or multi-select applications with the mouse, then either right-click and choose "Disable Selected Items" or press F8. Items can be re-enabled later by selecting them, then right-clicking and choosing "Enable Selected Items" or pressing F7.

You can save "Open With" entry information to a text file for viewing in another application or distributing to technical support (Ctrl+S), and this file contains the application names, command lines, product names, product descriptions, and other relevant information. From the "View" menu you can even create a HTML report of selected or all items.


Preventing applications from appearing in the "Open With" dialog box via OpenWithView



OpenWithView is freeware and comes as a .ZIP file and does not require an installer - just unzip the file to a new folder and run OpenWithView.exe. Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, and Windows Vista are supported, though earlier versions of Windows can view the list of entries but not disable them. Windows 7 support was not mentioned at the time this tip was written.

OpenWithView can be downloaded at the following address:

OpenWithView: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/open_with_view.html

This tip was written regarding OpenWithView v1.10 on a Windows Vista machine. Feature, information, and screenshots for other versions / operating systems may vary.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.