Tending to the Open With Context Menu


A huge thanks goes to Dan Moren at MacUser for posting this tip. I was literally looking for this method over the weekend when I right clicked on an image file and Finder took FOOOREEEVER to show my [crapton of] ‘Open With…’ options.

Most commonly, as you add and delete applications from your Mac, the list of apps that are optionally available to open different file types grows quickly. The problem then, is that it doesn’t self-heal, and pare itself down as those applications are removed from your system. (Hm, maybe something AppZapper should look into as an added feature!)

So as Dan points out, straight from the Apple Docs site:

1. From the Finder Go menu, choose Home.
2. Open the Library folder in the Home window.
3. Open the Preferences folder.
4. Find com.apple.LaunchServices.plist.
5. Rename “com.apple.LaunchServices”, such as to “com.apple.LaunchServices.old”, or move it to the Trash.

This works great, for getting rid of those extraneous application options of long-gone installations – and as a huge added bonus, your right click response time from the operating system is dramatically improved.

As a side tip – if you have a version of Photoshop installed, you probably get the myriad of droplet files when right clicking and choosing ‘Open With..’ on a graphic file. You’ll find all of these droplets housed in /Applications/[photoshop app folder]/Samples/ I created a Disk Image to store these in, which hides them from the com.apple.LaunchServices.plist. Of course you’ll have to do the above steps AFTER hiding or deleting the droplets for it to take effect in your Contextual Menu.



You might also need to delete the plugin files from the “Contextual Menu Items” in either the system library or your home library.


Same here, trashed both, and after a logout/login and even a restart, no effect… and the com.apple.LaunchServices.plist file has not reappeared in the Preferences folder of my Library.


Hmmm, this hasn’t done anything for me. Do we need to restart or log out for this to take effect?

I have even trashed the LaunchServices pref file and the Droplets folder after Zip archiving & then emptied the Trash, relaunched the Finder but I still get the long list of apps & droplets.


Great tip. Thanks a lot.

I’ve often wondered how to get rid of that annoyingly long list of droplets, but never enough to actually look into what to do about them. This worked perfectly.

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