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How to identify the problematic Shell Extension?
How to identify the problematic Shell Extension?
04-07-2014 - 05:34 AM
 fjam
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What is Shell Extention?

Shell Extensions are in-process COM objects which extends the abilities of Windows operating system. Most shell extensions are automatically installed by the operating system, but there are also many other applications that install additional shell extension components. For example: If you install WinZip on your computer, you'll see a special WinZip menu when you right-click on a Zip file. This menu is created by adding a shell extension to the system.

Symptoms

Unfortunately, one day your Windows explorer crashes or freezes or Right-click is slow or weird behavior caused by context menu handlers, Right Clicking on Files and Folders makes Windows hang, etc. What should you do to solve them???

How do I find out what is causing the problem?

To find out what User Shell Extension is causing the problem I recommend performing the following tasks.  
Step 1: Download ShellExView: The ShellExView utility displays the details of shell extensions installed on your computer, and allows you to easily disable and enable each shell extension. ShellExView (by Nir Sofer) is an excellent tool to view and manage all installed shell extensions. If available, it displays the description, as well as version details, company information, location, file name and more. You can optionally disable/enable any item, which can be very useful to disable an extension, that you don t need or that has been left behind in your right click menu from a previous software install.) This utility is released as freeware.
ShellExView for Windows 32bit: 
.zip  shexview.zip (Size: 64.43 KB / Downloads: 157)
ShellExView for Windows 64bit: 
.zip  shexview-x64.zip (Size: 94.18 KB / Downloads: 276)

Step 2: After downloading, extract it and open file: shexview.exe then find: Company tab as following:
   
After that, click to Company tab to sort order this column then you can identify all non-Microsoft Shell Extensions and Microsoft Shell Extensions.

Step 3: In the ShellExView application, step by step disable all non-Microsoft Shell Extensions and test. This should resolve the problem as it is generally third party Shell Extensions which cause the problem.

Once you have done this reboot your computer.  Now slowly enable one extension at a time following by a reboot after each extension until you find the one which is problematic.

Please note whilst recommended, you do not need to use the ShellExView application.  Shell Extensions can be removed through manual editing of the registry.  If you would like to solve your issue through manual registry key changes, please view the following Microsoft's article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/...44110.aspx
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(This post was last modified: 04-07-2014 05:35 AM by fjam.)
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