FIX: Open with menu option is missing in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Users report that the Open with option is missing from the context menu without any warning or obvious reason.
  • We will explore in this article what steps you can do in order to solve this issue, so keep reading.
  • Bookmark our Windows 10 Hub for more helpful guides and news.
  • Check out our dedicated Fix section for more related information.
FIX: Open with menu option is missing in Windows 10

If you want to open a certain file with a different program, usually you’ll right-click that file and choose the Open with from the menu.

Many users use the Open with menu on their PC, but sometimes this menu can become missing.

Users reported the following problems:

  • Windows 10 Open with not working –  This is a strange problem, but you should be able to fix it by keeping your Windows up to date.
  • Open with disabled windows 10 –If you’re having this problem, you might have to tweak your registry in order to fix it.
  • Windows 10 Open with greyed out – This can be a big problem, but you should be able to fix that by creating a new user account.
  • Open with missing from the context menu, right-click – If you’re having this problem, be sure to try some of our solutions.

How can I fix the Open with menu missing in Windows 10?

1. Check your antivirus

An antivirus is a crucial component of every PC because it provides you with protection from online threats.

However, sometimes your antivirus can interfere with Windows and that can cause the Open with menu to become missing.

If you’re having this problem, we advise you to temporarily disable your antivirus and check if that solves the issue.

Now, if that doesn’t help, you might have to uninstall your antivirus. If removing your antivirus solves the problem, you’ll need to switch to a different antivirus solution.

There are many great antivirus tools available on the market, but currently, the best antivirus applications is Bitdefender.

There are many great selling points to why you should use it, and some of them are its excellent protection against viruses and the use of minimal PC resources, although constantly running in the background.

Bitdefender has made a name for itself due to it’s enhanced security and deep scan options that stop any threats even before becoming an issue.

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2. Create a .reg file and change registry values

  1. Open Notepad.
  2. When Notepad opens, paste the following into it:
    • Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    • [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Open With]@=”{09799AFB-AD67-11d1-ABCD-00C04FC30936}”
  3. Click File and Save as.
    Open with missing from context menu
  4. In the Save as type section, choose All Files.
  5. In the File name section enter OpenWith.reg and lick Save.
    Windows 10 Open with not working
  6. Find the OpenWith.reg file and double click it to add its content to the registry.

 3. Change the registry manually

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type regedit.
  2. Press Enter or click OK to start Registry Editor.
    Windows 10 Open with not working
  3. When Registry Editor starts, in the left pane navigate to the following key:
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
      Open with disabled windows 10
  4. If you see Open With key available, click it.
  5. If it’s not available, right-click ContextMenuHandlers and choose New and select Key.
  6. Enter OpenWith as the name and click the OpenWith key.
  7. In the right pane, you should see Default.
  8. Double click it to open its properties.
    Windows 10 Open with greyed out
  9. In Value data enter:
    • {09799AFB-AD67-11d1-ABCD-00C04FC30936}
      Windows 10 Open with greyed out

  10. Click OK to save the changes and close the Registry Editor.

4. Run Restore_Open_With.reg file

If you don’t want to change your registry manually, and you don’t want to create .reg files you can add them to the registry, by simply downloading this file.

Once downloaded, run the Restore_Open_With.reg and the Open with menu should be restored.

Note: Make sure to only use this solution if you are confident you know how to use it. This file is hosted by a forum not affiliated with us.


5. Use third-party software to disable shell extensions

Sometimes programs add their functionality to the right-click menu in Windows, and this can sometimes cause the Open with menu to be missing.

To fix this issue, you need to find the problematic software, and in order to do that, you’ll need CCleaner or ShellExView.

Regardless of which one you use, make sure to disable shell extensions and turn them back on, one by one, in order to see which one is causing the problem.

Once finished, make sure to restart Windows.


6. Copy all files from WinX folder

  1. Go to C:UsersDefaultAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsWinX.
  2. Select all files in WinX folder and copy them to C:\Users\[user.account.name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX.
    Open with disabled windows 10
  3. Restart Windows Explorer.

7. Create new values in the registry

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to ComputerHKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell key in the left pane.
    Open with missing from right click
  3. Now right-click shell key and choose New and select Key from the menu.
  4. Enter Open With as the name of the new key.
    Windows 10 Open with not working
  5. Now right-click Open With key, choose New and select Key.
  6. Set its name as Command.
  7. Select Command key and in the right pane double click on.
    Open with disabled windows 10
  8. Set the value data to rundll32.exe shell32.dll,OpenAs_RunDLL %1 and click OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 Open with not working

8. Perform SFC and DISM scan

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt from the menu.
    Open with disabled windows 10
  2. Once the Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow.
  3. Now press Enter to run the command.
    Windows 10 Open with greyed out
  4. The scanning process will now start.
  5. Keep in mind that the SFC scan can take up to 15 minutes, so don’t interrupt it.

Run a DISM scan

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Now enter DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter to run the command.
    Open with missing from right click
  3. DISM scan will now start.
  4. Keep in mind that this scan can take up to 20 minutes or more, so be sure not to interrupt it.

Note: Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem still appears. If the issue is still present or if you were unable to run SFC scan before, run the SFC scan again and check if that solves your problem.


9. Install the missing updates

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the Update & security section.
    Windows 10 Open with greyed out
  3. Now click on Check for updates button.
    Open with missing from context menu

10. Create a new user profile

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to the Accounts section.
    Windows 10 Open with greyed out
  2. Click on Family & other people.
  3. Now click on Add someone else to this PC.
    Open with missing from context menu
  4. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Windows 10 Open with not working
  5. Now click on Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Open with disabled windows 10
  6. Enter the desired name and click Next.
    Windows 10 Open with greyed out

 

That is all. If the Open with menu is missing on Windows 10, in most cases the cause lies in your registry, and the issue can be easily resolved after performing few registry changes that we mentioned in our solutions.

Let us know in the comments section below if you have other suggestions or recommendations.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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