Full Fix: ‘Open With’ Menu Missing In Windows 10, 8.1 and 7

By: Milan Stanojevic
7 minute read

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If you want to open a certain file with a different program, usually you’ll right click that file and choose Open With from the menu. Windows 10 users have reported that Open With menu is missing on their computers, so let’s fix this problem.

“Open With” Menu Missing In Windows 10, How To Fix It?

Many users use Open with menu on their PC, but sometimes this menu can become missing. Speaking of Open with menu, users reported the following problems:

  • Windows 10 Open with not working – Many users reported that Open with feature isn’t working for them on Windows 10. 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 – Sometimes Open with option can become disabled on your PC. If you’re having this problem, you might have to tweak your registry in order to fix it.
  • Windows 10 Open with greyed out – According to users, sometimes Open with option can become grayed 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 context menu, right click – There are many reasons why Open with option can become missing from the context menu, but if you’re having this problem, be sure to try some of our solutions.

Solution 1 – Create .reg file and change registry values

This solution is simple, and it requires you to create a text file, save it as a .reg file and add its content to the registry. Although it might sound a bit complicated, it’s really easier than it sounds.

  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 > Save as.
    Open with missing from context menu
  4. In Save as type section choose All Files.In File name section enter OpenWith.reg. Click Save.
    Windows 10 Open with not working
  5. Now find the OpenWith.reg file and double click it to add its content to the registry.

After adding OpenWith.reg to the registry, Open With menu should start working again.


Solution 2 – Check your antivirus

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 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. 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 are Bitdefender, BullGuard, and Panda Antivirus so feel free to try any of these applications.


 Solution 3 – Change the registry manually

This is a bit more advanced solution, and you need to be careful when changing the values in the registry. To start changing the values manually, follow these steps:

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

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

Solution 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 and add them to the registry, you can simply download this file. Just download the file and run Restore_Open_With.reg and Open With menu should be restored.


Solution 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 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.

If you use CCleaner, go to Tools > Startup > Context menu and disable shell extensions. Now you need to turn them on one by one and find which one is causing you this issue. If you use ShellExView, the principle is the same, disable all non-Microsoft entries and restart Windows Explorer.

Now enable entries one by one, or in small groups, until you find the one that is causing you problems. Now you might need to locate the CLSID in the registry for that program and delete it to fix the issue. As you can see, both of these programs do the similar thing, and although ShellExView is more advanced, CCleaner is much simpler to use.


Solution 6 – Copy all files from WinX folder

This is a simple solution and it requires you to copy all contents of one folder to another. To complete this solution, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX.
  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 and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 7 – Create new values in the registry

If Open with menu is missing from Windows 10, the problem might be related to your registry. To fix this issue, you need to add several new values to your registry. To do that, just follow these steps:

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

After making these changes, check if Open with menu is working properly.


Solution 8 – Perform SFC and DISM scan

Sometimes this error can occur if your system files are corrupted. File corruption can occur for various reasons, but you can fix the problem simply by performing an SFC scan. To do that, follow these steps:

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

If you’re unable to run SFC scan, or if the SFC scan doesn’t solve the problem, you need to run DISM scan. To do that, follow these steps:

  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. Keep in mind that this scan can take up to 20 minutes or more, so be sure not to interrupt it.

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.


Solution 9 – Install the missing updates

If Open with menu is missing on your Windows 10 PC, the problem might be related to missing updates. However, you might be able to fix the issue simply by installing the missing updates. By default, Windows 10 installs the updates automatically, but sometimes you might miss an important update. However, you can always check for updates manually by doing the following:

  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

Windows will now check for available updates. If updates are available, they will be downloaded automatically in the background and installed once you restart your PC. Once your PC is up to date, the problem should be completely resolved.


Solution 10 – Create a new user profile

According to users, sometimes Open with menu can become missing if your user profile is corrupted. If that’s the case, you might be able to solve the problem simply by creating a new user profile. This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

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

After creating a new user account, switch to it and check if the problem still persists. If not, you’ll need to move your files to a new profile and start using it as your main profile.

If Open With menu is missing on Windows 10, in most cases the cause lies in your registry, and users have reported that issue has been resolved after performing few registry changes that we mentioned in our solutions.

If you’re still having issues on your PC or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool to fix various PC problems, such as file loss, malware and hardware failure.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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