How to clean up your ‘Open With’ menu in OS X

We all know about the ‘Open With’ menu, right?

As soon as you control-click a file, you will have the option to choose which application to use when opening the file. Naturally your default app will take precedence, but you have the ability to choose an alternative app, for various reasons.

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The problem is that as we use our Macs to their full potential, that list changes when we install and uninstall apps on our machines. When an app is uninstalled, it is supposed to be successfully removed from the Open With menu as well. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t always work out like that.

Over time, our Open With menu can not only get very busy, but it can also start to show duplicate entries.
When these duplicate entries occur, only the currently installed one will actually work, and all the other incorrect entries will throw an error.

This happens over time, and is not caused by user actions. It can however be caused from cloning your startup drive, as well as mounting drives that contain copies of applications.

Luckily, there is a simple solution.

All we need to do is let Mac OS rebuild its Launch Services Database, and by doing so, rebuild the Open With menu, with all the currently installed applications of course.

Depending on your version of Mac OS X, you will need to run one of the following commands in Terminal:

For OS X 10.5 and later, run the following command within Terminal:

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

For OS X 10.3 to 10.4, run the following:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

And that’s it. Your Open With menus will not be slim and trim again, with no duplicate entries.

Hope you enjoy this!

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