How To Remove Multiple ‘Open With’ Entries in OS X

How To Remove Multiple ‘Open With’ Entries in OS X

If you’re like me, you right-click or control-click files multiple times during the day to use the “Open With” menu option. This saves time, as you don’t have to open the app, then go to the file menu, then click open… Well, you get it. With Open With, you select the app you want to open the file with, and boom, the app runs, and then the file you selected automatically loads.

One thing you might notice though, is it can become obnoxiously filled with repeat entries of the same app, And I’m not talking a duplicate here and there, there will be numerous listing of the same app appearing in the Open With list. Let’s take a look at how we can clean up the Open With menu a bit and make it easier to find the app you’re looking for (thanks to OS X Daily who originally published this great tip.)


This should work with just about every version of Mac OS X.

Please read the instructions below, and be sure you understand the process before attempting it. And as always with this type of article, be sure you’re comfortable entering commands in the Terminal window before proceeding.

Launch Terminal from the /Applications/Utilities/ directory and copy and paste, or enter the following command string at the prompt:

lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain user

(Please Note: the backslashes within the command are used to extend long commands to multiple lines while still making them executable when copy & pasted, they are not necessary to include if you are manually typing the command string into the terminal)

The process may take a while, as the entire Launch Services database is being rebuilt, and this is where the duplicate app entries are removed from the right-click menu.

Once the process is finished, and the prompt returns, you must then quit and relaunch the Finder for the change to take effect, that is easiest to do from the command line as well:

killall Finder

Now when Finder has relaunched, go back to any file and right-click on it, pulling down the “Open With” menu to see all repetitive entries gone.


Now, doesn’t that look cleaner and a little easier to read?

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!

  1. Awesome tip! I have been using this command for a while now, mostly because of the multiple entries created by Apps built on Xcode that are kept on the “Derived Data” folder. Tip: Another quick way to kill finder (useful for when not working with the Terminal) is to hold Option and right click the Finder icon. There will be an “Relaunch” option. Hope it helps 🙂

  2. Perry says:

    Nice! Thanks!

  3. PMtuts says:

    Often app developers get blamed for this, in my opinion, long outstanding bug in OS X. It looks to be completely ignored by Apple. Though it’s not critical, it is however irritating and kills a bit of the otherwise great user experience OS X offers. It can’t be that hard for Apple to fix this.

  4. newsbloger says:

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