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I love Windows 7, I think it’s a great operating system.  There are a few things however that I do not like.

This guide is going to show you how you can remove the Screen resolution, Gadgets & Personalize from the Desktop context menu.

I really can’t understand why MS have put these two here. Especially Screen resolution, once you’ve set your resolution, under most circumstances you’ll likely never click it again (to be honest, you probably didn’t use it in the first place), why put it pride of place in this context menu?  Surely other commands would be much more useful.  Restarting Explorer for perhaps?

I’m not a lover of gadgets either, I like a nice clean Desktop to work in.  This context menu item for me, has to go.

For anyone who is the same as me and can’t understand why these 2 entries are here and too, have no need for them and want to remove them, you’ve come to the right place!

This guide involves editing the registry, please see here before modifying it at all.

Usually all we would have to do is delete a key or two from the registry.

This guide is a little more involved however and requires permission changes to the registry.  Sounds scary I know but as long as you’ve had a look here, understand the risks and follow the guide to a tee, all will be fine and dandy!

Step 1.

Press the WinKey+R to open the Run dialog box.  Type regedit and click, OK.

Step 2.

In the registry editor, navigate to;


Under ‘Shell’ you will notice three keys; Display, Gadgets & Personalize.

Head over here to learn how to backup individual branches of the registry and backup those three branches (Display, Gadgets, Personalize).

Step 3.

Once the keys/branches are safely backed up, select the one you wish to remove (in this example I’ll remove the Display key and with it, the Screen Resolution context option).

With the Display key selected, go to Edit > Permissions…

Step 4.

In the Permissions window, click Advanced.

Step 5.

The Advanced Security Settings window will popup.  Click on the Owner tab.

Check the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects box, click your administrator account and click, Apply.

Note the current ownership is now changed.

Now click on the Permissions tab.

Step 6.

Check the Replace all child objects with inheritable permissions from the object box, select the same user account as before and click, Edit.

Step 7.

The Permission entry window will popup.  Under Name, make sure the correct user is displayed, It applies to this key and subkeys and check the Full control box in the Allow column.  Click, OK.

You will get a security warning, click Yes if you are happy with it.

Click OK in all of the remaining ‘Properties’ windows to return to the registry editor.

Step 8.

In the registry editor make sure Display is selected and go to Edit > Delete.

Accept any prompts.

Now right click on the Desktop to see the changes.  If you want to delete the Gadgets or indeed the Personalize entry, follow these steps exactly the same but for the remaining keys under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell.

Returning to default

Returning to default should be an extremely easy case of merging the backed up copies of the keys you have deleted.

If you haven’t backed up then shame on you!

Not sure how to merge registry entries?

See here for more information.

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One thought on “Remove Gadgets & Screen Resolution from Context Menu [How To]”

  1. Freshie says:

    Creating a new string named Extended will leave everything available in the menu, but will only appear when shift is held while right clicking.

Comments are closed.

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