Clearing Duplicates from OS X’s Open With Contextual Menu

| TMO Quick Tip

Control-clicking a document to see the Open With contextual menu is a handy way to choose exactly which app you use to open a PDF, JPG, or any other file. OS X has a problem, however, where duplicate apps can show up and make the list grow longer and longer. You can fix that issue when it crops up as long as you don't mind a quick trip to Terminal.

OS X duplicates apps in the Open With list over timeOS X duplicates apps in the Open With list over time

To reset the Open With contextual menu app list, launch Terminal (it's hiding in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder) and enter this command:

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

A quick trip to the Terminal app can fix the duplicate app problemA quick trip to the Terminal app can fix the duplicate app problem

Now press Return. The command forces the list to reset itself and drop the duplicate apps so you see only one of each. Sadly, this isn't a permanent fix, so don't be surprised when you have to use the command again in a few days or weeks.

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7 Comments Leave Your Own

adam.berkey

Using Automator, I created an application using this script.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but booting up OS X with this in the startup sequence should ensure that at least if I restart every few days the list would keep from getting duplicates.

Thanks for the script!  I was just last night wondering how I could get rid of all the duplicates in the list.

Jeff Gamet

Yep, that should work. Every time you boot up, your Automator action should run and reset the list.

iJack

I did this and got the response:
“SystemFlippers: didn’t consume all data for vers ID 1 (pBase = 0x100f95b58, p = 0x100f95b65, pEnd = 0x100f95b66)

SystemFlippers: didn’t consume all data for vers ID 1 (pBase = 0x100fea9e8, p = 0x100feaa16, pEnd = 0x100feaa58)”

What does this mean?

RBB

I copy the script and paste into the Terminal but it doesn’t works.

RBB

Sorry I did a mistake.  Again I replace user with my user and it works.
Many thanks.

Bruce Laubon

What I usually do is enter the “script” in my notes and then copy and paste them in Terminal when I need them.

Stephen Inoue

THANK YOU!  Your steps solved my problem!!

Th only things I’d add to the discussion are:

- This is an Apple bug with the Mac App Store.  Everytime your run update you get duplicate entries.  Hopefully Apple will fix in a future OS update. Still broken as of 10.8.3
- Users should close their finder windows and hold the option button on the keyboard and do a fresh click on the Finder in the dock.  You’ll notice that with the option key held down you’ll get an option to “Relaunch” the finder which will then reflect the minimized number of apps in the open with dialog.

>> Your original steps:
To reset the Open With contextual menu app list, launch Terminal (it’s hiding in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder) and enter this command:

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

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