How to Remove Duplicate Entries from OS X’s “Open With” Menu


Mark writes: Over the years, I’ve installed version updates for many apps on my Mac, but now I seem to have collected a huge list of out-of-date versions. When I right-click (or Control-click) on a file and choose “Open With,” I see a long listing of every version of every app that could possibly open the file.

How can I fix this problem and remove the outdated entries?

Mac Geek Gab Answers Fix Mac OS X Open With Menu


The “Open With” menu is powered by the LaunchServices database in OS X. You can fix issues with the list by either deleting the LaunchServices preference file or resetting it.

To delete the LaunchServices preference file quit all open apps and navigate to [home]/Library/Preferences.

Apple has hidden access to the user’s Library folder starting with OS X 10.7 Lion, so either run a terminal command to restore its visibility, hold down “Option” when selecting the Finder’s “Go” menu, or manually navigate to the folder by typing the destination into Finder > Go > Go to Folder (Shift-Command-G).

Once you’re in the user Preferences folder, locate and delete it. Then reboot your Mac. Your LaunchServices preference file will now be rebuilt and only current versions of apps will be listed in the “Open With” window. Note, however, that you may need to launch an app first before it will appear in the list if it is not a default application for a particular file type.

The second option is to reset LaunchServices, which can be easily done with the free tool OnyX. If you haven’t used it before, OnyX simplifies and automates a plethora of maintenance tasks in OS X. Just be sure to grab the proper version for your specific operating system.

Onyx Fix Open With Menu

In OnyX, go to Maintenance > Rebuild > LaunchServices to rebuild the LaunchServices database. Make sure the box next to "LaunchServices" is checked and then press "Execute." As we suggested above, make sure to reboot after this process is complete.

Alternatively, you can reset LaunchServices yourself without OnyX by using Terminal. If you’re running OS X 10.5 or later, launch Terminal from the /Applications/Utilities folder and enter the following command:

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

Again, reboot your Mac after the command has been processed.