How to clear duplicates from “Open With” menu on OS X

By , May 23, 2013

Duplicates in Open With menu

I love my Mac but sometimes it does some strange things, such as showing me duplicate entries in the “Open With” contextual menu you get when you right click on a document. While I’m not sure why it happens, I hear it’s due to the Launch Services database.

Of course, there probably is a valid explanation as to why and how it happens. Some people might even be able to convince me it’s more of a feature rather than a bug, but the fact of the matter is that it drives me absolutely insane.

If like me, you are annoyed by this, I’ll show you how to delete duplicate entries from the “Open With” menu on your Mac

The solution is fairly easy. Simply launch Terminal and copy/paste the following command, then hit Enter:

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

Right click on a document again, and go to “Open With”. These duplicates should have been all cleared up by now, but note that it’s just a temporary solution. I’ve found that every time I update the Pixelmator app for example, a duplicate shows up again.

No duplicate in Open With menu Mac

I’m glad I’ve finally posted this here. I won’t have to dig into my email archive for the solution that was emailed to me a few months ago every time this problem arises in the future. Of course, I also hope it will help those of you who have this problem.

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  • http://www.iPhoNews.ro/ Radu Ursache

    good tip, thanks :)

  • Carlos gomes

    Thanks great article had the same problem

  • http://www.mattblank.com/ Matt Blank

    I did this, and it still hasn’t fixed this problem (I call it a problem)! When I right click on an MP3 file and go to open with, it shows me 9 Spotify’s :(

    • http://www.mattblank.com/ Matt Blank

      Just found out it’s because I’m using bash (whatever that is!!??!). So I had to put:

      alias fixow=’/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain user;killall Finder;echo “Open With has been rebuilt, Finder will relaunch”‘

  • Craig Keller

    yes. thank you.

  • Alex

    I created an Automator App out of this. You could also create a Service out of this so when you right click on anything or something specific like a filetype.

    Run “Automator”, select “Application”, add “Run Applescript” and paste in the info between the dashes.
    —————————————–
    on run {input, parameters}

    do shell script “/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user”

    return input
    end run
    —————————————–

    I also created an app that speeds up Mail.app by rebuilding the sql database, and an Service that when you right click a pdf or image it reduces the file size (by reducing the image quality, but still maintaining quality) and converts it to .jpg if it isn’t one already (this is mainly used to e-mail files or for posting on a website).

  • http://www.facebook.com/aQuEtIaS Shrey Gupta

    wow, u are a saviour. Thanks a ton..!!!

  • Cal J

    Thank you so much for this! I couldn’t stand using “Open With” before because it was such a mess!

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Lol, this is actually a problem on OS X? Appears like I’ve been taking a lot more Windows functions for granted than I anticipated….

  • workin

    I get this reply in terminal:
    ThrottleProcessIO: throttling disk i/o

    wth, but still have duplicates in finder open with…EDIT: I had to relaunch Finder, worked thanks