Open With… Menu shows Duplicates.


01/03/2008: This article was written for Tiger. But I’ve added the new terminal command for Leopard below. Remember use this information at your own risk!

Mac OS X Tiger’s LogoI install a good amount of Apps each week. Which means I get a lot of clutter. One of the tool’s I’ve used since I have been on the Mac is AppZapper. It great for uninstalling all the lame preference files that don’t get removed when you drag an App to the trash. This reduces the worries of worry about having a bunch of crud all over you hard drive.

The dilemma I had was when Apps update themselves. I’m a web developer/design student. Being such I’m always installing and updating different browsers to do testing. I also have multiple programs for editing html and/or other markup/programming languages. So I noticed the problem this week when right-clicking an html file and finding that I have a bunch of options.
Screenshot of “Open with” menu

Now, I like having a bunch of options, but why do I have the same App listed multiple times? It is because a lot of Mac Apps update themselves by downloading the new .app file, then putting the old .app file to the trash, and then placing the new .app file into the Applications folder. Apparently doing this will cause the updated version of the App to get added to file association list again which causes you seeing the same App twice in the “Open with” contextual menu. At least that is what my assumption is…


So what’s the solution? It appears to be a long command in the terminal.

Tiger Terminal Solution

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

Right-click and choose Save as to Download text file of code for Tiger.

Leopard Terminal Solution

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

Right-click and choose Save as to Download text file of code for Leopard.

Here is what it looks like in the terminal. Screenshot of Terminal The terminal doesn’t give you any sort of feedback so to test just right-click an item and see if the problem as been fixed. I was happy to see it didn’t require a restart.
Screenshot of TerminalI was able to find the information in a post called How to rebuild the LaunchServices database from the Mac OS X hints website. The article details what the command does as well as the commands options are. I’ve only tested this on an Intel Macbook running Mac OS X.4 Tiger, so I can not vouch for other systems. If the only problem you are having is that Apps that are no longer installed are still showing up in the “Open with” contextual menu then try this tip from I tried this before I tried the terminal command and it didn”t work for the duplicated apps.

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