Avoid NCH Software Like the Plague!

I recently made the mistake of installing TwelveKeys by NCH Software on my computer.  Afterwards, I noticed strange new items the context menus that pop up when you right click a file in Window Explorer.  For instance, when I right clicked on a ZIP file, there was a new item, Extract with Express Zip.   Since TwelveKeys is a program for music transcription, it didn’t occur to me that this strange context menu item came from installing TwelveKeys.  Only after I googled Express Zip did I find out that it was installed by Twelvekeys.  It turns out that a number of other people were irritated by NCH Software adding extraneous context menu items to their systems.

I immediately uninstalled TwelveKeys, and much to my dismay, found out that the uninstaller leaves the context menu items behind.  Even worse, the context menu items all refer to software which gets uninstalled, so they point to a nonexistent file.  I used regedit to search for “NCH Software,” and found well over 100 junk context menu items in left in my registry!

Here is one of the 20+ entries it installed for VLC alone:

The items all attempt to launch TwelveKeys.exe with argument -extfind to automatically download more software into your system.

It took me over an hour to manually search for and delete the garbage with regedit.  This is a particularly insidious form of spam, and should not be tolerated. I will never again install any programs by NCH Software on any of my computers.

2 thoughts on “Avoid NCH Software Like the Plague!”

  1. This is something I just found as well, from installing their Crescendo score editor. I don’t know how anyone could think this is an acceptable practice.

    Note that you can fix the damage far more quickly after uninstalling by running a registry cleaner (I used the one in CCleaner). It should pick up that the context menu items point to a missing file and delete them.

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