Does anyone know how to permanently fix duplicate menu items in the right-click "Open With" menu on OS X Mavericks? I have a clone backup drive that is keeping old versions of applications. These old versions show up along with the current versions of applications from my main drive when I select "Open With" on an application.

Currently, I run this command in Terminal every time I see duplicates (which is after every OS backup):

/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" 

It works, but only until the next backup, then the menu shows duplicates again. I would like to find a way to permanently fix this. anyone know how to do this?


I have a similar configuration - external 3TByte USB 3 drive, Time Machine backup every hour, Carbon Copy Clone every night yielding visible application duplicates.

I had (may still have) the same problem, however, I think I've gotten rid of it.

I used the same commands that you do to rebuild the launch services database, and my duplicates would return as well. I fiddled around with the switches to this launch service rebuilding command, and have arrived at the following that has kept my Open With list free of duplicates for about a week. Here it is:

$ /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -seed -r -f -domain local -domain system -domain user
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  • thank you very much, i tried this command and launch services rebuilt correctly, but then i did a restart, and the duplicates came back. have you restarted this week? i found this page: useyourloaf.com/blog/2013/01/01/open-with-duplicates.html , which lists some variations. i tried this: $ ./lsregister -kill -r -all system,local,user, which is the one the author recommends, and after a restart, still no dup's. i back up tonight, i'll keep you posted if anything changes. i guess, if your command is working though, that is all that matters. – swis24 Jan 1 '14 at 19:04
  • i am curious to find the definite answer though, duplicates are inevitable for all people who back up, right? i would think this would be too intolerable to programmers to not fix permanently. in the link i posted, someone says they only need to execute the command every few months, so i'm guessing there is at least a fix from having to run the command after every backup. i'm going to research some more, i'll get back to you if i find something. also, a tip, someone mentioned to write out this long command as an alias, 'lsreset.' might help out if it needs to be run repeatedly. – swis24 Jan 1 '14 at 19:05
  • Bill, I think I have a permanent working solution, although it prevents indexing of previous versions of files on the backup drive. I dragged the 'Backup' volume and CCC_Archives to Spotlight Pref > Privacy, then rebuit Launch Services for the last time. I think that fixed it for good. To me, it is more important to have the 'open with' menu fix than to have the rare capability to search for old file versions. Also, if and when I do need to do a search like that, I will just temporarily remove those directories from Spotlight Privacy. Hope everything's working for you. – swis24 Jan 5 '14 at 18:43

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