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Shell Extensions... Approved??

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op9080 View Drop Down
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Joined: 31 October 2005
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    Posted: 28 August 2007 at 6:06am
Autoruns displays shell extensions appearing in the registy key
 
Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Approved
 
It appears that the "Approved" restriction is only enforced if a certain Group Policy is set (see here).  Using another tool I found 3 non-Microsoft shell extensions (ones that I use often) that are not listed by Autoruns since they're not in the "Approved" subkey (in either HKLM or HKCU.)
 
This also means that the method Autoruns uses to disable shell extensions by removing them from the "Approved" subkey doesn't actually disable them.  I've verified this.
 
Under "Shell Extensions" there's another subkey called "Cached" and that seems to be a subkey that lists all the extensions that have actually been used.
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