Scrubbing your Services menu

by Giles Turnbull

This has already got a lot of attention in various places, but it's so neat I just had to make a brief mention of it here.

If you're even a mildly curious OS X user, and find youself downloading and trying out all kinds of applications, you'll have encountered the same problem that Rob Griffiths did: a Services menu that gets so bloated with options that it becomes unusable.

Mine wasn't quite that bad, but like Rob, I found it annoying that I couldn't control what appeared on it. There were things there from apps that I'd downloaded, tried once, and never touched again.

Enter Service Scrubber a simple donationware application that hands over complete control of the Services menu. Uncheck all the stuff you don't want to appear there, save, and that's it - you don't even need to log out and in. Your Services menu is now trimmed to your precise requirements and might even be usable again.

Update: Reader Mike Zornek pointed me to a post at Toxic Software that explains in a little more detail how Service Scrubber works. The way it prevents Service items appearing in your Services menu is by directly modifying the applications concerned. While this is by no means unheard of, you might want to think carefully about using it to change any applications your life (or your business) really depends on.

It's certainly worth being aware that Service Scrubber will affect the Services menu for all users on a machine, not just the one doing the Scrubbing. You might like to get rid of 'Make New Sticky Note' because you never use it, but your Aunt Ethel, who depends on it for her bridge club GTD system, might well get pretty annoyed when it disappears from the Services menu completely.


2006-01-07 16:24:51
Nice find!
I've been bothered by this for a while and have not been able to find a solution. The people who make Quicksilver have an app (Service Menu Pref Pane), but it doesn't really do much. has a hint involving a shell script, but that doesn't seem to work on my Tiger box.

I downloaded and ran Service Scrubber and in just a few minutes got my Services menu looking exactly how I wanted it.