How to Get Back the Old Right-Click Context Menu in Windows 11?

How To Solved issue

Question asked by:

Vivien M.

Issue:

Wanna get back to old right click context on my Windows 11

Hey Windows 11 explorers! Craving that old-school right-click context menu in this funky new town? Give me the lowdown on bringing it back, will ya? Many thanks, nostalgia-seekers!
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Have you upgraded to Windows 11 but missed the old right-click context menu? The new modern menu is cleaner but loses some customization and responsiveness. Fortunately, restoring your right-click menu to its Windows 10 style is quick and doable, even for beginners. Check this proven method to restore the legacy context menu on Windows 11

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How to Get Back the Old Right-Click Context Menu in Windows 11

What is Windows 11 Context Menu?

The context menu is the menu that pops up when you right-click an item on Windows, specifically when clicking on the desktop. It provides quick access to menu options, including Copy and Paste, Cut, and Delete. 

Past versions of Windows OS have been known for its fast, accessible, and easy-to-use Classic right-click context menu. When Windows 11 PC started rolling out, however, the first thing that most users noticed was the non-responsive right-click menu. You have to double-click on the menu to access other features. 

Microsoft has changed the classic context menu in Windows 11 as a part of their efforts to redesign user interface in Windows 11. Their target was to give a modern and polished look, with fewer options shown by default.

Needless to say, many users prefer the old menus for better customization and quick access. Most power users would restore the old context menu in Windows just to feel at home on Windows 11. 

How to Restore Legacy Right-Click Context Menu in Windows 11

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Disclaimer: We will adjust the Windows Registry in this tutorial. Making a backup of the registry key is recommended just in case issues occur before, during, and after the process. 

If you’re looking for a straightforward solution, you can access the legacy context menu by clicking “show more options” or pressing Shift + F10. But this can be a pain in the neck, especially if you have to do it every time you access the Context Menu. That’s why power users opt to restore the right-click context menu on Windows to avoid this problem. 

Here’s how to permanently bring back the beloved legacy context menu in Windows 11. 

  • Type cmd in the Start Menu.
  • Launch the Command Prompt as an administrator.
open CMD
  • Input the following command and hit the Enter key: 
    reg.exe add “HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32” /f /ve
HKCU\Software\Classes
  • Navigate to your Task Manager window and terminate the process “Windows Explorer.”
  • Select the “Start new task” option and input “explorer.exe.” You can also restart your PC if you’re not experienced yet in managing using Task Manager. 
explorer.exe

Here’s the breakdown of what the code does under the hood: 

  • reg.exe: A command-line utility in Windows that launches the registry editor or regedit, which is a database that stores Windows settings.
  • add: An operation that tells the utility to add a new entry to the registry.
  • “HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32”: This specific registry key is associated with the Windows context menu. inprocserver32 tells your computer where to find the instructions to run for a particular feature or operation. CLSID is used to manage and identify items. 
  • /f: This is a switch that forces the command to run without asking for user confirmation. 
  • /ve: This switch specifies that the operation should be performed on the default value. 

How to Revert to the New Windows 11 Menu

Although this change is “permanent,” users can reverse the registry edits if they want to use the new context menu. 

  • Type cmd in the Start Menu.
  • Launch the Command Prompt as an administrator.
open CMD
  • Enter the following command: 
    reg.exe delete “HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}” /f
  • Don’t forget to restart your file explorer.
reg.exe delete

This prompt removes the previous edits done earlier to restore the classic menu. This command is used to undo a change made to the “New” option in the right-click menu on your computer. By removing these specific instructions, your computer will use the feature’s default behavior.

Note: Check your prompt before pressing enter to avoid complications. You might accidentally delete a reg file critical for the operating system to run as intended.

That’d Be All!

And that’s it; we’ve removed the new right-click context menu and restored the old one.  Remember, always double-check when using commands to edit the registry. You can easily bring back the classic menu by following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide. 

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About the author
Iggy Shells
Iggy Shells - IT & PC repair expert

Iggy is the founder of WindowsGuided.com. He’s been involved in custom IT and security solutions for more than a decade.

Now he and his team are sharing their knowledge with the world by helping casual users solve a myriad of different computer issues, system errors, and virus/malware infections.