5 Ways to Restore Full Classic Right-click Menu in Windows 11

Windows 11 is the latest and greatest operating system by Microsoft, with a host of new features that will make your life easier. Windows 11 is designed to be more intuitive than ever before – enabling you to do more at once so you can get back to what matters most. It also comes with lots of neat additions like better security, improved battery life, an upgraded Start Menu, Context menus, Taskbar, Microsoft Store, Settings, File Explorer and much more!

One of the most subtle Windows 11 modifications is the new File Explorer and Desktop context menus with a modern design. The new simplified context menu was created to be more user-friendly, touch-friendly, and to keep third-party applications from cluttering the menu with additional options. It also has all of the most frequently used features, such as Cut, Copy, Open, Delete, Rename, Sort, Properties, and Run as administrator.

The new context or right-click menu is less complicated and more elegant than the previous one, but it is perplexing for many users. Furthermore, the core capabilities such as copy, cut, rename, and delete are now only icons rather than text options.

Fortunately, there are a few simple methods to revert the new context menu in Windows 11 and return to the old style context menu of Windows 10 in Windows 11. We’ll go through them one at a time.

What is Context Menu?

A context menu is an interactive list of options displayed in a graphical user interface as a pop-up window when the user right-clicks on something, such as shortcuts, folder, text, etc. The specific options available depend on what has been selected and the program that is being used.

The context menu is usually reserved for commands that deal with the data directly under or adjacent to the mouse cursor position. For example, in Microsoft Edge (ME), Cut and Paste commands are found within the context menu; whereas in many other programs, they may be found within a toolbar or menus instead. Context menus can also provide options for customizing how the program itself functions.

Back up your Windows Registry Firstly

Windows Registry is a database of settings and information for your PC. The registry contains instructions for how Windows should function, including the hardware devices that are to be used and the software that is installed. Sometimes errors in the registry can cause problems with your computer, such as freezing or crashing. Back up your Windows Registry before performing any other tasks on it

Before making modifications to the Windows Registry, you should back up your registry as a safety precaution. You can always restore lost or modified critical registry entries with the backup. It is not necessary for the restoring context menu, but it is always advised to make a registry backup before changing it.

To begin, click the Start button and search for “Registry Editor”, then select the top result.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Or you can open the registry by entering ‘regedit’ in the Run window, then hit Enter.

Then, if User Account Control asks for permission, click ‘Yes.’

Old Right Click Context Menu

In the left column, right-click on “Computer” and select “Export.” Select a location for the file and name it. 

Old Right Click Context Menu

When you’re finished, click ‘Save’ to save changes and close the registry editor.

Old Right Click Context Menu

You can restore the registry from a backup by double-clicking on the file or choosing the ‘File’ menu in Registry Editor, then click ‘Import,’ and selecting the saved file.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Accessing the Classic (Old) Context Menu From ‘Show more options’

To get to the previous right-click menu, simply right-click on the file/folder or anywhere on File Explorer /Desktop and choose ‘Show more options.’

Old Right Click Context Menu

Or you may also click the computer’s keyboard keys to launch it. Alternatively, if a file or location is selected, press Shift+F10 on your keyboard.

And the old right-click menu will be visible:

Old Right Click Context Menu

Restore Classic (Old) Context Menu Using Registry Editor

There is no special setting that will restore the old Windows 10 context menu on Windows 11. Instead, you must modify the registry editor just a little to bring back the traditional context menu. To do so, follow these steps in order:

Old Right Click Context Menu

Go to the Registry Editor and open this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID

Or you may just paste the above path in the address bar of Registry Editor and hit Enter from your keyboard.

Right-click the ‘CLSID’ folder, choose ‘New,’ then select ‘Key.’

Old Right Click Context Menu

The new key (folder) will be created inside the CLSID folder. Now, change the key to this name:

{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}

Copy-pasting the following line as the key name is another way to do it.

Then, right-click on the recently generated key and select “New” >> “Key” to make a sub-key.

Old Right Click Context Menu

The new subkey should now be named ‘InprocServer32’.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Then, inside the InprocServer32 key, you’ll find a registry key that is named Default. Now, open it by double-clicking on it in the right pane.

In the Edit String window, make sure the ‘Value data’ box is empty (nothing like image above) and then click OK or (Enter). Remember that the value field must be left blank rather than being filled in with 0.

Then, after restarting your computer, close the Registry Editor and start again. Alternatively, you can quickly restart Windows Explorer from Task Manager instead.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Now, if you right-click on the File Explorer/Desktop or on the desktop, you’ll see the classic right-click menu.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Restore the Windows 11 Context Menu

You may restore the Windows 11 context menu simply by deleting the new Registry key and restarting your computer if you wish to bring it back.

In Windows, use the Registry Editor. Paste the following path below in the address bar and press Enter.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID

To delete a key, right-click it and select “Delete” from the menu that appears.

Old Right Click Context Menu

This will revert your system’s default context menu.

Download and Using Our One-Click Registry Hack

If you’d like to use the traditional Windows 10-style right-click context menu without having to manually edit your registry, we’ve prepared a registry modification file for you.

Download the Windows 11 Classic Context Menu Hack Now

Two files will be created: “omg_win11_classic_context_menu.reg,” which does the hack, and “omg_undo_win11_classic_context_menu.reg,” which removes the hack (if you decide you don’t want to change the Windows 11 Classic Context Menu anymore).

Note: In general, you should not trust registry files that you acquire from the internet without verifying them first. Open the file in Notepad (right-click, choose “Show More Options,” then “Edit”), and examine its contents inside. It will appear like this:

inside reg

As you can see, it’s quite straightforward. When you run the “win11_classic_context_menu.reg,” two keys will be added to your registry.

After you’ve made sure everything is in order, double-click the REG file to open it. A caution appears asking whether adding data to the Registry may harm your computer. Select “Yes” to continue.

Old Right Click Context Menu

The next screen will show another pop-up informing you that the data was placed in the Registry.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Accept it by clicking “OK.”

Old Right Click Context Menu

After that, turn off your PC and then restart it to have the change take affect. When you log back in and right-click a file or desktop, you’ll see the classic context menu instead of the new one.

How to Create Your Own One-Click Registry Hack

The File Explorer (and desktop) has a simplified right-click context menu in Windows 11 that differs from the Windows 10 version. If you want to replace the Windows 11 standard right-click menu with the classic version instead, all you have to do is edit your registry with a few clicks.

To begin, you must create a new text document. To do so, right-click anywhere on the desktop or the file explorer and select ‘New item’ from the drop-down menu. Then choose ‘Text Document.’ A text document may be created in any text editor of your choice, such as Sublime Text, NotePad,…

Old Right Click Context Menu

After that, type a name for the document. For example, we’re calling this document “classic_context_menu”.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Then, open the text document you just created and copy and paste the following code into it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}]
@=""
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32]
@=""

Then, to change the file type, select “File” from the menu and then “Save As…”.

Then, under ‘Save as type,’ choose ‘All Files (.*).’

Old Right Click Context Menu

Now, change the file extension from ‘.txt’ to ‘.reg’ at the end of the file name and click Save then. You’ve now generated a registry file.

You may also keep the file as a text document first, then change the file type to ‘.reg.’ To do so, right-click the file, choose ‘Rename,’ or press F2 from your keyboard to rename it.

Now, delete the ‘.txt’ extension and change it to ‘.’Reg,’ then press Enter to apply it.

Old Right Click Context Menu

Note: If you can’t modify the file extension, it’s because you’re simply changing the file name but not the file extension. By default, known file types have their own file extensions hidden.

Old Right Click Context Menu

To reveal the file extension so you can alter it, go to the File Explorer’s ‘Folder Options’ and deselect the ‘Hide file extensions for known file types’ option in the Advanced settings.

Old Right Click Context MenuChoose “OK.” to save all changes.

If you decide that you don’t want to change the Windows 11 Classic Context Menu, simply return it to its default settings by entering the code below and save it with a new name, such as omg_undo_win11_classic_context_menu.reg or default_context_menu.reg

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}]

Old Right Click Context Menu

Restore Classic Context Menu Using a Third-Party app

Winaero Tweaker

Winaero-Tweaker

The Winaero Tweaker software is a powerful tool that allows you to change the way your Windows 11/10 system operates. You can customize everything from adding or removing features, changing settings, enable the full context menus, change taskbar size and much more!

Win 11 Classic Context Menu v 1.0

classic_context_menu

If you’re seeking for a one-click solution to turn off or reactivate the New Context Menu in Windows 11, rather than dealing with registry entries, Win 11 Classic Context Menu v 1.0 Portable freeware is what you need. This software has a straightforward design.

  • Use the first button, “Enable Win 11 Classic Context Menu Style,” to hide the “Show More Options” from the Right Click menu in Windows 11.
  • To turn off the classic Context Menu in Windows 11, use the second option “Enable Win 11 default Context Menu Style.”

Conclusion

Windows 11 has been out for a while now, but there are still some people who don’t like the new changes. One of those major changes is how Microsoft dealt with context menus and many users miss their classic interface. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 11 and are missing your old context menu, follow these instructions above to bring it back. 

If you have any questions about this process or would like assistance installing it, please leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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