How to find old context menus in Windows 11

Windows 11 has removed the usual context menus and replaced them with a modern, more streamlined version. Sometimes too much. Here’s how to get the old ones back.

While Windows 11 isn’t as big of an interface update over Windows 10 as Windows 8 was after Windows 7, Microsoft has made a number of changes that could annoy many users. One of these changes is the context menu that appears every time you right-click on a file.

In Windows 10, when you right-click on a file, various options appear, such as rename, delete, open, open with, send, etc. Microsoft felt that this context menu had gotten a bit complicated, including too many options that weren’t necessarily useful for everyone.

It is for this reason that the Redmond firm has introduced new context menus in Windows 11, menus designed to be more compact and offer the most used functions. According to Microsoft, “the menu is exceptionally long. It has been operating in an uncontrolled environment for 20 years, since Windows XP, when IContextMenu was introduced. “

That said, if you’re not particularly a fan of these new context menus, don’t freak out. In fact, it is not very difficult to make the ancients reappear. Here are two methods to achieve it.

Method 1: temporary solution

This method is temporary in the sense that it will allow you to see the previous context menu, but when you click on another file, the previous menu will disappear. It will be necessary to repeat the operation. The advantage of this method is that you can take advantage of the new more compact menu and access more options when you need them.

  • Right-click on a file.
  • Click on “Show more options”.
  • You should see the old context menu.
  • If you prefer the version via keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press Shift + F10.
  • Right click on a file, the above context menu should appear.
  • Method 2: edit the registry

    If you prefer the old context menu to be displayed all the time, this method is for you. To do this, you need to edit your machine’s registry. If you are not familiar with this process or feel uncomfortable doing it, it is best not to do it. In any case, the operation is very simple and fast. It will only take a minute or two.

  • Click the Start menu, type “regedit” (without the quotes), and then press Enter.
  • In the left navigation bar, search for HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesCLSID.
  • Once found, right-click on the CLSID folder and select New> Key.
  • Enter {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2} for the name and press Enter.
  • Right-click on the key you just created and select New> Key.
  • Enter InprocServer32 as the name and press Enter.
  • Double-click the registry entry (default) and press Enter to assign it an empty value.
  • Close the registry editor.
  • Restart your computer and you should see the above context menu every time you right-click on a file.
  • If you want to restore the new context menu, follow the steps above, but find the key {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2} that you created and delete it. Make sure you select the correct key; otherwise, it may cause problems with the Windows installation. Restart the computer when done to find the new context menus.
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