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How to get the Windows 10 Context Menu in Windows 11

Windows 11 has new context menus. The general opinion on these new context menus is that they aren’t very good. They have replaced text labels with buttons, and users get a default shortened menu when they right-click anywhere. For additional options, the context menu has to be expanded. Users basically have to click twice to view all options in the context menu.

Windows 10 context menu in Windows 11

Windows 10 context menu in Windows 11

Microsoft has actively been blocking ways to undo its new context menu however, there is a registry hack that allows you to block the new context menu. Once blocked, users get the old context menu they had in Windows 10. The hack is easily reversible and it applies to file context menus as well as the desktop context menu.

Get Windows 10 context menu in Windows 11

To get the old context menu, you have to edit the registry and to do that, you need admin rights.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command: reg add HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32 /ve /d “” /f
  3. Once the command has finished (it should only take a few seconds), run this command: taskkill /im explorer.exe /f & explorer.exe
  4. The taskbar and desktop background will disappear when you run the command and return automatically however, i they do not, run this command: explorer.exe.
  5. Right-click a file or on the desktop and you will get the old context menu back.

Restore Windows 11 context menu

If you do not want to use the Windows 10 context menu, and would prefer to get used to the new UI, you can undo this hack.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter regedit and tap Enter.
  3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftware\Classes\CLSID
  4. Right-click the {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2} key under it and select delete from the context menu.
  5. Open Task Manager.
  6. Go to the Processes tab.
  7. Select Windows Explorer and click the End task button.
  8. Your taskbar and desktop background will disappear and reappear automatically but if they do not, tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  9. In the run box, enter explorer.exe and tap Enter.
  10. The Windows 11 context menu will be restored.

Conclusion

Microsoft may block this hack eventually or it may not. When users ‘expand’ the new, shortened context menu, they basically get the old menu but in a different wrapper. For some users, the new context menu is actually better given it relies on icons for common tasks like copy, paste, and share. One thing is for certain, developers will want to have a go at trying to make Windows 11 look as much like Windows 10 as possible. 

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