How to get back the full context menu on right click in Windows 11?

Windows 11 has not remained new anymore. In fact, it has become the mainstream operating system in a shorter span of time. However, there are a few changes in Windows 11 that may be a little annoying. One such missing option is the full context menu items.

If you have upgraded to Windows 11 recently, you will find that the operating system has added a new context menu feature. The new interface is impressive, but comes with a few shortcomings. With a focus on the fast and decluttered experience, the operating system now introduced the new context menu.

If you are looking to find the best ways to find how to get back the full context menu on right-click in Windows 11, the tips here should be helpful in letting you get the best possible experience ever.

How to get back the full context menu on right-click in Windows 11?

There can be several ways and methods that you can put to use in letting you get back the full context menu on your Windows 11. Let us check out a few of the options that can prove to be quite useful and helpful.

1. Using Show More Options

The best option for getting access to the legacy content options is to go with the Show More Options.
show more
Simply right click anywhere to launch the context menu and then tap on the options for Show More Options.
show more 1
This will open the right click menu with all the options. This will include the menu items that you have been used to on Windows 10. But, this would be a two step process, and you may not be comfortable with it. Especially when you have been using the legacy context menu quite often.

2. Using Folder options on File Explorer

The above method can be quite annoying and disturbing because of the two step process involved in how to get the old-style context menu. That is exactly why you may be looking ahead to a different method that can prove to be handy and easy enough. This involves the use of folder options on the File Explorer.
folder options
The steps involved in this process can be quite easy an includes the following steps -
  • Launch the File Explorer and click on the three dot menu at the top.
  • Choose Options
  • Switch to the View tab.
  • Under the Advanced Settings, locate and enable thee option for Launch folder windows in a separate process.
  • Click on Apply and then OK.
That does it. You have successfully enabled the options.

Check if the method works on your device. The workaround has been observed to be not working after a recent update to Windows 11.

3. Using the Registry Editor

One of the easiest and simplest options to help you get back the old legacy context menu options is to edit the relevant registry entries. Although, it is note worthy that editing the registry entries can be a complicated task, it is recommended that you need to exercise caution when indulging into it.
Follow the steps here below -
  • Open Registry Editor by opening RUN dialog box and typing in regedit.
  • Right click on an empty section and click on New- Key
  • Create a key with the name 86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2.
  • Under this key, create another key InprocServer32.
  • Change the default value of the InprocServer32 key to BLANK.
  • Save the changes and exit the Registry Editor.
Restart your computer and you will be able to get the old style context menu on your Windows 11.

4.. Using Command Prompt

If you are not comfortable with the use of the registry editor, it may be worthwhile to check if you can make use of the Command Prompt for the purpose.
Here are the steps that should work effectively -
  • Launch Command Prompt on your computer. You can do so by typing in Comman Prompt in Windows Search and picking the appropriate result.
  • Type in the following command and press ENTER.
    reg.exe add "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32" /f

This will bring back the old style context menu on your desktop or File manager.
If you want to restore the original Windows 11 content menu, you can launch Command Prompt again and type in the following command -
reg.exe delete "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}" /f

Why did Microsoft leave the legacy Context menu options?

Well, that was a Microsoft decision, and they have not come up with any reason for this change. Perhaps, Microsoft is looking for a cleaner and clearer interface, and that can be one of the reasons why the menu has been removed or edited. Microsoft seemingly thinks that the users may get overwhelmed with a huge number of options on the screen and look for a simplified interface.

Whatever be the reason for ditching the context menu, we do find it a very annoying change. In fact, we would consider it a foolish move and surely a feature that most of us Windows users are not happy about. Microsoft knows that the context menu items on Windows 11 suck. As per the blog post by Microsoft, "The menu is exceptionally long. It had grown in an unregulated environment for 20 years, since Windows XP, when IContextMenu was introduced,". Windows 11 makes an attempt at fixing the issues.

The Final Wrap Up

Well, the removal of the old-style context menu feature or the legacy context menu option on Windows 11 is definitely a dumb move from Microsoft. In essence, the developers have received a good number of feedback in this context from the users. We are not sure whether Microsoft will bring back the legacy context menu, or not.

If we get the legacy context menu, that should be a wonderful experience. However, even if Microsoft does not bring it back, the hacks and tips here should be helpful in letting you get back the old style context menu intact on your Windows 11 computer.


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