While Windows 11 isn’t the massive UI overhaul that was Windows 8 coming from Windows 7, the company did make some changes that might throw some users off. One of these changes is to the right-click context menu whenever you right-click on a file.

In Windows 10, right-clicking a file would pull up a ton of options like renaming it, deleting it, opening it, open with, send to, and more. However, it seems that Microsoft thinks that this context menu is a bit too bloated and could have too many options that not all users would need.

This is why the company introduced new context menus in Windows 11 which are designed to be more compact and have features that they think are more commonly used. According to Microsoft, “The menu is exceptionally long. It has grown in an unregulated environment for 20 years, since Windows XP, when IContextMenu was introduced.”

However, If you’re not a fan of the new context menus, don’t worry because it’s actually not that hard to bring the feature back.

Method 1 – Temporary Fix

This method is a temporary method that lets you view the old context menu, but when you click on a different file, it disappears and you’ll have to do it again. The upside to this method is that if you can appreciate a more compact menu but want to be able to access more options as and when you need, this could be the method for you.

  1. Right-click a file
  2. Click on “Show more options”
  3. Now you’ll have the old context menus back

Alternatively if you prefer keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Press Shift + F10
  2. Right-click a file
  3. The old context menu will now appear

Method 2 – Editing The Registry

If you prefer having the old context menus back in a more permanent sort of way, then this method is for you. It will require that you edit your computer’s registry, so if you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with this, then maybe this isn’t for you. However, the process is very simple and quick that should take you a minute or two at most.

  1. Click Start
  2. Type “regedit” and hit Enter
  3. On the navigation bar on the left, look for HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID
  4. Once you found it, right-click the CLSID folder and select New > Key
  5. Enter {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2} for its name and hit Enter
  6. Right-click the key you just created and select New > Key
  7. Enter InprocServer32 for its name and hit Enter
  8. Double-click the (Default) registry enter and hit Enter to set its value to blank
  9. Close the registry editor
  10. Restart your computer and you should now see the old context menus again
  11. If you want to bring the new context menus back, follow the steps above but locate the {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2} key you created in step 5 and delete it. Make sure you select the correct key otherwise it could have unintended consequences. Restart your computer when you’re done and the new context menus will be restored.

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