How to enable classic context menus in Windows 11

Disable 'Show more options' button in context menu

As more and more people get to experience Windows 11, some are nostalgic and some are outright angry at some of Microsoft’s decisions. One UI choice that seems to bother a lot of users is the fact that the old right-click menu is now hidden under Show more Options.

Show More Options
Disable ‘Show-More Options from the Right Click Menu in Windows 11

You could argue that the new context menu helps bring consistency to Windows 11. On Windows 10, the fact that each application had its own context menu elements created a mess, often producing screen-longs context menus.

While the new context menu aesthetic on Windows 11 has a cleaner look, it’s understandable why it’s also confusing for many users. For example, familiar options like Refresh or New (create folders) are entirely missing when you right-click on your desktop on Windows 11.

Alternatively, you can use Shift + right-click to access the old classic menu, but it is not a permanent solution. You will have to apply the following steps to disable the new context menu.

1. Disable ‘Show More Options’ from Registry Editor Using CMD

By using the registry editor, you can make changes to all of your Windows components, including right-click context menu. Before moving down to the steps, you can make a registry backup which will allow you to bring the old context menu back.

If you don’t want to use commands, download the bat files, then run as administrator to enable or disable the old classic context menu.

  1. To do so, press the Windows key and type Command Prompt.
    Opening Command Prompt
    Opening Command Prompt
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + 10 simultaneously to prompt UAC ( User Account Control ) or right-click and select Run as administrator.
  3. Click Yes to open with administrator privileges.
  4. Then, enter the following command and hit Enter.
    reg add "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32" /f /ve
    Adding a Registry Key to enable old classic menu via command prompt
    Adding a Registry Key to enable the old classic menu via command prompt
  5. Right-click the taskbar, and click Task Manager.
    Opening Task Manager from task bar
    Opening Task Manager from the taskbar
  6. Once it is opened, right-click the Windows Explorer and click Restart.
    Restarting Windows Explorer
    Restarting Windows Explorer
  7. Once done, right-click on the desktop, and you will see the old context menu, like in Windows 10.
  8. In the future, if you want the Show More Options context menu back, you can either restore the registry backup or use the following command to delete the registry entry that you used to disable the new context menu.
    reg.exe delete "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}" /f
    Enabling Show More Options context menu
    Enabling Show More Options context menu
  9. Make sure to restart Windows Explorer.

2. Disable ‘Show More Options’ Using WinAero Tweaker

WinAero Tweaker is a Windows application that allows users to customize their Windows according to them. You use this application to disable the show more options context menu.

  1. To do so, download WinAero Tweaker from the website.
    Downloading WinAero Tweaker
    Downloading WinAero Tweaker
  2. Once done, install it by following the on-screen instructions.
  3. Once done, launch it. Then click Classic Context Menus from the left pane.
  4. Check the option Enable classic full context menus.
  5. Then, click Restart Explorer from the bottom and enjoy the old classic context menu.
    Enabling old classic context menu on Windows 11
    Enabling the old classic context menu on Windows 11
  6. If you want the show more options context menu back, uncheck Enable classic full context menus and restart Windows Explorer.

Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.