The new Windows 11 context menu is smaller and simpler

Alexandru Poloboc
by Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor, as well as TV and radio... Read more
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  • Changes brought to the context menus via the current Insider build triggered a tidal wave of user reactions.
  • Some say these differences are notable and most welcome, making the OS feel even better than it did before.
  • Other voices, however, state that these tweaks are barely noticeable and have absolutely no impact on the operating system.
  • Through the new Insider build, Microsoft managed to solve some of the context menu-related issues.
windows 11 context menu

Everyone seems to be a lot happier with the choices that Microsoft decided to implement to the context menus, which were so heavily criticized during previous builds.

With the new build that the tech company just released, which is 22000.120, these context menus received some long overdue tweaks that, apparently are appreciated by the Insider community.

The redesigned context menus sparked endless debate

You simply just can’t please everybody. This is the most important lesson that the Redmond tech giant learned even after redesigning the context menus, following community requests.

While some of the Windows 11 users are happy with the new tweaks, others are still sticking to their original opinions: they’re still too big and slow.

One of the changes that were among the most appreciated by people currently testing Windows 11, is the fact that the legacy context menus are now strictly to use rounded corners on subsequent usage when using Win32 apps.

As one would imagine in such cases, forums and social media platforms alike were bombarded with tons upon tons of positive and negative reviews, regarding these context menu changes.

Microsoft said that KB5005188 comes with a lot of improvements for desktop users. For example, the tech company has updated File Explorer’s right-click context menus with a compact interface for mouse users.

[Build 22000.120] As a mouse & keyboard user, I am truly grateful that the spacing of the modern context menus are now a bit thinner which is more comfortable.

However, as we mentioned above, not all users are happy with the new changes and feel like more could have been done in order to improve the experience.

Still not compact enough. Is there a way we can adjust the padding through registry?

Of course, there is still room for improvement, but the great majority of Insiders that are actively testing the new operating system feel like Microsoft is finally taking the right steps towards delivering a great product.

What changes did Microsoft bring to the context menus?

As the company specified in the new build’s release notes, there have been quite a few tweaks performed on these menus.

Firstly, Microsoft addressed the GDI handle leak related to context menu usage resulting in sluggishness across File Explorer after prolonged usage.

They’ve also fixed a high-hitting explorer.exe crash related to the use of Acrylic in File Explorer’s context menus.

Also, the context menu shouldn’t flicker anymore if you hover over it when Contrast themes are enabled, and should no longer unexpectedly get clipped on the side, not rendering completely.

Another aspect that drove users crazy was the fact that when they right-clicked at the bottom of the screen, the context menu would appear at the top of the screen, but Microsoft said they’ve fixed that too.

An underlying issue that was believed to be the root cause for a scrollbar appearing in the context menu and explorer.exe crashing when you tried to interact with it, was apparently also fixed.

Right-clicking multiple times in certain apps such as Task Manager will no longer make the context menu frame change from rounded to square.

Windows 11 is slowly starting to look and feel better

Although we can all clearly see the progress that’s been made, it still feels like it’s taking ages for Microsoft to acknowledge and fix some of the issues that make completing day-to-day tasks a nightmare on the new OS.

However, if Microsoft decides to pick up the pace a bit, we might just have a complete, functional operating system by the end of the year, as they promised.

Not many Insiders think that’s a possible achievement, considering the vast amount of work that the OS still needs.

But, if we’ve learned anything from the world of technology, is that anything can happen in the blink of an eye. Clearly not the case for Windows 11, but one mustn’t just lose hope.

We’re eager to see what new changes Microsoft will bring via the future Insider builds for Windows 11 and just how closer they are going to get to the finish line, with each passing week.

How do you feel about the new context menu changes? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below.