How to disable the new context menu in Windows 11

A comprehensive guide to help you get rid of the Context Menu

by Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Windows & Software Expert
Oldtimer in the tech and science press, Claudiu is focused on whatever comes new from Microsoft. His abrupt interest in computers started when he saw the first Home... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The new context menu can be too simple for some, but you can get back the Windows 10 variant easily.
  • There's a small tweak to perform in File Explorer in order to achieve your goal in no time.
  • You can also disable the menu using the Local Policy Editor.
  • Note that the context menu is a lot less cluttered and easy to use but it has room to improve.
How to disable new context menu in Windows 11

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The new Windows 11 OS has great features and an interesting design. It also brought different context menus but although they seem to be better, they confused a lot of users.

That’s why many of them want to disable the new context menu and revert to the old one from Windows 10.

We have written a full Windows 11 build review so you can read all about these changes, but right now, let’s see how we can get back the menus we’re used to.

How can I manage the new context menu in Windows 11?

1. Revert File Explorer to the old look

  1. Press the Windows key + R to start the Run app.
  2. Navigate to the following path in Registry Editor: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions
  3. Right-click the Shell Extentions key, then select New and choose Key.
  4. Name the new key Blocked and navigate to it.
  5. Right-click an empty space, select New and choose String value.
  6. Enter this exact value: {e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7} and press Enter.
  7. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
  8. If you followed the steps correctly, File Explorer should be just like before, in Windows 10.

Of course, if you change your mind and want to have the new File Explorer, all you need to do is to get back into the Registry Editor and delete the key you’ve created.

2. Show more options

As we’ve noticed from a lot of other features, Microsoft kept all the menus from Windows 10 either dormant or accessible. It goes the same for the old context menus which are still present, without you needing to do much work.

In fact, you just need to select the Show more options feature in any context menu and it will bring the old menu back.

And if you want to quickly activate this feature you can also use the Shift + F10 shortcut that was used in Windows 10 to open the usual context menu.

So, if you do not wish to turn off the context menus altogether, you can make them look like the old ones.

3. Disable the new context menu

Users who want to completely disable the new context menu can do so using the Local Group Policy Editor. This menu can be easily accessed through the Run dialog, and in just a few clicks, the context menu will be gone from your device.

1. Press the Windows + R keys at the same time to open the Run dialog box.

2. Type gpedit.msc in the dialog box and then press Enter.

gpedit run

3. The Local Group Policy Editor will open.

4. Navigate to the User Configuration tab.

5. From there, go to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.

6. Here you will see multiple settings options. Locate the one called Remove File Explorer’s default context menu.

7. Double-click on it to disable the context menu.

8. Click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

Less cluttered context menus in Windows 11

As you can see, the new context menus are a lot less cluttered and easier to work with because they are simpler.

Only the fact that the Cut, Copy, Rename, and Delete options have been transformed into small icons that sit at top of the context menu makes things a lot cleaner.

However, we can also understand users who say that they are too small and should be transformed into bigger targets to click on for more efficiency.

We hope you managed to get the context menus all sorted out and you’re happy with your decision whatever that would be.

If you want to further customize your experience, don’t hesitate to take a closer look at our guide on how to change Windows 11 to classic view.

What do you think about the new context menus? Tell us all about that in the comments section below.

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