July 16, 2021: Via update version 22000.71 under the Windows 11 dev channel, Microsoft has completely disabled all the methods given below to get rid of the new context menu and enable the old context menu. 🙁
Until we find any other method, we have to live with the new context menu, though we do like the new translucent look. Along with the lack of ungrouping of the taskbar icons and the missing taskbar toolbars, this is another major setback for the pro users who loved Windows for its productivity features.
The first Insider Preview of Microsoft’s Windows 11 is already here with loads of new features, improvements, and a plethora of visual changes. But it has taken away some of the unsung heroes too, most notably the taskbar grouping, and the good, plain old content menu. But there is a way to get back the trusted all right-click menu on Windows 11, what if we have to play a bit with a registry hack too. Thanks to the automation file, though, you can apply (and remove) the registry hack in a click or two.
This is by far the simplest way to change the new context menu to what’s available on Windows 10. All you need to do is check a box. Here’s how you can do it.
Open any folder on your PC (can simply press
Windows key + E to open the File Explorer. Now, click the horizontal 3-dot button. Then click Options.
Now, click View in the list of tabs at the top of the pop-up menu that appears. And then under Advanced settings, click Launch folder windows in a separate process.
Then, click Apply and then OK.
Your opened instances of the File Explorer will close automatically once you do the above.
Windows key + E to open the File Explorer.
Now, right-click on any file or folder and you will find your old context menu right there.
But as we mentioned above, you will notice that the new, cool File Explorer is gone too as your system switches to the old one from Windows 10. That’s a major drawback of this method.
So, let’s check Method #2 and #3 below that uses a registry entry to enable the old context menu but keep the new File Explorer.
We have included two guides for this. The first one is a proper manual method that will take through the whole process. The second is a registry script that will do the same process with a click of a button.
Note: Before we begin, we must warn you that this method, although pretty straightforward, should be done precisely as mentioned, otherwise you risk making things worse.
Warning: Be sure to back up your registry completely before editing it as given below. You can consider creating a system restore point too so that in case anything goes bad, you can easily restore to your current state of the system.
Option 2.1: Edit the registry manually
Press the Windows key and then type in Registry Editor to search for it. Click Registry Editor.
We need to go to the following address in the registry editor. You can copy it to the address bar of the registry editor and then press Enter to jump to it. It’s easy.
But if the above doesn’t work for you, here’s the long method to reach the same folder given above.
First, double-click the ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE’ key.
Another key hierarchy should now be in front of you. Double-click the ‘SYSTEM’ key.
Double-click the ‘586118283’ key if you have it. But you may not have it, as shown in our screenshot below. If you don’t have it, then create this key (as given below). So, before moving to the next step, let’s create this key and its 5 entries.
To create the ‘586118283’ key, right-click on the key titled ‘4’, move your mouse to ‘New’, then click on ‘Key’.
A new key will be created, name it ‘586118283’ and then press Enter. The key should now be ready to populate with data. Make sure that the new key is selected before proceeding further.
Now, create a DWORD (32-bit) Value entry by right-clicking the ‘586118283’ key and selecting ‘New’, and then ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’.
Name this entry EnabledState. Then create four more ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’ entries with these names: EnabledStateOptions, Variant, VariantPayload, and lastly, VariantPayloadKind.
Once you’ve created 5 DWORDS entries, double-click each of them and enter the data as mentioned below for the respective entry:
Double-check if you’ve named the entries correctly and added the right values to them. If all seems fine, close the registry editor.
Now, restart your PC and you should be able to use the old context menu.
Option 2.2: Edit the registry automatically
Here’s what to do. Visit this download page.
When the file is saved on your PC. Double-click it to run it.
Windows will ask you to confirm this. Click Yes and the script will create/edit the ‘586118283’ key as described above in the manual method by itself in just a second.
Now, restart your PC.
When it’s back on, right on any file or folder in the File Explorer to find the old context menu.
How do I undo the above?
If you used method #1, then simply follow the same procedure of the method but uncheck the option called ‘Launch folder windows in a separate process’.
Click Apply, and then OK. Close all the windows of the File Explorer if they do not close automatically and then open any new folder. Right-click on a file or folder and you will find the new context menu.
If you followed Method 2, either manually or automatically, then you need to open the registry editor, navigate to the key ‘586118283’ as described in option 2.1 above, right-click on it and click ‘Delete’.
Click on ‘Yes’ to confirm.
Restart your PC now.
After a reboot, all the modifications we just did for the old context menu should be removed from your PC.
Need a one-click script for this too? Well, download this file and simply run it. it will delete the ‘586118283’ key by itself. Reboot your PC and that’s it.