How to Restore Classic Right-click Menu in File Explorer in Windows 11

Don’t like the new File Explorer context menu? Here is a simple way to restore the classic right-click menu in Windows 11 File Explorer.

Windows 11 has a lot of new changes, especially in terms of user interface and user elements. One of the most significant changes is the new File Explorer. Though it is essentially the same as the old File Explorer in Windows 10 or 7, there is a much-needed UI uplift and clean-up. Microsoft removed the old ribbon-style menu and replaced it with a new minimal and icon-focused menu. One of the best things about the new design is that it is clutter-free and less busy.

Not only the ribbon menu, but Microsoft also modified the desktop and File Explorer context menus to match the new UI. As such, the new context menu has fewer options with more spacing and new icons. Though the new context menu looks good, its functionality is somewhat crippled. To access all the context menu options, you must select the “Show more options” option. That means all the third-party right-click options that usually appear front and center are now under this option.

It takes an extra click to access the same options in Windows 11, but it is not a big deal for the most part, as you still have access to the classic menu in one way or another.

However, what if you don’t like the new context menu style or want to use the classic context menu in File Explorer? Thankfully, you can do that with a simple tweak.

This quick and easy guide will show how to restore the classic right-click context menu in File Explorer in Windows 11.

Restore right-click menu in File Explorer in Windows 11

To restore the classic right-click context menu in Windows 11 File Explorer, we will use a free software called Winaero Tweaker. If you don’t know, Winaero Tweaker is a simple yet robust Windows customization software with tons of options and tweaks. Here is how to use it to restore the right-click menu in Windows 11.

  1. Download Winaero Tweaker.
  2. Right-click on the downloaded zip file.
  3. Select “Extract all.”
  4. Click the “Extract” button.
  5. Open the extracted folder.
  6. Double-click on the exe file.
  7. Follow the wizard and install Winaero Tweaker.
  8. Open Winaero Tweaker & agree to the terms.
  9. Select “Classic full context menu” on the sidebar.
  10. Select the “Enable classic full context menu” checkbox.
  11. Click “Restart Explorer.”
  12. From now, File Explorer will show the classic full context menu.

Detailed steps:

First, download Winaero Tweaker from the official site (https://winaerotweaker.com/). Next, right-click on the downloaded zip file and select the “Extract all” button.

select extract all

The above action will open the zip extract window. Here, click the “Extract” button.

click extract

The zip file will be extracted to a folder in the same directory as soon as you do that. Open the newly extracted folder and double-click on the exe file.

open winaero tweaker installer

The above action will open the installation wizard. Click the “Next” button on the first screen, choose “Normal mode” on the second screen and click “Next.”

install winaero tweaker

After that, follow the simple installation wizard and complete the Winaero Tweaker installation. After installing, search for the newly installed software in the Start menu and open it.

agree to winaero tweaker install terms
open winaero tweaker
agree to winaero tweaker usage terms

Select “Classic full context menu” under “Windows 11” on the sidebar in the main window. Next, select the “Enable classic full context menu” checkbox. After that, click the “Restart Explorer” button.

enable Windows 11 File Explorer classic right-click context menu

That is it. With that, the full classic menu is restored in File Explorer. From now on, whenever you right-click in the File Explorer, you will see the classic right-click context menu.

Windows 11 File Explorer classic right-click context menu

To restore the modern context menu, follow the same steps but uncheck the “Enable classic full context menu” and click the “Restart Explorer” button.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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