How to Customize the Right-Click Menu in Windows 11

Windows 11 completely refreshed the Windows 11 right click or context menu and replaced it with a whole new menu. While this new overhaul has removed some unnecessary shortcuts and options, the new look can be a bit intimidating at first. Fortunately, it can be easily customized to meet your needs.



How to customize the right click menu in Windows 11

There are two ways to go about it. You can either go back to the old Windows 10 style pop-up menu and add your list of favorite apps. Or, you can add the new apps directly. The only catch is that the apps will appear when you click on Show more options.

Either way, you can add and remove apps according to your preferences.

Here’s how to change and customize the context menu in Windows 11.

How to restore the old context menu in Windows 11

The “Show more options” option is boring. For example, I have to click multiple times to send a file to my phone. And when that happens a dozen times a day, it can get boring.

There are two ways to restore the old Windows 10 context menu. You can either edit the Registry Editor entries. Or, you can change registry keys directly through command prompt. The second step is easy.

The Windows Registry Editor is the hub for all Windows settings. And if you know the right key and the right value, you can customize certain parts of your PC to suit your preferences.



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However, modifying Registry Editor is not a snap, and playing with the wrong key and the wrong value can damage your computer.

To note: Make a backup of Registry Editor before making any changes.

Step 1: Click on the Windows button, type regedit and press Enter to open the registry editor.

2nd step: Navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesCLSID

Step 3: Once the path is open, right-click and select New> Key.



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This will create a new key on the left panel. Once done, rename the key with the following name,

{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}

Step 4: Select the newly created key, then right-click on the right panel and choose New> Key.

Now rename the newly created key with the name below,

InprocServer32


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Step 5: Select the newly created InprocServer32 folder and right click on the default. When done, select Edit.

Keep the value data as zero and press the OK button.



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All you need to do is restart your Windows 11 laptop / PC to be greeted with the old context menu.



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To bring back the new context menu, delete the InprocServer32 key.

Alternative route: via command prompt

If you don’t want to mess around with the keys and values, you can add the keys directly through the command prompt.

Step 1: Open the command prompt and paste the following command:

reg add "HKCUSoftwareClassesCLSID{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}InprocServer32" /f /ve


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This simple action will add the two keys in the correct order.

2nd step: Restart the computer and that’s it.

It is a much faster method.

How to add and customize the context menu

Once you have the old context menu, you can edit it to add a few of your frequently used apps. The apps will appear in the first menu, saving you time in the long run.

Note that you can only add apps, not folders and files. For the latter, you have to use the taskbar.

Like the above method, adding apps to the Windows 11 context menu also involves editing registry entries. We are going to add two applications in our example, namely Notepad and Calculator.

Step 1: Open Registry Editor and navigate to the path below:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryBackgroundshell


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2nd step: Right click on the right panel and add a new key. Name it “Notepad”.



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Double-click Default and add “& Notepad” under Value data.



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Step 3: Select the newly created key and right-click again to add a new key under the Notepad folder. Rename it to “command”.



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Double click to edit the value and add the following under Value data.

Notepad.exe


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Go back to the desktop and right click to see the new values ​​in the context menu.

Repeat the steps to add apps like Calculator or MS Word.



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To note: To remove an application from the Windows 11 context menu, delete the entries under the Shell folder.

Again, we recommend that you make a backup before deleting any keys.

You can also add the applications directly to the Windows 11 context menu without going back to the old menu,

The only limitation is that they will only be available when you click Show more options.

Also on Guiding Tech

Old and new

This is how you can customize the context menu in Windows 11. The default menu looks okay but restrictive. It takes a while to get used to. You can customize it and put frequently used apps and options there.

Last updated on December 11, 2021


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