Fix Windows 11’s ANNOYING Right Click Menu (How To Always Show 7Zip Without “Show More Options”)

When I set-up a new PC, I always used to install Notepad++ and 7Zip. Unfortunately when I moved to Windows 11 two years ago, both of these programs were hidden away. Right clicking files would just present me with a bunch of useless options.

Thankfully there are six good ways to ‘fix’ the Windows 11 context menu (right click menu) behaviour. Some of these are super quick (like holding down the SHIFT key), while some are technical (like running a regedit command in the Windows Terminal). I show you how to do each of them in this video, along with discussing the pros and cons of each.

The regedit command you will need (for step 6) is:

reg.exe add "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32" /f /ve

Some of the useful resources I showed on-screen in this video are:

If you prefer text over video, please read on for the guide/transcript version of this video.

Video Transcript And Guide

Hey everyone, I upgraded to Windows 11 two years ago and overall I really like it – even if the new Windows start button seems to just be hardcoded to open Edge at EVERY opportunity. That’s annoying, but my MAIN annoyance with Windows 11 is the right click menu. The first thing I do on – or used to do – any Windows install is download Notepad++ and 7Zip, so it was pretty annoying at first when I right clicked some files, and Windows just went “meh, computer says no” and showed me a bunch of useless options.

Windows 11 right click menu doesnt mention Notepad
Windows 11 right click menu doesn’t mention Notepad

Now, the way that this new “context menu” (in other words, the right click menu) works in Windows 11 isn’t actually a bug – it’s by design. It’s intentional. BUT if you dislike it or can’t get used to it, here’s six ways to bring back Windows 10 style right click menus.

1 – Show More Options

Firstly, when you do open the context menu by right clicking a folder or some files, you’ll see a “Show more options” item appears. When you click THIS, it’ll then open the legacy Windows 10 context menu and you can open 7Zip, Notepad++ or whatever else you were looking for:

Show more options on the Windows 11 context menu
Show more options on the Windows 11 context menu

Simple, thanks for watching this video! Kidding. This obviously is a bit of a clunky way of using the right click menu – having to constantly click twice gets annoying VERY quickly.

2 – Hold SHIFT Key

The second way fix is even easier and quicker, to be honest. Just hold down the shift key on your keyboard, and THEN right click (at the same time):

Holding the shift key on the keyboard
Holding the shift key on the keyboard

It will immediately bring up the old style menu. Noice. It even looks like the old menu, Microsoft haven’t bothered to style it and blend it into Windows 11. It’s almost like Bill Gates is sulking that you didn’t love and cherish the new style context menus. In-fact Bill Gates is probably on a yacht somewhere, but you get my point. To be honest, THIS is the method that I tend to use on Windows 11, but holding down two keys (y’know, the shift key and the mouse key) won’t work for everyone.

3 – Update The Program

Which brings me onto my third suggestion. Try upgrading the program. Not every program on here will tell you when they have an update – they’re not like our phones that force updates on us every 5 bloody minutes. When I first moved to Windows 11 two years ago, Notepad++ hadn’t fully updated itself with Windows 11 support and so it wasn’t showing in the new style ‘right click’ menus. But now they do:

Notepad update list
Notepad update list

I don’t know exactly when the Notepad++ devs updated this, but the Windows Developer blog goes into lots of detail about how and why Windows 11 changed the context menu – and how programs can now appear in the new-style menu. This means that if the program you’re running is from a few years ago, it PROBABLY won’t appear in the new menu because it just hasn’t been updated to be “Windows 11 friendly”. So if there IS a newer version of a program which doesn’t appear in the Windows 11 menu, then try upgrading to it, restarting your PC and checking to see if it NOW appears.

4 – Look At Alternatives

Hopefully it does. But if it doesn’t, my fourth suggestion is to look at alternative programs. For example, 7Zip doesn’t seem to have been updated to support Windows 11 menus yet – but thankfully someone forked the code (I said “forked”, alright) and created Nanazip:

NanaZip listed on Github
NanaZip listed on Github

This is updated to support Windows 11 and it’s best to install it via the Microsoft Store (according to the developer). Once that’s complete, restart your PC and then try this out. You SHOULD now see Nanazip appearing in the new right click menu – YES! I’m not sure why I find that so exciting; I guess I just missed 7Zip, and Nanazip works pretty much the same way because it started out as the same underlying code: it was FORKED.

5 – Use WinAero Tweaker

So that’s all good, but what happens if your application doesn’t have any pending updates or alternatives? Well solution 5 is that you could GIVE UP on the new Windows menu altogether and install a program like ExplorerPatcher or Winaero Tweaker. These allow you to change LARGE parts of the Windows 11 UI (user interface), including bringing back the good ‘ol fashioned Windows 10 context menu. To do this, let’s say that you download WinAero Tweaker which you can get from their website. Click the download button to download the zip file installer, and then extract it out using whichever zip extractor you prefer – although Windows’ own one should work fine. Then click the .exe file installer and follow the steps to install WinAero Tweaker.

This is all fairly standard. Once it’s finished, launch the program, read and agree to the disclaimer (if you’re happy to do that) and then look for the “Classic Full Context Menus” option under Windows 11 on the sidebar:

Screenshot of Winaero Tweaker and the restore legacy right click menu option
Screenshot of Winaero Tweaker and the restore legacy right click menu option

Go in here and toggle the box, then click “Restart Explorer”. This is pretty neat actually – instead of having to restart your whole PC, WinAero Tweaker will just restart the single explorer process – meaning that you can then see this change straight away on the right click menu. So now you can launch File Explorer, and BEHOLD – the new context menu no longer exists.

ExplorerPatcher also works well, but this project is more designed for rolling back the Windows 11 interface and restoring most of the Windows 10 look and feel. So if you’re JUST looking to get the old right click menu behaviour back, ExplorerPatcher might not be right for you. But if Windows 11 was forced on you and you dislike it, then ExplorerPatcher could be ideal.

6 – Regedit FTW

The final option I have for you is to use a single registry edit to bring back the old context menu. Now, this is the most technical approach in this video, because the Windows registry editor can be ‘unsafe’ if you mess around with it. In the worst case, you could break your Windows install. So you should only attempt registry edits if you know what you’re doing. Having said that, this particular edit ‘should’ be fairly safe. There’s two ways you can do this, but the easiest is to run a single command in the Windows command line terminal:

reg.exe add "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32" /f /ve

To get started, search for “Terminal” and make sure that you open this as an administrator by clicking the “more” arrow on the right. Then copy and paste the command into this window, by right clicking in the terminal:

Pasting the regedit command into Windows Terminal to restore the legacy context menu
Pasting the regedit command into Windows Terminal to restore the legacy context menu

Press Enter and hey presto, all your base are belong to us! Kidding. Restart your PC, and when it starts back up – rejoice! The Windows 11 context menu is gone, and the ‘purty Windows 10 one is back. Noice.

Final Thoughts

And that wraps up today’s video. As you can tell, there’s quite a few potential solutions  – ranging from the simple (like holding shift on your keyword), to the more technical. Which is your favourite? Well please let me know down in the comments. I hope you liked this video and found it useful. If you did, please click the thumbs up button – this tells the YouTube algorithm that more people should see this video. Please also subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already and thanks for watching!

cropped A picture of me Tristan
About Tristan Perry

Tristan has been interested in computer hardware and software since he was 10 years old. He has built loads of computers over the years, along with installing, modifying and writing software (he's a backend software developer 'by trade').

Tristan also has an academic background in technology (in Math and Computer Science), so he enjoys drilling into the deeper aspects of technology.

Tristan is also an avid PC gamer, with FFX and Rocket League being his favorite games.

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