Windows 11 adds option to make classic context menu the default

File Explorer may get an option to make the classic context menu the default instead of the modern design with fewer items.

File Explorer classic context menu
File Explorer classic context menu
  • File Explorer may get an option to make the classic context menu the default.
  • The option is currently hidden, but you can enable it manually with the ViveTool.
  • The classic context menu option is only available in the Dev Channel.

Microsoft is testing an option in the latest preview of Windows 11 to show the classic context menu with all the options instead of the modern menu in File Explorer.

In the original release of Windows 11, the company implemented a new design for the right-click menu that included fewer options than the classic design. Although users can still access the full classic menu using the “Shirt + right-click” shortcut or selecting the “Show advanced options” item in the modern interface, these options introduce unnecessary extra steps. (In the latest stable version of Windows 11, you can also edit the Registry to bring back the classic right-click menu with all the items.)

However, in the latest preview build of the operating system in the Dev Channel, there is a new component known as “AccessibilityXAMLContextMenu” (via PhantomOcean3), which is disabled by default. However, once enabled, it makes the classic context menu the new default experience for File Explorer.

The only caveat is that it appears that Microsoft isn’t planning to make the classic menu optional for everyone. Instead, as the name suggests, it seems that the company is planning to add an option as an accessibility option.

If you are an Insider running the latest preview of Windows 11 from the Dev Channel, you can make the classic context menu the default for File Explorer using the ViveTool.

To enable the hidden feature on Windows 11, you will need to download and decompress the ViveTool command-line tool. Then you have to open the tool with Command Prompt as an administrator and run this command: vivetool /enable /id:39696859.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].