Skip to content


Windows 11 Right-Click Menus: Picture This

Microsoft has gone to graphics as the default for “right-click” menus and functions. For those of us of one age, it may be a welcome move. But for many of us of another age, it’s something new to learn – and we usually learn under duress.

With Windows 10, we’re used to right-clicking on selected text or pictures to cut them, copy them and/or place them in another location or document. We’re accustomed to those little icons and text that offer options such as cut, copy and paste. With Windows 11, there are graphics to provide those options, and we’ve found it can throw us off when we’re zoned in on doing tasks under the pressure of time or working with complex files.

Some industry pundits claim the switch to a more graphics-oriented interface is long overdue. They say they’re more adaptable for tablets and phones, which many people are using in place of computers for some applications. The larger size makes it easier for tapping in touchscreen modes, and the interface system has a “show more options” feature. They also point to it being a more modern look and more in line with what users see with some third-party apps.

However, a lot of “power users” prefer the more compact menus and faster execution speed of Windows 10. You can recreate your Windows 10 comfort zone for appearance, but it’s not a slam dunk. It involves editing Windows Registry or downloading a third-party app. While neither option is a recipe for disaster, we don’t recommend either step for most users.

The Registry Editor is a powerful tool. Misusing it can make your system unstable or even inoperable. If you have any doubt whatsoever about getting into Registry Editor, don’t do it. If you decide to do it, make sure you have backed up your Registry and your computer. Third-party apps are designed to run executable files that will go into your Registry and make the changes needed to restore the Windows 10 right-click menu within Windows 11. These are not authorized Microsoft apps, and we cannot vouch for the safety of using any specific apps. If you do an online search for an app to hack your Registry, you’ll see warning notices all over each app provider’s instructions; they’re like the warnings on cigarette packages.

To put this issue in some context, most businesses are still running Windows 10, and we’re ordering new computers with Windows 10 Pro, which includes a license to upgrade to Windows 11. None of our enterprise clients has switched to Windows 11, and when we install new hard drives, clients are sticking with Windows 10. Their overwhelming sentiment is to stick with what they know.

If you have a computer with Windows 11 and want the old Windows 10 right-click menu, we strongly encourage you to call us. If it’s the right step for you, we can make sure you have everything backed up and then walk you through the process or make the change remotely. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for an appointment.