Disable wide context menus in Windows 10 and revert them to classic appearance

In Windows 10, Microsoft changed the appearance of the context menus for File Explorer, Desktop and the taskbar. Both, Desktop and the taskbar got wide context menu items, with a lot of space between context menu items. The taskbar context menu also got a darker appearance, which matches the taskbar when its colorization is disabled from the Settings app. Many Desktop users are not happy this change. It is possible to revert the appearance of Desktop context menus to their classic look like in Windows 8 or Windows 7.

Windows 10 context menus comparsion

To disable wide context menus and revert them to classic appearance in Windows 10, you need to apply a simple Registry tweak. This will restore the good old Windows 7-like appearance for context menus on the Desktop and File Explorer. The taskbar context menu appearance will remain unchanged.

Follow these instructions:

  1. Open Registry Editor
  2. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\FlightedFeatures

    Tip: How to jump to the desired registry key with one click.
    If the FlightedFeatures subkey doesn't exist, then just create it yourself.

  3. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named ImmersiveContextMenu. Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to create a 32-bit DWORD value. Leave its value data as 0. See the following screenshot: Windows 10 disable wide context menus
  4. Restart the Explorer shell or sign out from Windows 10 and log in back.

Desktop context menus will look like this:
Before: Windows 10 context menus before

After:

Windows 10 context menus after

File Explorer context menus will look like this:
Before: Windows 10 context menus before 2

After: Windows 10 context menus after 2

As I mentioned in the article, there is no way discovered yet to change the appearance of the taskbar context menu. To undo this tweak, just remove the ImmersiveContextMenu value you created.

The same can be done using Winaero Tweaker. Go to Appearance -> Wide Context Menus:
Winaero Tweaker wide context menus
Use this option to avoid Registry editing.

I prepared ready-to-use Registry files which you can download using this link:

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is included.
That's it. Credits for this discovery go to the creator of the StartIsBack app, "Tihiy" via MSFN.

18 thoughts on “Disable wide context menus in Windows 10 and revert them to classic appearance

  1. EBIN

    Cool. You should defo add that to your Tweaker.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I already added.
      Will release the updated version today.

      Reply
      1. EBIN

        Also any reason your RSS feed is stuck? :(
        https://winaero.com/e107_plugins/rss_menu/rss.php
        I don’t really like using FB or any other social sites in RSS!

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          For blog, use this link:
          https://winaero.com/blog/feed/
          For software updates, the old one should work.

          Reply
          1. EBIN

            Thanks!

          2. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

            Don’t mention it :)

  2. MDJ

    Still need to find a decent way to bring back classic taskbar and Win + X context menu styles.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      definitely.

      Reply
    2. Rikka0w0

      Check out my software: https://github.com/rikka0w0/Taskbar-Context-Menu-Tweaker
      Open source & free
      Supports latest Windows 10 including 1803

      In Win10 1803, the “Disable wide context menu” tweak seems to be removed by Microsoft, I used ProcessMonitor and found that explorer.exe does not read the registry hive at all. It looks like the code has been removed and the switch no longer exists.

      That sounds very bad to me, but I’m still looking for a way to restore the classic explorer context menu. I highly suspect that this cannot be done without entering undocumented zone and patching system files.

      Reply
  3. darren

    I love the winaerotweaker. Nice work. When I tried the “Disable wide context menus” tweak, it didn’t create the regristry key and thus didn’t work for me. When I made the key manually, it worked like as charm. Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thanks for your report, I will look if it is some bug.

      Reply
  4. JSS

    Using latest versio 0.6.0.6 of Winaero Tweaker and there is a tickmark in Disable wide context menus but Windows 10 Anniversary Update is showing normal wide context menus and there is no registry key. If I remove the tickmark and put it back then the registry key is created and after a restart the wide context menus are indeed disabled. If I then remove the tickmark the registry key gets deleted and after a restart the wide menus are back but the tickmark is back in Winaero Tweaker.

    Reply
    1. Thorsten Albrecht

      I’d like to confirm the but from JSS.

      Reply
      1. Thorsten Albrecht

        …the bug!…

        Reply
  5. Yasin Karaçivi

    Doesnt work on Windows 10 version 1809 ! =(((

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Quite possible that this tweak has been eliminated by Microsoft in 1809.

      Reply
  6. Bir Mecnun Sair

    Doesnt work on 1809 !!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Quite possible that this tweak has been eliminated by Microsoft in 1809.

      Reply

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