[Tip] Disable Dark Modern Context Menu and Restore Classic Context Menu in Windows 10 Taskbar

UPDATE 3 (May 27, 2016): A new version of the program is available for download which also restores classic context menu for WIN+X Menu along with Taskbar context menu and "Show Desktop" menu.

UPDATE 2: The program has been updated to also restore classic context menu for "Show/Peek at Desktop" menu.

UPDATE 1: A new version of the program is available for download which comes with improved functionality and an extra option in Taskbar context menu to toggle between dark modern context menu and classic context menu quickly and easily.

When Microsoft released Windows 10 operating system to public, the company announced about the new "Windows as a Service" model under which Microsoft will no longer release any new version of Windows OS but they'll keep updating the new Windows 10 with new features and keep fixing bugs and issues. That's why Microsoft is running Windows Insiders program in which people are testing upcoming Windows 10 builds and helping Microsoft in fixing issues and adding new features.

Following this model, recently Microsoft released Windows 10 November Update version 1511 (also known as Threshold 2 or Fall Update) to public which was actually a new Windows 10 build 10586. This new Windows 10 build came with many new features and fixes such as return of colorized titlebars, new personalization options in Settings app, updated modern (metro) apps and lots of UI changes.

You can read more about these changes and new features in our exclusive review of Windows 10 November Update build at following link:

[Review] What's New in Windows 10 November Update Build 10586

Among all GUI changes, one change was very annoying specially for Desktop users. Microsoft replaced the classic context menu (right-click menu) of Taskbar, WIN+X Menu and Show Desktop icon with a modern (immersive) context menu which is dark in color and shows options with huge gap between them. It doesn't look good and takes lots of space of screen as shown in following screenshot:

Dark_Taskbar_Context_Menu_Windows_10.png

This dark and modern context menu might be suitable for touch-enabled devices such as tablets but its not acceptable on Desktops. That's why today in this topic, we are going to share a small tweak which will disable this new dark and huge modern context menu in Windows 10 Taskbar, WIN+X Menu and Show Desktop icon and will bring back the good ol' classic context menu as shown in following screenshot:

Classic_Taskbar_Context_Menu_Windows_10.png

If you also want to get rid of the dark and huge so called modern context menu in Windows 10 Taskbar, following steps will help you:

STEP 1:

There is no Registry tweak or setting to disable this new dark context menu of Taskbar. Its hardcoded into Windows Shell, that's why we'll take help of a small batch file which will automatically inject a DLL file in Windows shell to disable the dark context menu of Taskbar and will replace it with the classic context menu.

[A big thanks to our reader "ReimuHakurei" for creating these files and sharing with us]

So first of all download the required batch script and files from following link:

Download Windows 10 Taskbar Context Menu Tweaker

STEP 2:

After downloading the ZIP file, extract it using a file archive utility such as 7-Zip and you'll get 2 folders:

  • 32-bit (x86)
  • 64-bit (x64)

If you are using Windows 10 64-bit edition, use the files present in 64-bit (x64) folder. If you are using Windows 10 32-bit edition, use the files present in 32-bit (x86) folder. You can know which Windows 10 edition are you using with the help of System Properties. Press WIN+X keys together to launch Win+X Menu and select System option. It'll open System Properties window. Now check "System Type" information present under "System" section. It'll let you know whether you are using 32-bit edition or 64-bit edition.

STEP 3:

Open the appropriate folder suitable for your Windows 10 edition and run Load.bat file. It'll immediately disable dark context menu and will bring back classic and small context menu in Windows 10 Taskbar.

You can also toggle between dark modern context menu and classic context menu any time by selecting or deselecting "Use immersive menu" option present in Taskbar context menu.

PS:

In future, if you want to restore the default dark modern context menu in Taskbar, you can run Release.bat file which will restore default modern context menu in Taskbar.

BONUS TIP:

This tool comes with 2 useful Registry tweaks which can be used to customize the appearance of Taskbar context menu. With the help of these Registry tweaks you can:

  • Show icons in Taskbar context menu
  • Add your name or any other desired text string in Taskbar context menu

If you want to learn and use these Registry tweaks, check out following tutorial:

Registry Tweaks for Customizing Windows 10 Taskbar Context Menu

NOTE:

This tweak will only work for current session. If you restart your computer or restart Windows Explorer, you'll need to re-run the BAT file. To overcome this issue, you can add a shortcut of BAT file in Windows startup. To add the program shortcut to startup, do as following:

Copy and paste following path in RUN dialog box and press Enter:

Start Menu\Programs\Startup

It'll open Startup folder which usually contains program shortcuts which are set to automatically start with Windows. Now paste BAT file shortcut here and you are done.

Thanks again to our reader "ReimuHakurei" for sharing this tweak...

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Posted in: Software, Windows 10


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Comments

  • Works mostly well. However right click on any program icon on taskbar will show old black menu.

  • I can see this having real potential! However, I wanted to ask to also bring back classic context menu with the same tool for Win + X menu. Also, I noticed that two types of classic context menus sometimes combine using the .DLL file provided: imgur.com/a/Fjg30

  • VG

    ^^ I see you are using a 3rd party theme which is causing this issue. Try with default theme.

  • @VG

    I tried using default VS as you said but it looks like that this tool combines 3 different context menu styles in total. When context menu is just opened you can see context menu style similar to the one which Windows Vista brought. However, when you get into “Toolbars” menu and hover onto first 3 elements you can see modern menu Style from Windows 10. It's even funnier that after hovering over the last 2 elements out of 5 you can see classic context menu with solid hover colors from Windows XP. I know that classic context menus from Windows XP was kept into some places even back when Windows 7 was just created but different context menu styles never combined into one.

    Also, a quick addition, Win + X menu isn't altered at all but modifying it would make this tool even better.

  • VG

    ^^ Its showing normal context menu for me but yeah sub-menus of Toolbars menu shows immersive context menu similar to Desktop.

    Regarding WIN+X Menu, I have asked him to include it and Start Menu context menu in the tool if possible. :)

  • @VG

    Since you also faced the same issue It'd be great if the developer would fix this problem.

  • VG

    ^^ The issue has been fixed in new version and also comes with a direct option to toggle between modern and classic context menu.

  • Nice, but it doesn't work on the WinX Menu.

  • ... or the 'Peek at Desktop' right click menu

  • VG

    ^^ The program has been updated again and now it also covers "Show/Peek at Desktop" menu.

  • I love recent update! We now just need to find a way to bring the classic look back to Win + X menu!

  • Also, it'd be great if there'd an option to automatically inject the .DLL file after system startup.

  • ReimuHakurei found my way here from ibmpad classictheme forum can you inject rightclick on startmenu and classic unthemed taskbar too please?
    it would fix classic mode on win10

  • MDJ i automatically use it at startup. The trick is install classic shell and use the pre win7 menu now create a shortcut to the bat copy and paste it in startup folder and your good to go

  • @powerplayer

    Yes, I'm aware of this, I'm using this method currently. However, it'd better to have no CMD window flashing at all. It's probably possible to do by VBScripts or just by converting the .BAT file to an .EXE file. Even though it's possible to bypass that original author could implement correct auto-startup function so users wouldn't need to search for other ways.

  • If you want to add this tweak to auto startup, try the following:
    1. Copy TaskBarMenuTweaker_x64.dll to C:\Windows\System32
    2. Press Win+R then type "regedit" to launch the registry editor
    3. Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run"
    4. Create a string value with any name you like
    5. Set its value to "rundll32.exe TaskBarMenuTweaker_x64.dll,Inject"
    (Case sensitive!!! Inject not inject)

    This should work
    Make sure you have VC2015 runtime installed /w\

  • Is it possible to do something similar for the taskbar icons and start menu (mostly power menu) context menus? The power menu was the default white one in previous builds but it's now huge and black in the newer one.

  • Please do this on the taskbar too i can not use taskbar with ibmpads classictheme.exe download here. on it screws up any update soon ReimuHakurei ?

  • ReimuHakurei : Can you make this taskbar

    windows 10 messes it up when i run classictheme program :P

    heres classictheme forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=113024 as you see with classictheme on lots of stuff on taskbar are badly placed and its pretty unselectable

  • i mean please theme the entire taskbar to classic mode it would make ibmpad's classictheme.exe usable with that

  • ReimuHakurei

    If you want to add this tweak to auto startup, try the following:
    1. Copy TaskBarMenuTweaker_x64.dll to C:\Windows\System32
    2. Press Win+R then type "regedit" to launch the registry editor
    3. Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run"
    4. Create a string value with any name you like
    5. Set its value to "rundll32.exe TaskBarMenuTweaker_x64.dll,Inject"
    (Case sensitive!!! Inject not inject)

    This should work
    Make sure you have VC2015 runtime installed /w\

    hey ReimuHakurei when you close the explorer.exe menu goes. only serves booting the system (closing session and shutting off).

  • ReimuHakurei, just my two cents.
    I noticed the latest version has crashes that occur after a right click anywhere in notification area. It usually happens after a click on desktop, and may not happen right away, but after repeating the same actions (right click on notification area-click on desktop) a few times in a row, or sometime later. It happens in Anniversary update. Could you please look into it?

  • ReimuHakurei you can bring back the taskbar classic clock on anniversary edition with a similar tweak?

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