Windows 11 finally gets faster right-click menus

Windows 11
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Windows 11 has hampered some users with a slow-performing right-click context menu for a good while now, something Microsoft has previously admitted – but the speed of the menu has been improved with the most recent preview of the OS.

Build 22572 was released last week with a bunch of improvements and fixes, including work to resolve the bug with the sluggish right-click context menu which appears when you click the right mouse button in File Explorer (meaning anywhere on a file or folder on the Windows 11 desktop, where this menu offers quick access to some core options).

As Windows Latest flagged up, Microsoft software engineer Jen Gentleman clarified on Reddit that right-click performance had been juiced up. In a response to a Windows 11 tester who noticed that the context menu felt faster with the latest preview build, Gentleman noted: “We did some work with 22572 to improve the context menu performance, so glad to hear it feels faster now.”

Elsewhere another eagle-eyed Redditor pointed out that the release notes for build 22572 state that Microsoft “made some more improvements to help with context menu invocation performance.”

Previously, some Windows 11 users had complained of delays of as much as one or two whole seconds when right-clicking before the context menu actually appears – which is bound to make the OS feel horribly unresponsive.

Now this sluggishness appears to have been largely remedied going by Microsoft’s official announcements, plus multiple reports on that Reddit thread.

Analysis: Better late than never – but test builds are shaping up promisingly

As ever, it’s good to see Microsoft fix a problem in Windows 11, particularly one as aggravating as this must be for affected users. Still, we can’t help but feel that it should have been tackled more quickly, seeing as this problem has been around since the launch of Windows 11 (more or less; or at least the first complaints emerged not long after the OS came out).

The fix seems to work for the majority of admittedly anecdotal observations that we’ve seen, and there is evidence of an optimistic outlook for the improvement of Windows 11 performance overall going forward. Another Redditor on the above highlighted thread commented that “overall the dev channel builds are a lot faster than the 22000 builds” and that “22H2 will be amazing”, so let’s keep our fingers crossed on that score.

Windows 11 22H2 is due in the second half of 2022, naturally, and it’s expected to further work on the design and appearance of the OS, with various important interface tweaks – like bringing back drag and drop functionality to the taskbar – as well as introducing that much-awaited support for Android apps on the desktop (that’s currently available in limited fashion for public preview, meaning testing).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).