While Windows 10 has a nice look and feel to some, many of us feel overwhelmed by Windows 7's massive leap in style. If you're struggling to get comfortable with Windows 10, you are definitely not alone.
The good news is that Windows 10 is highly customizable, so you can customize the design to look almost the same as Windows 7. With a few tweaks to elements like the background image, color scheme, and default browser, you can return to the Windows 7 look and feel in no time.
Change the start menu
Step 1: A download called Classic Shell once allowed you to change key menu items to look more like Windows 7. Unfortunately, support for Classic Shell was discontinued in 2017, but the code was included and continued with Open Shell which you can download here. This free tool allows you to change the Windows 10 Start Menu to be similar to the version provided in Windows 7. After installation, six entries will be listed in your Start menu under Classic Shell. Here you want to select the classic start menu settings.
Step 2: On the Start Menu Style tab, select the Windows 7 style shown above.
Step 3: Click here to download the Windows 7 Start Menu Ball (these are image files so you can get them in many different places if you need to). Once downloaded, select Custom at the bottom of the Start Menu Style tab and select the image you downloaded. You may need to adjust the button size. We used 60 because the default setting was too large for our desktop resolution.
Step 4: On the Skin tab, choose Windows Aero.
Step 5: Click "OK" and you're done.
If you're not interested in the other style options but really miss the option to make the taskbar transparent as you work, we recommend downloading TranslucentTB instead. It gives you that sweet transparency without changing anything else.
Change the wallpaper
Step 1: Download the images from here to install a Windows 7 wallpaper.
Step 2: Right click on the desktop and choose Personalize.
Step 3: The Settings app will now appear, using the background window by default. Make sure that you can see Image in the Background drop-down menu, and then click the Browse button to find the background image you downloaded.
Hide Cortana and Task View
Step 1: Right-click the system tray, choose Cortana, then select Hidden to remove Microsoft Assistant.
Step 2: Right-click the system tray and select the Show Task View button to disable this feature.
Change the colors
Step 1: Right click on the desktop and choose Personalize.
Step 2: In the Settings app on the left, select Colors.
Step 3: As shown above, we selected Navy Blue.
Step 4: Next we change the colors of the title bar. Enable the Title Bars option at the bottom of the control panel. You can also add the Start and Taskbars if you prefer.
Swap Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer
Support for Internet Explorer has largely been discontinued and there are difficulties with its use these days. So we don't necessarily recommend this step to everyone. However, it is possible to use IE on Windows 10. Your version of Windows 10 should already have the final version of IE (Internet Explorer 11) available.
Step 1: Right click the Microsoft Edge icon and remove the browser from the system tray.
Step 2: In the Start menu search box, search for Internet Explorer.
step 3: Right-click the result and choose Pin to Taskbar.
Step 4: Open Internet Explorer, select the gear-shaped tools icon in the top right corner and choose Internet Options.
Step 5: Once the Internet Options pop-up appears, select the Programs tab.
Step 6: In this area, click Make Internet Explorer my default browser.
Step 7: In the resulting list, select Internet Explorer, and then select Set this program by default.
Here we used the free tool OldNewExplorer. It is downloaded as a RAR file, so you need to install third-party software to extract the installer. The file to use is OldNewExplorerCfg.exe. After starting you need to change the following:
Step 1: Select Use classic drive grouping in this PC.
Step 2: Choose Use Libraries. Hide folder from this PC.
step 3: Choose to use the command bar instead of the ribbon.
Step 4: Select the View Details section below.
Step 5: You have three options for the display style: standard, silver cream and flat white.
Step 6: For the status bar style, choose Gray.
Step 7: Next, open File Explorer. Choose Tools and then Folder options. On the General Click the tab This pc in the drop-down menu for Open the file explorer.
Step 8: While still on the General Tab, disable it Show recently used files in quick access.
Step 9: Finally deactivate the check box Show frequently used folders in quick access.
Microsoft gadgets were a popular feature in Windows 7. These streamlined apps displayed a lot of information right on your desktop. They were able to report the weather, view a clock, make inventory updates, and much more while using minimal system resources. Unfortunately, Microsoft has stopped using gadgets in all versions of Windows. As third party developers created many gadgets and some poorly coded gadgets left users vulnerable, the security risks became too high. Microsoft has kept some of the most popular gadgets as system functions, and some are available from the Microsoft Store. like sticky notes.
Many Windows 10 users miss how gadgets work in Windows 7. The good news is that you can add many of these features to your desktop by using Download the 8GadgetPack. These gadgets have been rated safe by the Microsoft Store and can make your Windows 10 computer feel like an old school. Options include clipboarder, clock, agenda, app launcher, and more.