Windows 8 brought forth a new "touch-enabled" Windows through it's tile system. Even though the traditional desktop was still available, it seemed like Microsoft was pushing us to tiles. That didn't work out so well. I, personally, liked my start menu in Windows 7 and didn't want to see it go away! I wasn't alone. Since then, Microsoft has made incremental changes to bring back some resemblance to the good ol' Windows 7 interface but it will never be the same.
Do you like nostalgia or simply hate the new Windows 10 interface? If so, you're in luck. By using free easy-to-use third party software called Classic Shell, we can finally get back that old Windows 7 look without Microsoft's help. In this article, I'll show you how to get this software installed on your Windows 10 computer and how to perform a few tweaks to get that Windows 7 look back.
The first step is downloading Classic Shell. You can grab the download link here for the latest version (at the time of this writing that version is 4.2.5).
Once downloaded, run the installer and step through the wizard. During my install, I took all of the defaults but if you'd like to only install specific components you may do so at this time.
Once installed, head down to the Cortana search bar. I typed in 'classic' and immediately saw various applications for Classic Shell. Since my biggest gripe with Windows 10 is the start menu, I'd like to make it look like Windows 7 again. To do this, I'll select Classic Start Menu Settings.
Once you're in the Start Menu settings dialog box, you'll notice a ton of tabs of options. Feel free to click around and notice everything that you can change. It's amazing this tool has so many options. You can truly customize what seems like everything with the Windows interface from here. Since I'm only interested in making my Windows 10 start menu look like Windows 7, I'll choose the Start Menu Style tab.
Classic Shell allows you to customize the start menu however you'd like but also gives you a few templates to use. Luckily, it has a Windows 7 style template that I can select.
Also, since I want my start menu button back too, I'll choose Replace Start button and select Classic to get my old school start button back as well.
Once I click OK, the start menu will immediately change. No reboot required.
You can see that it keeps the color scheme you currently have. Since mine was a dark yellow, my new start menu is this color as well.
At this point, I recommend going back into the Classic Shell Start Menu Settings app again and clicking through the tabs. There's way too many options to go over in this article. Once you've got the start menu to look similar to Windows 7 like we have, you can then begin making smaller changes through the various options in the tabs. Spend some time, click around and notice the difference. Eventually, you should be able to get your Windows 10 back just the way you like it!