Change the Start Menu
Step 1: A download called Classic Shell once allowed you to change key menu aspects to look more like Windows 7. Unfortunately, support for Classic Shell ended in 2017, but the code was picked up and continued with Open Shell, which you can download here. With this free tool, you can modify the Windows 10 Start Menu to resemble the version provided in Windows 7. Once installed, you’ll see six entries on your Start Menu listed under Classic Shell. Here you will want to choose the Classic Start Menu Settings.
Step 2: On the Start Menu Style tab, choose the Windows 7 Style as shown above.
Step 3: Next, head here to download the Windows 7 Start Menu orb (these are image files, so you can pick them up from many different places if you prefer). Once downloaded, choose Custom near the bottom of the Start Menu Style tab and select the downloaded image. You may need to tweak the button size — we used 60 given the default setting was too large for our desktop resolution.
Step 4: On the Skin tab, choose Windows Aero.
Step 5: Hit OK and you’re done.
If you don’t care much about the other style options, but you do really miss the option to make the taskbar transparent while you work, then we suggest downloading TranslucentTB instead. It will give you that sweet transparency without changing anything else.
Change the wallpaper
Step 1: To install a Windows 7 wallpaper, download the images from here.
Step 2: Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize.
Step 3: The Settings app now appears, defaulting to the Background panel. Make sure the Background drop-down menu reads Picture and then select the Browse button to find your downloaded wallpaper.
Hide Cortana and Task View
Step 1: Right-click on the taskbar, select Cortana, and then Hidden to remove Microsoft’s assistant.
Step 2: Right-click on the taskbar and select the Show Task View Button to disable this feature.
Change the colors
Step 1: Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize.
Step 2: Choose Colors on the left of the Settings app.
Step 3: As shown above, we selected Navy Blue.
Step 4: Next, we’ll switch the colors of the title bar. Check the Title Bars option towards the bottom of the panel. You can add the Start and taskbar if you prefer as well.
Swap Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer
Support has largely ended for Internet Explorer and there are difficulties in using it these days, so we don’t necessarily recommend this step for everyone. However, it is possible to use IE on Windows 10 — indeed, your version of Windows 10 should already have the final release of IE (Internet Explorer 11) available.
Step 1: Right-click on the Microsoft Edge icon and unpin the browser from the taskbar.
Step 2: Search for Internet Explorer using the Start Menu’s search field.
Step 3: Right-click on the result and select Pin To Taskbar.
Step 4: Open Internet Explorer, select the gear-shaped Tools icon in the upper-right corner, and select Internet options.
Step 5: Once the Internet options pop-up appears, select the Programs tab.
Step 6: On this panel, click Make Internet Explorer My Default Browser.
Step 7: Select Internet Explorer on the resulting list and then choose Set this program by default.
Here we used the free tool OldNewExplorer. It’s downloaded as a RAR file so you’ll need to install third-party software to unpack the installer. The file to use is OldNewExplorerCfg.exe, and once launched, here’s what you’ll need to change:
Step 1: Select Use Classical Drive Grouping In This PC.
Step 2: Select Use Libraries; Hide Folders From This PC.
Step 3: Select the Use Command Bar Instead Of Ribbon.
Step 4: Select the Show Details Pane On The Bottom.
Step 5: For Appearance style, you have three options: Default, Silver cream, and Flat white.
Step 6: For Status bar style, select Gray.
Step 7: Next, open File Explorer. Select Tools and then Folder Options. On the General tab, click This PC in the drop-down menu for Open File Explorer.
Step 8: While still on the General tab, uncheck Show Recently Used Files In Quick Access.
Step 9: Finally, uncheck Show Frequently Used Folders in Quick access.
Microsoft Gadgets was a popular option in Windows 7. These streamlined apps sent a variety of information right to your desktop. They could display the weather, a clock, stock updates, and more, all while using minimal system resources.
Unfortunately, Microsoft eventually discontinued Gadgets in all versions of Windows. Because third-party developers created many Gadgets, and some poorly coded Gadgets left users unprotected, the security risks became too high. Microsoft did keep some of the most popular Gadgets as system features, and some are available on the Microsoft store, like Sticky Notes.
Many Windows 10 users miss the way Gadgets functioned in Windows 7. The upside is that you can access many of these features by downloading the 8GadgetPack. These Gadgets have been verified as safe by the Microsoft store and can give your Windows 10 machine that old-school feel. Options include Clipboarders, Clock, Agenda, App Launcher, and more.