Although Windows 10 commands 52 percent of the Windows PC market worldwide and continues to show steady growth, Windows 7 is reaching its end of life but still remains a fan-favorite, falling into second place with a 35 percent market share. While Windows 10 is a more secure modern platform, there are methods of keeping the Windows 7 aesthetics without sacrificing all the benefits provided by the latest version of Windows.
There is no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode, but there are a number of things you can change using third-party software and built-in settings. Before starting, as always, you should create a restore point in Windows 10 to revert back to the state before you convert the interface to Windows 7.
Change the Start Menu
Step 1: For starters, Classic Shell comes highly recommended and serves as a good starting point. 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 Classic Start Menu Settings.
Step 2: On the Start Menu Style tab, choose Windows 7 style as shown above.
Step 3: Next, head here to download the Windows 7 Start Menu orb. 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, as 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.
Change the wallpaper
Step 1: To install 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 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. Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize.
Step 5: Choose Colors on the left side of the Settings app.
Step 6: Check the Title bars option towards the bottom of the panel.
Swap Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer
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 the Set this program by default setting.
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 Use command bar instead of Ribbon.
Step 4: Select 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: Now open File Explorer. Navigate to Tools and then Folder Options. On the General tab, select This PC in the drop-down menu for Open File Explorer.
Step 8: On the same General tab, uncheck Show recently used files in Quick access.
Step 9: Now uncheck Show frequently used folders in Quick access.