This is how you make Windows 10 like Windows 7

Windows 7 logo

The time has come: support on Windows 7 has been stopped. Do you not want to say goodbye to the familiar look and feel of Windows 7? Then let Windows 10 look like Windows 7 like two drops of water.

Security for everything

We are going to work hard on Windows 10. Sometimes on the surface, sometimes on the inside. Therefore make sure you have a backup. If something unexpectedly goes wrong – although the chance is fortunately very small – you can always fall back on the backup made. We opt for the most complete backup, and that is a system image. A system image is a one-to-one copy, with problems you can restore the image and you have the original environment. Open Start and type Control Panel. At System and security, choose Back up and restore. On the left side of the window, choose Make a system image . Save the backup copy on an external drive. In an emergency, open the settings window (Windows key + I) and choose Update and security / System recovery. Choose Restart Now (under Advanced Boot Options). Windows is restarted and provides instructions for restoring the system with the previously made backup.

Tip 01: No Action Center

The Action Center is a characteristic part of Windows 10 , but you can’t get used to it and have you never missed it in Windows 7? Fortunately we can switch it off relatively easily. Open the settings window (Windows key + I) and enter System Icons in the search box . Choose to turn system icons on or off. Look for Action Center in the list and set the slider to Off. The Action Center is now disabled. That does not mean that you will miss all notifications from now on. As you are used to with Windows 7, these are neatly displayed in the system tray (at the clock in the Windows taskbar). Keep in mind that you can no longer read the messages at a later time: the archive function (which is characteristic of the Action Center) is no longer available.

Of course we are also not satisfied with the Windows 10 desktop background. We long for the times of Windows 7 and therefore choose the original Windows 7 background. You can find the Windows 7 background on Getwallpapers . Save the image. Then right click on the file and choose Use as desktop background .

Action center

Tip 01 You can disable the Action Center.Also in Windows 10 you can still use a local account

Tip 02: Local account

Windows 10 relies heavily on using a Microsoft account, which gives you access to the operating system itself, but also to online services such as OneDrive and Windows 7 still uses a local account, and luckily that is also possible in Windows 10. Open the settings window (Windows key + I) and choose Accounts. Make sure that the Your info section is open and click on the option Log in with a local account instead. Enter the password for your Microsoft account and click Next . Then enter a name for the local account, as well as a password and any password hint. Click on Next . Now it’s time to unsubscribe. click on Unsubscribe and complete . From now on you use a local account, as you were used to in Windows 7.

Instead of switching from a Microsoft account to a local account, you can also choose to create a second, local account in addition to the existing Microsoft account and use this as the primary account. This saves the aforementioned switching process and still gives you the flexibility to not depend on an online account. Open the settings window and choose Accounts / Family and other users. Click Add someone else to this PC . Choose I do not have the login details of this person. In the window below you choose Add user without a Microsoft account. Enter the desired username and password and click Next .

Local account

Tip 02 Fortunately, even in Windows 10 you are not dependent on a Microsoft account.

Tip 03: Icons

Not satisfied with the Windows 10 icons? Fortunately, you can change them yourself, for example to the icons used in Windows 7. You can easily adjust a few parts manually. In Windows 10, only the Trash icon is displayed. We also want other icons, such as those from My Computer or the Control Panel. Open Settings and choose Personal Settings / Themes / Settings for desktop icons . On the Desktop Icons tab, place check marks next to the icons that you want to display. If you want to change the icon, select the icon and choose Change icon. Select the desired replacement icon. If you want Windows 7 icons, download a zip file with the Windows 7 icons . Extract the file and point to the desired icon in the steps described above. Then uncheck Themes may change desktop icons so that the custom icons cannot be accidentally changed. To return to the original settings at a later time, click Restore default values in the main window .


Tip 03 Select the icons that were used in Windows 7.

Tip 04: Customize folders

It is also possible to adjust the icons of folders to a style more like Windows 7. Right-click on a folder and choose Properties . Select the Adjust tab . Click Change Icon (in the section Folder Icons ). Choose the desired icon or browse to your own icon file if you have this. Confirm with a click on OK . The same method is useful if you want to adjust the icon of a shortcut. Right click on the shortcut and select Properties . On the Shortcut tab, click the Other icon button. Then select the desired icon and confirm with OK .


Tip 04 You can also adjust the folders as you wish.With a few steps the start menu also shows as in Windows 7

Tip 05: Start menu

One of the components that has changed most dramatically is the start menu . The clean and minimalist appearance of the menu in Windows 7 has given way to a filled start menu with shortcuts and tiles that lead to programs. No need for that new version because you were satisfied with the start menu from Windows 7? Replace the new start menu with the classic start menu as you know it. We use the free Classic Shell program for this. You take care of the start menu and ensure that the menu works exactly the way you want. You can find the software on . After installation you start the program. Choose Classic Shell / Classic Start Menu Settings. The main window consists of three tabs. Click on the Start Menu Style tab and select the desired start menu type: we choose Windows 7 Style . However, we are not there yet, because the start button could also use some attention. Under Replace Start button you can simply adjust the start button. You will find the distinctive Windows 7 start button on the Classicshell forum . Now click on the Skin tab and choose Windows Aero . You can find this option in the menu at Skin . Click OK . The adjustments are applied.

Start menu

Tip 05 We use Classic Shell to adjust the start menu.

Tip 06: No more searching

The taskbar in Windows 10 prominently displays the search box. If you prefer to use a tidy taskbar, it’s time to remove the built-in search box. Right-click on the taskbar and select Search / Hidden . The search box disappears. To retrieve it later, choose Search / Show Search Box . Do you want quick access to the search function, but do you think the search box is too much? Then choose Search / Show search icon . Now that we are busy cleaning up the Taskbar: it may have the Persons buttonanother prominent place. This relatively new function is hardly used. Moreover, we did not miss the button in Windows 7 either… away with it. Right-click on the taskbar and choose Show people on the taskbar to remove the checkmark. And see: this button is also gone.

Search box

Tip 06 The search box is not strictly necessary for Windows.

Tip 07: Color scheme

Windows 7 was characterized by a calm, blue color. We bring it back in Windows 10. Open the Settings again and choose Personal settings / Colors . Choose Navy blue or another blue variant. If you are not satisfied with the colors offered, click on Custom color and compile a color yourself. Click Done to apply that color. Then go back to the settings window and browse to the Show Accent Color section on the following surfaces . Place a checkmark next to the Title bars and window borders option. In the same window you also determine whether Windows should use transparent effects (use the Transparency effects option ).

Color scheme

Tip 07 Windows 7 was characterized by a calm blue color.

Internet Explorer

If you cannot say goodbye to Internet Explorer, you can also use this outdated browser in Windows 10. For compatibility reasons, the makers have included version 11 of Internet Explorer with Windows 10. You open the browser by opening Internet Explorer in the Start menu . typing. If you want to say goodbye to Edge, right-click on the Edge icon on the taskbar and choose Disconnect from Taskbar . You can then even set Internet Explorer as the default browser. In the browser, click the Extra button (or press Alt + X) and choose Internet Options. On the Programs, click Set Internet Explorer as the default browser. To also attach the browser to the taskbar, right-click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar and select Pin to taskbar . Incidentally, it is strongly preferred to use a modern browser, such as Chrome or Edge.

Standard apps

Even Internet Explorer is still part of Windows 10.The Explorer has also changed considerably compared to Windows 7

Tip 08: Explorer

Windows Explorer – also known as Explorer in later editions – has changed nicely compared to Windows 7 in Windows 10. We don’t just allow that. We use external help for this, but we can also adjust another one ourselves. Open the Explorer (Windows key + E) and choose View / Options . Explorer is opened by default with the focus on Quick access . You can change this to a focus on My Computer , as was common in Windows 7. On the tab General , choose to open in Explorer for this PC . If you do not want to use the Quick Access component at all, remove the check marks on the same tab Display recently used files in Quick access and under Recently used folders in Quick access . Would you display libraries (used in Windows 7), then choose the tab display for display libraries (in the section Navigation Window ).

Folder Options

Tip 08 Immediately adjust a number of standard Explorer options.

Tip 09: OldNewExplorer

Now it’s time for some outside help, in the form of the free-to-use OldNewExplorer . Extract the rar file. If you do not yet have a program with which you do that, you can use an unpacking program such as 7-Zip . Extract OldNewExplorer and double-click the OldNewExplorerCfg.exe exe file . With this program you can further adjust Explorer. A note is appropriate: OldNewExplorer did not work on one of our three test systems (with Windows 10 May 2019 Update). Keep this possibility in mind when installing the app. Unfortunately no guarantees!

Once the OldNewExplorer window is open, click the Install button . You can find this in the Shell extension section . Click Yes when Windows asks for permission. After installation you can read ‘Installed’ in the OldNewExplorer window. Now you can make Explorer look more like the familiar Explorer of Windows 7. In the Appearance box, place a check next to Use command bar instead of Ribbon . The options under this option can also be switched on and off individually and are not dependent on the aforementioned option. For example, you can indicate that the Back and Next arrow buttonsmust be shown in the classical style. Also check the option Show details pane on the bottom . As a result, the details are no longer shown on the right-hand side (as in Windows 10), but neatly on the bottom as in Windows 7. If the current version of Explorer does not show a status bar, you can activate it by checking the option Show status bar .


Tip 09 With the free OldNewExplorer you can further explore the Explorer.

Classic Control Panel

The characteristic Control Panel from Windows 7 has been replaced in Windows 10 by the settings window. However, you can still work in the Control Panel. Open the Start menu and type Control Panel . To quickly access the classic Control Panel later, you can pin it to the taskbar: right-click on the Control Panel icon and choose Pin to Taskbar . Also interesting is to place a shortcut on the desktop that opens all options of the classic Control Panel at once. Right click on the desktop and choose New / Folder . Give it the name: Control Panel. {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. Double-click on the ‘folder’ just created to open the full, complete view of the Control Panel.

Control Panel

Attach the old Control Panel to the taskbar to open it quickly.

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