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Classic Shell: Turn Windows 8 Into Windows 7/XP

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Software Reviews, Windows 8, Windows Explorer
 
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Do you have Windows 8? Are you frustrated with the new interface and how they moved and changed pretty much everything?  In early testing, Microsoft allowed (via a registry hack) users to re-enable the start menu, but removed this feature before the release of Windows 8. Thankfully, some very creative people over at Classic Shell have released a freeware utility which can give you back the Start Menu everyone loved.

Let’s take a look at what Classic Shell does and some of its features,

Classic Start Menu is a clone of the start menu from Windows 2000, XP and Vista. Sadly, it is missing in Windows 7.  Classic Start Menu has a variety of advanced features:

  • Drag and drop to let you organize your applications
  • Options to show Favorites, expand Control Panel, etc
  • Shows recently used documents. The number of documents to display is customizable
  • Translated in 35 languages, including right-to-left support for Arabic and Hebrew
  • Does not disable the original start menu in Windows. You can access it by Shift+Click on the start button
  • Right-click on an item in the menu to delete, rename, sort, or perform other tasks
  • The search box helps you find your programs without getting in the way of your keyboard shortcuts
  • Supports jumplists for easy access to recent documents and common tasks
  • Available for 32 and 64-bit operating systems
  • Has support for skins, including additional 3rd party skins. Make your own!
  • Fully customizable in both looks and functionality
  • Support for Microsoft’s Active Accessibility
  • Converts the “All Programs” button in the Windows menu into a cascading menu (Vista and Windows 7)
  • Implements a customizable start button (Windows 7 and 8 )
  • Can show, search and launch Windows Store apps (Windows 8 )

Classic Explorer is a plugin for Windows Explorer that:

  • Adds a toolbar to Explorer for some common operations (Go to parent folder, Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Properties, Email). The toolbar is fully customizable
  • Replaces the copy UI in Vista and Windows 7 with the more user-friendly “classic” version similar to Windows XP
  • Handles Alt+Enter in the folder panel of Windows Explorer and shows the properties of the selected folder
  • Has options for customizing the folder panel to look more like the Windows XP version and an option to not fade the expand buttons
  • Can show the free disk space and the total size of the selected files in the status bar
  • Can disable the breadcrumbs in the address bar
  • Fixes a long list of features that are broken in Windows 7 – missing icon overlay for shared folders, the jumping folders in the navigation pane, missing sorting headers in list view, and more

Classic IE9 is a plug-in for Internet Explorer 9 and 10 that:

  • Adds a caption to the title bar so you can see the full title of the page
  • Shows the security zone in the status bar
  • Shows the loading progress in the status bar

My experience with Classic Shell has been nothing but superior, especially the drag and drop functionality in the start menu. I highly recommend downloading it and giving it a try. You can read more information about Classic Shell and download it by clicking here.

-Tim

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2 Responses to “Classic Shell: Turn Windows 8 Into Windows 7/XP”

  1. Kath says:

    ……and it can even turn off the annoying boxes that keep popping in on windows 8……wonderful to be rid of hot corners!!! :-)

  2. Delia S. says:

    This sounds very much like a program that I would like to incorporate with my Windows email classic. Would “CLASSIC SHELL” work with the original Classic Mail program both on XP and windows 7? I love Classic mail.

    Thanks,
    -Dee

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