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Making Windows 8.1 Look More Like Windows 7

Thursday, October 31st, 2013 by | Filed Under: Windows 8

Barbara from Brookline Station, MO writes:

I need help. I have a new all in one computer which I love. What I don’t love it  windows 8. Is there a safe way to get  7 back so that I can use this easier. I find 8 very confusing. Any help would be much appreciated.

Well you could remove Windows 8 and buy Windows 7 as an operating system, but that’s a bad idea for several reasons. It’s costly, inconvenient and you’d lose a lot of stuff. Also, Windows 7 is an older operating system and new programs will likely be designed to work with Windows 8. Also, Windows 8 is actually a pretty stable, secure system. But it is very different interface.  Let’s look at a way that will make it feel more familiar.

However, you’ll have to take the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 first. I explain how to do that in this article – Upgrade and Install Windows 8.1

Once you have 8.1 in place, you’ll be able to make some changes.  I want you to go to desktop and then right-click on the taskbar. Select Properties from the Windows that open.

This window will open.

First, we’re going to uncheck  When I point to the upper-right corner, show the charms and When I click the upper-left corner, switch between my recent apps. Now, these functions can be useful, but they can be distracting if you’re not used to them. So if you don’t want apps popping up when you swipe or put your pointer near the top of the screen, unchecking them could make it a more pleasant user experience for you.

Under Start screen, check When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop. This change will likely make you very happy.

Next put a check by Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start and List desktop apps first in the Apps view and choose OK.


 Now when you open your computer from the lock screen, you’ll go straight to the desktop.

And if you select the Windows key or button, you’ll go to a list of all your Apps with your desktop at the head of the list.

I think these changes will make using Windows 8 more enjoyable for you.

~ Cynthia

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5 Responses to “Making Windows 8.1 Look More Like Windows 7”

  1. Guy says:

    There is a free app that takes the windows 7 experience on windows 8.1 even further. It’s called classic shell, and it will return the start menu to one similar to Windows 7, complete with search box and all. You can even have Windows 95 style, if you want to go retro.

  2. Ken says:

    Where can I get “Clasic Shell”?

  3. Camille Sauvager says:

    Stardock’s Start8 is the best of these I’ve seen. Your computer looks and acts most like Windows 7. (I used Classic Shell and it was very good too)
    You may use Start8 for a month free; after that, if you want to keep it, it’s $5.00. I’m very pleased with it!

  4. […] menu,” but there are a few things you can do to make 8.1 navigation similar to 7 that I covered in this article. I would also say that 8.1 has a better navigation that the Start Menu. If you’re on the […]

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