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XP Classic View in Windows 7

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Desktop Enhancement, Uncategorized

Pam from Ohio asks:

I recently went from XP to windows 7 -big big difference. Is there any way to make it act like classic view like you can do with XP? I got it to act like Vista which is better but would love the old way again.

Good question, Pam, and something that many people used to using XP would like to know. Windows7 has a lot of new features, the most important one is the visual effects and Themes. If you are used to the old environment of Windows XP and have switched to Windows7 recently, you may feel a little out of the world. There are thumbnail previews, jump lists, taskbar window grouping and other features which were not available in Windows XP.

However, you can simply revert to the classic Window 7 theme to get a feel of the Windows XP environment. Here are the steps to switch back to the classic theme in Windows7 :

Click the Windows7 Start menu and right click on Computer. Then choose Properties, as shown below:


This will open a new control panel window; click “Advanced System Settings” from the left sidebar.


This will again open a small window, switch to the Advanced tab and select Settings under the Performance section.


Next, navigate to the Visual Effects tab and select the radio button Adjust for best performance. This will disable the Windows 7 visual effects and you will get a feel of classic Windows.


After selecting the radio button, make sure each and every checkbox underneath is not selected. When you are done, click Apply and then OK.

All done, you will now get the classic look on windows back.

I performed all the above steps on my laptop running Windows7 and here is how it looks:


Another way is to download a Windows XP theme pack and then simply apply the theme on your computer running Windows7. This will ensure that you can switch to the Windows XP environment anytime, without having to remember the above steps. You can also pass this theme pack to your friends or colleagues and they can double click a single file to get the job done.

To use a Windows XP theme pack in Windows 7, follow the steps mentioned below:

Go to this webpage and download the zip file as shown in the following image. This file contains all the necessary files of Windows XP theme pack.


After the download is complete, unzip the package anywhere in your hard drive using Winrar, Winzip or any other archiving software.

You will get a new folder after unzipping the package – open that folder and you will see the following files and subfolders:


Double click the Install Themes DLL file, this will open a command prompt window. The window will automatically close after a few seconds.

Now right click on the desktop and select Personalize


This will open the personalization Window of Windows 7, click Luna theme to activate Windows XP mode, as shown below:


Using method 2 has a slight advantage – you will get the default Windows XP wallpaper and do not have to search for the same on any other website. Do not delete the theme pack files, you will need them in case you format your system or want to revert to the XP feel on any other computer.

~Amit Banerjee

5 Responses to “XP Classic View in Windows 7”

  1. Allan Poe says:

    Ok, how do I return to the W7 view?

  2. Roger A. Essi says:

    While Mircosoft believes it took a step forward with Windows 7 it actually hopped back. It will take a while for the pundits to finally understand this. And they very big mistake was not continuing downward compatibility.
    When they make the “Leap” it will be alright to cut the ties, but not on this meager offering.

  3. Geoff F. says:

    I have spent HOURS, literally, looking for this solution, and the many “help” and webpages were all usueless. You changed all that and made it simple and quick; EXACTLY what I was looking for. THANK YOU SO MUCH. :-)

  4. Thankyou says:

    I could Kiss You !

    & I reflect the commenter above’s sentiments:-
    “I have spent HOURS, literally, looking for this solution, and the many “help” and webpages were all usueless. You changed all that and made it simple and quick “.

    How much of people’s time does MS waste trying to lure & lock them into new features.

    I have two User/login profiles on thisWin7 machine_ one on WIn XP compatibuilirty mode and this new one that Isn’t.
    I am really noticing the difference in performance.
    Not to mention the constant distraction of windows popping up just becaiuse I pass over them.

    Had to get rid of this bloated WIn7 way of doing. You have reminded me how. Thankyou, Thankyou, Tjhankyou.

  5. XRumerTest says:

    Hello. And Bye.

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