Make Your Windows 10 Look Like Win XP, 7 or 8

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Windows operating system is something the majority of users handle on a daily basis for work, study, and entertainment. However, Microsoft tends to change the looks of each new Windows release radically. This leaves many customers facing significant challenges in finding the whereabouts of the programs and features they use frequently.

These user interface changes affect many operating system features from missing start button to a different window padding size. Luckily, there is a way you can customize your Windows 10 to look more like the operating system it used to be, with the familiar user interface.

Windows 8.1 Looks

Windows 8 might not be the most popular version due to its attempt to incorporate the tablet and desktop features, but many users find it convenient. You can give your Windows 10 a makeover to make it look like Windows 8.1 using two methods.

Modern UI

The first method enables Start screen, which displays pinned programs full screen. While on your desktop, right-click an empty space and select Personalize.
In your Personalization window → click Start option → and choose Use Start full screen.

Even though it is not a complete Modern UI Windows 8 style, it creates the full-screen start menu.

The second method allows your Windows 10 to simulate Modern UI, but for this, you will have to enable the tablet mode in your Windows 10. This will have the Taskbar functionality and the full-screen Start menu.

Go to Action Center -> choose Tablet mode.

There is also a third-party alternative that will give your Windows 10 a complete Windows 8 look and feel. Omnimo is a free Rainmeter package that simulates Windows 8 desktop on Windows 10 machines. You just have to install and configure it, and you’re good to go.

Windows 7

Download Classic Shell, install and launch it.

In your Start Menu type Classic Start Menu → click Classic Start Menu Settings → open Settings for Classic Start Menu → go to Skin → select Windows Aero → customize the settings as you like.

Customizing Taskbar

Go to the Taskbar tab of the Classic Shell → Customize Taskbar → enable Glass radio button → adjust color and opacity.

Customizing Start Button

First, download the Win 7 Start button image, and mind the location where you saved it. Go to Start Button tab in Classic Shell → replace the previous image with the downloaded one.

Windows XP

Even though Windows XP is long discontinued, it is still very popular among Windows users. To give your Windows 10 an XP look you would need to download Classic Shell. Install it. Also, download Windows XP Suite for Classic Shell. Extract the contents of this archive to the folder of your choice and remember where you keep it.

Next, go to Start menu and type Classic Start menu -> click Classic Start Menu Settings -> open Settings for Classic Start menu.

Here you can customize the skin color of your Start menu and Start button. Here, you can simulate many of the details of the XP UI.

Customizing the Start Menu

In the Settings for Classic Start menu -> check the option Show all Settings, which resides at the top of the window. This effectively opens all program options.

Go to the Start menu style tab -> click the radio button Classic with two columns -> Select skin -> open the drop-down menu next to the Skin parameter -> choose Windows XP Luna → tweak the settings the way you need and don’t forget to save.

Customizing Taskbar

While in the same program, go to the Taskbar tab -> check Customize Taskbar option → Taskbar texture → ellipse button.

From there, you will see a Choose file option → go to the folder where you have extracted the contents of the XP suite archive → choose the xp_bg file.

Choose Horizontal stretching → activate the skin → Choose Tile for Horizontal and Vertical stretching.

Customizing Start Button

Now that your Win 10 looks a bit more like Win XP, we can get to the coveted Start button. Classic Shell lets you edit that, too.

Go to Start Button tab → Replace Start button → Custom button, Button image → ellipse button → open the folder where you have extracted the contents of the XP suite archive → find XPButton image and double-click it → size it to your Taskbar.

Final Words

If not for the sake of the looks, but for the sake of productivity and usability, sometimes we need to revert to the familiar UI. Some of it is manageable, luckily. What other Win 10 features and buttons would you like to customize to look more like their predecessors?