Image: Microsoft

Some users are working on ways to get the upcoming version of Windows to look like the current OS. This happened before when many tried to get Windows 10 to look and feel like Windows 7 (not surprisingly, most didn’t have such feelings for Windows 8). The latest tricks employ everything from registry edits, configuration settings, and, of course, installing third-party software. One of the most popular free software solutions, Open-Shell (formerly Classic Shell), is still available to aid in the process, but there’s currently no exact way to replicate Windows 10’s start menu. Users can simulate Windows 7’s, however. Those looking for a greater depth of features or polish also have paid alternatives to choose from. It is unknown if any of these fixes will work with the official release.

Image: Microsoft

By following all of these steps, you can simulate a Windows 11 interface that looks and feels a lot more like Windows 10, along with some of the functionality you might miss the most. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that all of these hacks keep working as new preview builds come out.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

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Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

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28 Comments

  1. Exercise in futility, ms will make sure that every update breaks any attempts at this.

  2. Why would you want it to look like Windows 10? The interface on 10 is mis-matched, inconsistent, and generally very awful. Did I mention it’s just plain bad?

    I could see.. maybe Windows 7.

    But I guess people have got used to 10. Me, I’ve lived through it, but I wouldn’t say I ever got used to it – every time I think I know what I’m doing with 10, another major update would come along and move a bunch of stuff again. So I don’t fear Windows 11 interface – it’ll be just like the next major update where 35% of the control panels either moved to some other interface or just stopped working out right, and MS turn the telemetry back on and adds yet some other quirky widget or popup to try to get me to forcibly move over to O365 and Edge.

    So, with respect to Windows, I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can just live with it, and Google any time I need to do something with it to find out whatever the current method of doing XYZ is. I’ll just roll with the changes.

  3. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 37949, member: 96″]
    Why would you want it to look like Windows 10? The interface on 10 is mis-matched, inconsistent, and generally very awful. Did I mention it’s just plain bad?

    I could see.. maybe Windows 7.

    But I guess people have got used to 10. Me, I’ve lived through it, but I wouldn’t say I ever got used to it – every time I think I know what I’m doing with 10, another major update would come along and move a bunch of stuff again. So I don’t fear Windows 11 interface – it’ll be just like the next major update where 35% of the control panels either moved to some other interface or just stopped working out right, and MS turn the telemetry back on and adds yet some other quirky widget or popup to try to get me to forcibly move over to O365 and Edge.

    So, with respect to Windows, I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can just live with it, and Google any time I need to do something with it to find out whatever the current method of doing XYZ is. I’ll just roll with the changes.
    [/QUOTE]
    I think they are just referring to start menu and the tray, there is no way they can make the control panel what it used to be before 10 f-ed it up one update at a time.

  4. I’ve been trying to understand why Microsoft has steadily been making the Windows interface worse and worse since Windows XP. Even Windows 7 made certain things take more steps than they did in Windows XP. That being said, Windows 7 was generally fantastic so I tend to forgive the one or two things I didn’t like about the interface. Windows 8, 8.1, 10’s various iterations are all more difficult to use and several updates make 10 even worse than it started out.

    I just don’t get it.

  5. [QUOTE=”Hagrid, post: 37974, member: 141″]
    I like the windows 7 interface.
    [/QUOTE]

    I do too, but there are a couple of things they made take extra steps compared to Windows XP. Changing desktop resolution being the big one that I can recall. Is that a big deal? No. But there are a couple of things with an extra step in them and I never understood that. It wasn’t more intuitive. Microsoft has continued to do that making things like changing your desktop resolution considerably harder than it needs to be.

  6. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 37972, member: 6″]
    I’ve been trying to understand why Microsoft has steadily been making the Windows interface worse and worse since Windows XP. Even Windows 7 made certain things take more steps than they did in Windows XP. That being said, Windows 7 was generally fantastic so I tend to forgive the one or two things I didn’t like about the interface. Windows 8, 8.1, 10’s various iterations are all more difficult to use and several updates make 10 even worse than it started out.

    I just don’t get it.
    [/QUOTE]
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. It also added to my wariness with each update for 10 and not knowing what got moved, where, and why.

  7. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 37955, member: 1298″]
    I think they are just referring to start menu and the tray, there is no way they can make the control panel what it used to be before 10 f-ed it up one update at a time.
    [/QUOTE]
    Yeah, Control Panel is one of my favorite parts too and it bummed me as it also got messed up over the years. I often still type it into Cortana as my own form of defiance plus there are some things there that 3-4, or more, extra steps to get to if you go the path that MS has laid out from settings now. Drives me crazy trying to figure out where the h something got moved. I also remember how it disappeared from the start menu about a year or so. Really pissed me off.

  8. Why is it that with every new version, there’s some guys that try to make the new version look like the previous one?

    Windows XP look like windows 98
    Windows Vista look like XP
    Windows 7 look like vista… I mean really?
    Windows 8 look like windows 7
    Windows 10 look like windows 7
    And now this…

  9. Its not a difficult interface. Takes a few moments to learn it really. I get being used to an OS but things constantly change and sometimes you have to adapt.

  10. [QUOTE=”Eduardo_Domingot, post: 37995, member: 246″]
    Its not a difficult interface. Takes a few moments to learn it really. I get being used to an OS but things constantly change and sometimes you have to adapt.
    [/QUOTE]

    Except that Microsoft changes things in the OS for seemingly no reason. There is also rarely if ever a benefit to the new locations. Microsoft has made the OS harder to use. It’s not just a matter of getting used to a new way of doing things. If your OS is less intuitive and you have to go through three or four menus to do what you used to do in one, it’s a bad design.

  11. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 37972, member: 6″]
    I’ve been trying to understand why Microsoft has steadily been making the Windows interface worse and worse since Windows XP. Even Windows 7 made certain things take more steps than they did in Windows XP. That being said, Windows 7 was generally fantastic so I tend to forgive the one or two things I didn’t like about the interface. Windows 8, 8.1, 10’s various iterations are all more difficult to use and several updates make 10 even worse than it started out.

    I just don’t get it.
    [/QUOTE]
    Thats easy to understand… this is the new guard, with their modern UI, and the fact that its about giving the user less choices, less control for the sake of alleged simplicity.
    Software makers have become masters of obscurity when it comes to settings, if they are offered at all. If you feel like they think you are an idiot that can’t use your own computer, its becuase they think you are.
    I got mostly used to w10, but whatever I use the desktop less and less .

  12. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 37997, member: 6″]
    Except that Microsoft changes things in the OS for seemingly no reason. There is also rarely if ever a benefit to the new locations. Microsoft has made the OS harder to use. It’s not just a matter of getting used to a new way of doing things. If your OS is less intuitive and you have to go through three or four menus to do what you used to do in one, it’s a bad design.
    [/QUOTE]
    I have been using PCs since 1991, and I’ve never felt so lost with a system since the first time I ever sat in front of a PC as I was with Windows 8. It was so unintuitive that I literally had to google even the simplest things. And MS is doing the same thing with 10, just one step at a time. Functions that used to be one or two clicks become accessible through a maze of confusing inefficient and minimalistic settings windows, if not outright taken away.

    For example checking the network status used to be right click on status bar icon -> then click status -> et voila two simple clicks
    Now it is right click on icon -> Network and internet settings -> Change adapter settings -> Right click on the connection -> Then finally you can access status. From 2 clicks to 5.

  13. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 38001, member: 1298″]
    I have been using PCs since 1991, and I’ve never felt so lost with a system since the first time I ever sat in front of a PC as I was with Windows 8. It was so unintuitive that I literally had to google even the simplest things. And MS is doing the same thing with 10, just one step at a time. Functions that used to be one or two clicks become accessible through a maze of confusing inefficient and minimalistic settings windows, if not outright taken away.

    For example checking the network status used to be right click on status bar icon -> then click status -> et voila two simple clicks
    Now it is right click on icon -> Network and internet settings -> Change adapter settings -> Right click on the connection -> Then finally you can access status. From 2 clicks to 5.
    [/QUOTE]
    These are ways to close the system for us monkeys hitting the shiny box with sticks.
    We just don’t know anything and can’t learn.

  14. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 38010, member: 96″]
    I always just attributed it to me getting older and more crotchety and impatient
    [/QUOTE]
    I agree with this and I know that might be un-popular lol.

    [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 37997, member: 6″]
    Except that Microsoft changes things in the OS for seemingly no reason. There is also rarely if ever a benefit to the new locations. Microsoft has made the OS harder to use. It’s not just a matter of getting used to a new way of doing things. If your OS is less intuitive and you have to go through three or four menus to do what you used to do in one, it’s a bad design.
    [/QUOTE]

    I won’t deny that MS makes mistakes with some UI elements and I can appreciate that perspective as I do think its got validity. I personally have never felt incredibly lost in W10 or W11. So far in W11 I see only one area with an extra click to get through (eg when using 7zip to extract a folder, takes an extra click vs W10). Also it isn’t like I never had to look things up for Windows XP, Windows 7, Big Sur, Debian, etc etc etc.

    I just look at it like this, its a project made by a large team of new and old hires who never met you or me, it’s bound to cause some things to be re-done, in a way other than what you or I expect.

    At the end of the day I still have to say I have had no issues using W11 on my gaming laptop or my gaming desktop.

  15. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 38010, member: 96″]
    I always just attributed it to me getting older and more crotchety and impatient
    [/QUOTE]
    LOL, what took 2 clicks now taking 5, is not anyone getting impatient, it is windows getting 150% worse.

  16. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 38049, member: 1298″]
    LOL, what took 2 clicks now taking 5, is not anyone getting impatient, it is windows getting 150% worse.
    [/QUOTE]
    I’ll be honest, it’s not the number of clicks that bother me. It’s the time taken to relearn or find some of these things that I had already learned once over.

    But I guess I could just as well complain that all that stuff I learned in DOS I had to relearn how to do in a GUI once upon a time. I could argue that’s different though – a totally different interface doesn’t bring a lot of preconceived notions with it, so you approach it as something new, not as being lost in something familiar.

    I still don’t know what PowerShell is tbh.

  17. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 38052, member: 96″]
    I’ll be honest, it’s not the number of clicks that bother me. It’s the time taken to relearn or find some of these things that I had already learned once over.

    But I guess I could just as well complain that all that stuff I learned in DOS I had to relearn how to do in a GUI once upon a time. I could argue that’s different though – a totally different interface doesn’t bring a lot of preconceived notions with it, so you approach it as something new, not as being lost in something familiar.

    I still don’t know what PowerShell is tbh.
    [/QUOTE]
    There is absolutely no reason why network settings has to be divided between three or four completely separate panels now, all consisting one or two of the options previously accessible from one single control panel. And to top it off, the old control panel is still there because there are one or two things that are impossible to do with any of the new shiny but useless apps. And the same applies to printer settings or display settings, etc. Although with one of the last updates they completely removed the old screen resolution panel, replacing it with an inferior version.

    Windows is being redesigned by a committe under our noses.

  18. I’m glad I don’t need Windows for anything. Thankfully there are already enough flavors of Linux to use and once you find one they (usually) get better over time, not worse.

  19. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 38010, member: 96″]
    I always just attributed it to me getting older and more crotchety and impatient
    [/QUOTE]
    THAT is something I can relate to..

  20. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 38049, member: 1298″]
    LOL, what took 2 clicks now taking 5, is not anyone getting impatient, it is windows getting 150% worse.
    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly.

  21. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 38052, member: 96″]
    I’ll be honest, it’s not the number of clicks that bother me. It’s the time taken to relearn or find some of these things that I had already learned once over.

    But I guess I could just as well complain that all that stuff I learned in DOS I had to relearn how to do in a GUI once upon a time. I could argue that’s different though – a totally different interface doesn’t bring a lot of preconceived notions with it, so you approach it as something new, not as being lost in something familiar.

    I still don’t know what PowerShell is tbh.
    [/QUOTE]
    Powershell is MAGIC. It can do anything and everything. Its that good. But IMO its unnecesarily complicated, then again, so is SSH.

  22. [QUOTE=”Stoly, post: 38092, member: 1474″]
    Powershell is MAGIC. It can do anything and everything. Its that good. But IMO its unnecesarily complicated, then again, so is SSH.
    [/QUOTE]

    This is a pretty accurate assessment.

  23. [QUOTE=”Nanobot, post: 38064, member: 73″]
    I’m glad I don’t need Windows for anything. Thankfully there are already enough flavors of Linux to use and once you find one they (usually) get better over time, not worse.
    [/QUOTE]
    And that’s the main problem with linux, you need several flavors to cover all your needs and they do get worse. Ubuntu anyone?

  24. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 38093, member: 6″]
    This is a pretty accurate assessment.
    [/QUOTE]
    Tnx I took a look at powershell when it was introduced, but it seemed too complicated and limited. I was better off using Kix.
    But I came back when version 3 was out, and man its a godsend. Its so much powerful than before and a little bit less complicated. I stopped using any 3rd party scripting.

    Now I use it for VM deployment, IIS deployment, server maintenance, db/apps backups, PC image creation/deployment, virtual to physical and viceversa, exchange account management, AD management, pretty much anything that has to do with Azure, you name it.

  25. [QUOTE=”Stoly, post: 38094, member: 1474″]
    And that’s the main problem with linux, you need several flavors to cover all your needs and they do get worse. Ubuntu anyone?
    [/QUOTE]
    “…they (usually) get better over time…”

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