How do I tweak Windows 7 to make it behave more like XP?
January 26, 2011 4:10 PM   Subscribe

How do I tweak Windows 7 to make it behave more like XP?

I want Windows 7 to look/feel/behave more like XP. I am an experienced XP user and would like my Win7 experience to match XP more closely, with respect to things like keyboard shortcuts, folder appearances, window management, etc. What options can I change? Is there some program I can download that will help?
posted by Perplexity to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well for starters, Personalize your desktop with one of the "Basic" themes. "Windows Classic" looks a hell of a lot like XP, and it disables Aero, which controls a lot of the GUI stuff you're probably noticing.
posted by valkyryn at 4:41 PM on January 26, 2011

To not answer your question:

Don't do this. What happens when windows 8 comes out? Obviously would be silly to try to make that act more like XP. In the scheme of things 7 really isn't that different from XP, spending some time getting used to it will pay off.
posted by Patbon at 5:01 PM on January 26, 2011

Response by poster: I am stuck using XP at work 8hrs/day and will be for years to come. I actually think Win7 is great and would want to switch to it entirely, but don't have that option and don't want to switch back and forth every day.
posted by Perplexity at 5:26 PM on January 26, 2011

It is not hard to switch back and forth. I tried to do what you are talking about, and found that I was spending far more time and mental effort trying to maintain compatibility than I do making the switch. Which is none.

And most of the things are the same, at least to the extent that if you go where you think they should be, (control panel, for example), it is usually pretty self-explanatory what to do next.
posted by gjc at 6:08 PM on January 26, 2011

If you do want to step down to an XP-like theme, I'd try to find one that still uses Aero. Aero does more than just control pretty transparencies and shadows; it also coordinates processing of GUI elements using your machine's GPU.

Becayse of this some machines take a hit to performance when Aero is disabled.
posted by truex at 7:26 PM on January 26, 2011

Don't forget your other option: make XP more like Windows 7. There are tons of ways to do this, Google it.
posted by SNACKeR at 9:24 PM on January 26, 2011

First result from Googling "make windows 7 look like xp" looks to be promising for what you want to do. (sorry for using, been looking for a good reason to use it for months now!)

I couldn't find much on a native Aero theme that looks exactly like XP, but during the RC and beta days of Windows 7, Microsoft offered a workaround for those in transition from XP to 7 called "XP compatability mode" which runs under a VPC session. Hope that helps.
posted by samsara at 5:45 AM on January 27, 2011

Classic Shell, full stop:

What is Classic Shell?

Classic Shell is a collection of features that were available in older versions of Windows but are removed from Vista and Windows 7. It has a classic start menu for Windows 7, it adds a toolbar for Windows Explorer and supports a variety of smaller features. There are 2 major components - Classic Explorer and Classic Start Menu. Look here for the full list if features.

Is Classic Shell Free?

Yes, Classic Shell is free and open-source software.
To use the binaries you must comply with the included license. In a nutshell it says you can't sell the software or blame the author for any damages.
To use the source code you must comply with the MIT open-source license.
posted by llin at 11:34 AM on January 27, 2011

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