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how can I make the Windows 8 desktop look more like Windows 7 desktop?

Posted on 2014-03-30
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Last Modified: 2014-03-30
Hello and Good Morning Everyone,

          I recently purchased a new Acer laptop with Windows 8 preinstalled.  To my surprise, the desktop of this operating system is entirely different from what I am accustomed too from its predecessor operating system, Windows 7.  With that point in mind, could someone provide some instructions, a document link, or a multi-media link which outlines the steps of returning it more to a classic look?  

         At this point, I have been blindly navigating with it this morning just to realize that there is going to be a huge learning curve here.  I am currently at a screen labeled PC Settings which appears to have some menus for customizing the look of Windows 8.  I was able to change the time zone to match that of my own, but, I was unable to change the actual time.  And, I do not know how to exit from this screen either to go back to the desktop that loaded at startup.  As everyone can tell, I need help with just the basics or getting started with Windows 8.  I do believe if I can change the look of it to match as closely to what I am accustomed to with Windows 7, it will be a nice start.

           Thanks in advance for any help given to this concern.  I will look forward to hearing from everyone.

           George
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Question by:GMartin
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by:Tony Giangreco
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Install SP1 for Windows 8 and make sure all updates are applied.
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aadih earned 200 total points
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Go to "classicshell.net" and download Classic Shell (free). You could now "skip metro screen" from settings screen (Windows 8.1 Tab). Use a start menu of your choice: Windows 7 like in your case. And enjoy Windows 8 with the minimum-est of learning curve.
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by:GMartin
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Hello Everyone,

           Thanks so much for the followups.  I hate to be of a bother but how can I exit from the PC setting screen?  I have tried the Esc button and also the right click on the touchpad which never did open a menu to possibly allow me to close or exit from it.   The screen which existed prior to this one was the metro screen which I can not get back to for some reason.

             George
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by:aadih
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Hit Windows button.
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by:John Hurst
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First, there is no SP1 for Windows 8. There is Windows 8.1 but it is a different (newer) operating system.

In Windows 8.1, you can right click on the Taskbar, select Properties, Navigation and check (select) the top three items under Start Screen. Restart and Windows 8.1 will start in the desktop. You have to do this manually in Windows 8.

I know Classic Shell exists but I do not use it. I set up a toolbar in the System Tray to bring up all Programs. Works a treat and it part of Windows 8/8.1.

So as a result of what I have done, my Windows 8.1 works and looks like Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 before that and back to Windows 95. All the same.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Hi George,
Windows 8.1 brought back the Start button, but not the Start menu. There are numerous third-party programs that give you a Start menu in W8/W8.1. The one I use is the excellent (and free!) Classic Shell:
http://www.classicshell.net/

I not only don't like the W8 interface, I don't like the W7/Vista and XP interfaces, so I've been using Classic Shell to give me the good old W2K (truly Classic!) interface on all of my Vista, W7, and W8 computers (on XP, I use its built-in capability to get the classic Start menu via Control Panel>Taskbar and Start Menu>Start Menu>Classic Start menu). Of course, if you prefer, you may configure Classic Shell to give you the XP or Vista/W7 interface on W8.

Four other options for a Start menu in W8/W8.1 are IObit's Start Menu 8 (free), ReviverSoft's Start Menu Reviver (free), Stardock's Start8 (not free, but currently just $4.99), and SweetLabs' Pokki (free).

Here's a relatively recent (16-Oct-2013) PCWorld article that discusses all five mentioned above for W8.1:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2054422/five-tools-to-bring-the-start-menu-back-to-windows-8-1.html

Also, here's a somewhat older (15-May-2013) but more comprehensive CNET review that discusses all of these programs and some others (except IObit's Start Menu 8) in great detail:
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33642_7-57496506-292/how-to-get-the-start-menu-back-in-windows-8

The CNET review was published before W8.1, so it is about just W8 – if you go with one of the products that is not in the PCWorld article, make sure that it works with 8.1.

All of that said, I strongly recommend Classic Shell, which has worked superbly for me on many computers. Regards, Joe
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by:GMartin
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Hello Everyone,

             Thanks so much for the followups.  After reviewing everything, I do have a couple of followup questions.  First, what are the steps for installing Classic Shell?  And, secondly, once it is installed, how do I configure it to make the Windows 8 desktop look more like Windows 7?

             George
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by:John Hurst
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I use (in Themes) Classic Desktop for all of XP, Vista, Seven and Eight. This works fine and keeps the desktop simple.

If you do that, Classic shell will just be a start menu. I use a toolbar instead.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 250 total points
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> what are the steps for installing Classic Shell?

Simply download the latest version from here:
http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/latest

Then just run the downloaded setup file and follow the prompts.

> how do I configure it to make the Windows 8 desktop look more like Windows 7?

Right-click on the Start button and select Settings. You will see this:


Configure Classic Shell
Click the "Windows 7  style" radio button. Regards. Joe
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
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Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

           Thanks so much for the feedback given to this post.  I especially appreciate the link for downloading Classic Shell.  To be perfectly frank,  I was amazed and certainly pleased with the ease of use of this program.  Within a matter of 2 or 3 seconds, I was able to transform the Windows 8 Metro screen to the more classic, Windows 7 desktop interface.  Thanks to everyone's input here, I no longer feel so overwhelmed by Windows 8.  Everything worked out perfectly.  

            George
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Hi George,
Glad it worked for you! Happy to help. Regards, Joe
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