If you are switching from XP to Windows 7, transitioning to the new User Interface could be a hard time. Today we take a look at the free ClassicShell service, which gives you back the original Start Menu and the features of the classic Windows Explorer.
Note: This project is still in the Beta stage so you may encounter a little bit of quirkiness.
You can opt to only have the Classic Start Menu, Classic Explorer or both during the installation.
Classic Start Menu
No restart is needed, and click Start to display your new classic menu after a successful install.
Here’s another look at the latest documents pulling up the Classic Start menu.
To adjust the Classic Start Menu settings, right-click Start, and pick Settings.
You can make several subtle improvements to the way it looks and behaves here.
This is an example of how to use Small Icons.
The Classic Explorer option is perfect for those wanting the same buttons as in Windows XP. However, you may need to do some tuning to use them. If you don’t see them instantly, hit the key combination “Alt+T” with Explorer open, and select Folder Options.
Check the box next to “Always show menus” in the Folder Options window under the View Tab then press Add and OK.
Right-click the menu bar now and pick the Classic Explorer Bar. To the right of Explorer, you’ll see the Classic Bar.
To move them, right-click the Menu Bar and uncheck Lock the Toolbars.
You can then drag it over to the left. Tap on Classic Explorer Settings to enlarge the Classic buttons.
Then use big buttons, and you can change other settings to match your preferences here as well.
Here is the final result after they transfer to the left to make them bigger.
You can also use the classic tree view from the settings options shown here.
Another cool improvement is you get the classic shutdown screen when you go to shutdown or restart the system.
Even though it is in the beta stage, it seemed to run flawlessly in our weekend tests. There are some features and settings that would be good to see (like getting rid of breadcrumbs), and I’d expect there’ll be more improvements in the final edition. It operates with Vista and Windows 7 (versions 32 and 64-bit), and uses very few machine resources. If you’re new to Windows 7 and aren’t impressed by the Start Menu or Explorer’s new look and feel, ClassicShell will get you back on track easily.