To have a Windows 7 desktop like the one above on your Windows 8/8.1 desktop or laptop follow the steps below:
Install Classic Shell and Windows 7 Desktop data Files
- Download Classic Shell 4.1.0 or later from http://www.classicshell.net/ and install with the default settings.
- Download [filedownload file=”downloads/Classic_Shell.zip” style=”color:#0000EE;”]Classic Shell.zip[/filedownload] This contains Windows 7 desktop background; Start Button images and Classic Shell “Menu Settings.xml” file with the following custom settings:
- Enable Category View for Control Panel
- Disabled all Active Corners
- Replace Start Button using Windows 7 Start button
- Skip Metro desktop on boot or login
- Metro Apps. hidden
- Hide Metro Apps from search
- Extract the zip file in your Downloads folder to Downloads\Classic_Shell. The resulting file folder structure should look like the Explorer snapshot below
Configure Classic Shell Windows 7 Desktop
- Right-click Classic Shell Start Button and select Settings.
- Click Backup button and select “Load from XML File”. Navigate to Downloads\Classic Shell\ and select “Menu Settings.xml” file and click Open to load settings.
- If required make additional changes within Classic Shell Settings and save changes by clicking Backup button. Select “Save to XML file” from pull-down list. Select “Menu Settings.xml” and click Save and overwrite original file.
- Click OK save changes and exit Settings.
Configure Windows 7 Background
- Open Control Panel and navigate to Appearance and Personalisation\Personalisation and click Desktop Backgound. Browse to the Downloads\Classic Shell and select “Windows 7 Desktop.jpeg”. Click Save Changes and close control panel.
You should now have a Windows 7 desktop with the look and feel of Windows 7 with all the underlying benefits of the Windows 8 or 8.1.