Transform Windows 8 to Windows 7 with Classic Shell

Classic Shell Windows 7 Desktop

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

  1. Download Classic Shell 4.1.0 or later from and install with the default settings.
  2. Download [filedownload file=”downloads/” style=”color:#0000EE;”]Classic[/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
  3. 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

  1. Right-click Classic Shell Start Button and select Settings.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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