Bring Back XP Features with Windows 7 Classic Shell

  1. "Bring Back XP Features with Windows 7 Classic Shell" takes a look at a great piece of software that will bring some of your favorite XP features to your Windows 7 environment. Classic Shell not only makes it easier to transition to Windows 7, but also provides some functionality that Microsoft left out of Windows 7.

    After migrating to Windows 7, have you ever wished you could have some of the Windows Explorer features back that Windows 7 seemed to take away?

    Or, what do you think about the Start Menu?

    Do you like the old Classic Start Menu better than the new Windows 7 Start Menu in all its glory?

    If you have been waxing nostalgic for some of those older features, then you now have an option to get some of them back. Enter Classic Shell, which is available here on their website. The link is for the features page at, so you can view the lovely graphics of the Classic Start Menu, from which you can choose any of 8 default skins, or as the site says, "make your own!"

    Following the Classic Start Menu is a rundown of the Classic Explorer plugin for Windows Explorer. Just take a look at all the available changes that can make using Windows Explorer work more the way you have been used to.

    I particularly enjoy the icon overlay for shared folders, as well as the Explorer folder panel customization to make it more like the one in XP. I also like having the button toolbar back in Windows Explorer. Last, but not least, I like the Confirm File Replace page rather than the Copy File page that is the default in Windows 7. It is shorter, simpler and direct to the point!

    As an added bonus Classic Shell has included Classic IE9. I have not really played around with the options available for IE9. I am satisfied with the default look of IE, but you might miss some of the features Classic Shell has returned to IE.

    There are other file managers that can be downloaded to use in place of Windows Explorer. But Classic Shell more than meets my need, and it is light on system resources, i.e., it does not tie up much of your system memory. It runs lean and mean for the features it brings to the table, uh, desktop. Another great point in Classic Shell's favor is that it is free of charge! Classic Shell is quality at a more than reasonable price.

    While you are checking out Classic Shell, please click on the various headings to familiarize yourself with the full range of the products offerings, such as the F.A.Q. tab, the Gallery tab.

    When you install Classic Shell, it installs three modules and provides shortcut icons for each of the three, Classic Menu, Classic Explorer, and Classic IE9. This allows you to pick only one set, two or all three for customization. I have only used the Classic Explorer, because of the features I missed in XP.

    At this point, I am fine with the stock Windows 7 Start Menu and IE9's interface. One issue I ran into two days after the initial installation was all the changes disappeared from my Windows Explorer for no apparent reason. If that happens to you, click on the Windows Explorer View menu and click Toolbars (If your menu is not visible, right click the Internet Explorer title bar and select Menu Bar).

    If you do not see Classic Explorer Bar listed or it is grayed out and unresponsive to selection, start up Internet Explorer and check Manage add-ons. Look to confirm that Classic Explorer is enabled. In my IE9, Classic Explorer was disabled. I may have done it myself, but I do not remember doing so. Anyway, everything was corrected and my changes could again be enjoyed.

    Note that when one of the three modules is disabled, all are disabled, and when you enable one of them, as in my case with Classic Explorer, all three are enabled. The reason Classic Shell is managed in the Internet Explorer add-ons is that Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer are very much intertwined, and both utilize a mutual code base.

    Have you already checked out Classic Shell, or will you be headed that way to check it out?

    Your comments are most welcome.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 15, '15
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  3. by   FranEMTnurse
    I purchased a notebook with XP Professional and an office program on ebay for 30 dollars. It definitely was a gift.