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There are only a few days left before the end of the Windows 7 lifecycle, and now is the right time to upgrade to Windows 10. We’ve put together some tips and tweaks for true Windows 7 fans to make migrating to the new system more manageable.
Windows 7 is already in complete preparation for “retirement.” On January 14, 2020, the Extended Support program will take effect, which means that home users will no longer receive patches and security updates, as well as technical support.
If you want to avoid increased security risks and other potential issues, Microsoft recommends that you upgrade. Windows 10 is still available for a free upgrade for Windows 7 users. However, if you’ve been using seven for years or even just a decade, then some Windows 10 features you may not like.
Fortunately, through simple manipulations, you can adjust the OS to yourself so that you feel “at home” again.
Note: if you do not want to upgrade to Windows 10, then as an alternative you can choose Windows 8.1, which will receive extended technical support for several years – until January 10, 2023. However, in this case you will have to buy a license, and the transition may be a little more complicated. Some of these tips will be relevant for Windows 8.1, but we’ll focus on Windows 10.
Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows 7
Customize the Start menu
When you first open the Start Menu in Windows 10, you are greeted by tiles of numerous unwanted applications such as Candy Crush and Disney Magic Kingdoms. You can get rid of some pre-installed apps by using the Uninstall context menu item, but built-in system apps like Mail will remain on your system. But, if you want to remove these pre-installed apps from Windows 10, you can use this guide: How to Remove Preinstalled Applications in Windows 10: 4 Step Easy Guide.
To clear the Start menu of unnecessary items, right-click the unwanted tile and select Unpin from Start. If you undock all the tiles, the Start menu will look more minimalistic and similar to the Start menu in Windows 7.
If that’s not enough for you, then you can get more out of it with third-party apps like Open Shell (formerly Classic Shell). The program brings back the classic Start menu in Windows 10 and allows you to fully customize the Start button, return the old toolbar in Windows Explorer, and restore the old interface of the copy file window.
Choose between classic and more modern themes and customize each pixel to make each button look like you want. If you’re going to bring back the Start Menu from Windows 7 to Windows 10, Open Shell is a great option. You can download the latest version of the utility on the project page in GitHub.
Change Windows Explorer settings
Windows Explorer 10 is not much different from a similar component in Windows 7, but Microsoft has applied some extraordinary solutions. As a result, the new Quick Access menu looks more cluttered.
Go to the File menu > Change Folder and Search Settings to put everything back in its place. In the Open File Explorer for option, select this PC.
In the Privacy section, uncheck the boxes next to Show recently used files on the Quick Access Toolbar and Show frequently used folders. You can then manually unpin unnecessary taskbar objects to clear the sidebar.
If you don’t like the Ribbon menu with strange button sizes and clunky navigation, you can collapse it by clicking the arrow in the upper-right corner. You will rarely need this menu because most of its options are available in the context menu of Explorer.
To completely remove the tape from the system, you can use the same Open Shell or a small utility Ribbon Disabler. If you change your mind or something goes wrong, you can return the ribbon menu to its original state.
Abandoning Cloud Services
In Windows 10, support for the digital assistant Cortana and cloud storage OneDrive has appeared. If you do not use these functions and do not want them to interfere with you, you can use several options.
You can turn off OneDrive by right-clicking the icon and selecting Settings. Then, in the Account tab, click the Unlink this computer link. To completely uninstall the OneDrive client, go to the Settings app > Apps.
With Cortana, it’s even more accessible. If you’re using English, you can turn off the assistant when you first install Windows 10 or go to the Settings app > Cortana.
Clearing the Taskbar
The taskbar in Windows 10 contains many unnecessary elements that are easily accessible using hotkeys: the search box, Cortana, the task view button. True, it is not difficult to remove them. Right-click the taskbar and select Search > Hidden. Then uncheck the box next to Show the View tasks button. If you want, you can remove the standard application shortcuts on the taskbar, replacing them with shortcuts to frequently used programs.
Using a local account
Windows 10 recommends that you sign in with a Microsoft account. In this case, you can synchronize your settings between different devices. If you prefer the simplicity of local recording, you can customize it.
When installing Windows 10 Pro, the option to use an offline account (or the option to join a domain) is available, but this feature has been removed in the Home edition. If you disconnect your computer from the Internet, you can still create a local account.
If you’ve already installed Windows 10 and signed in with a Microsoft account, you can convert it to a local account by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign in with a local account instead.
Get Rid of the Lock Screen
As beautiful as the lock screen photos are, the screen itself can be annoying – after all, it adds one extra click to get to the desktop. In the Windows 10 settings interface, there is no way to disable the lock screen, and this is where the system registry comes to our rescue.
- Open the Start menu, type regedit, and then start Registry Editor.
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
- Right-click on the Windows folder in the sidebar and select New > Key. Name the section Personalization.
- Then, under Personalization, right-click in the right pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Options. Name the parameter NoLockScreen and set its value to 1.
After following these steps, you will no longer see the lock screen.
Note:If possible, use face or fingerprint unlock – it’s faster than entering a password and allows you to bypass the lock screen.
Turn off Automatic Updates
Windows 10 has a not-so-simple history with automatic updates, but things have improved over the years. The Activity Period feature allows you to control when Windows 10 can install updates and reboot, so the system won’t randomly shut down in the middle of your work.
Go to Settings > Update & Security > Change Activity Period to set up an active clock. Note that updates will still be installed automatically, but this will happen in the middle of the night. Reboots will be performed when you are not using a PC.
If this state of affairs is still unacceptable for you, you can postpone updates for a certain period. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Advanced Settings. By postponing updates for a few days, you can be sure that you will have enough time to save work progress and manually start the update procedure.
Remember to install updates promptly, or you may miss essential security patches.
There’s no doubt that Windows 10 collects more data about users than Windows 7. Although a few years ago, Microsoft added some of this telemetry to Windows 7, Windows 10 has succeeded in this area much more. If you intend to update, pay special attention to what personal information Microsoft has access to.
Here are some other personalizations that you can use:
How to Remove Preinstalled Applications in Windows 10: 4 Step Easy Guide
I hope this guide on How to Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows 7 was helpful. I am sure you have certainly achieved what you were looking for. There may be many more enhancements that we can test and Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows 7. If you know any other ways, do comment down below.