Taking Your Windows Desktop Back to 2001

29th March 2017 by in category IT Support Blog, Microsoft Windows with 0 and 2

From a Windows 10 desktop to an XP style Windows Desktop in a few clicks

Back to the Future time machine Delorean (and retro Windows Desktop blog post image).

“If I could turn back time…” I would worry about my rendition of the Cher number than taking my copy of Windows back to a 2001 desktop style.

Windows 10 is the world’s most downloaded version of Microsoft’s operating system. The figure is helped in no small part by its limited free download offer. It has the sleekest user interface to date with the latest features building on the best aspects of its predecessors. In eight years, we have gone from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and, in that period, drifted away from the XP inspired Windows desktop.

Or have we? In fact, you can have a Windows XP style in Windows 10. To take your Windows desktop back to 2001:

  • Open the Settings menu;
  • Then, click on the Personalization, Themes, and Desktop icon settings links.
  • On clicking the Desktop icon settings link, you will see five checkboxes: Computer, User’s File, Recycle Bin, Control Panel, and Network;
  • Click the Apply button;
  • Click OK to confirm.

Other ways of taking your Windows desktop back in time

Another alternative is Classic Shell. Once downloaded from their website, you can choose from three classic looks. You can take your Windows desktop back to 2009 with a Windows 7 look, or to 2001 in Windows XP mode. Translations are also available. Before you install Classic Shell’s triple pack of skins, you need to go into Settings and make sure the Show color on task bar link is enabled.

If you miss the old style Start button and taskbar (seen on Windows versions from 1995 to 2007), Start10 offers a neat compromise for Windows 10 users. There is also a choice of colour styles and photographic images. For Windows 8 users, Start8 offers similar features. Both Start8 and Start10 not only offer a middle ground between Windows XP and the later versions. Perhaps our friends at Microsoft should have kept the heuristics of the XP menu by default.

Tabard IT, 29 March 2017.

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