Posted by on November 24, 2017

How to get the easy-to-use Windows 7 Style Start Menu back!

One of the biggest complaints I hear about Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 is how Microsoft updated and changed the Windows Start Menu.  People find themselves frustrated when trying to find their documents, pictures, printers, control panel, etc.  Even shutting down or restarting the PC is dramatically different from the way Windows 7 and XP operated.

Instructional Video Below: 

Here’s great news:   You can download and install a free program from CLASSICSHELL.NET that will switch your Windows Start Menu back to the classic style used in Windows 7 and Windows XP.  The program is very easy to install.

Installation Instructions:

  • Open an Internet browser and go to the following website address:
  • Click the blue “Download Now!” button: Website
  • The file should start downloading automatically when the next page appears.  If not, wait a few seconds and then click the first item in the list titled:  Download Classic Shell Installer (English)
  • Run the file after it has finished downloading.
  • The installation is simple.  Click “Next”, agree to the license agreement and click “Next” again.
  • OPTIONAL: On the next screen that appears, I like to disable the “Classic Explorer” and “Classic IE” features.  To do this, click on the drop down menu next to each of the two items and set them to “Entire feature will be unavailable”.  It will look like the Website Example 2
  • Click “Next”, then click “Install”
  • Wait a short while and then Click the “Finish” button
  • A ReadMe document will appear after the installation is complete.  Close or minimize the document.
  • IMPORTANT:  The next time you click the Windows Start Button or tap the Windows Key on your keyboard, the ClassicShell.Net configuration screen will appear.  It will look like the following: Website Example 3
  • Don’t change any of the settings on this page. Only click the OK button to continue.  If you select any of the replacement start button icons, you will be stuck with an unusual looking start button forever.
  • At this point you should be finished.  Follow any other prompts that may remain.  Click on your Windows Start Button to view the new Windows 7 style start menu you just installed. Website Example 4
  • If you need to access the original Windows 8/8.1/10 style menu, simply click on the top-left item in the list, titled “Start Menu (Windows).

Enjoy using your new classic style start menu and your new-found sanity!   🙂

Jason E. Bagnell, President
JB Computer Services, Inc.