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make xp look like windows 7Just recently Laurence gave us a little preview of Windows 7 . It looks like it is going to bring major improvements, with the benefit of being just as pretty as Vista. Unless you decide to finally go OS or Linux (I put off Vista because I could not decide), Windows 7 will hopefully make the switch from XP much more interesting and rewarding.

In the meantime, here are a few possibilities how you can get the Windows 7 look and feel onto your desktop today. This is primarily targeted at those of you who are skipping Vista.


This is the most simple way to get a refreshing look onto your desktop. Just get a wallpaper. The most beautiful ones can be found on deviantART, such as The Windows Se7en Pack 1 and Pack 2 .

windows 7 wallpaper background images

Seven Calculator (XP, Vista)

This tool is not fully completed and it doesn’t have the same functionalities as the Windows 7 calculator. But it looks just like it and the standard mode (basic functions) works fine. It requires .Net framework and it’s open source, so if you know Visual Basic, you can go ahead and edit it.


Vista users are in luck, a much better calculator is available for them, look here.

AeroSnap (XP)

In Windows 7, windows are going to behave differently compared to what you are used to from XP. AeroSnap simulates this Windows 7 behavior. When you drag a window to the left or right border of your desktop, it will snap to that side and take over 50% of the screen width and 100% from bottom to top. When you drag the window to the top of the screen it will maximize. Dragging the window away from the respective edge will restore its previous size. Keep in mind that it only works when the mouse hits the screen border while dragging the window. Below is a video to better demonstrate how it looks like.

Vienna Transformation Pack (XP)

vienna transformation pack This is not as comfortable to install as some other transformation packs. Rather you install each module separately. The advantage is that you can select just the parts you like. Fortunately, the installation guide is very detailed, so even inexperienced users will not hit the wall.

The Vienna Transformation Pack comes with a selection of four bootskins, a logon screen, icons, a menu bar styler (seen in the top left), cursors, sounds, wallpapers, a visual style or theme, and either the Vienna navigator or the Vienna toolbar (pictured below), which essentially both have the same functions. With the navigator you can move around the items individually, while with the toolbar they are all locked down on their spot.

vienna transformation

That concludes the selection. Let me mention that there are several more transformation packs and themes available that claim to look like Windows 7. In reality they all look terribly like Vista and the ones I tried seem a little buggy on top of that.

If you’re interested in the latest Windows 7 developments, check out the Windows 7 News blog.

What feature are you most looking forward to in Windows 7?

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  1. Ravi Shankar
    December 30, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I'm using Seven Remix XP 2.3.1 for the overall visual style of Windows Seven. I also use QT Breadcrumbs for the new addressbar and Vista Drive Icon for the usage bar of HDD as in Win 7.

  2. Windows 7 registry cleaners
    December 10, 2009 at 3:59 am

    Wow thanks very much for this! However, if you go to the lengs of making XPXP look like Windows7, surely it's easier just to install the new OS on your PC?

    • Tina
      December 10, 2009 at 5:25 am

      For that you first have to get your hands on Windows 7.

      But yeah, if you can manage that (legally!!!), installing windows 7 is the better option. :)

  3. marcus
    November 6, 2009 at 3:13 am

    I used windows 7 for a few weeks and loved the improved desktop. for example the ability to mimimise all widows at once and to hover over the base of the screen and see miniatures of the windows you have open. But it was unstable on my laptop. I'd love to see a good simple windows 7 destop emulator for xp to give me back those features on an xp engine.

  4. lawl
    September 21, 2009 at 5:08 am

    thatks it worked

  5. Jay
    April 22, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Thanks for this article. Just suggestion you can also visit some tutorials on WinMatrix forum about "List of Most Vista and Windows 7 Applications and Features for Xp" to make Xp totally like Vista or Seven in both GUI and usability for free. Also there might be some/more original Vista / 7 applications ported to Xp etc! Very helpful for me: and

  6. PJ
    November 21, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    You're using a Mac theme (calculator pic) for an article on how to make XP look like 7?

    • Tina
      November 22, 2008 at 5:51 pm

      The reason the buttons in the top right look like Mac is because I'm using the Flyakite OS transformation pack. So that's individual for each system and will look different on your machine.
      And besides that, the Windows 7 calculator looks exactly like that according to the first screenshots. Source: