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Windows 10 introduced many updated and the visual design wasn’t spared. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 How to Upgrade to Windows 10 & Take Settings and Apps with You How to Upgrade to Windows 10 & Take Settings and Apps with You Windows 10 is coming and you have a choice to make. Either you upgrade your existing Windows installation, or you can install Windows 10 from scratch. We show you how to migrate to Windows 10... Read More to take advantage of the new functionality, but preferred the aesthetics of Windows 7, there are steps you can take to best mimic the older operating system.

From changing the Start menu to removing the lock screen, you can get Windows 10 looking more how you want it and what you’re used to. The great thing is that the majority of these tweaks can be done without using third-party software.

If you’ve got your own advice to share on getting Windows 10 looking like Windows 7, please be sure to share it with us all in the comments section below.

Start Menu

Windows 8 saw a big transformation to the Start Menu The History of the Windows Start Menu The History of the Windows Start Menu For all the pomp and ceremony surrounding the release of Windows 10, one of the most well-received features of the operating system is the return of an old friend—the Start Menu. Read More . In fact, Menu was dropped for Screen, offering users a tiled-based approach to program access, though Microsoft back-peddled on the decision and reintroduced the Start button come 8.1 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now Windows 8 won't get a native Start Menu after all. But why wait on Microsoft? Here's how you can help yourself with third party tools like Classic Shell or Start8 and other workarounds. Read More . With Windows 10, the more traditional styles of 7 have been combined with the tiles of 8. But for those of us who don’t care for the new look, there’s no in-built way to return to the classic design of the Start Menu.

That’s where a program called Classic Shell comes in. Head to their website, click Download Now and then run the installation wizard. Once installed, perform a system search for classic start menu and select the relevant result.

classic shell settings

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The first screen will allow you to select the style for the Start Menu, so click Windows 7 style. You can then delve into the other tabs, which will let you customize the look and functionality of the Start Menu even further.

For example, click Start Button if you want to use a custom image in the Taskbar. Head to the Customize Start Menu tab to have full control over what quick links will appear on your Start Menu. You can personalize nearly everything and get it functioning and looking exactly how you had it on Windows 7.

Login with a Local Account

Microsoft is very keen to get everyone joining their ecosystem and making full use of their services like OneDrive and Office 365. Part of that means using a Microsoft account 5 Security Tips To Consider When Using a Microsoft Account 5 Security Tips To Consider When Using a Microsoft Account You can't use much of the new Windows 8 user interface without a Microsoft account. The account you for logging into into your computer is now an online account. This raises security concerns. Read More and it’s being pushed in Windows 10, too. It allows your settings and files to be synced across all Windows 10 devices, but those who don’t want to have their user account always connected can opt for a local account instead, like how it was on Windows 7.

local account settings

First, press Windows Key + I to launch Settings and click Accounts. If your account is a Microsoft one, you’ll see Sign in with a local account instead near the top of this window. Click this and you’ll be asked to verify your password. Do so, continuing to follow the wizard through and setting your local username and password. Everything on your account will be the same as before, expect now it’s entirely local.

If you want to add a new local user account, navigate back to the Accounts screen. From here, select Family & other users from the left menu. Then select Add someone else to this PC. A new window will open asking how the new user will sign in, so click The person who I want to add doesn’t have an email address and then on the next screen click Add a user without a Microsoft account. It’s slightly cumbersome to get here, but now you’ll be able to create the new username and password as you follow the wizard through.

Remove the Lock Screen

The Windows 10 lock screen shows things like the date, time and notifications, but it’s really just an extra step before you can get to to the login screen. While it might make sense on mobile devices, there’s no harm getting rid of it on desktop. Doing so will require minor fiddling in the registry, so only proceed if you’re confident in following the instructions.

lock screen

Press Windows Key + R, type regedit, and hit OK. If User Account Control pops up, click OK again. Once the Registry Editor What Is The Windows Registry Editor & How Do I Use It? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is The Windows Registry Editor & How Do I Use It? [MakeUseOf Explains] The Windows registry can be scary at first glance. It’s a place where power users can change a wide variety of settings that aren’t exposed elsewhere. If you’re searching for how to change something in... Read More has opened, navigate to the following section:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Now right click an empty space in the right pane and select New > Key. The key will be highlighted automatically; rename it to Personalization. Select the key you just created, right click in the right pane again and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value NoLockScreen. Double click it, set the Value data to 1 and then click OK.

Your changes will take effect immediately. The lock screen will be disabled and the relevant settings within Windows will be deactivated. If you ever want to re-enable the lock screen, navigate to the NoLockScreen value again and set the value to 0.

Notification Area

Notification icons like the speaker and calendar have seen some visual changes in Windows 10. Using the registry we can change these back to their Windows 7 designs. Again, the registry should be used with caution. Press Windows Key + R, type regedit, and press OK to launch it.

To bring back the old vertical volume control design, navigate to the following registry path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\

Select Edit > New > Key and name it MTCUVC. Then select Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it EnableMtcUvc. Double-click the newly created DWORD, set the Value Data to 0 and click OK.

To bring back the analogue clock and smaller calendar design, navigate to the following registry path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell

Go to Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it UseWin32TrayClockExperience. Next, double-click the DWORD, set the Value Data to 1, and then click OK.

Disable Cortana

Cortana has been promoted heavily with Windows 10. It’s Microsoft’s alternative to Siri and Google Now, a personal assistant that will help you search How to Set Up Cortana & Remove Her in Windows 10 How to Set Up Cortana & Remove Her in Windows 10 Cortana is Microsoft's greatest productivity tool since Office. We'll show you how to get started with Windows 10's digital assistant or how to turn Cortana off for improved privacy. Read More , along with tracking packages, creating calendar events, setting alarms, and more. You might not be using it, but that doesn’t mean Cortana isn’t disabled completely.

cortana settings

Press Windows Key + I to launch Settings, then search for cortana. Select Cortana & Search settings and the relevant options will open from your Taskbar. To disable Cortana, all you need to is set that top slider to Off.

If you want to get rid of the search bar from the Taskbar, which will still be there even if Cortana is disabled, just right click the Taskbar and go to Search > Hidden. Alternatively, you can set it to show only an icon that opens the search when clicked.

Style like Seven

There’s nothing inherently wrong with change, but some elements of Windows 7 looked better than they do in Windows 10. The great thing is that you can mix and match them, picking and choosing from the best of each version.

With Windows 10 applying forced updates Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More , we could see the visual design change down the line without getting a say in it, but hopefully these tweaks will always be available to retain the classic Windows 7 look.

Have you used any of these methods? Do you have your own customization tips to share with us to get Windows 10 looking like Windows 7?

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