Windows 10 is an evolution of earlier operating systems and you can find traces of Windows past if you look close enough. As such, we’ve rounded up some of the remnants from Windows XP that still exist in Microsoft’s newest operating system 14 years on.
While big features like the Start Menu have undergone drastic changes, you can still find pictures of CRT monitors, pixel icons, and retro dialog boxes in certain places.
If you’ve found your own examples of Windows XP still living on in Windows 10, be sure to let us all know in the comments section below.
Screen Saver Settings
Screensavers might now be outdated, but you can still set one. The trouble is, Microsoft hasn’t made it particularly obvious on how to do so. Previous versions of Windows let you get to it through right-clicking the desktop and the Personalization control panel, but not any more. On Windows 10, it’s buried as a link on the lock screen options. However, the quickest access is to do a system search for change screen saver and choose the relevant result.
The selection of screensavers is limited, but it has remained the same since Windows 7 and you can still download retro screensavers online if that takes your fancy. So far, Microsoft hasn’t changed anything about the Screen Saver Settings window. To that extent, the image that’s used to represent your monitor is nearly the same as the one used in Windows XP – back then it had a monitor stand on the bottom too. It’s very unlikely that many people are using Windows 10 on a CRT monitor!
Setting a disk quota is a function that allows system admins to limit the amount of disk space that can be occupied by users. More often used in a business environment than at home, this is a handy setting to stop users filling a drive to its maximum and being warned when that limit is soon to be reached.
To access the quota settings, first view your drives under This PC. Then right-click the drive you want to set a quota for and click Properties. You’ll notice that many of the tabs here have modern icons – bear that in mind. Now select the Quota tab and click Show Quota Settings. You’ll be presented with the Quota Settings window, with a lovely retro traffic light icon to go with it.
Although the Control Panel may have changed over the years, and now with the Settings app becoming the more prominent section, there’s still a hint of Windows XP when you’re uninstalling programs. This one is subtle and you might never come across it, but it’s another example of retro iconography being used in Windows 10. The icon of the computer, box and disc was previously used to represent the “Change or Remove Programs” feature.
Where you’ll see it now is in the error message above, displayed when you try and uninstall two things at once. To see it yourself, do a system search for change or remove a program and select the relevant result. Then, click a program on the list and press Uninstall. Then, with that uninstaller running, go back to the list and do the same thing. Result: the error, complete with a Windows XP style icon.
Google Chrome Passwords
To see this one, you’ll need to have Google Chrome and a password on your Windows user account. Launch Chrome, then input chrome://settings/passwords in the URL bar. This will take you to the area of Chrome where all the passwords you’ve asked the browser to store are kept. Underneath Saved passwords, click Show next to one of your passwords.
This dialog box will open, asking for your Windows password. As you can see, the header image it’s using is straight out of Windows XP. The reason for this is because Chrome is calling on an older Windows API for this action. Although a newer API exists with more modern imagery, Google is probably using the Windows XP API in order to better support older systems.
Do a system search for journal and you’ll come across Windows Journal, an application you might not even have known existed. This tool first came to life in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, a touch-orientated version of the operating sytem which didn’t sell particularly well, allowing users to create and organize their handwritten notes.
You can only save in proprietary file formats and OneNote has basically superseded Journal for note taking, but it’s interesting that this application is still included in Windows 10. In fact, apart from some minor iconography changes that came about in Windows Vista, the program still operates exactly as it did back on Windows XP.
Back to the Past
While it might be odd to see relics from an older operating system appear in Windows 10, it’s still quite fun to get little blasts from the pasts. However, some might argue that it’s poor form from Microsoft to not overhaul everything to bring it up to the modern era.
With Windows 10 being an operating system that is set to constantly evolve, we could find that these traces from Windows XP end up getting removed or changed down the line. But for now they remain, reminding of us of an earlier — and bluer! — time.
Have you noticed any of these before? Have you come across any other remnants from Windows XP within Windows 10?