Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Productivity

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Restoring the Old Windows Look

If you prefer the appearance of Windows 98/2000 to Windows Vista's redesigned look, you can revert to the classic look (Figure 4.77). I've collected the settings here for quick reference. They apply only to the logged-on user.

Figure 4.77

Figure 4.77 A Windows Vista desktop with the classic Start menu, Control Panel, and visual style.

To switch to the classic Start menu:

  • Right-click the Start button > Properties > Classic Start Menu > click OK (Figure 4.78).
    Figure 4.78

    Figure 4.78 This setting activates the classic single-column Start menu.

To switch to classic Control Panel view:

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Classic View (on the left) (Figure 4.79).
    Figure 4.79

    Figure 4.79 Classic view removes the extra layer of fluff in category view, but Control Panel's Search box won't work as well.

To show the menu bar and hide the Details and Preview panes in all folder windows:

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options > General tab > Use Windows Classic Folders (Figure 4.80).
    Figure 4.80

    Figure 4.80 This Classic Folders option shows the classic menu bar and hides space-consuming panes in folder windows. The Same Window option keeps your desktop from becoming cluttered with folder windows.

To browse folders by using a single window:

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options > General tab > Open Each Folder in the Same Window (refer to Figure 4.80).

To switch to the classic interface:

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Window Color and Appearance > Open Classic Appearance Properties for More Color Options > Windows Classic color scheme (Figure 4.81).
    Figure 4.81

    Figure 4.81 This setting restores the squared-off, muted look of windows and buttons. Click the Advanced button to change the appearance of individual elements.

To show system icons on the desktop:

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Change Desktop Icons (on the left) > Desktop Icons section (Figure 4.82).
    Figure 4.82

    Figure 4.82 Check the icons that you want to appear on your desktop.

To use earlier versions of desktop icons:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Change Desktop Icons (on the left).
  2. Select an icon and click Change Icon.
  3. Browse to \Windows\System32\shell32.dll, which contains most of the old icons (Figure 4.83).
    Figure 4.83

    Figure 4.83 Windows Vista still contains a treasure trove of classic-style icons, if you want to go retro.

  4. Select an icon and click OK.

To use classic mouse pointers:

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Mouse Pointers, and choose (None) from the Scheme drop-down list.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account