If you’ve had the misfortune of hating the “tiled/metro/modern/whatever-they’re-calling-it-this-week” new Windows 8/8.1 interface, don’t despair! If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, and you’re still not a big fan of the overhauled Start Menu, this is for you, too.
One of the best things about a free country is that for any problem, somebody probably has, or will have, a solution for it. Even if the people who made the problem don’t think it’s a problem (Although when enough of their customers complain, they’ll grudgingly admit it may be a problem!).
There are lots of really cool little programs that make your computer more convenient or easier to use. These programs are collectively called “Utilities,” and many are free. They do anything from adding shortcuts to frequently visited areas, to changing the look and “feel” of the computer, to other useful stuff such as making pie charts of where your storage space is going, ripping CDs, synchronizing folders, and lots of other stuff.
The utility we’re going to talk about today is called Classic Shell. I first discovered it when I was new to Windows 7, which is a generally likeable version, but there was one feature of Windows XP I used all the time, that turned out to be missing in 7. That was the ability to select a bunch of files and see the total size of them at the bottom of the folder window. This was very useful when copying files to a flash drive, so that I could know how many files would fit.
After some searching, I found Classic Shell, which solved the problem and allowed lots of tweaks to the Start Menu besides. Since Windows 8, and now Windows 10, came out, many folks. myself included, did not like the “Improvements” Microsoft made to the Start Menu and Desktop. Classic Shell evolved to solve those problems, too. The latest versions will make the Start Menu on either Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 look and work almost identically to the Windows 7 Start Menu, and has so many customizations for users that it boggles the mind. It’ll work great as soon as it’s installed, but if you want to tinker, you can make your Start Menu look exactly the way you want!
If you’re unhappy with your new Start Menu, head over to Classic Shell’s home page and read all about it:
Classic shell is also available on Ninite, my favorite free software hub, although at the time of this writing it’s not available from them for Windows 10, since the code is still being tweaked. You can, however, download it directly from their website and install it on Windows 10.
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I’d love to hear your comments!