Regain the Traditional Start Menu with Classic Shell

Here’s a quick tip for those that may have made the move to Windows 7 before realising the changes to the start menu and the taskbar or otherwise had change thrust upon them without much choice (like your old computer having gone to heaven thus requiring the purchase of a new computer).

One of the fundamental changes in Windows 7 is the taskbar and the start menu and for better or worse for users it’s here to stay. Personally, I love it but also understand that there are people who have known nothing else for the last fifteen years since Windows 95 was released. It was quite a transition from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 but I would also say that the landscape and users at the time would have been more resilient to the change.

Anyway, if you need to cushion yourself from the change there is something you can do.

There is a great utility called Classic Shell that will allow you to apply various themes to your start menu in order to change its presentation and behaviour. One such change you can enable is the traditional start menu from the Windows 95 era and also the Windows XP start menu. You can do this by changing skins in the settings where you’ll also find a bunch of other options which you might find handy.

Settings Screen (Courtesy of Classic Shell)

Settings Screen (Courtesy of Classic Shell)

Basically, you can mix and match the skin and the settings to match your habits as well as how you most efficiently use the start menu. As such, you can get back to a start menu with which you are more familiar but tweak it to your personal preference. To see more of what Classic Shell can do for you, check out the gallery which shows off several examples. Hopefully you will find one to your liking.

At any rate, Windows 7 has been out for twelve months and there really isn’t an excuse not to get it on a new computer. I would still urge you to give the new interface a decent try before using Classic Shell as it will be one less piece of software to install, manage and patch should there be any issues with it in the future.

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