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Seeing as Windows 8 is required for Direct X 11.1, which upcoming game titles such as Battlefield 4 can take advantage of, there is greater incentive for users to begin migrating to Windows 8. Users might also want to take advantage of the numerous improvements Windows 8 brings to the table, such as snappier boot times.

With that in mind, I have created this quick guide for making the UI in Windows 8 look and behave like Windows 7 to make the transition painless.

I have detailed the steps I took to make my Windows 8 laptop emulate Windows 7. With these changes, I don't even notice it feels just like Windows 7 for everyday tasks.



1) Download and install ClassicShell
Link: http://www.classicshell.net/

This step is pretty straightforward. Download and install ClassicShell and select the "Windows Vista/7" start menu style after installation. ClassicShell should automatically bypass the Metro start screen at startup. To verify that this setting is enabled, under the "Classic Start Settings" application, navigate to the "Windows 8 Settings" tab and make sure the option for skipping the Metro screen is checked. You can disable the Windows 8 active corners in this tab to prevent accidentally triggering the Metro screen while in desktop mode.

2) Restore the Windows 7 Orb
Link: http://www.classicshell.net/forum/download/file.php?id=65&sid=b0b606f9b26fe350b1c16cd25b6e8f3e

The next step is to restore the Windows 7 start menu orb. After downloading the file, open the Classic Start Settings application and navigate to the "Start Button" tab. Under the settings for "Button Look", select the option for using a custom button. Under the setting for "Button Image", enter the destination path for the Windows 7 Start Orb file you downloaded.

3) Remove the Ribbon from explorer
Link: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/download/Ribbon-Disabler-for-Windows-8,0301-50003.html

Now to remove that annoying ribbon. Download the ribbon disabler application and run the program. You will have to restart your computer afterwards for the changes in your UI to appear.

4) Install Windows 7 theme UI
Link: http://www.uxstyle.com/

And now we move on to removing the flat color/UI scheme and replacing it with an Aero UI theme pack. First download and install the UXstyle. This application will allow you to install custom UI themes in Windows 8.

Link: http://xxinightxx.deviantart.com/art/Windows-7-Vs-REV-D-350491112

Secondly, install the Windows 7 Aero theme from the link above. Copy the contents of the "Themes folder" from the zip file to the following directory: C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

Finally, right click anywhere on your desktop and enter the "Personalization" menu. A host of new themes should now be visible under the category titled "Installed Themes". You can select either "Aero 8 Rounded (Default)" or "Aero 8 Square (Default)" depending on your preference.

5) Restore Aero transparency (Optional)*

Link:http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.204

Download and install WinAeroGlass to restore the transparent windows and borders found in Windows Vista and 7.

*I list this as optional because the application has some bugs. Use at your own risk. Personally, I don't use this feature because it does not always work with all applications.
Edited by Battle4cry - 10/12/13 at 4:14am
Fleet Flagship
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 4670k @4Ghz MSI Z87-G43 MSI GTX 970 Gaming  G.Skill Ares series 8GB (4x2)1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
WD Black 2TB FZEX Crucial M500 240GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 Samsung 22x Writemaster DVD-RW 
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Xigmatek GAIA (dual 120mm fans) Windows 7 Professional x64 Samsung 27 PLS CM Storm Quickfire Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec High Current Gamer 750 Corsair Obsidian 550D Razer Taipan Razer Goliathus Omega 
Audio
Corsair Vengeance 1500v2 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
AMD A8-5545m AMD HD8550G Samsung 8GB 1333mhz Western Digital 1TB 5400rpm 
OS
Windows 8 Home 
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Fleet Flagship
(17 items)
 
Escort Frigate
(5 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 4670k @4Ghz MSI Z87-G43 MSI GTX 970 Gaming  G.Skill Ares series 8GB (4x2)1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
WD Black 2TB FZEX Crucial M500 240GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 Samsung 22x Writemaster DVD-RW 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Xigmatek GAIA (dual 120mm fans) Windows 7 Professional x64 Samsung 27 PLS CM Storm Quickfire Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec High Current Gamer 750 Corsair Obsidian 550D Razer Taipan Razer Goliathus Omega 
Audio
Corsair Vengeance 1500v2 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
AMD A8-5545m AMD HD8550G Samsung 8GB 1333mhz Western Digital 1TB 5400rpm 
OS
Windows 8 Home 
  hide details  
Reply