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Classic Shell is a program that recovers classic Windows start menu into Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Without a doubt, Microsoft operating systems have evolved over time, and this evolution brings changes. Some changes are well received, and others not so much. The change in start menu that took place in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, is one of the changes that most critics have had, since the new start menu lose some functionality, making it less usable than their predecessors.

Thanks to Classic Shell we will be able to recover the classic start menu in Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users, have seen how the classic start menu has disappeared from the interface of Microsoft Operating System. By using certain configurations we can get a similar behavior to the start menu in previous versions of Windows. Even so, it's not the Windows classic start menu.

When we start the program settings, we can select 3 different start menu:

  • Classic style: this style shows the most classic start menu of all, the one that was introduced in Windows 95. We can and also organize menu items.
  • Classic style with 2 columns: this style is the one that uses Windows XP, which adds a right column with a list of items accessed frequently.
  • Windows 7 Style: this is the most modern of the styles offered in this program. Our start menu will become the same of Windows 7. Obviously this style is useful if we're using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Selecting one of the previous styles, we will get the classic start menu. However, we can still configure more options. In “Basic Configuration” we can set following settings:

  • Action to be executed when Click or Shift+Click on the start menu icon. We will be able to choose between display start menu or display Windows startup screen.
  • Show list of favorites
  • Show recently used documents
  • Show logout button
  • Show search box
  • Avoid Metro home screen: this will display desktop when we start Windows 8 and 8.1.
  • Customize appearance (Skin): we have various options such as; show small icons, large fonts, disable transparency, etc.

If we activate “Advanced Settings”, we will see multiple options that let us to configure any detail in the start menu.

In addition to configure start menu, Classic Shell offers us the possibility to customize Windows file explorer. We will be able to select the buttons displayed on the toolbar, choose the type of navigation or customize the status bar.It is also worth mentioning that the program can set certain properties of Internet Explorer.

We can make a backup of the configuration at any time. The backup consists of an XML file which contains the settings, and we will be able to retrieve at any time.

The program includes the option of automatic updates. This program is free for personal and professional use.

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