Classic Shell Brings Old XP Kind of Feeling Back in Windows 7, More Particularly to Windows Explorer


First of all, why do we need this old XP kind of feeling back? Well, if you are the person who doesn’t really like the new style and layout of Start menu in Windows 7, or is missing some of the nice feature in windows explorer, you probably want to have that kind of feeling back. And that is when this little free tweak open source project named Classic Shell comes to the rescue.

Classic Shell offers two components that address two separate annoyances that you may find in Windows 7, one for Start Menu while the other for Windows Explorer.

Personally, I like Windows 7 style of start menu and didn’t feel any annoyances of using it at all but I do miss some of the features missing in Windows Explorer, toolbar in particular. So, if you are like me, you can only pick the Windows Explorer component when you install the tool.


Classic Explorer adds a number of cool features that are missing in Windows 7 to Windows Explorer. For example,

  • A toolbar that contains some common operations.
  • An additional Up button.
  • A status bar that shows he free disk space at the bottom of the window.
  • Quick keyboard shortcut Alt+Enter to folder properties.
  • etc. etc.

You won’t see all of them by default until you enable/disable them from the settings. You can right-click on the new added Up button in Windows Explorer to enter the settings page.



And if you want more, click on “More Settings…” link at the bottom of the window and see what more you can tweak.

Now, let’s see what are included after the tool has been installed.


If you are also interested in the XP-style of start menu at the same time, you can install the Classic Start Menu component as well. Once it’s installed, you can see the immediate change to the Start Menu in your Windows 7.


The nice thing about this classic style is that you can actually pick one from 8 default skins to make the menu a bit nicer. And you can build one theme by your own too.


Best of all, it’s free but since it’s an open source project, if you like it, please consider supporting this project. The support button is right next to the download button.



  1. This is the best Windows 7 enhancement by far.

    I wish it also included other things, such as:

    – XP search (7 doesn’t do nearly as good! It won’t search all the files, just some, or if it does, it won’t show you all of them!… Or just add a Locate32 style find as you type search!)

    – Let you drag the corner of an open explorer window to the desktop to create a shortcut to it.

    – Add right-click Explore (I really miss that feature in XP!

    Please, please, please, somebody add the 3 I listed above!

    Help us make 7 perfect, please!

  2. Thaaaaank youuuuu !!!

    It’s a shame that Microsoft don’t let you choose for a XP style classic organisation (My documents etc)

  3. Love Classic Shell!

    But slow computers cannot run Aero.

    Please add ability to change ugly grey color for taskbar for non-aero skin.

    Thank you!

  4. I would not have bought Windows 7 if ClassicShell did not exist … together with FileSearchEX … I got the best of XP and Windows 7.


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