We have previously published a post about a couple of tools for emulating the XP Start menu in Windows 7: Restore the Classic Start Menu in Windows 7. We have found another free tool called Classic Shell that provides the classic XP Start menu and XP’s Windows Explorer.
Download Classic Shell from http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/.
Installing Classic Shell
To install Classic Shell, double-click the ClassicShellSetup.exe file. During installation, you have a choice to install the Classic Start Menu, the Classic Explorer, or both.
XP Start Menu
Once installed, the XP Start Menu is available.
XP Windows Explorer
When you open Windows Explorer, you will notice that it doesn’t look any different from the Windows 7 version. Classic Shell allows you to add a Classic Explorer Bar to emulate the XP functions. To activate Classic Explorer Bar, right-click on the menu bar and select Classic Explorer Bar from the pop-up menu.
The Classic Explorer Bar is added to the upper-right corner of the Windows Explorer window.
To change settings for Classic Explorer click the Classic Explorer Settings button on the right end of the toolbar. The Settings for Classic Explorer dialog box displays. Change the desired settings and click OK.
When you change the Navigation pane style, the change does not take effect until you restart Windows Explorer.
Copying and Replacing Files Using Classic Explorer
When you copy a file in Windows 7 and try to paste it over a file with the same name, a complicated and not very usable Copy File dialog box displays asking you what you want to do.
It may not be clear to a beginner Windows user what to do. If you want to use the classic Confirm File Replace dialog box instead, select the Enable classic copy UI check box on the Settings for Classic Explorer dialog box.
Now, when you copy and replace a file, the classic Confirm File Replace dialog box displays.
Getting Properties of Folders in the Navigation Pane
In Windows XP, you could use Alt + Enter as a shortcut to access the properties of files in the right pane and of folders in the left, or navigation, pane. However, in Windows 7, you cannot use Alt + Enter to get properties of folders in the navigation pane, only of files and folders in the right pane.
To enable the shortcut for getting properties of folders in the navigation pane, select the Enable Alt + Enter to show properties check box.
Adjusting the Status Bar Display
In Windows 7, the status bar does not show the free disk space and the size of the selected file(s). This can be handy information. To display this information in the status bar, select the Show free space and file size in status bar check box on the Settings for Classic Explorer dialog box.
Hopefully, Classic Shell, will make your transition to Windows 7 easier.
by Lori Kaufman