Alternatives to Classic Shell

I heard from a reader looking for an alternative to the Windows Classic Shell show program. If you aren’t familiar with Classic Shell, it’s a free download that allows you to give the desktop Windows 7 the look of XP or Windows 8 and 10 the look of Win 7 or XP.

A lot of folks considered it a lifesaver, though sometimes it’s been the bane of my existence because when I give instructions for a particular operating system, they don’t match up with what a user running Classic Shell sees.


The developer behind Classic shell announced late last year that he was no longer going to be actively developing the free program. Partly because he had other interests to pursue and partly because the new Windows 10 policy of two major system update a year made it difficult to keep up with changes.

All is not lost for Classic Shell.  The developer has released the code for others to work with and there’s a community of folks working on it over at this link:

Since there are no programming updates coming to Windows 7, you shouldn’t expect any issues. You might run into some problems with Windows 10, but perhaps the folks over at Github will figure them out.

There’s also an inexpensive alternative called StartIsBack. It’s just $2.99 and there’s a free trial available.  Click here to check it out:


But I have an even more daring suggestion: Get to know and love the Windows 10 Start Menu!  That’s why next week, I’m going to start a special series. We can do this thing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.