How to Make Windows 11 Look Like Windows 7: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you missing the classic look of Windows 7 after upgrading to Windows 11? Fear not, because you can actually make Windows 11 look like Windows 7 with a few tweaks. By following some simple steps, you can bring back the familiar aesthetic and functionality of Windows 7 to your new operating system. Let’s dive into how you can achieve this transformation.

Step by Step Tutorial: Making Windows 11 Look Like Windows 7

Before we start, it’s important to understand that these changes are purely cosmetic. The underlying functionality of Windows 11 will remain the same, but the visual appearance will be reminiscent of Windows 7.

Step 1: Change the Start Menu

The first thing you’ll want to do is change the Start Menu to look like Windows 7’s.

To do this, you can use third-party software like StartIsBack or Classic Shell. These programs will replace the Windows 11 Start Menu with a version that looks and feels like the one from Windows 7. After installing one of these applications, simply configure the settings to achieve the desired look.

Step 2: Change the Taskbar

Next, let’s tackle the taskbar.

For a more authentic Windows 7 experience, you can adjust the taskbar to look more traditional. Right-click on the taskbar, go to Taskbar Settings, and select ‘Taskbar behaviors.’ From there, you can move the taskbar to the bottom of the screen and align the icons to the left, just like in Windows 7.

Step 3: Adjust the File Explorer

The File Explorer in Windows 11 is quite different from Windows 7. To change that, you can use OldNewExplorer.

OldNewExplorer is a tool that brings back the classic look of the File Explorer. It allows you to hide the command bar and use the details pane at the bottom of the window, as it was in Windows 7. Install the tool and tweak the settings to your preference.

Step 4: Change the Icons

To complete the look, you’ll want to change the system icons to those from Windows 7.

You can download a Windows 7 icon pack and then manually replace the icons for folders, the recycling bin, and other system icons. To do this, right-click on the desktop, select ‘Personalize’, go to ‘Themes’, and then click on ‘Desktop icon settings’.

Step 5: Apply a Windows 7 Theme

Finally, apply a Windows 7 theme to your Windows 11 system.

Several themes can make your Windows 11 look like Windows 7. These themes will change the window borders, colors, and sounds to match those of Windows 7. You can find these themes on various websites and apply them through the ‘Personalize’ settings on your PC.

After completing these steps, your Windows 11 will have a fresh coat of nostalgia, looking and feeling like the beloved Windows 7. You’ll have the best of both worlds: the modern functionality of Windows 11 with the classic look of Windows 7.

Tips: Enhancing the Windows 7 Look on Windows 11

  • Use a custom wallpaper that resembles the classic Windows 7 background for an even more authentic look.
  • Adjust the mouse cursor to the Windows Aero style from Windows 7 in the mouse properties settings.
  • Consider using a third-party application like Rainmeter to add Widgets that replicate the Windows 7 desktop gadgets.
  • Customize the system sounds to the Windows 7 scheme through the sound settings in the control panel.
  • If you prefer the Windows 7 Control Panel over the Windows 11 Settings app, you can create a shortcut to access it more quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will these changes affect my computer’s performance?

No, these changes are purely cosmetic and will not impact your computer’s performance.

Can I easily revert back to the default Windows 11 look?

Yes, you can revert back by simply uninstalling the third-party software and resetting the settings you’ve changed.

Is it safe to use third-party software to change the Start Menu?

As long as you download the software from a reputable source, it should be safe. Always ensure you’re getting the program from the official website or a trusted platform.

Will changing the file explorer cause any compatibility issues?

No, using tools like OldNewExplorer is designed to work seamlessly with Windows, so it shouldn’t cause any compatibility issues.

Can I get the exact Windows 7 experience on Windows 11?

While you can make Windows 11 look very similar to Windows 7, some differences in functionality and design will remain due to the differences between the two operating systems.


  1. Change the Start Menu with third-party software.
  2. Adjust the taskbar settings.
  3. Use OldNewExplorer for a classic File Explorer look.
  4. Replace the system icons with a Windows 7 icon pack.
  5. Apply a Windows 7 theme to Windows 11.


Transforming Windows 11 to look like Windows 7 is a walk down memory lane for many of us who hold a fondness for the classic design. It’s amazing how a few tweaks and tools can bring back the familiar interface we grew accustomed to over the years. While Windows 11 offers many improvements and new features, it’s understandable that some users might prefer the traditional aesthetics of Windows 7. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Who says you can’t teach an old OS new tricks? Whether it’s for comfort, nostalgia, or simply preference, making Windows 11 look like Windows 7 is a fun and relatively easy project for any Windows enthusiast.

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