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Description

Classic Shell is a freeware application (initially released under a Open Source license) that allows you to restore a set of features (such as the classic start menu, start button, toolbar for Windows Explorer etc.) that were removed from the newer versions of Microsoft Windows OS. Although, the main purpose is to offer you access to missing features (available at older Windows versions) through its own interface, this program does not modify your Windows registry settings or replace your original OS files. Here you can check the main features (new features are being added and improved with each new version: check release history here):

Classic Start Menu main features

- choose between “Classic style” (or classic with two columns) and “Windows 7” styles
- drag and drop to organize your applications
- show "Favorites", expand Control Panel, etc.
- show recently used documents; you can customize the number of documents that you want to display
- program was translated in 35 languages.
- the original start menu in Windows is not disabled; you can launch it using "Shift+Click" on the start button.
- support for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
- support for 3rd party skins (you can customize your own skin).
- you can show, search and launch Windows Store apps in Windows 8.
- customize the start button etc.

Classic Explorer main features

- add a customizable toolbar to Explorer for common operations (cut, copy, paste, delete, properties etc.)
- replace the copy UI in Windows 7 with a more user-friendly “classic” version similar to Windows XP.
- options to customize the folder panel to look like the Windows XP version.
- show the free disk space and the total size of selected files in the status bar
- ability to disable the breadcrumbs in the address bar
- fixed a list of features broken in Windows: missing icon overlay for shared folders, jumping folders in the navigation pane, missing sorting headers in list view etc.

Classic IE main features

Note: this plugin won't be available if Internet Explorer 9 or a later version is not installed on your operating system.

- a caption has been added to the title bar so you can see the full title of the page
- view the security zone and also the loading progress in the status bar.

Classic Shell Review

Installation: Download the latest Classic Shell version and launch the setup file. There's nothing malicious or bundled in this app, so just hit the "Next" button. The application will install in a few seconds.

Configuration: Next time when you will click on Windows start button a new window named "Settings for Classic Start Menu" will appear. From this window, you have multiple tabs that allow you configure your Microsoft Windows OS. For example, the first tab named "Start Menu Style" allow you to choose between a "Classic style", "Classic with two columns" or the "Windows 7 style". You can even replace or customize Windows start button. The second tab - "Basic Settings" allows you to customize several keyboard shortcuts and other Windows settings. Other tabs such as "Skin" or "Customize Start Menu" allows you to customize Windows even more.

If you don't think you have enough options available, uncheck the box named "Show all settings" (located on the right-side of the search box) and there you go: you have access to all Classic Shell settings. That would be it - everything is intuitive but if you encounter a problem, check the FAQ section and if there's no answer, feel free to post or search your issue on Classic Shell forum.

Note: You can access Classic Shell settings anytime. Just type the word "Classic" in the search window and you should be able to see both "Start Menu" and "Explorer" settings.

Conclusion: There's nothing complicated regarding both steps: setup and configuration. Everything is intuitive and the software does what he promise (eliminates frustration for people coming from an older version of Windows): adds some missing features to Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 (once again, a life saver). Finally, if you like this application (I did - especially as a Windows 8 user), I am sure that the author will appreciate each donation as a thank you for his work.

Found this software useful? Please consider a donation to the author.

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