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

Have you recently upgraded to Windows 11 but miss the look and feel of Windows 7? You’re not alone. Many users appreciate the sleek, modern interface of Windows 11 but long for the familiarity of Windows 7. Don’t worry; you can have the best of both worlds! By following a few simple steps, you can make Windows 11 look like Windows 7. Let’s dive into how to do it.

How to Make Windows 11 Look Like Windows 7

The following steps will guide you through customizing your Windows 11 interface to mimic the classic look and feel of Windows 7. We’ll cover everything from changing the Start menu to adjusting the taskbar and even tweaking your system icons. Ready? Let’s go!

Step 1: Download and Install Open-Shell

First, download and install Open-Shell, a free program that lets you customize the Start menu.

Open-Shell is a popular tool that lets you recreate the classic Windows 7 Start menu in Windows 11. Once installed, you’ll have more control over your Start menu’s layout and appearance.

Step 2: Set Up Open-Shell

Configure Open-Shell to use the Windows 7 style template.

After installation, open the Open-Shell settings. Choose the Windows 7 style from the list of available templates. This will immediately change your Start menu to look more like Windows 7.

Step 3: Adjust the Taskbar

Right-click on the taskbar, go to “Taskbar settings,” and align the taskbar icons to the left.

Windows 11 places the taskbar icons in the center by default. To achieve the Windows 7 look, you’ll want to move these icons to the left side. This simple change can make a big difference in the overall feel of your desktop.

Step 4: Change System Icons

Download a Windows 7 icon pack and apply it to your system icons.

There are several icon packs available online that mimic the Windows 7 style. Download one and use a tool like IconPackager to replace your current system icons with those from Windows 7.

Step 5: Apply a Windows 7 Theme

Find and apply a Windows 7 theme to your desktop.

Themes can change your wallpaper, system sounds, and even some window colors. Look for a Windows 7 theme online and apply it to give your desktop a complete makeover.

Step 6: Disable Windows 11 Features

Turn off features like Widgets and Virtual Desktops that are unique to Windows 11.

These features can be distracting if you’re aiming for a Windows 7 look. Go to your system settings and disable any features that don’t align with the classic Windows 7 interface.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your Windows 11 will closely resemble Windows 7. Your desktop will have the familiar Start menu, taskbar, and icons you know and love, while still running the latest Windows operating system.

Tips for Making Windows 11 Look Like Windows 7

  • Backup Your System: Before making any changes, always back up your system to avoid losing important data.
  • Use Trusted Sources: Only download tools and icon packs from reputable websites to avoid malware.
  • Update Regularly: Keep Open-Shell and other customization tools updated to avoid compatibility issues.
  • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try different themes and settings to see what works best for you.
  • Revert Changes: If you don’t like the changes, you can always revert them by uninstalling the tools and resetting your settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use Open-Shell?

Yes, Open-Shell is a well-known and trusted program. However, always download it from the official website to avoid any risks.

Will these changes affect my system performance?

Generally, no. Customizing the look of your desktop doesn’t significantly impact performance. However, always monitor your system to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Can I still get Windows updates after making these changes?

Yes, these changes are purely cosmetic and won’t affect your ability to receive Windows updates.

What if I want to revert to the default Windows 11 interface?

You can easily revert by uninstalling the custom tools and resetting your system settings to default.

Are there other tools besides Open-Shell for customization?

Yes, there are other tools like Classic Shell and StartIsBack, but Open-Shell is one of the most popular and easy to use.


  1. Download and Install Open-Shell.
  2. Set Up Open-Shell.
  3. Adjust the Taskbar.
  4. Change System Icons.
  5. Apply a Windows 7 Theme.
  6. Disable Windows 11 Features.


Making Windows 11 look like Windows 7 is a fantastic way to combine the best features of both operating systems. By following our step-by-step guide, you can enjoy the familiarity of Windows 7 while still benefiting from the enhanced performance and security of Windows 11. Whether you’re a nostalgic user or just prefer the classic look, these tweaks are easy to apply and entirely reversible.

For more tips and tricks on customizing your desktop, check out other articles and resources online. So what are you waiting for? Dive in and start personalizing your Windows 11 experience today. After all, why settle for less when you can have the best of both worlds?

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