Windows 8 and Windows 10 have been controversial Operating Systems since they were released. If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10 and the interface has been frustrating to navigate through then read on to find out how to fix Microsoft’s mistakes with making Windows 8 or Windows 10 more efficient to use.
If you wish to customize Windows 8 or Windows 10 and have it behave like Windows 7 then you will need to perform the following tweaks and changes to the Operating System:
1. Download and install a Start Menu replacement for Windows 8 or Windows 10. I would recommend downloading and installing Start Is Back or Start8 / Start10.
2. Next, download and install Classic Shell which adds some more functionality to Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Install all of the components except for the Classic Start Menu since the Start Is Back or the Start8 / Start10 program is better than Classic Shells Start Menu. Download and install it from here, Classic Shell.
3. Download this registry tweak to disable the lock screen in Windows 8 or Windows 10 which is not needed on a PC, How to Disable the Lock Screen in Windows 8 or Windows 10.
4. Download and install the K-Lite Codec Pack which allows Windows to play any video or audio file type using Windows Media Player. The K-Lite codec pack also allows you to play DVD's using the Media Player Classic Home Cinema program without having to configure any other settings. Make sure to uncheck/decline any extra offers in the installation program as they are not needed. Download it from here, K-Lite Codec Pack Standard.
5. If you want to make the User Account Control dialog boxes not dim the screen when they come up then follow the instructions in this link to disable that feature, Make User Account Control (UAC) Stop Blacking Out the Screen in Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista or you can disable User Account Control for administrators only by reading this link, Disable User Account Control (UAC) For Administrators Only.
6. You can set your default programs in Windows 8 and Windows 10 so you do not have to deal with the Modern apps. Follow the instructions in this link, How to Set Your Default Programs in Windows 8 or How to Set Your Default Programs in Windows 10.
7. On the Start Menu / Start Screen, if you will not be using Modern apps then I would recommend uninstalling all of them from your machine so they no longer present a privacy risk. Follow the instructions in this link, How to remove all bundled Modern apps from your user account in Windows 8 or How to remove all bundled apps in Windows 10.
8. You can turn off the privacy features in the interface as well. Follow the instructions in this link, How to Control Your Privacy in Windows 8 or Windows 10 violates your privacy by default, here's how you can protect yourself.
9. You can set up a local user account instead of using a Microsoft account. Follow the instructions in this link, How to Switch from a Microsoft Account to a Local Account in Windows 8 and 8.1 or How to Switch to a Local Account from a Microsoft Account in Windows 10.
10. You can restore the quick launch toolbar on the taskbar if you want by following the instructions in this link, How to Enable or Disable Quick Launch in Windows.
11. Re-enable the F8 key on Windows startup in case you need to access Safe Mode in the future, How to enable the F8 key to start Safe Mode in Windows 8 or Windows 10.
12. In Windows 10, the title bars are white and you cannot change the color in the user interface. If you want to change the title bars to a different color then follow the instructions in this link, Get colored title bars in Windows 10.
13. In Windows 10, Windows Update downloads and installs Windows and Driver updates automatically and you cannot hide certain updates like you could in previous versions of Windows. If there is an update that you want to prevent Windows from installing then follow the instructions in this link, How to Uninstall and Block Updates and Drivers in Windows 10 or if you want to block driver updates from being downloaded and installed entirely in Windows Update then follow the instructions in this link, How to Enable or Disable Including Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10.
14. In Windows 10, Microsoft removed the calculator application in favor of the metro version. If you want to restore the Windows 7 version of the calculator then see this link, Get Calculator from Windows 8 and Windows 7 in Windows 10.
15. In Windows 10, Microsoft hid the Windows Photo Viewer application in favor of the Photos metro app instead. If you want to restore the Windows Photo Viewer then see this link, How to Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10.
16. In Windows 10, Microsoft integrated OneDrive into the operating system. If you will not be using OneDrive then you can disable it by following the instructions in this link, How to Disable OneDrive and Remove It From File Explorer in Windows 10.
17. If you want to read through an informative article on the drawbacks of using the Windows 10 Start Menu compared to previous versions then see this article, The Start Menu Should Be Sacred (But It’s Still a Disaster in Windows 10).
18. Here is an article that talks about all the main problems with Windows 10, Windows 10 is Great, Except for the Parts That Are Terrible.
All the Best and Good Luck!
The PCHF Team
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How to make Windows 8 or Windows 10 behave like Windows 7
Making Windows 8 or Windows 10 behave like Windows 7