Application: Classic Shell

I couldn't find a thread about this application, and wanted to know a few things about it before I install it.

Will it make all kinds of changes to my system when I install it, or will it leave everything default, and let me choose what to change?
How will this affect non Microsoft applications?
Are there any downfalls to running this application? IE mandatory changes to do other changes, say I want to use a skin it comes with but mandatory have to use the classic start menu.

Hope that all made since.


Extraordinary Member
I've used this on my Windows 7 64bit with no issues. In fact, it's in my top ten re-install programs list. If I remember correctly, when you install, it will change your start menu to its own default menu, this is easy enough to change back to the Win 7 start menu. You can then, if you wish, set up keyboard shortcuts to access its own menu where you can easily adjust settings.

I primarily use it to give the old fashioned (XP) all programs option as I don't like the Win7 way of doing things (luddite!!).

It will drop a browser helper in your IE files, which, if disabled will render the program inoperative. You can also add an access to the settings in your Win7 Windows Explorer (not IE) Menus toolbar. Some of the settings may not be totally obvious, but the help pages are an excellent reference point.

N.B. I'm using v2.8.3 which is probably well out dated by now!!


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Neat. I really want to use it for the XP style cascading menus, I like that, and if I can customize the start menu itself. IE reorganize and such. But the cascading menus is enough for me to install it. Thanks Elmer, oh and by the way, look me up on facebook, and don't forget to subscribe. ROTFLMAO

Think of the Classic Shell as just another 'Theme'. It installs just like any other program and if you don't like it, you can uninstall it like any other program. No fault, No foul.

I love it and won't set up Windows 7 without it. Just like I shut off UAC and install "Take Ownership", plus several other registry tweaks to greatly improve performance.

Good Luck,
Old Timer :cool:

Thanks OldTimer. I got it and installed it, I love that you can choose to use the classic or the new on the fly. That is so cool. Even adding transparency to the all programs menu. I like it. Don't think I will go to not having it again. :-D

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
I have several Netbooks some are Windows 7 and the other two are Windows XP,which I bought this year. And on Windows XP there is the option to switch to the classic start menu. That is found in older versions of Windows,Windows,2000,98 and 95. But I found that I did not like the classic start menu and switched back to the Windows XP start menu.

For a start,the classic start menu is not very customisable. That is you can't change the folder names such as Documents to your own name, but you can in the normal Windows start menu. And you cannot display the items you want, like in the Windows start menu. Also it is not user friendly and quite ugly to look at.

But the Windows start menu is much more customisable as you can make the icons larger or smaller. And it fits in more with the modern operating systems that is Windows XP,Windows Vista and Windows 7. And the features of the modern Windows XP start menu have carried through to Windows 7. Where you can make the list of items you have pinned to the start menu,smaller icons. Like I have done which makes it look like a list and the only difference with the Windows 7 start menu. Is that it has just the item list in one row, not two rows like on Windows XP.You just browse the program list and pinned items by clicking all programs.

And yes, I have tried Classic Shell on Windows 7, and I had the same problems with the classic start menu as I had on Windows XP. And also Classic Shell is supposed to be let you switch to the Windows Vista and Windows XP themes, as well as Windows 7 theme. But I found that after a short time using it,the feature stopped working and would not switch themes. A sure sign of a bug in the software,so I uninstaled Classic Shell.

But my view is that we don't need the classic start menu on Windows XP Windows Vista or Windows 7, as we already have a modern start menu on these three operating systems. And you can switch your theme to Windows classic on both Windows XP and Windows 7. As I do on Windows 7, as I hate the Areo theme. And on Windows Classic theme setting you can change the desktop and task bar color and text to any color you want.

And use the modern start menu of course. A much better option than the outdated classic start menu. And as I only got my first computer,a Windows 7 Netbook last year. I have never used the classic start menu. so I have always known the modern Windows start menu.

The classic start menu would be all right on Windows 2000,where there is no choice but to use it, as it is all they have. But it is out of touch with today's modern computing. Which is probably why most people do not use it on Windows XP or Windows 7. Andrea Borman.

I have heard about you. You are very infamous around this site. Especially for your comments about not antiviruses and malware protection. I just never thought I would get to see a post by you on anything that I wrote. I was starting to wonder if you had been banned LoL Anyway.

A lot of people that use Windows are old school old timers. They remember when a computer had the same amount of RAM as a processor has cache today. They like the old setup, for what ever reason they have. Granted there are not as much features as there are in the Luna start menu, but the great thing about computing is, you can run yours how ever you want to. I put Classic Shell on my PC for better transparency effects, not quite what I hoped for, but it was good enough. Also I wanted to have the cascading all programs menu, that was striped out of 7. The fact that the classic start menu is there was just an addition. Just because it is old doesn't mean it is useless. Look at the old Mac OSX interface, same as it was in 2001, and probably will be for a long time.

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
Well, the desktop theme and color scheme including the task bar and start menu style is a matter of personal preference.

I myself don't have the Areo theme on my Windows 7 as it is just too much to look at. So I have theme on Windows Classic,where you can change the desktop,task bar and start menu to any color you want using the color picker. So I have a pink desktop,and a pale blue taskbar and start menu. And another of my laptops has got a lavender color desktop with a purple taskbar and start menu. Very nice to look at, and on Windows XP you can also change the desktop color in Windows XP basic theme or Windows Classic setting. Where you can also change the text,taskbar and start menu color on Windows Classic. As I don't like the default wallpaper theme on Windows XP either.

But obviously if you have got Windows 2000 or earlier versions of Windows like Windows 98 or 95,then you would just get the classic start menu. As it is all that they had back then when it was made. Although you may be able to install additional software to change the start menu or desktop theme. If you can find a program that supports Windows 2000,98 or 95.

But I have always known the modern start menu on both Windows XP and Windows 7. And my problem I had was with the software Classic Shell itself, not the classic start menu. As what I found annoying was that Classic Shell said that it also changes the start menu to Windows XP and Windows Vista style and some other themes. And that you could switch between themes. But I found that after a short time of using Classic Shell the themes would not change.

There are other software that you can use instead of Classic Shell that enable the classic start menu but most of them are not free. They are only free for a trial period and then you have to pay for it if you want to carry on using the software. And I don't see why I should have to pay for a software simply to change the start menu theme.

And as for the anti virus thing,I have not had a single computer virus on my Windows 7 or Windows XP computers. And no,I don't have any anti virus software on my Windows 7 or Windows XP laptops. Andrea Borman.

Okay its called Luna, not basic, or new, XP, or Aero. The theme is called Luna. Aero is the 3D engine for the desktop. To which you can change colors as well. It give you slide bars to do that, and somewhere there is a hex chart to change the colors to what you want. In Windows 7 it was the first to change the taskbar to the same color as the window borders.

With the start menu it is a personal preference. To each their own.

Yea we wont even get on the Antivirus subject here.

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Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
Well,here is a picture of my Windows 7 desktop which shows my start menu set on Windows Classic theme in my own colors.


By default the pin to start menu items are set as large items.But I have set mine as small items making the items I have pinned to my start menu look like my own personal list. So what do you think?

By the way I took the picture of my Windows 7 desktop with PSR- personal screen recorder which comes bundled with Windows 7. And as you can see, if you set your theme to Windows Classic you can customise your desktop,taskbar and start menu to any color you want. Andrea Borman.


Extraordinary Member
My current Aero Start Menu, using the 3rd party Classic Shell. With all colours set to how I like. With transparency.

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
Yes, I have tried Classic Shell but it does not work so good. It is meant to be able to change themes from classic theme to Windows XP and Windows Vista theme. But I have found that it does not switch the themes like it should. But as I said before this is due to a fault in the software Classic Shell not the computer. As I have had the same problems on my other Windows 7 Netbooks.

On Windows XP,the classic start menu setting is included in the operating system. So you don't have to install any third party software. And on Windows XP you can also switch to Windows Classic theme and change with the normal start menu,just like you can on windows 7 and change the desktop and taskbar color.

I have tried other software besides Classic Shell but that does not work either. As every time I restart my computer,the normal Windows 7 start menu comes back. I think it would have been better if the classic start menu setting had been included in Windows 7,like it is in Windows XP. But a lot of software and extra features were taken out of Windows Vista and this continued with further features that Microsoft thought were not needed in Windows 7.And compared to Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are a more stripped down version of Windows. But I would like to see more choice of software bundled in Windows 7 just like they have in Windows XP.

But then Windows XP takes up less space on the hard drive than Windows 7 does, they say. But on the modern start menu you can rename items in the start menu on both Windows XP and Windows 7,such as My Documents, to a name of your choice. But you cannot do this in classic start menu mode.And the classic start menu also shows hidden files which I don't think is a good idea. And does have limited functions,compared to the modern start menu. Andrea Borman.


Extraordinary Member
On Windows XP,the classic start menu setting is included in the operating system.
Think you are missing the point. It's not "Classic" as in XP. It's "Classic" as in the name of the program. If I wanted a "Classic XP menu" I wouldn't have moved up to 7. I mean, what would be the point? I install the "Classic" program, not XP menu, as I prefer the linked menu.

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
Well,at least we have got a start menu on all versions of Windows,even Windows 95. And at least, even if you have only got Windows 95 with the classic start menu,you can still find your way around the settings.

But there is talk of this Windows 8, which I have read,they want to make with NO START MENU AT ALL. And one of the reasons why I and other people find Windows so user friendly is-unlike Linux and Mac- Windows has a start menu. And with me,that is the whole thing. As I would be lost without it,as I would not be able to navigate around the computer and program settings. And I would find it difficult to access everything,including my installed programs as I would not be able to find them easy.

That is why I am NEVER going to upgrade to Windows 8. And as I have now got several Netbooks,both Windows 7 and two Windows XP Netbooks. With any luck my netbooks will last for many years and I will never have to buy a Windows 8 computer. Which I will have trouble using,unless they make it like Windows 7 or Windows XP. Andrea Borman.

Okay, first off, you are buying and using netbooks. They are not suited to run anything over Windows Vista/7 starter and the manufacturer is stupid for putting it on them. Next you are wanting your netbooks to last you years. HOLY CHEESE AND *** CRACKER BATMAN!!! It ain't going to happen. You are buying at best a duel core 1.8, with a maximum of 2 Gigs of system memory. I would be surprised if your OS lasts more than a year and a half...two years tops without major problems. Then you run in to the growing needs of the Windows OS, the older the install is, the more resources it uses. With the advancement of flash, java, html, all the technologies on the web, it takes a lot of resources. Those netbooks are obsolete now. I would give them, oh, say three years, at the most, and they wont be good more much more than a paperweight. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life. Sit BooBoo Sit....good dog.

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
First of all,the one disadvantage of a Windows 7 Netbook is that they only come with Windows 7 Starter.Which unless you install third party software like Oceanis or Personalization Panel,like I have done,you cannot change the wallpaper. Where as on a Windows XP Netbook you can change the wallpaper. I have got Windows XP Home Edition on both my Windows XP Netbooks. Which does let me change the wallpaper and has additional theme support,that Windows 7 does not have.

But you can also upgrade Windows 7 Starter to a higher edition of Windows 7,which I have done on two of my Netbooks,to Windows 7 Professional. But as far as I know,Classic Shell and other software that enables the classic start menu will work on Windows 7 Starter.

I now have 6 Netbooks,4 Windows 7,2 of which were given to me as presents. And two Windows XP Netbooks,making 6 in all. And with 6 Netbooks I think they won't ware out so quickly. Unlike if you have one computer that you use all the time.
But I hope if I do have to buy a new computer,I never have to buy Windows 8. Because I won't know how to use it. After what I read about Windows 8,I want to stay on Windows 7 for the rest of my life. Andrea Borman.

Unless you are running Linux in a cluster computer setting, it is irrelevant how many computers you have. It is about the hardware that are on them. I got a new computer because I needed better hardware, not because I wanted more computers. When you buy a new computer you have to look at the capabilities vs the cost. Netbooks are okay for checking email, and maybe writing a letter or something, but they have atrocious processors, memory, and graphics cards. With web browsers moving to the graphics card to render pages, it is very important to have a top notch card. It would be better to get a computer that is powerful and will last for 5-10 years on the same setup than a computer that is cheap and will last maybe 3-5, with upgrades. You can never have to much power.

Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
Well,I have found that you can run all of the software on a Netbook the same as you can on a full sized laptop. Obviously,you don't have as much space on your hard drive as a full sized computer. But you can still get all of your web browsers,chat messengers and media players on a Netbook.

As for running Linux,I have tried that too, but I uninstalled Linux. And gave up on Linux a long time ago,as I did not know how to use it. My Netbooks are all new, so they do have the latest hardware,even the Windows XP ones. So they should last. But I don't need Windows 8 and neither does anybody else.

Windows 7 is perfect and I don't know why they want to make Windows 8,when everybody is happy with Windows 7. Andrea Borman.

The "new" hardware on a netbook is about 3 to 4 years out of date. In other words OLD AS DIRT. Just like a Mac, it uses out of date hardware and so it is cheaper and calls itself cutting edge just cause it uses less power and is smaller. Smaller is not always newer. Hard drive size doesn't matter. You can put the same hard drives in a netbook as you can a full size laptop or a mini laptop. Just have to use a disk image software or reinstall the OS and start from scratch. Depending on the distrobution that you get, running Linux can be as simple or as hard as you want it to be. It all depends on the user. That is what makes it so tech friendly and end user unfriendly. Linux is for people that know how to use computers to the fullest potential. Not necessarily a bad thing if you don't know how to use it. If you want to start computers a career and not just to play, I would suggest leaning Linux/GNU/Unix/Mac OS along side with Windows. Some one that can Multi-platform is worth gold to a system administrator. That means more times they can send that person to a ticket without any kind of reference documentation, also the less likely that they will come back with the ticket still unresolved.

Also, Windows 7 is far from perfect, but it is still better than some releases of Windows. When you talk about limited functionality in Windows Starter, that is on purpose. It is meant to run on out of date computers.

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Andrea Borman

Honorable Member
I have written a thread about the problems I had with Linux here on this forums,see here-

And I also on Linux it did not even recognise my Internet connection,so I could not even connect to the Internet on Linux. At least Linux Mint had a start menu,but it was not very user friendly like Windows. As for Mac,number one, a Mac laptop is about 1000pounds which I cannot afford, and two, it is too complicated to use. Now I have read that they are going to make Windows 8 look like Mac with no start menu. And if that is so-how am I supposed to be able to know how to use it,with no start menu? That is why I don't want to get Windows 8.

But now in England,they have stopped making Windows XP and Windows Vista computers and laptops a few months ago. So I was lucky to get my 2 Windows XP Netbooks,which I bought in May and June this year.Which were the last in the store.

But I hope when Windows 8 comes out that they don't stop making Windows 7. Because if they do we will all be stuck on a confusing and hard to use Windows 8. And I don't want that to happen. I have also seen video previews of Windows 8 on You Tube, and it seems that they do want to make it look like Mac, and with no start menu. And if that is so I know, I will not know how to use it. As well as the fact that all of the software we have now which is made for Windows XP and Windows Vista,works on Windows 7. But it might not work on Windows 8.

One of the good things about Windows 7 is that all of the software on Windows XP works on Windows 7. For example Windows Live Messenger for Windows XP,Advanced browser,Windows Movie Maker 2.6 for Windows Vista. Which is a clone of Windows XPs Movie maker 2.1 all work on Windows 7.

But maybe none of these software will work on Windows 8,as well as the fact,that if they do make it like people say they are going to,it will not be the Windows we know and understand. Or at least I will not understand how to use. it. Andrea Borman.

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