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Chapter 4. Personalizing Your Work Environment > Restoring the Old Windows Look

Restoring the Old Windows Look

If you prefer the appearance of Windows 2000, 98, or Me to Windows XP’s redesigned interface, you can revert to the classic look (Figure 4.81). I’ve collected the settings here for quick reference. They apply only to the logged-on user.

Figure 4.81. A Windows XP desktop with the classic Start menu, Control Panel, and visual style.


To switch to the classic Start menu

  • Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Taskbar and Start Menu > Start Menu tab > Classic Start menu option (Figure 4.82).

    Figure 4.82. This setting activates the classic single-column Start menu.


To switch to classic Control Panel view

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel.

2.
In the task pane, click Switch to Classic View (Figure 4.83).

Figure 4.83. Control Panel’s task pane lets you remove the extra layer of fluff in category view.


To hide the task pane in folder windows

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Folder Options > General tab.

2.
In the Tasks section, select Use Windows Classic Folders (Figure 4.84).

Figure 4.84. This option hides the space-consuming task pane in folder windows.


To browse folders by using a single window

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Folder Options > General tab.

2.
In the Browse Folders section, select Open Each Folder in the Same Window (Figure 4.85).

Figure 4.85. This option keeps your desktop from becoming cluttered with folder windows.


To switch to the classic visual style for windows and buttons

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Display > Appearance tab.

2.
From the Windows and Buttons drop-down list, choose Windows Classic Style (Figure 4.86).

Figure 4.86. This setting restores the squared-off, muted look of windows and buttons.


To show My Computer, My Documents, and My Network Places on the desktop

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Display > Desktop tab > Customize Desktop button.

2.
In the Desktop Icons section, select the icons to show (Figure 4.87).

Figure 4.87. The Desktop Items dialog box lets you put system icons back on your desktop.


To use earlier versions of desktop icons

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Display > Desktop tab > Customize Desktop button (refer to Figure 4.87).

2.
Select an icon; click Change Icon; then browse to \Windows\system32\shell32.dll, which contains most of the old icons (Figure 4.88). (\Windows is named \WINNT on some systems.)

Figure 4.88. Windows XP still contains a treasure trove of classic-style icons, if you prefer them.


✓ Tip

  • When you upgrade to XP, Windows Setup hijacks some file-type associations without telling you. Your default program for .htm and .html (web) files, for example, changes to Internet Explorer. To change your settings back, see “Associating Documents with Programs” in Chapter 6.


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