PC users who have upgraded to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have been complaining about the lack of Start menu, Explorer toolbar, and Aero glass theme (visual style) ever since the release of Windows 8. Microsoft has restored only the Start button in Windows 8.1 update, and end users who aren’t satisfied with the default look and feel of Windows 8/8.1 have no option but to relay on third-party utilities to get Windows 7’s look in Windows 8/8.1.
In one of our earlier posts titled how to make Windows 8.1 look like Windows 7 we discussed about workarounds to get Windows 7-style look and feel in Windows 8.1. Installing a Windows 7-style visual style (popularly known as theme) is one of the easiest ways to transform your Windows 8.1 into Windows 7.
If you’re looking for a perfect Windows 7-style theme for your Windows 8.1, then your search should end here. Windows enthusiast over at the DeviantArt have released a couple of Windows 7-style themes for Windows 8.1. We are sharing the best two themes in this article.
7Mix for Windows 8/8.1 is a beautiful Windows 7 theme ported to Windows 8/8.1 with a couple of changes. As you can see, the designer of the theme has replaced the default navigation buttons and caption buttons with custom ones.
8Plus is another Windows 7 aero theme for Windows 8.1. It includes navigation buttons extracted from Windows 8 Release Preview (RP) build and is certainly one of the best theme you can install in Windows 8.1 to get Windows 7 look.
As some of you may know, one can’t get the Windows 7 look by just installing a visual style. You need to enable the Aero and also disable the Ribbon in the Explorer to get Windows 7 look. If you want to make your Windows 8.1 desktop just like the one in the above screenshot, follow the given below instructions:
Step 1: Add third-party themes support to Windows 8.1 by installing either UXStyle Core or UXTheme Patcher software. Note that UxStyle Core for Windows 8.1 is temporarily unavailable as of writing this guide.
Step 2: Download one of the above mentioned themes and install it by following the simple instructions provided in the theme file.
Step 3: Next, download and install Aero Glass for Windows 8.1 software to enable Aero in Windows 8.1.
Step 4: If you want to get Windows 7-style Start menu in Windows 8.1, you need to install a Start menu programs. There are a couple of good Start menu programs. Install Classic Shell, Start Menu8, ViStart, StartIsBack+ (paid), or Start8 (paid).
Step 5: Finally, disable the Explorer Ribbon by following our how to disable ribbon in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer guide. That’s it!