After the update to Windows 10, many changeovers first have to rethink. With our tricks, however, you get back a number of controls from Windows 7 and continue to use them as usual.
Microsoft claims that the start menu is back in Windows 10, but it doesn’t look like it used to. Only a program like Classic Shell does that.
© Image: © With material from Farknot Architect – AdobeStock
Windows 7 was the last Windows that still had the user interface that has been used since Windows XP. After the support shutdown in January, even the most persistent update refusers have little choice but to switch to the current Windows 10.
After the forced switch, some users are annoyed because a lot has changed in recent years. The start menu has a different structure, the tiles have been added, the control panel lacks the usual options that you now have to look for in the Settings app. Above all, power users who have adapted their system to their way of working must reorient themselves and track down the usual functions.
This article is intended to help you find your way around the current Microsoft operating system quickly. We show you where to find the usual functions, how to get to the settings with just a few clicks and how to restore rejected functions.
Windows 10 20H1:
An overview of all innovations
The most obvious innovation in Windows 10 is the changed one
. Microsoft abandoned the tree structure of previous versions of Windows and replaced it with an alphabetical list of installed applications. As in Windows 7, the most frequently used programs are always at the top. You can scroll through this list or jump directly to an entry: After clicking on “Most used” or one of the letters, a software keyboard opens where you can select the desired initial letter directly.
The tiles and icons on the toolbar on the left are nothing more than extended links to applications and system settings. Both can be configured as desired: You can move the tiles by drag & drop, right-click and in the context menu on “Remove from ‘start” you remove them. You can add new tiles by right-clicking on an entry in the list and “Pin to ‘Start'”. You can adjust the icons in the bar by right-clicking on “Documents”, “Images” or “Settings” and selecting “Personalize this list”.
After clicking on an initial letter, Windows displays a software keyboard that you can use to jump to the alphabet in the program list.
The search field in the previous start menu has now moved to the task bar at the bottom. You start the software directly by entering a program name. In addition, it is still possible to search for any files. Microsoft has spiced up the function, however, so that Windows always searches the web via Bing. The results are divided into several categories. Just click into the search field to see the different categories.
The “E-Mail” tab only shows the results in Windows Mail, for Outlook you use internal program functions.
Use the context menu command “Pin to ‘Start'” to add any application as a tile to the Windows 10 Start menu.
Another important change in the new Windows are the new ”
“, Which you can reach via the symbol on the left margin in the start menu. Microsoft introduced it with Windows 8, and since then the company has transferred additional functions from the Control Panel to this section with almost every Windows update. Obviously, the goal is to get rid of the system control sooner or later.
The control panel no longer appears in the Windows menus. However, you can still reach them by entering Control Panel in the search box of the taskbar. If you want to add it permanently to the start menu, click in the folder
C: Windows System32
with the right mouse button and select “Create shortcut”. This places a shortcut on the desktop, which you then rename in Control Panel. Then click the link with the right mouse button and select “Pin to ‘Start'” in order to lift it as a tile in the start menu.
The Windows search results window shows the most frequently accessed programs and the list of recently loaded files.
Which function you can find in the settings and which you can find in the control panel can hardly be listed meaningfully – the distribution changes constantly and will probably look different again with the current spring update. If you cannot find a system setting as a switch from Windows 7, it is best to use the
back: Type the name of the function such as
in the search field of the taskbar and click on the hit that shows promise. The Windows search then leads you to the right place in the settings or the control panel.
To find a specific setting or option, it is currently the easiest to start a search using the input field on the taskbar.
Windows only indexes its own functions for the search, it does not take into account the settings of external companies such as the “NVIDIA Control Panel” or “Java”. You can still find them in the old Windows Control Panel. Changes have also been made to two other system programs. The automatically started programs are no longer managed via the system configuration program (msconfig.exe), but via the Task Manager. Microsoft has revised this tool significantly, made it clearer and more useful. The easiest way to start the Task Manager is to right-click on the taskbar – for example in the search field – and go to “Task Manager”. Then switch to the “Autostart” tab.
The new Windows Explorer, but with the look of before
Use the configuration window of the OldNewExplorer tool to set in detail which elements of the Windows 7 Explorer you want to take over in Windows 10.
Since Windows 8, Microsoft has also revised the Explorer extensively and given it the ribbons known from the newer Office versions. It is a kind of context-sensitive toolbar that always shows the currently possible actions and options. If you preferred the old, puristic version of the file manager, you can use a small, free tool. The
Old New Explorer
under Windows 8 and 10 restores the look of the program under Windows 7.
Start the file
to open the configuration window and click “Install”. Then check the boxes “Use classical drive grouping in this PC” and “Use command bar instead of Ribbon”. Now close all open Explorer windows and call the program again. The ribbon disappears and you see your usual menu bar again.
30 Windows 10 hacks:
More speed, better surface
How to replace features that Microsoft has deleted
Since Windows 7, Microsoft has also removed several programs and functions from its operating system. This also includes the MPEG-2 codec for playing DVDs. The universal remedy
VLC media player
Leawo Blu-ray player
. As another multimedia program, the Windows Media Center is no longer available, with which one could control the playback of CDs, DVDs and television programs via an interface. The media center software is a good alternative
The home network groups of Windows 7 are also no longer available. Microsoft refers to its cloud service for data exchange between several PCs
. However, building a peer-to-peer network via shares still works.
Support for Windows Essentials has also been discontinued and the Live Mail and Movie Maker package is not available for download. As a replacement, the operating system brings the new apps
The old photo display of Windows 7 has also been replaced by an app, it is simply called photos. Although the new software offers more functionality, it is slower to implement. However, you can use the earlier photo ad
reactivate. To do this, scroll all the way down to the “Get Classic Apps” section, select “Activate Windows Photo Viewer” and click on the command of the same name. The “Apps -› Standard Apps “window opens in the” Settings “. Click on the entry under “Image display”. In the following list the “Windows Photo Viewer” appears again, which you can select as the default. Then scroll down the window and click “Choose default apps by file type” to set the file types for photo viewing as the default viewer.
Which is just a little hidden in the current operating system
Windows 10 also includes the painting program
(Called up by entering paint in the search field of the taskbar) and the
(iexplorer), although with
more powerful alternatives are available. The old calculator, sticky notes and classic games like Solitaire, Minesweeper or Hearts have disappeared. Via the Winaero Tweaker you can reach a website that offers the games for download. With Winaero Tweaker you can also get the classic task manager and “msconfig” back on request.