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How to Make Windows 11 Look Like Windows 10

Windows 11 comes with a fresh new look, and many users like the new interface better than that of Windows 10. Even so, if you find that you’re missing the look and feel of the previous version, you can easily make Windows 11 look like Windows 10. This article explains how.

Create a Restore Point

Before you do anything, it would be wise to create a restore point so that you can quickly revert back to the original look of Windows 11, in case you want to go back at some point.

  1. Click on the Start menu on your PC and type “Create a restore point,” then press Enter.
  2. In the new “System Properties” window, click on the “Create” button.
  1. A new “System Protection” window will open. You can type a description to help you identify it faster, if you ever need to. Click on the “Create” button to create a system restore point on your PC.

Now just go ahead and implement the instructions laid out here to change the look and feel of your Windows 11.

1. Adjust Start Menu Location

Windows 11 has the Start menu positioned in the center. If you want to move it to the left, as it is in Windows 10, follow the instructions below:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and select “Taskbar settings.”
  1. Scroll down on the right and click on “Taskbar behaviors” to expand it.
  1. In the “Taskbar alignment” menu, choose “Left.”
  2. Your Start menu will appear on the left.

Tip: File Explorer has gained tabs in the latest Windows 11 update. We show you how to take advantage of this cool new feature.

2. Change the Start Menu Look

Follow these steps to make the Windows 11 Start menu look like Windows 10:

  1. Download Open-Shell from the GitHub website.
  2. Uncheck the “Classic Explorer” and “Classic IE” options during the installation process.
  1. Once the installation process is complete, open “Open-Shell Menu Settings” by using Windows search. Choose any menu. We’ve selected “Classic with two columns.”
  1. You may want to change the appearance of the Start button to make it look like that of Windows 10. In the same window, check the “Replace Start button -> Custom” and click “Pick image” to upload your image.
  1. Search for a royalty-free image of the Windows 10 Start menu on the Web or take a quick screenshot of the Start menu if you can access a Windows 10 PC. Resize the image so that it can fit nicely into your taskbar. The Start menu on your Windows 11 PC will look like the following image.

Tip: take a look at what Windows 11’s new context menus have to offer.

3. Get Full Context Menus

If you miss the good old Windows 10 context menus, here’s how to get them back.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window and type regedit in the address bar.
  1. In the Registry Editor, paste the following in the address bar at the top.
  1. Right-click anywhere on the white space on the right and select “New -> Key.”
  1. Name the new key “{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}”.
  1. Right-click on the newly created key in the right sidebar of “Registry Editor” and select “New -> Key” to create a new key again.
  1. Rename the newly created key “InprocServer32.”
  1. Select “InprocServer32” and double-click “Default” on the right. Click “OK” without entering any data.
  1. Close Registry Editor and restart your PC. The old classic Windows 10 context menus should appear when you right-click an empty space on your desktop as well as files or folders.

4. Get Windows 10 File Explorer

The Windows 10 File Explorer had a ribbon showing menus for easy access. But in Windows 11 File Explorer, many menus are hidden under the ellipses (three-dot) menu.

Earlier, it was easy to bring Windows 10 File Explorer on Windows 11 through registry tweaking. However, after the Windows 11 Version22H2 update, this method stopped working. At this time, the only reliable option to bring back Windows 10 File Explorer is a third-party program.

  1. Download the third-party app StartAllBack and install it on your PC. This is a tool that can revive many things from the previous OS version, such as the old Start Menu, Taskbar elements, Ribbon UI in File Explorer, and more.
  1. Open the StartAllBack application and select the “Kinda 10” option.
  1. Close the program and restart your PC. You will see the classic ribbon UI in File Explorer and many other Windows 10-like UI elements on your PC, such as the Start menu, Taskbar, full context menus, etc.

Note: you can try this tool for free for 100 days but will then need to buy a subscription to continue using it.

5. Use Windows 10 Wallpapers

A default Windows 10 wallpaper can change the appearance of your Windows 11 PC and make it feel more like Windows 10.

If you don’t have access to a Windows 10 PC to get a default Windows 10 wallpaper, you can search the Web. A website like Wallpaper Cave can help you find copies of default Windows 10 wallpapers.

  1. Visit Wallpaper Cave and right-click on the wallpaper you want to use on your PC. Click the “Save image as” option to save the image to your PC.
  1. Right-click on the saved image on your PC, then click the “Set as desktop background” option.
  1. Your Windows 11 PC will show the new wallpaper.

Good to know: alternatively, you can opt for one of these cool 4K destkop backgrounds for Windows.

How to Get the Windows 11 Look Back

If, for whatever reason, you want to go back to the Windows 11 look, follow the below directions.

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run.
  2. Paste rstrui.exe into the address bar and hit “OK.”
  1. The “System Restore” window will open, asking you to choose a restore point. Select the restore point you created before starting the transition.
  1. Follow the on-screen instructions, and your PC will return to the previous state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Sandeep Babu.