Blog Archives

Classic Shell Brings the Old Start Menu Back to Windows 7 [Downloads]

Windows only: Start menu replacement utility Classic Shell adds back some of the missing features in Windows 7 or Vista that used to exist in XP—like the Classic-style Start Menu.

During the installation process, you can choose to install two optional pieces—the first is the Classic Start Menu, which is a full-featured replacement that includes drag and drop, recent documents, and keyboard navigation. The second is Classic Explorer, a plugin for Windows Explorer that adds a toolbar with buttons for Up, Delete, and Copy/Paste, changes the file copying UI to look like XP, and a number of other changes. You can install one or both of these components, so if you want the start menu but don't want the explorer plugin, it won't waste resources on your system.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve previously mentioned a similar utility, but this one is a superior replacement—with 64-bit support, drag/drop organizing, expanding Control Panel, right-click item management, and if that wasn't enough, it even keeps the native Windows 7 start menu around—just Shift+Click on the start button to access it.

Most readers will probably point out that the newer Windows 7 start menu format is well worth getting used to, but for those of you that just prefer the old way of doing things, the free, open-source Classic Shell is definitely for you.

Classic Shell [SourceForge via How-To Geek]

7stacks Does OS X Stacks in Windows 7 Style [Downloads]

Windows only: Application launcher 7stacks adds the Stacks functionality of Mac’s OS X to Windows 7, including Aero transparency effects that blend into your taskbar perfectly.

To create your own stacks, launch the application, pick a folder and the type of launcher you want, create a shortcut on the desktop, and then right-click the shortcut and pin it to the taskbar. You can pin up to 10 shortcuts onto the taskbar this way, and you can choose between Menu, Grid, or Stacks (pictured). You don’t have all of the functionality that the latest version of StandaloneStack gives you, but it blends into the desktop really well with the Aero transparency effects, making it well worth a look for anybody using Windows 7.

7stacks is a free download for Windows 7 only. For more, check out how StandaloneStack is an awesome file-browsing widget, or our other favorite methods of consolidating taskbar launchers with Jumplist and switching folders with Folder Menu.

Update: Numerous readers point out that you’ve always been able to dock folders to the Windows taskbar by right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing New Toolbar from the Toolbars menu. This application simply does it with eye-candy effects instead of a plain menu.

7stacks [Alastria Software via Into Windows]

Jumplist Launcher Consolidates Windows 7 Taskbar Launchers [Downloads]

Windows 7 only: Tiny utility Jumplist Launcher does application launching using Windows 7’s new Jumplists feature. It’s simple, lightweight, and doesn’t waste memory.

When you start Jumplist Launcher, you’ll be presented with a configuration dialog allowing you to create your Jumplists. You can manually use the controls to add items, but it’s probably easier to simply drag and drop shortcuts onto the panel. Once you’ve completed this process, click the Create Jumplist button, pin the application to your taskbar, and you can access the list using the right-click menu on the taskbar icon.

The great thing about this application is that it doesn't even need to be running—all of the menu items are still available, even when it's closed. There does appear to be a small bug where the top item in the list shows up as a folder icon—but it still works without issues. It's a great little tool worth a look if you want to consolidate some space on your Windows 7 taskbar.

Jumplist Launcher is a free download for Windows 7 only. For more, check out how Winfox adds jumplists to Firefox, and then read about some of the other great underhyped features in Windows 7.

Jumplist Launcher [Ali’s Dünnpfiff via Addictive Tips]

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