[Tip] Restoring Classic Programs and User Interface in Windows 10

If you are using Microsoft's new OS Windows 10, you might have noticed that Microsoft has replaced many good ol' classic programs and user interface (UI) elements in Windows 10 with new modern (metro) apps and UI. Following are some examples:

  • Microsoft has replaced Windows Photo Viewer with new Photos app
  • Classic Calculator replaced with modern Calculator app
  • Classic MS Paint and Wordpad replaced with new apps with Ribbon (since Windows 7)
  • Internet Explorer replaced with Microsoft Edge browser (although IE still exists)
  • All System Tray icons such as battery, volume, network, etc feature new modern fly-outs
  • Classic Control Panel programs such as Personalize, etc replaced by Settings app

So you can see many classic programs and UIs have been replaced with modern apps and fly-outs in Windows 10. There are many people who don't like the new modern apps and UI elements and they want to restore the classic UI and programs in Windows 10.

So today in this tutorial, we'll tell you different ways to bring all classic programs and UI stuff back in Windows 10 OS. We'll cover following things in this tutorial:

  • Restore classic Calculator in Windows 10
  • Restore classic MS Paint and Wordpad without Ribbon in Windows 10
  • Restore Internet Explorer web browser in Windows 10
  • Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10
  • Restore classic UI for all icons in system tray (Taskbar notification area)
  • Restore classic Desktop Personalization options in Windows 10

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

1. Restore Classic Calculator in Windows 10

Microsoft has added a new modern Calculator app in Windows 10 which looks as following:

Windows_10_Calculator_App.png

Although the new Calculator app looks nice but many people don't like the new modern app and they want the classic and faster Calculator program back in Windows 10. Unfortunately Microsoft has completely removed the classic Calculator program from Windows 10.

But the good thing is that you can bring the classic Calculator back in Windows 10 using following easy methods:

METHOD 1: Copying Calculator Program from Previous Windows Versions

You can take Calculator program's EXE and MUI files from a Windows Vista, 7, 8 or Windows 8.1 system or take EXE file from a Windows XP computer and copy it to your Windows 10 computer. If you don't have access to any previous Windows versions, we are providing the classic Calculator files for download for your convenience. Just download following ZIP file, extract it and you'll get both Windows XP as well as Windows 7/8/8.1 style Calculator program's EXE files:

Download Classic Calculator for Windows 10

Now you can run the EXE file in Windows 10 and it'll launch classic Calculator program without any problem as shown in following image:

(Windows 7 and later Calculator in Left, Windows XP Calculator in Right)

Windows_7_Calculator.png Windows_XP_Calculator.png

You can also create a shortcut to Calc.exe file on Desktop or pin it to Taskbar or Start Menu for quick and easy access.

METHOD 2: Installing Microsoft's Official Calculator Plus Program

You can also download Microsoft's official "Calculator Plus" program which was actually released for Windows XP long time back in 2005. But surprisingly, the program still works in Windows 10 operating system.

Download Calculator Plus for Windows XP and Later

The installer is very small in size and it only copies 2 files: CalcPlus.exe and EULA.txt to "Program Files" folder. So you see Calculator Plus is actually a portable app and you can carry its EXE file anywhere.

After installation when you'll launch Calculator Plus, you may not like its default UI as it uses an ugly skin by default as shown in following screenshot:

Microsoft_Calculator_Plus_App.png

But you can select "Classic View" option present in "View" menu to restore classic Calculator UI in Calculator Plus. You can also select "Standard View" from "View" menu to make it a simple Calculator app. Now it'll look like Windows XP classic Calculator app as shown in following image:

Microsoft_Calculator_Plus_Classic_View.png

2. Restore Classic MS Paint and Wordpad without Ribbon in Windows 10

Long time back when Windows 7 was released, we shared 2 exclusive tutorials to get classic MS Paint and Wordpad programs without Ribbon UI in Windows 7. The same tutorials can be followed to bring back the same classic programs in Windows 10 as well:

[Tip] Get Classic MS Paint (without Ribbon) in Windows 7 and Later

[Tip] Get Classic Wordpad (without Ribbon) in Windows 7 and Later

3. Restore Internet Explorer Web Browser in Windows 10

When Microsoft added the new web browser Microsoft Edge to Windows 10, there were rumors that Microsoft has removed Internet Explorer web browser from Windows 10.

But that's not true! Internet Explorer still exists in Windows 10. But Microsoft has removed its shortcut from Taskbar and also Internet Explorer is no longer the default web browser in Windows 10.

If you want to use Internet Explorer in Windows 10, you can follow these simple and easy ways:

METHOD 1: You can access Internet Explorer from Start Menu -> All Apps -> Windows Accessories -> Internet Explorer shortcut. Now you can right-click on the shortcut and select "Pin to Start" or "Pin to Taskbar" options to pin IE shortcut directly to Start Menu or Taskbar.

Pin_Internet_Explorer_Shortcut_Start_Menu_Taskbar_Windows_10.png

METHOD 2: You can also create a direct shortcut to Internet Explorer by using iexplore.exe command.

METHOD 3: You can also launch Internet Explorer right from Microsoft Edge web browser using "Open with Internet Explorer" option present in 3-Dots (...) menu.

Windows_10_Spartan_Options.png

4. Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10

We have already posted an exclusive and detailed tutorial to help Windows 10 users in restoring Windows Photo Viewer program in Windows 10 which can be found at following link:

[Tip] Restoring "Windows Photo Viewer" as Default in Windows 10

Windows_Photo_Viewer_Running_Windows_10.png

5. Restore Classic UI for all Icons in System Tray (Taskbar Notification Area)

Microsoft has replaced all classic screens and fly-outs which appear when you click on various icons in Taskbar system tray with new modern fly-outs in Windows 10. For example you get new fly-outs when you click on Volume, Network, Battery and Action Center (Notification Center) icon in system tray.

Battery Fly-out:

Windows_10_Battery_Flyout_Change.png

Calendar Fly-out:

Windows_10_Calendar_Flyout_Change.png

Network Fly-out:

Windows_10_Network_Flyout_Change.png

Volume Fly-out:

Windows_10_Volume_Control_Slider_Change.png

Fortunately all these new modern fly-outs can be replaced by good ol' classic fly-outs with the help of some simple Registry tweaks. You can remember when Windows 10 was under development and Microsoft was releasing Windows 10 Preview builds to public, we were regularly updating our exclusive hidden secret Windows 10 Registry tweaks topic to add new working Registry tweaks which could be used to enable new experimental features or disable new unwanted UI elements in Windows 10.

Now we have updated the same article to include new screenshots matching with final RTM version of Windows 10.

So check out following article to learn how to restore classic fly-outs in Windows 10 Taskbar notification area:

Windows 10 Registry Tweaks to Restore Classic Fly-outs in Taskbar System Tray

PS: After restoring classic UI of notification area icons, you can permanently disable the new fly-out UI with the help of following tutorial:

[Windows 10 Tip] Remove Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Contact Support and Feedback Apps

6. Restore Classic Desktop Personalization Options in Windows 10

Microsoft has replaced all classic Desktop Personalization options such as changing wallpaper, advanced appearance settings, color settings, display settings, etc with the new modern Settings app in Windows 10.

Now if you right-click on Desktop and select Personalize or Display settings options, it opens new Settings app containing pages to customize those settings.

Windows_10_New_Modern_Personalization_Options.png

If you want to bring classic Personalization options back in Windows 10, you can follow these simple tricks:

In good ol' Windows XP and Vista days, we posted an exclusive tutorial to create direct shortcuts to various Desktop personalization options. You can follow the same tutorial to create direct shortcuts to classic Personalization options in Windows 10 as well:

Create Shortcuts to Themes, Desktop Background, Screen Saver and More in Windows

Classic_Desktop_Personalization_Options_Windows_10.png

Also if you want, you can create a new cascading menu in Desktop context menu (right-click menu) to directly access classic Desktop personalization options:

Windows_7_Desktop_Shortcuts_Menu.png

We posted this tutorial for Windows 7 but it'll also work in Windows 10:

Add "Desktop Shortcuts" Cascading Menu in Desktop Context Menu in Windows

If you want to customize Personalize and Display settings options action in Desktop context menu, you can change it with the help of following tutorial:

Customizing Personalize, Display Settings Options in Desktop Context Menu in Windows

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That's all for now. Feel free to share your feedback and suggestions in your comment. If you want to know about any other classic program or UI in Windows 10, please ask it in your comment...

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Posted in: Windows 10


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Comments

  • Awesome. Thank you so much VG. Very helpful.

  • Very very useful tips. I appreciate your hard work VG.

  • Can we restore Windows Media Center & Windows games from Windows 7 partition to Windows 10 home?
    Windows 10
    thanks in advance

  • VG

    ^^ Not directly but there are similar programs and patches available on Internet. You can search for them.

    Also check:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-get-good-old-3d-pinball-game-windows-calendar-and-clipbook-viewer-in-windows-7/

  • favorites toolbar?

  • There's a easiest way to execute IE and classic calculator

    On Windows 10, just hit the Windows key+ R and that executes the Run app and then type: iexplore, and IE is executed
    For the basic calculator:
    Type calc
    These are only that I can help

  • This is great. Thanks for sharing. I'm really looking to get the old mouse functionality back.

    Namely, the "trackball/rollerball" feature that allowed me to fling the mouse cursor across the screen with a one flick of my finger (instead of having to having to tediously keep moving my finger to bring the mouse across the screen).

    And "mouse regions" where you could customize different regions of the mouse pad to execute different tasks. For instance: upper right corner of mouse = minimize current window, upper left corner = move forward a page in browser, lower left corner = go back one page, lower right corner = close window etc. Does anyone know how to restore these customizations? Big thanks if you can help.

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