Transform Windows 7 into Windows 8 RTM without using Customization Pack
UPDATE: Tutorial updated to match latest Windows 8 RTM UI.
Finally, the wait is over. After getting so many requests to post a tutorial to transform Windows 7 into Windows 8, today we are happy to announce it. This is the 4th tutorial of our "Transform Windows" series. You can take a look at other 3 tutorials using following links:
- Transform Windows XP into Windows Vista without using Customization Pack
- Transform Windows XP into Windows 7 without using Customization Pack
- Transform Windows Vista into Windows 7 without using Customization Pack
Although we have posted a few 3rd party transformation packs in past which help you in making Windows 7 look-like Windows 8 like Windows 8 UX Pack and Windows 8 Transformation Pack but this tutorial has been created for people who love to do the task manually and want to use selected things to convert Windows 7 into Windows 8 so that they can have an idea what they are going to do with their system.
NOTE: Please create a Restore point using "System Restore" before applying anything mentioned in this tutorial so that you can restore your system back to default if you don't like the changes.
After following this tutorial, you'll get the same Windows 8 look in your Windows 7. Following is a list of things which are going to change after following this tutorial:
- Windows Theme or Visual Style and Wallpapers
- Boot Screen
- Login Screen or Welcome Screen
- Start ORB or Start Button
- Icons, Sounds and Cursors
- Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer
- Start Screen with Live Tiles
- Charms Bar
- Windows 8 Metro Task Manager
- User Picture Tile in Taskbar
- Aero Auto-Colorization Feature
- Centered Titlebar text, icon and Up Button in Windows Explorer
So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:
Windows Theme or Visual Style and Wallpapers
Windows 8 features a clean and minimal theme which doesn't come with Aero glass transparency and blur effect. You can get a look-like interface in Windows 7 using following themes:
Download your desired theme using following topics:
- Download Windows 8 RTM Theme and Wallpapers for Windows 7
- Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Beta) Theme for Windows 7
- Download Windows 8 "Aero Lite" Theme for Windows 7
You can also check out many other Windows 8 Metro UI inspired themes for Windows 7 in our exclusive Themes and Wallpapers section.
Windows 8 comes with a new clean and minimal boot screen which looks like following:
You can get a similar boot screen in Windows 7 using following article:
Login Screen or Welcome Screen
Windows 8 login screen looks very simple and doesn't provide any eye candy effects as shown in following screenshot:
To get Windows 8 login screen in Windows 7, check out following articles:
To get the date and time on login screen, check following topic:
You can also check following awesome Windows 8 concept login screen for Windows 7:
Start ORB or Start Button
Although Microsoft has completely removed Start Menu and Start button from Windows 8 but Windows 7 users can replace existing Start ORB with a nice looking Windows 8 style Start button as shown in following screenshot:
You can get this Start button in Windows 7 using following tutorial:
Icons, Sounds and Cursors
Windows 8 icons are almost similar to Windows 7. You can get new Windows 8 sounds and cursors from following topic:
Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer
Windows 8 also features Office 2010 Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer. You can get the Ribbon UI in Windows 7 Explorer using following articles:
- Get Windows 8 Look-Like Ribbon UI in Windows XP, Vista and 7 Explorer using Styler Skin
- BExplorer (Better Explorer): Windows 8 Look-Like Explorer with Ribbon UI for Windows 7
- STDU Explorer: Get Windows 8 Style Explorer with Ribbon UI in Windows XP, Vista and 7
Start Screen with Live Tiles
Microsoft has featured a new Start Screen in Windows 8 which looks similar to Windows Phone 7 home screen. It basically shows live tiles of the installed programs in Windows 8.
You can get this new Start Screen in Windows 7 using following articles:
- Get Windows 8 Start Screen in Windows XP, Vista and 7 Using "Omnimo" Rainmeter Skin Suite
- Mosaic: Get Windows 8 Style Live Tiles with Metro UI on Windows XP, Vista and 7 Desktop
Windows 8 also comes with new Charms Bar which is a black sidebar panel which shows some useful shortcuts like Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings when you move your mouse cursor to right-side of screen.
You can get this new Charms Bar in Windows 7 using following articles:
- Download RocketDock Skin to Get Windows 8 Charms Bar in Windows XP, Vista, 7
- Get Windows 8 Charms Bar in Windows XP, Vista and 7
- How to Get Windows 8 Metro Style Start Menu (Charms Bar) with Clock in Windows 7?
Windows 8 Metro Task Manager
Windows 8 comes with new modern and advanced Task Manager which opens in a small window and shows the running programs list.
You can get a similar Metro Task Manager in Windows 7 using following topic:
User Picture Tile in Taskbar
Initial Windows 8 testing builds featured new user picture tile in Taskbar notification area. It was added because of the integrated Windows Live services in Windows 8 shell.
If you want, you can get it in Windows 7 using following topics:
- UserTile: Free Utility to Get Windows 8 User Picture Tile (Avatar) in Windows 7 Taskbar
- Get Windows 8 Look-Like User Picture Tile (Avatar) in Notification Area of Windows 7
Aero Auto-Colorization Feature
One of the most interesting feature of Windows 8 is "Aero Auto-Colorization" which is the ability to automatically configure the color of Aero elements, like the Start Menu, Windows Explorer windows, and the taskbar based on the desktop wallpaper.
You can get the same effect in Windows 7 using following free tools:
- Aura: Get Windows 8 Aero Auto-Colorization Feature in Windows Vista and 7
- Aero Color Show: Free Tool to Get Windows 8 Aero Auto-Colorization Feature in Windows 7
Centered Titlebar text, icon and Up Button in Windows Explorer
Windows 8 Explorer comes with good old "Up" button in toolbar. The Explorer window also shows titlebar text along with icon in center.
You can get the same in Windows 7 using following tutorial:
Following are some software and skins which will provide Windows 8 Metro UI feeling in Windows 7. You should definitely have a look at them:
- 8 Start: Windows 8 Start Screen Like "Metro Style Homepage" for Mozilla Firefox, IE, Chrome and Opera
- EIGHT: Windows 8 Start Screen Like "Metro Style Homepage" for Mozilla Firefox, IE, Chrome and Opera
- Metro UI: Download Windows 8 Metro Style Inspired Theme for Yahoo! Messenger
- Download Awesome "HTC Home" and "Metro Home" Desktop Widgets for Windows Vista and 7
- MetroViewer: Simple Image Viewer for Windows with Metro UI
- MetroBackUp: Free Utility with Metro UI to Keep Directories in Sync
- Download Free Windows 8 (vNext) Skin for RocketDock
- Download Free Windows 8 Metro Theme for WinRAR Archiver
- Download Awesome Metro UI Inspired Themes for Steam
- Download Awesome Windows 8 Metro Theme for KMPlayer
That's all for now. After following all above mentioned steps, you'll get Windows 8 look-n-feel in Windows 7.
Other similar articles that may interest you
- Windows 7 System Requirements
- Add “Windows Apps” Cascading Menu in Windows 7 and Later Desktop Context Menu
- QTTabBar: Freeware to Add Web Browser Style Tab Feature to Windows Explorer
- Make Your Linux Desktop Look-Like Windows 7 Using Transformation Packs
- Make Windows 8 Start Screen Transparent, Change Background Image and Number of Rows of Tiles
- Finally a Way to Enable Transparency in Windows 8 Without any Bug or Glitch