- 1 A closer look at logging into a Windows 10 PC with just your face
- 2 Share this story
- 3 How to make Windows 10 look like Windows 7
- 4 Change the Start Menu
- 5 Change the wallpaper
- 6 Hide Cortana and Task View
- 7 Change the colors
- 8 Swap Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer
- 9 Tweak Explorer
- 10 Add Gadgets
A closer look at logging into a Windows 10 PC with just your face
Windows 10 introduces a number of new apps and features, but one of the more unique additions is Windows Hello. Much like the Xbox One, Windows Hello will allow you to log into a Windows 10 PC with just your face. You can also use a fingerprint reader, but the facial scanning is the unique, new feature for Windows 10. It works by using a special Intel RealSense 3D camera, which means you can’t use regular webcams on existing PCs to enable Windows Hello. A number of PCs and laptops are starting to ship with built-in RealSense cameras, and more will be available later this year.
Windows Hello is relatively easy to setup. You go into settings, enable a PIN, and simply stare at the camera so it detects your face. If you use glasses, you can even fine-tune it so Windows 10 knows when you’re wearing them and when you’re not. Because it’s taking advantage of 3D depth-sensing and the RealSense camera, Windows Hello even works in the dark. I chose to test Windows Hello with an Intel RealSense developer kit. It’s priced at $99 and works as a normal webcam, but I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. I had a number of issues with the drivers, and if you have a built-in webcam already, then the two conflict unless you disable the existing camera. I wouldn’t expect to run into these types of issues on consumer PCs, but it’s a developer kit so it’s to be expected with test hardware and software.
I’ve found Windows Hello is extremely fast at detecting your face. You can even enable the extra security option that requires you to move your head slightly left and right before it logs in. While there are always security concerns over this type of technology, Windows Hello uses 3D depth-sensing so it’s not just taking a picture of your face. That means you can’t just hold up a picture of someone to hack into their PC. Microsoft has taken the work from its Xbox One face recognition and applied it to Windows 10 to enable this new feature.
Once enabled, you get a new animated eye on the lock screen that looks for you and winks once it has detected you and automatically logged you in. I’ve found that the camera is only enabled during the times you use it to log in, so it’s not like the Kinect version that’s always enabled to look for you. It might sound like a gimmicky feature right now, but if PC makers start to ship more devices with RealSense cameras then it could quickly become a popular feature. Microsoft is also enabling Windows Hello for apps, services, and websites, so in the future you might be able to log into everything with just your face.
How to make Windows 10 look like Windows 7
While Windows 10 has an appealing look and feel to some, many of us feel overwhelmed by the massive jump in style from Windows 7. If you’re struggling to feel comfortable with Windows 10, you’re certainly not alone.
The good news is that Windows 10 is highly customizable, so you can engineer its design to look nearly the same as Windows 7. With a few tweaks to elements like wallpaper, color scheme, and default browser, you’ll be back to a Windows 7 look and feel in no time.
Change the Start Menu
Step 1: A download called Classic Shell once allowed you to change key menu aspects to look more like Windows 7. Unfortunately, support for Classic Shell ended in 2017, but the code was picked up and continued with Open Shell, which you can download here. With this free tool, you can modify the Windows 10 Start Menu to resemble the version provided in Windows 7. Once installed, you’ll see six entries on your Start Menu listed under Classic Shell. Here you will want to choose the Classic Start Menu Settings.
Step 2: On the Start Menu Style tab, choose the Windows 7 Style as shown above.
Step 3: Next, head here to download the Windows 7 Start Menu orb (these are image files, so you can pick them up from many different places if you prefer). Once downloaded, choose Custom near the bottom of the Start Menu Style tab and select the downloaded image. You may need to tweak the button size — we used 60 given the default setting was too large for our desktop resolution.
Step 4: On the Skin tab, choose Windows Aero.
Step 5: Hit OK and you’re done.
If you don’t care much about the other style options, but you do really miss the option to make the taskbar transparent while you work, then we suggest downloading TranslucentTB instead. It will give you that sweet transparency without changing anything else.
Change the wallpaper
Step 1: To install a Windows 7 wallpaper, download the images from here.
Step 2: Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize.
Step 3: The Settings app now appears, defaulting to the Background panel. Make sure the Background drop-down menu reads Picture and then select the Browse button to find your downloaded wallpaper.
Hide Cortana and Task View
Step 1: Right-click on the taskbar, select Cortana, and then Hidden to remove Microsoft’s assistant.
Step 2: Right-click on the taskbar and select the Show Task View Button to disable this feature.
Change the colors
Step 1: Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize.
Step 2: Choose Colors on the left of the Settings app.
Step 3: As shown above, we selected Navy Blue.
Step 4: Next, we’ll switch the colors of the title bar. Check the Title Bars option towards the bottom of the panel. You can add the Start and taskbar if you prefer as well.
Swap Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer
Support has largely ended for Internet Explorer and there are difficulties in using it these days, so we don’t necessarily recommend this step for everyone. However, it is possible to use IE on Windows 10 — indeed, your version of Windows 10 should already have the final release of IE (Internet Explorer 11) available.
Step 1: Right-click on the Microsoft Edge icon and unpin the browser from the taskbar.
Step 2: Search for Internet Explorer using the Start Menu’s search field.
Step 3: Right-click on the result and select Pin To Taskbar.
Step 4: Open Internet Explorer, select the gear-shaped Tools icon in the upper-right corner, and select Internet options.
Step 5: Once the Internet options pop-up appears, select the Programs tab.
Step 6: On this panel, click Make Internet Explorer My Default Browser.
Step 7: Select Internet Explorer on the resulting list and then choose Set this program by default.
Here we used the free tool OldNewExplorer. It’s downloaded as a RAR file so you’ll need to install third-party software to unpack the installer. The file to use is OldNewExplorerCfg.exe, and once launched, here’s what you’ll need to change:
Step 1: Select Use Classical Drive Grouping In This PC.
Step 2: Select Use Libraries; Hide Folders From This PC.
Step 3: Select the Use Command Bar Instead Of Ribbon.
Step 4: Select the Show Details Pane On The Bottom.
Step 5: For Appearance style, you have three options: Default, Silver cream, and Flat white.
Step 6: For Status bar style, select Gray.
Step 7 : Next, open File Explorer. Select Tools and then Folder Options. On the General tab, click This PC in the drop-down menu for Open File Explorer.
Step 8 : While still on the General tab, uncheck Show Recently Used Files In Quick Access.
Step 9 : Finally, uncheck Show Frequently Used Folders in Quick access.
Windows 7 had a popular application called Microsoft Gadgets. This feature allowed you to see useful information right on your desktop, including a clock, weather reports, stock updates, and more, all while hardly using any system resources.
Sadly, Microsoft took Gadgets off all future versions of Windows due to security concerns stemming from poorly coded third-party Gadgets. However, Microsoft utilized some of the most popular Gadgets in their future systems, and some, including Sticky Notes, are available on the Microsoft store.
Some Windows 10 users still long for the days of Windows 7 Gadgets. Luckily, you can use several of these features by downloading the 8GadgetPack. All the Gadgets included in this download are Microsoft-verified and can give your machine a retro Windows feel. Offerings include Clipboarders, Clock, Agenda, App Launcher, and more.