How to make Windows 11 look like Windows 10 again

by Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Windows & Software Expert
Oldtimer in the tech and science press, Claudiu is focused on whatever comes new from Microsoft. His abrupt interest in computers started when he saw the first Home... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you're not happy about the new design, this guide will help you learn how to make Windows 11 look like Windows 10.
  • You can simply switch back to the old Start menu by using a simple tweak in the Registry.
  • To move the centered icons to the left, you have an intuitive option in the Settings as well.
  • There is also a dedicated, third-party app, that you can use to customize your Taskbar as you wish.
Change the appearance of Windows 11 back to Windows 10

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Sure, Windows 11 seems to be great with all its new looks and transparency but that is only a matter of taste and if you don’t like it, you can make it look like the old Windows 10, at least partially.

As you know, the Start menu in Windows 11 is now centered as opposed to Windows 10’s left oriented menus.

The new centered taskbar icons remind us about MacOS although there is no sign yet of a Windows 11 version for Macs.

We’re going to show you how to make it look like the old one, to restore the dynamic Live Tiles and a few other interesting tricks.

How can I make Windows 11 look like Windows 10?

1. Change back the look of the Start menu

  1. Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to start the Run app.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter or click OK.
  3. Go to the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\
  4. Right-click on an empty space in the right pane, select New, and then choose DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name it Start_ShowClassicMode.
  6. Right-click on the new value, select Modify, and set the Value Data to 1.
  7. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Unfortunately, for switching your Start menu to the previous look, you will need to perform a little Registry modification but it’s not as complicated as you can clearly see in the steps above.

If you want to switch it back, you’ll perform the reverse action only that now, you already created the value so you only need to change the Value Data to 0.

2. Move the Taskbar icons to the left

  1. Access the Settings menu in Windows 11.
  2. Select Taskbar, and then choose Personalization.
  3. You will find a drop-down menu at the top access and find the option to move the icons from the Taskbar to the left.

If you don’t like the centered icons from the Taskbar, you can easily move them to the left as they were in Windows 10 and luckily, you won’t need any special tweaks but the simple steps above.

3. Use a dedicated app to change the Taskbar

If you don’t like the new Taskbar at all, you can still change it as you please with a dedicated software recommended below.

With this tool you can change the appearance of the Taskbar completely. You can even modify its transparency, effect and color.

The most important feature of the app is however that it can combine states and instances as you use your PC. So, you can restore it to the Windows 10 looks or transform it as you wish.

Get TranslucentTB

4. Change the icon’s sizes from the Taskbar

  1. Press Windows key + R to start the Run app.
  2. Type regedit and click OK or press Enter.
  3. Navigate to the following location from the left pane: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  4. Right-click on an empty space from the right pane, select New, choose DWORD (32-bit) Value, and name it TaskbarSi.
  5. Do the same to create a value called TaskbarSmallIcons.
  6. Now you can right-click and select both values and select Edit on them alternatively.
  7. If you change the Value data from both of them according to the chart above, you will get different sizes and appearance for the taskbar icons.
  8. Of course, you will need to restart your PC after each modification to the Registry.

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As you can see from the steps above, you can even change the sizes and appearance of the Taskbar icons so that they will look like in Windows 10.

5. Change the desktop background

You won’t feel completely at home if you don’t change the desktop background to look like Windows 10 again.

You can either download a Windows 10 wallpaper from a the Microsoft Support website or another trusted source.

After you download the desired wallpaper, you just need to right-click on it and select the Set as desktop background option.

Just make sure to have the right proportions for your screen so that you don’t have any bad surprises.

Why would you change back the Start menu to the previous looks?

Here, at Windows Report, we embrace the change and we’re excited about the new looks but that doesn’t mean that all of you have the same openness to such modifications.

Although you would like to benefit from the other performance improvements, you may not want to change that familiar look that you’re accustomed to, at least not yet.

However, that’s not the whole point. Windows’ Live Tiles are no more and although many of us didn’t enjoy them in the first place, there are users among us who embraced them and still want to use them.

Perhaps, that’s why the code is still there, dormant, in the OS and can be restored with a simple Registry tweak as you’ve seen in our solution above.

Well, we hope our guide helped you restore your Windows 11 to the appearance of the Windows 10 and you’re happy again about your OS. Stay tuned to get more tips and tricks for Windows 11.

If you find yourself in a situation that your PC can’t run Windows 11, read our dedicated guide and fix the problem in no time.

Tell us in the comments why you want to change the appearance back and if our solutions helped you do that.

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