How to Make XP, Vista and Win7 Look Like Classic Windows 2000

Why would you ever want to do that?

Keith just posted an article telling you how to make Windows 7 look like Windows XP. I’m actually dual booting XP and 7 so I don’t miss XP yet. I’d also be the first to tell you that I love the new eye candy in Windows Vista and Windows 7. However, it does come with a price. The window transparency and other visual effects might make an older PC that was designed for XP run just a little sluggish. The same is true on machines that were made to run Windows 95 or 98 but now have Windows XP on them.

Are you on a minimalistic kick?

Sometimes I’m in favor of dropping the eye candy and going back to basics. Maybe there are a few others out there who feel the same way.

Do you need to squeeze every last ounce of power out of your PC?

Some PC gamers would agree that anything you can do to drop Windows system requirements will help you boost your FPS (frames per second) and get you more kills in that favorite game.

Here’s what I’ve done.

The basic procedures are the same for Vista and Win7. In XP you won’t see step B, you’ll just select the Advanced tab.

A. Right click on My Computeror Computerand choose properties.


B. Click on Advanced System Properties


C. Click on the Performance Settings


D. Put your dot in the Adjust for best performance.


E. Click OKall the way home.


Now Compare Win7 and Win2k.

As you can see, the main similarities are the window borders and the Start button.

Windows 7 screenshot


Windows 2000 screenshot


win2k image from

That’s it. All of the features are still there, it’s just got that old Classic look to it. Do you love it or hate it? Do you have a better idea? Please comment below.

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Clif Sipe

Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.

  • exactly what i wanted to know before updating to win7. thanks. i cannot do without the clean minimal “contrast” look i’ve been using since last 8 years.

  • Hi Basak,

    I use the minimalist setting most of the time in Win7. I prefer a little extra speed instead of the eye candy since I’m running it on an older laptop. I’m glad I was able to help. Thanks for your comment.

  • IanM

    Thanks for the pointer – I knew about this in XP but of course everything is moved and/or renamed in Win7. Made the change and nowI can see things more clearly, I wish they would test the UI with “older” guys who have older vision. I’m only mid-40’s and the light blue pastels on pale backgrounds and silly transparency features don’t work for me at all – makes it much harder to see things clearly, inreases eye strain and adds general frustration. Lots of good stuff in Win7 though – it’s worth the hassles.

    • You are welcome Ian. My eyes are getting pretty weak as well. There is a “high contrast” setting in Win7 as well. You can find the high contrast settings here: [at Microsoft]