If you have recently made a transition to Windows 7 from XP and find yourself longing for the familiarity of the ‘classic’ interface, then check out Classic Shell.

Classic Shell is a collection of features that were available in older versions of Windows but are removed from Vista and Windows 7. It has a classic start menu for Windows 7, it adds a toolbar for Windows Explorer and supports a variety of smaller features.

To get an idea of exactly what Classic Shell does, you can check out the full feature list and screenshots. Some features of interest include:

  • Options to show Favorites, expand Control Panel, etc
  • Available for 32 and 64-bit operating systems
  • Adds a toolbar to Explorer for some common operations (Go to parent folder, Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Properties, Email). The toolbar is fully customizable
  • Can disable the breadcrumbs in the address bar
  • Fixes a long list of features that are broken in Windows 7 – missing icon overlay for shared folders, the jumping folders in the navigation pane, missing sorting headers in list view, and more

Classic Shell is open source and freely available for download.