Switch to Windows 10: Yes or no? Windows users have faced this question for the last 15 months. It’s not an easy one to answer, as among the new aspects contained in the new operating system is a revamped look. It is well-known that getting used to a new design can take time and slow down the workflow. But users can draw on apps for Windows 10 to make this transitional phase hassle-free. Here we have collected ten apps for Windows 10 that will allow you to individualize its look. Some of them bring back features from older Windows versions, while others customize the layout to accommodate personal tastes. And the best thing? All of these apps are free!
Individualize Windows 10 – Part I: The Look
1. Classic Shell
For traditionalists: users that simply cannot warm to the new Start Menu with software and app tiles should download Classic Shell. The program restores the classic Start Menu without the tiles. Review | Download
Do you feel that your screen is missing applets like the clock, your calendar or the weather? Windows 10 is released without these gadgets. The 8GadgetPack app has precisely what you need if you can’t do without the neatly arranged desktop helpers. After installation, a quick glance at the screen is enough to decide whether you need an umbrella. Review | Download
Friends of gimmicks take note: Give the WinFlip app a spin if you want to customize the Windows 10 look. The application lets you manage all of your open windows in a 3-D view. Just hold the Windows logo key and press Shift (you will need a non-VGA graphic driver, and the aero glass theme will have to be active). Review
Only one folder can be opened in Windows 10 as well. What’s missing is the tab feature used in browsers to switch quickly and easily between folders. The Clover app provides the solution by installing tabs right at the top in File Manager. Review | Download
5. Win+X Menu Editor
Right clicking on the start button opens the shortcut options to access features like prompt or the control panel in a flash. It’s actually very practical, were it not for the fact that internal protective mechanisms prevent customization of the shortcut menu. The good news for individualists: The Win+X Menu Editor app lets you add, remove or rename menu items. Review | Download
6. Shortcut Overlay Remover
The new operating system also includes the shortcut arrows to non-original EXE files. Although possible, removing them is laborious and time-consuming. The solution for aesthetes: Use the Shortcut Overlay Remover to individualize Windows 10. The app automatically removes shortcut arrows and keeps your desktop looking tidy. Download
7. Taskbar Thumbnail Tweaker & Resizer
The thumbnails on the taskbar in Windows 10 are too small for some users’ liking. It is impossible to recognize which contents are hidden in the opened windows. The Taskbar Thumbnail Tweaker & Resizer puts an end to this. The program helps individualize Windows by enlarging the taskbar previews. Download
8. Taskbar Thumbnail Tweaker & Resizer
A stunning beach, a mountainous landscape or a meadow of flowers … The set of wallpapers that Windows 10 has to offer may be a bit heavy on the standard motifs for some. The DisplayFusion app breathes life into your desktop. The tool lets you load your favorite images from Flickr, Instagram or Facebook and integrate Google or Bing search on the desktop. Review | Download
The introduction of virtual desktops is among the most important new features of Windows 10. Its purpose is to create order among the opened windows. The MoveToDesktop app helps you manage the virtual desktop. In open applications, an additional feature in the right click menu of the title bar provides an easy way to move programs from desktop to desktop. Review | Download
10. PDF-XChange Viewer
Windows 10 opens PDF files in the Edge browser. But Edge offers document views and not much besides. The PDF-XChange Viewer is a handy way to individualize Windows 10, adding search and adapt design options, alongside RAM control, bookmarking and comment features. Review | Download
Looking for More?
There's a second edition of this article showing you even more ways to customize your Windows 10 installation.
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