6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Turn Vista into Windows 7 for free

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Turn Vista into Windows 7 for free

4:30 /

Don't feel like spending money for Windows 7? You don't have to.

Every time Microsoft delivers a new OS it's possible to get many of the features of a Windows upgrade in the previous version of Windows. Windows 7 is no exception. Here's a roundup of a few things you can do to make Windows Vista as Windows 7-like as possible, without shelling out for the new OS. We'll start out with a couple tweaks, then tell you about four free apps you can download. And a tip of the hat to the amazing Gina Trapani at Lifehacker, from whom I picked up several of these tricks.. First the taskbar. Windows 7 lets you "pin" apps to the taskbar and we can approximate that in Vista. Here's how. Right-click on your taskbar. Select toolbars And choose Quick Launch Now drag the icons you wish to "pin" into the left side of the taskbar. Right click on the taskbar again and uncheck "lock taskbar" Now click on the three rows of dots, hold down the mouse, and drag the bar over until you see all your icons. Now, they look a little small like that, so let's make them bigger. Make sure the taskbar is unlocked. Now right click on the taskbar again Select the view menu and choose large icons. That's OK. But if you want a real Mac-like dock, forget all that and install RocketDock. It gives you a whole new Macish dock that you can put down at the bottom of the window instead of the taskbar. But your Windows still looks all Vista-y. One more interface tweak before we move on. . Go to Download.com and get VistaGlazz 1.3. It's a utility that changes some system files to allow you to implement third-party themes on Vista. Launch VistaGlazz and, if you're sure, agree to allow it to modify your system files. I did it, and had no issues. But I make no warranty. Now you need a Windows 7 theme. Go to DeviantArt.com and search for "Windows 7 Style for Vista." It should be by giannisgx89. Download it, uncompress it, and then inside the Windows 7 Style folder, go into the theme folder and find the file called Windows 7 AND the folder called Windows 7. Copy both to C:Windows\Resources\Themes\. (You'll need admin access to copy these.) Now right-click anywhere on your Desktop and select �Personalize." Click on �Theme� and supposedly you can select the Windows 7 theme from the drop-down list. That didn't work for me, so I had to browse to C:Windows/Resources/Themes and choose the Windows 7 theme manually. Once you've got it, press Apply and you have a Windows 7 look! You can also go to DeviantArt for wallpaper, log-in screens, and other Windows 7ish customization options. Four free apps and we're done. In Windows 7, Aero Shake kicks in when you shake an active Window, minimizing all the other windows. You can download a Vista version from LifeHacker for free. Next you'll want the nifty Win 7 feature that halves the size of a window and docks it to the side of the screen. There's an app for that. It's german and it's called AeroSnap. You can get it at aerosnap.de.vu The Windows 7 calculator is also a lovely souped-up thing. Some intrepid hacker has actually pulled it out of Windows 7 and made it available on Box.Net. You'll have to do a search to find it. And there'e no guaranteeing it will still be there when you do. Is it legal? That's fuzzy. Probably not. But it is cool. Just make sure you back up your Vista calculator if you decide to replace it with this one. Just in case things go sideways on you. Finally Windows 7 has a much easier way to select Wi-Fi networks. It's not a perfect match, but NetSetMan at netsetman.com is much better than the default Vista manger and gives you lots of other powerful tools as well. There are plenty of other tweak, like turning off User Account Control and tricks to speed up startup, covered in Ms. Trapani's Lifehacker article as well as in a few of our Windows videos at cnettv.com. Hope that helps you squeeze a bit more life out of Windows Vista. I'm Tom Merritt, CNET.com.

New releases

Tomorrow Daily 102: No offline Netflix, giving holiday GIFs, eating cricket cookies and more
24:44 December 17, 2014
On today's show, Ashley and Khail discuss a car concept that would eliminate blind spots for drivers, explain how you can create a...
Play video
Sennheiser Urbanite: An on-ear headphone with a retro-hip design and "now" sound
1:03 December 17, 2014
The $200 Urbanite has an eye-catching look and plump bass geared toward younger listeners.
Play video
Samsung Gear VR turns a Note 4 into stunning virtual reality headset
3:28 December 17, 2014
Are you VR-curious? Samsung's "Innovator Edition" headset accessory for the Galaxy Note 4 does a seriously impressive job of putting...
Play video
Brew espresso drinks fast and with some flavor
2:18 December 17, 2014
The $100 Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me creates fancy espresso-style drinks in a flash.
Play video
The 404 Show 1,596: It's the end of an era with Steve Guttenberg (podcast)
36:33 December 17, 2014
Today's the last video episode of The 404. Ever. To help us say goodbye to our video feed, Steve Guttenberg joins us to discuss his...
Play video
Withings Activité, the high-end watch with smart fitness hiding inside
2:24 December 17, 2014
Meet the stealth fitness tracker: Swiss-designed and elegant, the expensive Activité is a Bluetooth-syncing pedometer and sleep tracker...
Play video
BlackBerry Classic tempts hardcore fans with keyboard
2:58 December 17, 2014
A new BlackBerry arrives with signature features, Sony's ready to show off a new take on smartglasses, and TAG Heuer goes after the...
Play video
HP's Omen offers high design, high performance
2:05 December 17, 2014
A slick midsize gaming laptop from a company not known for being on the cutting edge.
Play video