It is time once again to share our exclusive freeware skin, now updated for Classic Shell 4. With the recent release of Classic Shell 4, it has added many improvements. The most notable for me is the new style of the Start Menu, called the "Windows 7 style". It looks like the original menu, only issue is that the Start Menu color does not match the Taskbar color out-of-the-box. So, we have updated our skin to make it exactly match the Taskbar color and provide a polished look for Classic Shell on Windows 8. Winaero Skin 2.0 is compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
The updated installer will safely walk you through all the available options.
It is recommended that you disable the transparency of the Start menu and Taskbar so it matches the Modern UI look (this is the default option of the installer, but you can change it to make it transparent). Because of removal of Aero Glass in Windows 8 which had special effects such as blur, glow, shadows and reflections, all transparent interface elements look a bit weird now on Windows 8. Together with Winaero ColorSync, your Taskbar, Start Menu and Start screen colors can be in harmony.
Here is how our skin looks with the opaque Taskbar and Start Menu:
And here is the transparent menu and Taskbar:
We have compiled a FAQ covering it, so read the rest.
Winaero Skin 2.0 for Classic Shell FAQ
Q. What is the Winaero Skin 2.0 for Classic Shell?
A. Winaero Skin 2.0 for Classic Shell is a skin we created at Winaero so the Start Menu component of Classic Shell better matches the Windows 8 taskbar. Obviously, you will need the Start Menu component of Classic Shell installed before installing this. The original skin was quite popular and people asked for an updated version for the major new version of Classic Shell which coincided with the release of Windows 8.1.
Q. Why did Winaero create this skin? What is the advantage over the default look of Classic Shell 4?
A. The skins shipping as part of Classic Shell 4 do not match the color of the Windows 8/8.1 taskbar. The Windows 8.1 taskbar is in fact so transparent that the same level of transparency if used in the Start Menu makes the content behind it much harder to read, so we made the skin opaque by default. You can still turn transparency on, we tried to keep the content readable with a transparent menu.
Q.Which version of Classic Shell do I need for this skin to work correctly?
A. Because, as of this writing the latest version of Classic Shell is version 4.0, this skin is expected to work properly on 4.0.0 and later. It will not work with older versions of Classic Shell (versions 3.6.x and earlier).
Q. How do I install the skin?
A. Download the ZIP file and extract the installer EXE anywhere. The installer will automatically close Classic Shell 4's Start Menu, install the skin and then restart Classic Start Menu.
Q. Is this skin usable on Windows 7?
A. No, this skin is designed only for Windows 8/8.1 and matches the look only on those OSes. For Windows 8.0, you can also use the first release of this skin which was designed to work with Classic Shell 3.x. On Windows 7 or Windows Vista, the built-in Aero skin of Classic Shell is good enough.
Q. Does this skin reset or change my Start menu settings or customizations?
A. No, with this new version, only the skin settings are changed. Your Start Menu settings and items will remain intact.
Q. What happened to the Start button included with this skin?
A. Windows 8.1 already reintroduced the Start button which Classic Shell 4 uses by default, so there is no longer a Start button included as part of this skin.
Q. After installing this skin, the Start Menu does not match my taskbar color. Why is that?
A. The skin is supposed to match the taskbar color. It works best with the color set to "Auto" so that when you wallpaper changes, your Taskbar and Start Menu color also changes. Also, if you used a modded theme or an unofficial visual style like Aero Lite, then the Start Menu color will not match the taskbar color.
Q. How can I make my Taskbar and Start Menu non-transparent (opaque)?
A. You can choose in the skin installer if you want your Taskbar or Start Menu to be transparent or opaque. By default, it is set to be non-transparent but you can run the skin installer again to change it to transparent.
Q. Does the skin support translated/MUI Start Menu?
A. Yes, if you installed a language DLL addon for Classic Shell 4, some elements in this skin will be translated. To fully translate all items, you must install the Windows language pack for your localized or base language edition of Windows.
Q. Can I redistribute this skin?
A. No, while the skin is free to use, you may not distribute it. Instead of redistributing, you can point your users or friends to our website to download the skin.
Q. How do I do <insert feature request> in Classic Shell 4's Start Menu?
A. To get general support for Classic Shell, ask in the Classic Shell forum at http://www.classicshell.net/forum. We will only answer questions related to this skin.
Q. How do I uninstall the skin?
A. To uninstall, simply select another skin, and delete the Winaero.skin file from your ..\Program Files\Classic Shell\Skins directory.
Q. Does the skin contain any bundled adware, spyware or crapware?
A. No it is free of malware, adware, spyware or any such crapware. The skin is a ZIP file inside which is the EXE Installer.
Let us know in the comments whether you like the Winaero skin 2.0 for Classic Shell and show us how your Windows 8 desktop and Classic Start Menu look with this skin.
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