Make the Windows 7 Look Like Windows XP

The single most visible change in Windows 7 is the new “dock style” taskbar, which shows icons instead of buttons, with all application windows combined within a single button. I have had several clients ask, “How do I make it look like it used to (in Windows XP)?”

Personally I prefer the new Layout over the Windows XP look, but some people prefer using what they are familiar with.

This is what the taskbar (bottom bar with the start menu and open applications) looks like in Windows 7.

Windows 7 Taskbar

Changing the Windows 7 Taskbar to XP/Vista Style

To revert back to the older style, the first thing you’ll need to do is right-click on any open area of the taskbar and choose Properties from the menu.

Windows 7 Taskbar Properties Menu

From the Taskbar buttons drop-down menu, you’ll want to choose “Never combine”, which will make every window show up as a separate button on the taskbar, or you could choose “Combine when taskbar is full”, which does just like it says.

Windows 7 Taskbar Properties

Now you should see the buttons show up with text labels like you are probably used to… but in the Windows 7 style.

Windows 7 Taskbar Hover

If you chose the “Use small icons” checkbox in the properties screen, the taskbar will actually shrink down to look very similar to Vista.

Windows 7 Taskbar Hover Small

The only problem is that the “pinned” icons are still sitting on the taskbar, which isn’t the same as Vista or XP, but you can easily remove all of them by right-clicking and choosing “Unpin this program from taskbar”.

Windows 7 Un-Pin

And now the taskbar looks and works very similarly to Windows Vista:

Windows 7 Taskbar Unpinned

If you wanted to make it look like Windows XP, and replace the “Windows Orb” with the traditional “Start” button, you can choose the “Windows Classic” theme under the Desktop \ Personalize section.

Windows 7 Classic Theme Silliness

Pictured above is the “Windows Classic” theme selected with the other changes mentioned above.  Look familiar?

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Help! My email is sending out junk email to all of my contacts

So you receive a phone call from a friend or family member saying that they received an email from you with only a link, or even worse saying you are stuck in a foreign country and need money.  How do you stop your computer from sending these rogue emails?  You don’t want your email address to be marked as a spammer and de-activated as well.

These are not viruses but malware (bad software) infections that will go through your address book and email everyone and try to infect their computer and start the cycle all over again.

If your computer has been sending these rouge emails, follow these steps:

1. First off, tell the people that have been getting these emails not to click on the link or follow any instructions provided in the rogue emails.

2. Download MalwareBytes on the infected computer.  – Click here to download

3. After downloading and installing MalwareBytes run a “Full Scan”

4. Upon scan completion:

4a. Remove all infections

4b. After removing infections, change your email password (highly recommended)

5.  Complete!  Your email should be clean now and you won’t be sending spam anymore.

To prevent this from happening in the future, you can always purchase a license for MalwareBytes so that it provides “Real Time Protection” and is only $24.95/year, or just make sure to update and scan with your antivirus and Malware or Spyware software regularly.

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Microsoft Security Essentials Malware

Initial Symptoms:

Microsoft warns of the fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert that was discovered to pretend as a security tool from the software giant. In fact, it is a fake program trying to scam computer owners into purchasing their fake “anti-virus” programs. Microsoft Security Essentials Alert malware (meaning bad software) is introduced in an alert message reporting various threat details (see image 1). It will give an option to fix the computer and remove the threat by providing a “Scan Online” button.

Image 1 (Initial “Fake Infection” Screen)

Image of Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert

Clicking on “Scan Online”, will load a new window that display a number of available programs. There are actually so many legitimate programs present on the choices but mixed with rogue ones. Noticeably, only those fake programs are executable including Red Cross, Peak Protection, Pert Detector, Major Defense Kit and AntiSpy Safeguard (see image2).

Image 2 (What is shown after you select “Scan Online”)

Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Programs

Removal Instructions:

1. If possible: Open your internet browser and download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware by click here.

  • 1a. After downloading and installing MalwareBytes, select “Run Full Scan” and remove all infections upon completion

2. If you can not open any programs due to restrictions this malware makes:

  • 2a. Restart Your Computer and as soon as it turns back on (when you see the Dell, Gateway Logo, etc.), called the BIOS screen, press “F8”
  • 2b. When prompted how to start windows, select: “Start Computer in Safe Mode with Networking”
  • 2c. Open your internet brower once Windows loads and download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware by click here
  • 2d. After downloading and installing MalwareBytes, select “Run Full Scan” and remove all infections upon completion

Your computer should be Malware free!!!  You can update/scan with MalwareBytes whenever you feel necessary, or,  if you purchase a license for this software it will provide real-time protection and prevent these sorts of intrusions from getting into your computer.

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X