Three Ways to Restore Features That Were Left Out Of Windows Vista or Windows 7


Change is sometimes defined as progress but that can depend on your point of view. One person’s progress might just be an annoyance to someone else. And that applies to some of the “improvements” Microsoft made in Windows Vista and 7. If you are used to certain previous ways of doing things in Windows, you might be interested in the following three ways to restore functions that got removed in Windows Vista or 7.

Restore “Connect To” in the Start menu in Windows 7

If you travel or go back and forth between home and business locations with your laptop, you probably need to make a variety of different connections to the Internet. Although not necessary, the “Connect To” function can be handy. This was a default entry in the Vista Start menu but is not in Windows 7. Here is how to restore it:

  1. Right-click the Start button
  2. Select “Properties” from the context menu
  3. Make sure that the “Start Menu” tab is selected
  4. Click the “Customize” button
  5. Put a check by “Connect to”
  6. Click “OK’ and “OK” again

Thanks to Gizmo for suggesting this tip.

Bring back menus to Windows Explorer in Windows Vista/7

Beginning with Vista, Microsoft decided that the menus that had been a part of Windows Explorer for years were taking up space. So they hid them and moved the functions to other places. Personally, I use the menus a lot and don’t see the “improvement” in having to hunt around for the various functions. Fortunately, the menu bar can be restored. For a one-time display of the menu bar, press the Alt key. To make the display permanent:

  1. Open the "Organize" menu
  2. Click "Layout"
  3. Put a check by "Menu Bar"

Go up one level in Windows Explorer

In XP, Windows Explorer has an "Up" button that will take you to the next-higher folder in the path. Vista/7 no longer has this function but has "bread-crumbs" and a "Back" button. However, you can go up one level by using the keyboard combination Alt + Up Arrow.

There you are—at least a few things back to the way they used to be.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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