7 ways to make your Vista desktop look like Windows 7

This is only half the job done, though, because there's still quite a way to go if you want to get your Vista Taskbar looking spot-on. To get the full Windows 7 effect you need to add Windows 7-style icons and Taskbar windows.

Download the Windows 7 Taskbar Iconizer from here and double click the EXE file. In the window that appears, click the Windows 7 Type 'Iconized' portion of the image, log out of Windows Vista and then log back on.

Now, when you open up your programs or folders in Windows Vista, they'll display as little icons along the Taskbar. This little modification doesn't just look good, it also gives you some extra functionality. When you have multiple documents open in the same Program window on the Taskbar, a click of the window will bring up a menu from which you can choose which document to open – a very handy feature.

The Windows 7 Taskbar also has large icons that run alongside its left-hand side. When you click them they launch programs. To add these to your Windows Vista Taskbar, you first need to download EnhanceMyVista from here, then open it and select Customization\Taskbar and check the Iconize your Taskbar box. Save the changes made, close it and apply the modifications by restarting your PC.

We're not done yet! Once your PC has restarted, right-click the Taskbar and click Lock the Taskbar to unlock it. Right-click the Taskbar again and choose View\Large Icons. If you have a lot of icons in here, you'll need to grab the edge of the bar and drag it to the right. If your Taskbar is a little on the empty side, you can add more icons to it by dragging those you want from the Start menu.

4. Start-up/log-on screens

As well as giving your desktop the Windows 7 theme, you can also change the start-up and log-on screens so you feel like you're in Windows 7 from start to finish. Download the start-up screen from here, double-click it and the previously-installed TuneUp Utilities 2009 should recognise and install it.

If this doesn't happen, open TuneUp Utilities 2009, click Customize Windows\TuneUp Styler, choose Boot Screen and select Add\Load Boot Screen from file.

When you start your PC, you'll get a screen similar to the one in Windows 7 – albeit a still instead of animated one as Windows Vista doesn't support this feature. Now you've got past the start-up screen, you can also change the green background of the Windows Vista log-on screen to the Windows 7 blue one.

Get the Windows 7 screen from here, go to the Windows_7_Login_Screen_by_ pugalenthi folder and browse to LogonStudioVista. Double-click and install this file. Open Stardock LogonStudio and click Load. Go back to the Windows_7_ Login_Screen_by_pugalenthi folder, open the LogonVista File folder and double-click the Windows 7 file.

The blue background will be in place on restart, but will still say Windows Vista, so to get the full effect, change it to Windows 7 Ultimate. Open the Windows_7_Style_ For_Vista_by_giannisgx89 folder, go to the Take ownership folder, double-click the InstallTakeOwnership file.

Open the Windows_7_Login_Screen_by_ pugalenthi folder, browse to the Dll file folder, right-click basebrd.dll and select Take ownership. Double-click basedbrd.dll and click Yes. Job done – phew!

5. Enjoy Windows 7 action with Aero apps

Shake it up

AeroShake offers an intuitive way to minimise open windows on your desktop. When you click an open window and shake your mouse left to right, all the windows behind it disappear. With another shake of the mouse, they reappear – magic!

You can download an AeroShake application here. Don't forget, when you shut down or restart your PC the application – which sits in your Taskbar – will be removed, so you'll have to double-click it each time you restart.