We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Turn Vista and XP into Windows 7

Get the main Windows 7 features now

Many PC users are dying to get their hands on Microsoft's highly anticipated Windows 7. If you don't want to install the release candidate onto your machine, it's quite a wait until the OS is made publicly available on October 22.

However, we've rounded up some tips to ensure you can get the highlights of Windows 7 on Windows Vista or XP.

Aero Snap

What it is: When you drag a window to the left or right edge of your computer screen, Windows 7's Aero Snap feature automatically resizes the window to fill that half of the screen. To ‘undock' a window, simply click and drag it away from the edge.

This feature is especially convenient for PC users who have widescreen monitors, because it enables them to put a pair of windows side by side in just two quick mouse clicks.

How to get it: The free AeroSnap download makes automatic window anchoring and resizing available to Vista and XP systems. And it emulates Windows 7 in another way: If you drag a window to the top edge of the screen, the window maximises.

Invisible Windows

What it is: Need to peek at your desktop? Clicking Vista's Show Desktop button will minimise all of your open windows, but Windows 7 can make them temporarily become transparent - great for glancing at, say, one of Windows' new floating Gadgets.

All you have to do is hover over the Show Desktop button in the bottom-right corner of the screen, and presto: Your windows turn invisible, with only the borders remaining. Slide your mouse away, and immediately the windows become opaque once more.

How to get it: The freebie AeroPeek (the link goes to a downloadable zip file) for XP and Vista works a bit differently - you have to click to activate it and then click again to deactivate it - but the end result is much the same: your open windows turn see-through, allowing you to view the desktop behind them.

Of course, you can always press Windows-D to minimise all open windows (and afterward press Windows-D again to restore them), but what fun is that?

NEXT PAGE: Window Shake and the Pinnable Taskbar

  1. Get the main Windows 7 features on your current OS
  2. Window Shake and the Pinnable Taskbar
  3. The icons-only taskbar

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model