Every time Windows gets a bit modernized, there are always those who prefer how they worked and how things looked before. In the case of the taskbar, it has evolved a lot over the years, and the differences between what we have today in Windows 10 versus what we had in the era of Windows 95, are quite large.
With Windows 11 things have even gone a bit the other way around, and although the design improves and becomes more consistent, at the same time they are taking away functions. If the same you are one of those who prefers the classic styles of a thinner bar, where not everything was combined within the same icon, and you like more how it looked in Windows XP, this tool is for you.
RetroBar is a small open source app that serves to give you back the classic look of Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000 or XP to your taskbar in Windows 10 or Windows 11 (although it also works with Windows 7 and Windows 8). As its creator explains, it is for those who “feel nostalgic for simpler times.”
The tool It is extremely light and works as a portable application, that is, you do not need to install anything. Just download the latest version from its page on GitHub and unzip the .ZIP file in any folder of your choice.
By default, RetroBar will change your bar immediately to the Windows 95 style, but you can choose from multiple themes simply by right clicking on the bar and choosing Properties.
Most of the styles are classic like Windows 95, and there is only one XP style. The app also supports the creation of your own themes in XAML format, if you want to create your own, you can do it using the code included in the example.
In addition to the different themes, you have some extra options, such as allowing fonts to be smoothed so that the letters can be seen better. You can also collapse the icons in the notification area if they bother you, or even hide the clock.
When you use this bar and open the Start Menu, it is certainly a visual shock that dazzles, but worse things I have seen … I think. The advantage is that it is an extremely responsive and light bar, and if you are one of those who prefer this style, it is an interesting alternative.