Multi-booting is a procedure with which you can boot into more than one operating system of your choice on a single PC. Suppose you installed Windows 8 in dual-boot with Windows 7. For this you will have a dual-boot menu when you start your system. You will have to choose either of the OSs or it will boot into the default OS after a fixed period of time.

Starting from Windows 8, Microsoft introduced a modern (Metro style) graphical boot menu which is mouse and touch friendly, and has extra options. Before this, on Windows 7 or vista, the boot menu was as simple as text-based black and white. So if you have installed Windows 7 after installing Windows 8 or any later version, you will get Windows 7’s classic boot menu. To most, this classic text-based boot option is not pleasing.

Switch Between modern and classic dual boot menu

Here I will show you how you can enable GUI based boot menu or switch to classic boot menu. Before proceeding, it’s recommended to create a recovery drive so that you have backup in case you loose your boot loader.

Switch from Text-based to Graphical Boot Menu

  1. Boot into Windows 8 or any newer Windows you have in boot menu.
  2. Press Windows Key + X on your keyboard and click Command Prompt (Admin).
    Run CMD with elevated previledge
  3. Type the following command and press enter:
    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard
  4. You should see a success message in next line as following:
    Set standard touch friendly boot menu
  5. Close CMD window and restart your PC to see effect.

Switch from Graphical to Text-based Boot Menu

  1. Boot into Windows 8 or any newer version and run Command Prompt as admin like above guide.
  2. Type following command and hit enter:
    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
  3. After seeing success message, close Command Prompt and restart Windows to see it in effect.
    Set old classic list based boot menu
  4. That’s it!

Easier Way (If you have Windows 7 in Boot Option)

If you make Windows 7’s boot-loader as default, your boot menu will be turned into non-graphical boot menu. To do that,

  1. Boot into any Windows and press Windows Key + R. Type msconfig and hit OK.
    Change default boot loader
  2. From Boot tab, select Windows 7 and click Set as default.
  3. Close the program.

This will make your PC run old black and white boot loader. To revert back to Windows 8’s beautiful bootloader UI, select Windows 8 there and press Set as default.

You can also checkout Xandy’s other guides at SuperUser.


Jaber is a Programmer and Tech Enthusiast Geek from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.