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Why is Norton preventing me from installing Classic Shell?

Question: My Norton Internet Security won’t let me have the Classic Shell for Windows 8 that you recommended. It takes it right out as soon as I download it. Any more suggestions for a similar product?

I don’t have any personal recommendations for similar product. I’ve had other people recommend things like Start8 from It’s not free, but it does the same thing and while a lot of people seem fairly happy with it, I just have no direct experience with it.

But I’m more concerned about Norton kicking out Classic Shell. It shouldn’t do that and I’m concerned that there may be something else going on here.

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Downloading from third-parties

The first question that comes to mind is from which site are you downloading Classic Shell? I want to strongly emphasize that you should have gone to and downloaded it from there – or from the place that website told you to download it from.  You shouldn’t be getting it from a third-party site.

Classic Shell Official Website

The problem is that some third-party download sites (not all of them by any means, but some of them) actually add software to your download. It can be as simple as a download manager; it can be as invasive as additional toolbars that you didn’t ask for; it can be as bad as actual malware or spyware. In this last case, it could be possible that Norton is correctly preventing you from downloading Classic Shell because you’re getting something else in addition to the shell.

Downloading from the source

Now, if you are getting it directly from, then I’m certain that it’s something else. That’s a safe download to take and I wouldn’t expect your anti-malware tools to get in the way.

If Norton is getting in the way of that download, however, then I’d either:

  • Be annoyed with Norton for kicking me out of legitimate software and I’d wonder what else it’s preventing me from doing.
  • See if Norton will override that setting for this site. Basically, you’d whitelist the site or tell Norton that this download from this site is okay. I don’t know if they do that, but if they do, then that’s something I would explore.

In either case, the bottom line is to make sure that the file that you’re downloading is legitimate. Make sure you go to the real download page and are not downloading malware, spyware, or other malicious apps to your machine. And if your anti-malware tool is getting in the way of legitimate downloads, perhaps it’s time to investigate using a different security package.

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