Are you tired of the boring themes that come with Vista or Windows 7? Aero not suiting your needs? Then you too can fully skin and theme your operating system, by simply applying a few patches and modify some windows entries. This simple process, will take you a matter of minutes, and then you will be on your way to a fully skinned and modified Windows experience.
To start of, .msstyles have been in place on Windows based operating systems for a long time. Although Microsoft only implemented a handful of themes for their operating systems, they were intended to be only developed by Microsoft designers, for Microsoft users. This is a myth. Anyone can change the themes, all they need to do, is follow a few easy steps.
First, you will need to have the "Take Ownership" ability. This is fairly easy to do, for various OS's and processors. You'll need to download this registry hack, which allows you to do so. You can find it HERE
. Download and unzip the files contained in the zipfile. Double-click the InstallTakeOwnership.reg file and click through the prompts. No reboot necessary. It will then give you the ability, to right click a file or folder in any directory in your hard drive, and "Take Ownership" of that file/folder.
Next, you'll need to patch certain files withing the "hard drive"C:\Windows\system32\ folder. Depending on your OS, and system specs (32bit/64bit) (various service packs), you will easily be able to do this. First, navigate to HERE
, and choose your operating system, and appropriate system specs as follows. Download the zipfile, and open the prepare for the next step.
Locate following three files:
They will be in "hard drive"C:\Windows\system32\ "find files here". Now that you have installed the "Take Ownership" ability, you can simply right click each of these files, and take ownership of them. Do this one by one. Then find the three files again, and rename them, simply adding .old to the end of each. You will end up with uxtheme.dll.old, themeui.dll.old, and shsvcs.dll.old.
Now to the fun part. You may have seen various themes across the web. Although there is surely a hotbed of great skins and themes out there, Deviant Art
has a great collection, which are easy to manage. Just be sure to read each one, to see if it is for a 64 or 32 bit OS first. Some work fine with both, others do not.
Finally, find one that suits your needs. If you see one you like, simply download it. When it completes, open it with WinRAR or any other extraction tool, and then extract the files to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder. After doing this, simply navigate to that destination, C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\ and double click on the Windows Theme File OR Windows Visual Style File you have added there. If you do not see it, it may be inside the folder named accordingly with the theme you have downloaded. Doing this will bring up the Themes Settings or Appearance Settings menu. Now all you need to do, is choose the style/theme you added, and click apply.
Just like that, you have hacked the windows registry, patched the .dll's for Microsoft themes, and issued yourself a cracked and fully working, customizeable theme. Here is a glance at how the "Start/Orb" would look with a theme I am currently using. As you can see, I have now a star which changes colors, instead of the start/orb.
You can also see in this image, how Aero is allowed as well, and the background or wallpaper's colors, are integrated automatically into the taskbar's color. What this means is, depending on the wallpaper shades or colors, you will have different results. Try a white or bright bordered background, then try a dark one. You may like one result and not like the other.
Many themes are possible, also are the ability to create them, if you have programming knowledge. This is a great and handy tip for those of us who do not like to be plain and who tend to stay original. Thanks again to Deviant Art, for supplying us with the many themes they have provided. Any extra links to new themes, or similar styles, please feel free to post below.
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009Posted by: Date:
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
|posted by (2009-09-16 10:12:13)|
|nice nice artical top $$$$$$ :P y imo none team is boring imo|
|Again, depending on how many hard drives you use, the master is typically "C:\" for most PC's. If in fact you also have a 64 bit or 32 bit OS the destinations can vary. I hope that explains any question anyone would have. Feel free to ask and myself or one of my colleagues here will try our best to assist you :)|
|Also before anyone suggest using WindowsBlinds, VistaGlazz, or some other theme program, remember, this method uses NO extra resources other than what Vista/7 require for any of their themes :)|
|64bit's equivalent directory is /windows/wow64(rather than windows/system32) i use vista64 on my gaming box, and i still see no reason for themes... call me old-school.. but why.|
|posted by (2009-09-16 11:17:33)|
|^^^old skool lol top article me for 1 skin everything browsers, u torrent the lot...10/10 OB|
|I enjoy building these themes. I've done a few already. Call it a hobby :)|
|posted by (2009-09-16 22:47:26)|
|Great article! Thanks for taking the time to show us how to do this :)|
|Deviant Art has them for free Z0R4N. No need for them to be uploaded as torrents when you have such a nice selection there.|
|No problem. :)|
|posted by (2009-09-17 18:10:15)|
|It's so much easier when using linux, but thanks for the advice- I'll follow up on it.You are a very busy person. I always read your posts and a large selection of movies. Thanks for all|
|hye obs.ive tried n followd your steps but cant do it still.|
1) cant extrct to win/res/theme
2) and umm,which is those 3 files that i need to rename.i mean those in sys32
folder or dloaded withinwindows .zip folder.why do it need to be dload?
|You must download those "patched" system files, and replace the old ones by taking ownership and first. You cannot extract to that location if you have not yet "taken ownership" of the files.|
|hi done everything u said but it still wont work keeps giving me an error msg when i try to extract to themes folder???|
|posted by (2009-09-23 09:12:05)|
|yeah got it thnx|
god bless u
|best move in Winders ive ever seen HELL YEAH OBS!!!|
|posted by (2010-02-02 20:52:22)|
|For windows 7 build 7600 16385 patch visit.|
|An old skinner from wayback me - great article and thanks|
|posted by (2010-02-27 09:00:58)|
|A very good ideea.it seen to be nice|
|Thanks great post i whent from using windows to linux Ubuntu far better than any windows operating system you all should try it|
|posted by (2011-01-17 15:26:27)|
|nice article ..will try once ...good job buddy ..waiting for nxt|
|I dual boot windows and fedora (windoze for gaming only)so do not use windows skins or themes although I did over a decade ago when XP first came out and did boot/logon screens etc.much easier in Linux to be honest.|
|posted by (2012-07-29 05:36:57)|
|GOOD 1 WORKED PERFECTLY FOR ME!|
|For me, after patching those 3 files mentioned above, I downloaded a theme pack from this site You can find all kinds of themes like AlienWare, Asus theme pack etc..Download the zip file, extract (password=skinpacks.com) and just run the .exe, but decline all the non-themepack apps until you see installation box containing uxtheme.dll, accept and install. . The theme will be applied automatically and you'll see all the changes.|