Windows have some pre-installed themes in them but to install 3rd party themes from the communities of theme-builders one has to make some necessary changes in the system files and the default theme files to be able to run these custom themes successfully on the windows 7/8/8.1. These custom themes and visual styles give a new look to the desktop by changing the windows frames’ designs, taskbar, icons, navigation buttons and much more.
Steps to Install Shell Themes and Visual Styles in Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1:
1. Patch the system files
Windows by default load only those themes that are signed by Microsoft and so in order to install custom themes you must first disable this check by modifying windows system files and specifically the uxtheme.dll file. To do so two very popular softwares are available on the internet that are listed below-
This application runs in the memory so do not modify the original system files and is the safest way to do the file patching. Install the software and run it on your system. After the installation is over just reboot the system and your files will be patched.
Note: Run X64 installer for 64-bit windows and X86 installer for the 32-bit windows.
UxStyle for Win 7 here.
UxStyle for Win 8/8.1 here.
It is another software to patch the system files similar to the UxStyle. The same procedure applies for this also, just install it and run it. After the installation is over reboot the system when asked and your system files will be patched successfully.
Download the UltraUXThemePatcher for windows from here.
2. Download the Custom Themes
Once the system files are successfully patched now download the third party theme files you want to apply on your desktop. There are many websites offering themes for windows. Try to look for the websites having positive reviews and genuine themes.
The Deviant Art is one such theme provider and is genuine and very popular among the custom themes for windows. To download the themes links below are provided-
3. Installing the themes
Extract now the downloaded theme if it is in .zip format and copy the contents of theme folder into C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\
Some of the themes also contain their fonts in it which you need to install separately. To install the fonts just copy the .ttf font files into C:\Windows\Fonts.
After this your theme can now be applied to the system directly by double clicking on the .theme file of your desired theme.
Below is the pictorial demonstration given on how to install a Maverick Ubuntu Theme on windows-
1- Theme files copied in the system folder
2- Fonts installed
3- Theme can also be applied from Personalization Menu
4- Theme Applied Successfully
If the above given steps are followed correctly then your theme is installed and is ready to be applied on your desktop. Note that these themes are not official themes of Windows and are the third-party themes so these may show some glitches while running on the system. This is because the original applications of Windows are not designed for these unofficial themes. So do not panic and enjoy the new look of your PC ignoring these fairly small glitches.
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