If you have been using Windows for a long time, you might be familiar with classic themes that old Windows versions had. They had colorful window frames with gradients and custom fonts which were based on the erstwhile grey theme. Such themes were available in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP, which was the last Windows version which had them natively. Here is my port of those themes to Windows 10.
Unfortunately, there is no direct way to get the exact appearance of any of the classic themes, especially the ones which have title bar gradients. Windows 10 comes without the classic theme engine. Microsoft has removed support for most color and font metrics and only keeps themes based on visual styles. The Aero engine, which is the only one available in Windows 10 (and Windows 8), has no support for title bar gradients unless system files are patched. However, let's not go into that territory. I managed to get something that looks close to the original classic themes.
There is a hidden "Aero Lite" theme in Windows 10 which is used as the base for High Contrast themes. Luckily, it supports custom colors without patching or third party apps.
Using the color palette of Windows XP, I successfully reproduced all 17 classic themes, which are:
- Red blue white
- Classic theme from Windows XP
Now let's see some screenshots of them:
Download the whole collection here:
Each theme is just a *.theme file. Double click it to apply it. I also have a collection of similar themes for Windows 8.x here.
- Set the desired classic theme port as your Windows 10 theme. It will add a custom color to your Personalization - Colors settings page.
- Switch to the default Windows 10 theme and re-use that color in Personalization so the Metro skin of the Classic Shell menu gets that color.
- Switch back to the Aerolite based-theme. You will end up with the following appearance:
Do you like these themes? Do you miss the good old classic theme in Windows 10? Tell us in comments.