How to install 3rd party theme in Windows

How to install and apply custom 3rd party themes in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7

Windows doesn't allow 3rd party themes by default and we need to patch Windows to be able to use those themes. Using this tutorial you will able to use 3rd party themes. Here a several simple steps:

  1. Download and install Universal Theme Patcher utility. (Click here to download).
  2. You need to run its EXE file and it'll ask you to select the language. Select language and click "OK" button. It'll detect the OS and condition of the system files. It'll show you the information and will ask you for confirmation. Now you'll see the main window of Universal Theme Patcher. You just need to click the "Patch" button given for each file (three buttons for Vista and 7 and only two buttons for WIndows XP).
    Restart your system and you will be able to use 3rd party themes in Windows without any problem.
  3. Once you finished first step, copy your theme folder (containing a .theme file and a folder containing .msstyles file) to "Windows\Resources\Themes\" folder (directory in system drive where Windows is installed. Usually it is the C: drive).
  4. Now double-click on .theme file and it'll apply the theme or you can apply it using Desktop Properties(in WIndows XP)/Personalization options (in Vista/7).
  5. If your theme contains modded system files, e.g. explorerframe.dll then you need to use our TakeOwnershipEx tool (Click here to download).
  6. Just run it, press the "Take Ownership" button, select the file of folder that interests you (e.g. C:\Windows\System32\explorerframe.dll) and press "OK". The effective TakeOwnershipEx tool will do all the necessary modifications to the file so that you will get full access to it.
  7. Rename you current system file, e.g. explorerframe_backup.dll.
  8. Put modded file you have instead of original and reboot your PC.
    You are done.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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