How to Install & Use Custom (3rd party) Themes in Windows Se7en
Windows 7 has been released to Connect, MSDN and TechNet subscribers and the public release is scheduled on October 22nd. Many of you who can't get the RTM version, might be already using Windows 7 RC which was released to public by Microsoft.
Windows 7 look is very much similar to Vista with a few minor changes here and there and if you are a customization lover like me, you might want to change its look and apply some 3rd party themes. But the question is, how to use 3rd party themes in Windows 7?
Like other Windows versions, Windows 7 also doesn't allow 3rd party themes to be used by default and you'll need to patch following 3 system files to be able to use 3rd party themes in Windows 7:
All these 3 files are stored in %windir%\System32 folder. Manually patching these files is a risky and time consuming task, so we are sharing a small utility which can help you in patching these files easily and quickly.
Universal Theme Patcher is an excellent UxTheme Patcher which supports Windows XP SP2/SP3, Server 2003, Vista SP1/SP2, Server 2008 and Windows 7. It can be used in both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) systems.
[Download Universal Theme Patcher]
Following are simple steps to use this awesome tool:
1. You just need to run its EXE file and it'll ask you to select the language:
2. Click on OK button and it'll detect the OS and condition of the system files. It'll show you the information and will ask you for confirmation:
3. Click on Yes button. Now you'll see the main interface of this tool. You just need to click on the [Patch] button given for each file:
4.Once you patch a file, the [Restore] button gets activated so that you can restore the default file in future:
5. Restart your system and you'll be able to use 3rd party themes in Windows 7 without any problem.
6. At last simply copy the .theme file and its theme folder to %windir%\Resources\Themes folder (where %windir% means Windows directory present in system drive where Windows 7 is installed. Most probably C: drive). Now double-click on .theme file and it'll apply the theme or you can apply it using Desktop Personalization window.
Following is a screenshot of Windows 7 RTM using custom (3rd party) theme Gel XP Blue: