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How to Install Custom Themes by neiio How to Install Custom Themes by neiio

How to Install & Use Custom 3rd Party Themes




I get asked quite often "how to install" or such...hopefully this is able to help those just starting
out with customizing. Feel free to use this as an open forum for those who are new, and those
who may be willing to help out.

Windows does not allow 3rd party themes by default thus we need to patch Windows to be able
to use those themes. You can use either of the following mentioned free utilities to patch your
Windows and to use your favorite 3rd party theme:
 
UltraUXThemePatcher

Many people know from experience, that the Windows design is nice, but sooner or later it will become boring and you wish to have a different design. And here is the problem, because to use 3. Party themes you have to modify some system files, which is not everybody's thing, or buy expensive software.

All this has now an end because the UltraUXThemePatcher for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows , Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (for 32bit and 64bit version) can do this automatically for you. Fast, free and without problems, because if your version should not be supported, the tool will recognize this and changes nothing. Do you want to support and improve the tool, you can mail me your uxtheme.dll and maybe in the next version of this it is supported.

FUNCTIONS

  • unproblematic installation
  • fast, easy and free
  • Modification of the own system files
  • multilingual
  • check the files for compatibility during the installation
  • backup from the original system files
  • rebuilding of the original system files through un-installation
  • silent installation with parameter /S

UxStyle

UxStyle is a bit of software that relaxes Windows theme signature requirements to enable third-party customization. Specifically, UxStyle consists of a tiny system service and a kernel driver that are loaded into memory where they hang out until reboot. No file system changes are made.

(First introduced on March 19, 2009.)

Operating System Support

  • Windows codenamed “Whistler” (escrow builds)
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

Applying Custom 3rd Party Theme

Once you have patched Windows, copy your desired theme folder (containing a .theme file and
a folder containing .msstyles file) to "%windir%ResourcesThemes" folder (where %windir%
means "Windows" directory present in system drive where Windows 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 Properties. Also make sure to install any included fonts first.

How to Add "Take Ownership" Option to File or Folder Context Menu

Many times you need to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows. For example, when you
want to customize Windows UI (explorer.exe, explorerframe.dll, shell32.dll) and need to replace
existing system files with a new one.
You just need to download following zip file and extract it. You'll get a .REG file. Run the file
and accept the confirmation:
Take Ownership
It'll add an extra option "Take ownership" in file and folder context menu:

Now you can right-click on any file or folder and select "Take ownership" option. It'll make you
the owner of the file or folder and you can perform your desired operation on that file or folder
such as replacing it.
After taking ownership of the file, backup your original and rename it, then replace it with the
new modded version.
For example to replace explorer.exe, first takeownership. Then rename to, for example
explorer.bak, once that is complete replace it with the modified version of explorer.exe that you
have.

Changing theme fonts

If you want smaller fonts or to change the actual font for a theme follow these instructions from
the WSB forums...
"Step 1: Open the theme you want to change in a resource hacker. (I use Restorator 2007.)
Step 2: Navigate to the string resource and expand.
Step 3: Drag/drop (or export) "Neutral" into Explorer.
Step 4: Open Neutral.rc in a text editor. (Notepad will suffice)
Step 5: Replace all instances of Font size with your preferred size.
Step 6: Save Neutral.rc
Step 7: Drag/Drop (or import) the new Neutral.rc from Explorer back into your resource hacker.
Step 8: Save the theme.
Step 9: Apply!"

Changing Icons

Blanked Icons! by neiio

This can be tricky, for those that want a blank icons.
It's very easy in Windows 7 with shortcuts to right click/Properties/Shortcut/Change Icon. With
application and system files you have to resort to an icon packager or/as well as reshackiing the
application and finding it's main icon and replacing it.

How to change super bar icons in Windows 7 & 8

www.howtogeek.com/howto/28847/…

Alternate Applications/Tools


Windows 7 Start Orb Changer by | Kishan-Bagaria
Along with a huge gallery of Start Orbs to choose from Startorbs

Windows 7 Navigation Buttons Customizer: Change Windows 7 Navigation Buttons Easily by |
Kishan-Bagaria

Theme Manager - Windows 7 by bickelk

CustoPack Toolsby David-PIERON

*Parts of this tutorial were adopted from the article on the askvg website entitled How to Install
& Use Custom 3rd Party Themes in Windows XP, Vista & 7 using Universal Theme Patcher,
VistaGlazz and UxStyle www.askvg.com/how-to-install-u…



Add a Comment:
 
:iconsoaringkiwi:
SoaringKiwi Featured By Owner 2 days ago
I was using themes on here but then it suddenly stopped working
Reply
:iconrsteve15:
rsteve15 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  New member Student Interface Designer
Hi, could you be a little more specific on how to install this ? when I clicked on Download I got a zip file. Do I extract then move the file to the theme folder in Windows ? thanks
Reply
:iconneiio:
neiio Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  Hobbyist Interface Designer
This is just the instructions on how to install themes.
Reply
:iconrsteve15:
rsteve15 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  New member Student Interface Designer
Yes, so what do you after you get the zip file ?
Reply
:iconkaz89:
Kaz89 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  New member
hi there well I got en error Uh oh, something went wrong with uxstyl.:( what shall I do? plz help
Reply
:iconmasterjehu:
masterJehu Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  New member Student Writer
Thanks ;)
this is really helpful :D
Reply
:iconnightmareinsperation:
NightmareInsperation Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
hey, i like your theme.

i got it working fine one time but now, it's not working.
(windows 7)
i got uxstyle and installed it.
i used the theme yesterday but i changed it away and back, and ever since then i cant get installed themes to work.
when i select the theme appears to have changed to it but visual styles gets automatically disabled every time, and when i turn it back on the style goes back to default- but in personalisation it says it's still the theme im trying to get.

my computer is playing a cruel game against a newbie to changing themes. -w-

im actually starting to think uxstyles is the cause.
i think i threw in the theme first and that's when it worked, but then i was playing around with some more themes and installed uxstyles and now none of the installed themes will work. (-i think-)
but i cant find the uxstyles folder to know for sure. w-w
Reply
:iconflecheur:
flecheur Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  New member Student Interface Designer
i have windows 8 installed on my laptop an i5 and i wish to use these theme to change my graphics but i cant download it
so please if someone  can provide me with a step by step method in downloading and installing it

Thanks.
Reply
:iconspartanhooah:
spartanhooah Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
Hi. I've admired your work for years (starting on Custo), but I've always had problems with themes after Windows XP. I followed your instructions and tried out your Discovery theme, but I think something didn't go quite right: i.imgur.com/UODyxCQ.png. What happened?
Reply
:icongr1mw0lf:
Gr1mW0lf Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Did a recent 8.1 update break 3rd party themes? I've followed these steps on two separate computers to install two separate themes made by different people, and they both have the same problem; some larger window elements and fonts don't get properly replaced.
It's just like in IBN5200's photo further down.
I tried using both UXStyle and UltraUXTheme separately. Same result in all cases.
Reply
Add a Comment: