Theme Settings

ByLine
How to Change the Desktop Theme in Vista
Synopsis
A Desktop Theme is a collection of visual elements and sounds for your computer desktop. These elements consists of the appearance of menus, icons, wallpapers, screen savers, fonts, some computer sounds, mouse pointers, and etc. This will show you how to change, save, or delete a theme.
How to Change the Desktop Theme in Vista

information   Information
A Desktop Theme is a collection of visual elements and sounds for your computer desktop. These elements consists of the appearance of menus, icons, wallpapers, screen savers, fonts, some computer sounds, mouse pointers, and etc. This will show you how to change, save, or delete a theme.
Note   Note
Vista only includes these two desktop themes: Windows Vista and Windows Classic. However, you can save any desktop theme you setup as a custom theme to save. Each user account can create and save their own custom desktop theme. See step 4 below for how to save a theme. See the related links for how to change each element in a desktop theme.
Tip   Tip

FILE EXTENSION: .theme


FOLDER LOCATION: C:\Windows\Resources\Themes
warning   Warning
There does not seem to many if any Vista themes currently available to download that you can use without having to hack system files to be able to use them. If you know of a website that does have free themes that you can use without hacking, then please post a link to it below.



Here's How:
1. Right click on a empty area of your desktop and click on Personalize. (See screenshot below)​
Right_Click.jpg

2. Click on Theme. (See screenshot below)​
Theme.jpg

3. Here are the Theme Settings :​
Settings1.jpg Settings2.jpg

4. To Save the Current Theme
NOTE: This is helpful if you want to save all of the changes you made to the desktop theme so you can add it back later if needed.
A) Click on the Save as button. (See screenshots above)​
B) Select where you want to save the theme by clicking on Browse Folders. (See screenshot below)​
C) Type in a name for the theme and click on the Save button.​
D) Click on Apply and OK.​
Save_As.jpg


5. To Change a Theme
NOTE: This would be a .theme file that you downloaded off the internet or one that you saved from step 3 above.
A) Click on the Theme: drop down menu and select a theme or click Browse to get one from another location. (See screenshot from step 3 above)
B) Navigate to the location of the .theme file and click on the Open button. (See screenshot below)​
C) Click on Apply and OK.​
Browse.jpg


6. To Delete a Theme
NOTE: You cannot delete the default Windows Vista and Windows Classic themes, only the ones you added or saved.
A) Select a theme under the Theme: drop down menu. (See screenshots from step 3 above)​
B) Click on the Delete button.​
C) Click on Apply and OK.​

That's it,
Shawn



 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Am I missing something, but when I try to load a new theme it only changes to windows classic, which looks horrible. I can' get the new theme to work.

I have Vista Ultimate x64 so do I need to do something special in order to get custom themes working?
 
Hello Termis,

Vista only comes with the Windows Classic and the default Windows Vista theme. Unless you made changes to your desktop and saved it as a theme in step 4, or downloaded a .theme, you will not have any other options. :(

I do not know of any sites yet that have .theme files available for download.

So your not missing anything. ;)

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hello Termis,

Vista only comes with the Windows Classic and the default Windows Vista theme. Unless you made changes to your desktop and saved it as a theme in step 4, or downloaded a .theme, you will not have any other options. :(

I do not know of any sites yet that have .theme files available for download.

So your not missing anything. ;)

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Brink, thanks for the answer but I found out myself what I should do. I needed to download custom dll's and replace them in system32. Then you can download .themes from across the internet , like deviant art, and copy them into resources/themes folder and then pick them in your themes menu.

Here's the link where I found the instructions:

deviantART Forum: How do I change my vista theme???Is it necessary to have some sort of program to do it??

Vista themes can be downloaded for example from here:

Free Windows Vista Themes
 
You can get Windows Classic themes from the website: ThemeWorld. Choose a theme in the Desktop Themes category list, find the one you want to download and save the theme in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes; right-click on Desktop, click Personalize -> Theme, click the installed theme from the drop-down arrow and click OK. Now you're ready to go.

You can get Windows Vista themes from this website: My Vista Themes. Some themes contain both Windows Aero and Windows Vista Basic and some contain Windows Vista Basic itself.

Yours sincerely,
Michael
 
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