Windows 7 was a huge leap compared to Windows xp(lets ignore that laggard Vista) in terms of visual assets. Although the visual elements like aero, shadows, etc were introduced with vista, it came with huge trade offs in performance. 7 was as clean as it gets, but it turns out some people just can’t live on middle ground. Unlike windows xp, changing the visual elements(not the basic windows 7 themes that change wallpapers and aero colour) can be tricky. The following guide helps you do just that.
Before we tell you anything further, create a backup.
Microsoft does not allow you to use themes that modify the shell of Windows 7 or other parts like the Start orb or the taskbar. In order to install those themes you will have to patch some .dll files found in system 32 of your windows.
To patch these files, namely uxtheme.dll, themeui.dll and themeservice.dll, you can download the Universal Theme Patcher that works with both x32 and x64 bit versions of windows.
To make things easier, this is the download page.
In order to patch the files, you will have to run this with administrator privileges. To provide admin rights, right-click on the file and select “Run as administrator”. In the interface that follows click patch for all three of the dll files and your PC is ready for a spin.
Once the files have been patched, head over to Deviant and search for ‘visual styles 7’. Download the theme you prefer extract the contents and copy the folder and .theme file to “c:\windows\resources\themes” and you are done. Make sure that the folder and the .theme file have the same name.
The installed themes can be changed by right click on desktop and then personalize.
Many themes will include system files that you have to replace, e.g. explorer.exe, shell32.dll or other system files. You have to replace them to fully install your themes. To replace them rename the old files as explorer.old ect and copy the new files.
START ORB: that little start button at the bottom left is now known as start orb, and boy it hasn’t changed much. Changing it is relatively simple. Just download start orb changer after you have a backup of the default orb. Now download the .bmp image of a start orb of choice from deviantart.com and replace it using the orb changer.
WARNING: Modifying system files can render your system unusable! Always be VERY careful when you replace system files.
Blogtechnika would like to extend a warm gratitude towards Mr. Ankur Jangra for his valuable contribution to this post.