Home » Guide » How to Enable Custom Themes in Windows 7 Using the UXTheme Patcher

How to Enable Custom Themes in Windows 7 Using the UXTheme Patcher

Are you having trouble on Windows 7 with custom themes (shell styles)? After acquiring one of the numerous themes available, this is how to utilize the UXTheme Patcher and where to copy the theme files.

Copying Theme Files to Different Locations with The UXTheme Patcher

1. Patching Theme DLL Files

Before you may allow custom themes, one must patch the following three files:

  • dll
  • dll
  • dll

You only need to patch the uxtheme.dll on Windows XP and 2003, which is why the tool is called UXTheme Patcher.

Note: To run UniversalThemePatcher-x64.exe or x86.exe as administrator, right-click on it and select Run as administrator.

2. Verify that your UXTheme files are up to date

Verifying that your files have been patched appropriately is a crucial step that several people overlook. Launch the UXTheme Patcher once more after patching the files and rebooting your system, and you should see something like this:

There is no need to patch again because the current OS is compatible for 3rd party themes. But if you’re still unable to use the 3rd party theme, kindly inform the theme’s developer.

3. Understanding The Anatomy of Themes is the Most Difficult Part

Something that most newcomers don’t realize is that with Windows 7 64-bit, there is a 32-bit folder called SysWOW64 in C: Windows. Certain custom themes will necessitate you to place a file there, however, don’t just believe what we are saying; read the theme’s instructions to be certain.

Related:  4 Ways Your Business Can Benefit from Live Streaming

To enable a custom theme, you must modify the following files:

  • exe, explorerframe.exe, shell32.dll, imageres.dll, OobeFldr.dll

The exact theme files are as follows:

  • .theme
  • .msstyles (is the most important skinning file)

One can begin once they have determined where the files belong. In some circumstances, the files explorer.exe and explorerframe.exe are placed in the C: WindowsSystem32 or C: WindowsSysWOW64 folders, accordingly.

4. Copy .theme file and folder that includes .msstyles + Shell into Resource folder

To allow custom themes, we must first copy the files as shown above.

As you can see in the sample above, many themes provide a plethora of shell options. For example, if you want huge icons, copy:

Copy .theme file and folder that includes .msstyles + Shell into Resource folder.

To allow custom themes, we must first copy the files as shown above.

Darksoft Custom Theme

As you can see in the sample above, many themes provide a plethora of shell options. For example, if you want huge icons, copy:

  • Dark Soft little icons.theme
  • Dark Soft little icons (folder) 

Into This folder:

C:/Windows/Resources/Themes

5. Copy system files into System32/SysWOW64

Ultimately, the themes are ready to be enabled. The final piece is to copy the system files from the system files folder (e.g., Dark Soft system files) into the appropriate folders as mentioned previously.

Note:

  • Copy 32-bit (x86) system files to C: Windowssystem32 in Windows 7 32-bit.
  • Copy 64-bit (x64) system files to C: Windowssystem32 and 32-bit system files to C: WindowssysWOW64 in Windows 7 64-bit.

6. Themes must be enabled in the Personalization Control Panel

The final stage is self-explanatory: navigate to the Personalization Control Panel and select your shell themes. In Installed Themes, all custom themes will be displayed.

Select the theme you just installed.