Windows 7 contains many themes, you can select the theme you prefer by right clicking anywhere on your desktop and opening the “Personalize” menu.
The personalize menu mainly contains 3 types of themes, Basic, High Contrast and Aero themes. Aero themes are the ones that you’d want to pick if you’re trying to step-up the look of your desktop, but there’s also a wide range of themes available on the internet.
There are two types of available themes for Windows :
Official – These themes are provided by Microsoft Windows officially. You can download and use them from the official Microsoft website, or by clicking here. Once you’ve downloaded an official theme, they will appear in your personalize menu as “Installed Themes”
Third Party Themes (Unofficial) – Third party themes are unofficial themes provided by random creators from all around the world. Unfortunately, Windows does not allow the installation of third party themes by default. Hence, you’ll have to patch your system files to allow the use of third party themes.
Note – Patching system files in order to allow the use of third party themes isn’t all that risky, but we recommend creating a system restore point as a good practice.
To create a system restore point, type “create a restore point” in your start menu , hit enter and click on “Create”
(Always make sure to create a restore point before messing around with system files)
Download Required Apps
As we move further into this guide, we will have to download some required applications and a third party theme which will be used as an example here.
(The file is in .rar format so be sure to extract it into a folder located in your desktop)
Patching System files
In order to patch the system files, we will be using VistaGlazz.
VistaGlazz is an application that patches your system files to allow the installation of third party themes. It also contains an “Unpatch files” button so that you can revert to your old system files anytime.
- Open VistaGlazz Setup and install it
- Run VistaGlazz as administrator
- Click on the computer icon
- Click on “Patch files” and leave the machine for a minute or two
- Once it has patched your system files, you will have to restart your machine.
Installing Themes with ThemeManager
Theme Manager is an application that installs third party themes in your machine. Normally, after having your system files patched up, you should be able to install third party themes with the windows installer but there are some themes that cannot be installed. Theme Manager installs those themes for you and it also reduces risk of damaging system files with incompatible themes as the themes will be installed in theme manager.
- Install Theme Manager
- Run Theme Manager as administrator
- Click on “Install a Theme” and “Browse” in theme section
- Locate the folder where you extracted the downloaded files, open “Airlock Theme” and select “Airlock”
- Give the theme a name and click install
- Once the theme has been installed, you will be redirected back to the start menu.
- Select “Apply a Theme”
- Click on the right arrow and apply “Airlock”
(Please leave your machine for a minute after clicking “Apply”)
To switch back to your old theme, apply “Aero” via ThemeManager or open the personalize menu and select your basic theme.
You should also be able to install any third party themes now.
Note: If you’re having trouble installing VistaGlazz, Please disable your firewall and click here to download it separately. Allow executable file to be downloaded.
Let us know if you encounter any issues via the comments below.