How to install Windows 8 themes

If you want to make Windows 7 or XP look like Windows 8, you need to know how to install the Windows 8 themes. Usually, it’s not that difficult, but if you have problems, here are some basic instructions.
Installing Windows 8 Themes

Installing Windows 8 Shell Themes

The most important folder for installing Windows 8 shell themes is the folder C:\Windows\Resources\Themes – this goes for both Windows XP and Windows 7. Also, both XP and 7 require a theme patcher which you need to download first. For XP it’s the Patcher.exe and for Windows 7 the UXTheme patcher.

Installing Themes On XP.
On Windows XP, simply extract the theme files to the folder. Most Windows XP include a file called Patcher.exe that is required to install shell themes on Windows XP. You can them double-click the .theme file that you downloaded and the theme will be installed on your PC:

Installting Themes on Windows 7
On Windows 7 installing themes is a bit more complicated. First of, you need to download the UXtheme patcher. You can do that here: Download UXTheme patcher

After downloading the Windows 7 UXTheme patcher, applying it and rebooting you can proceed with installing the actual themes.

Where to copy Windows 8 themes

You need to copy the folder and the .theme file with the exact same name to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

Finally, replace the explorer.exe. To do that you need to take ownership of the file, which is a bit complicated, but doable for beginners. Play around with a test file and right-click on it, then on Properties. On there you can take ownership and change the permissions for the file on the tab Security. It will take a while until you figure out how it all works or you can download some of the many “Take Ownership scripts” online.

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