Install third party themes on windows xp, vista and 7You may already know by default Windows 7, Vista or XP doesn’t support installing third party themes on it’s system with which we can customize our windows more effectively. For example you already have seen general themes on windows 7 which are actually a set of wall papers and colorings. But those themes don’t allow to tweaks of Explorer, Task bars, Icons and any more. Third party themes offer more effective customization so that we can change our windows look and feel.

So far there were many tools, hacks ware made to patch windows to make it third party theme supported. But maximum of them were gone in vain.We need to look for a easy and free tool which will patch windows without any problem or error. Here are best three tools to patch windows theme engine files so that you can install any type of third party the on windows.

#1. Universal Theme Patcher (Recommended)

Universal Theme patcher is the best tool which is UXTheme patcher and works well with windows 7, vista, 2008,2003 and XP according to it’s author. It’s available for both 32Bit/x86 and 64bit.  After downloading it, run it. If you windows is 32Bit/x86 choose x86, else x64. After running simply click on “Patch” to patch windows.

Universal Theme patcher - Install third party themes on windows

For windows XP and 2003 you need to patch only uxtheme.dll. For windows vista or 7, you need to patch all three files. Remember to restart your computer after patch.

Download universal theme patcher from here. If download is not working search it here. Developer Home.

#2. UX Theme Multi Patcher

Since Windows XP or 7 was released, there are countless 3rd-party visual styles released by many skinners in order to improve user’s experiences and eye candy. But using non-certified visual style is disallowed by Microsoft’s certificate protection so you need to bypass certification verification in uxtheme.dll. This UXpatcher will help you to patch windows theme engine files to install third party themes. It supports windows XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 and 7. like above tool it also comes with two particular files for x86 & x64.

UXTheme Multi Patcher for windows 7

If you have problem with compatibility with latest windows service pack, then Right Click > Properties > Compatibility > Select the immediate old version of windows.

Download UXPacher from here. Developer home.

#3. Ux Style

Uxstyle is another mini tool which patch with windows theme service. It modifies a system file called Uxtheme.dll for unlocking the ability to use custom .msstyle files (visual style).

Ux Style theme patcherDownload UxStyle froem here.

What after Patching ?

You are done because your windows is ready to install third party uncertified themes. If your theme comes with an *.exe installer file then install it by clicking on the exe file. If the theme comes with archive file like *.zip package, then extract the files from the package and put them at C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. Then double click on the .theme inside the theme folder you just copied to apply this theme.


Jaber is a Programmer and Tech Enthusiast Geek from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.