How To Use Windows 8 Themes In Windows 7

In a recent blog post on Windows Team Blog, Microsoft revealed that theme packs that have been created for Windows 8 don’t work in Windows 7. In simple words, Windows 8 themes (theme packs) are not supported in Windows 7. But all Windows 7 themes work in Windows 8.

While Windows 7 themes use .themepack extension, themes created in Windows 8 use .deskthemepack extension. You can’t install Windows 8 theme in Windows 7 even if you rename the .deskthemepack extension to .themepack. So, how to install and use Windows 8 themes in Windows 7?

As we all know, in general, a theme or theme pack includes desktop backgrounds, sound schemes, icons, and screen savers. If you are a Windows 7 user and looking for a way to use Windows 8 themes in Windows 7, simply follow the instructions given below to use all those beautiful desktop backgrounds and sound schemes in your Windows 7.

Step 1: Download Windows 8 theme from the Windows Personalization gallery.

Step 2: Download and install 7-Zip (free) software.

Step 3: Right-click on the Windows 8 theme file, select 7-Zip and then select Extract Files option. Extract the contents of the theme file to a New Folder on desktop. You should now get a .theme file and also a folder named DesktopBackground. This folder contains all desktop backgrounds included in the .deskthemepack file.

Use Windows 8 Theme In Windows 7 Step1

Step 4: Now you can open the folder, right-click on a picture and then select Set as desktop background. But if you want to create your Windows 7 theme using all extracted pictures from Windows 8 theme, you should follow the next two steps as well.

Step 5: Right-click on your Windows 7 desktop and select Personalize option. Once the Personalization window opens, click on Desktop Background and then click on Picture location browse button to browse to the DesktopBackground folder that you have obtained after extracting Windows 8 theme file.

Use Windows 8 Theme In Windows 7 Step2

Click Save changes button. Go back to Personalization window, click on Window Color, pick your own Window color and again click Save Changes button to save the new Window color.

Step 6: Finally click on the newly created theme file and select Save theme for sharing option. Enter a name for your theme to save your theme. This will save the theme in .themepack extension. You can use this theme on Windows 7 as well as Windows 8.

Use Windows 8 Theme In Windows 7 Step5

Good luck!

NOTE: The above procedure might not work well for themes with panoramic pictures.

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Comments

  1. spdfrknblunkdtek says

    Holy crap!!!! What a great, and super easy fix!! Now, will somebody please explain to me exactly why (if they are going to have a one size fits all for 7 & 8 themes) do they not, 1 : distinguish between the two and 2: I mean REALLY….a fix this simple and they couldn’t offer it to us already in this format…sheesh!!!! C’mon Msft!

  2. Psykoral says

    Great fix! Also note, there’s an easier fix for the Panoramic Windows 8 themes for multiple screens: select “Tile” instead of “Center” for Step 5.

  3. Roger Chaplin says

    @funky, if you have dual monitors and want the wallpaper to stretch across both, it would be
    [Control Panel\Desktop]
    TileWallpaper=1
    WallpaperStyle=6

  4. funky fresh says

    After all I don’t blame Microsoft for introducing new theme format that is not compatible with still fresh & young Win7, but why not to release an update for Win7 instead to make new Win8 themes to work??? But what really made me curse them is that the link located in Win7 Personalization Gallery opens online gallery and offers Win8 themes now!!! I spent 20mins figuring out why the themes are no longer installing for me!!!

    BTW, to make panoramic pictures to display properly (not cropped) edit the .theme file by setting a value of WallpaperStyle to 6 as below:

    [Control Panel\Desktop]
    TileWallpaper=0
    WallpaperStyle=6

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