We always like to customize our Windows by installing new screen savers, mouse pointers and themes. There are hundreds of themes available to spice up Windows. But one of the biggest annoyances of Windows is that it doesn’t let you install third-party visual styles without modifying system files.
As you all know, Windows doesn’t let you install third-party themes by default. To install a third-party theme in Windows, you need to patch Windows system files. Of course, there are many patches available, but many novice users find using them as a tedious task. Windows users who would like to safely edit system files to enable third-party visual styles support can now download a free program named UxStyle Core.
UxStyle Core is a free program that lets you patch a couple of original Windows system files in a few seconds easily without playing with system files. It works fine for XP, Vista and Windows 7. So, just download and install the UxStyle Core to start playing with new themes. We suggest you create a manual system restore point before installing the tool.
Once the tool is installed, you can download new themes from the web (see seven fantastic Windows 7 themes) and then place the downloaded files in the Resources folder located under Windows directory. Most of the themes out there come with a text file containing detailed instructions to safely install and activate the theme.
Please don’t misunderstand visual styles as theme packs. Theme packs contain only wallpapers and window colors whereas visual styles or themes help you change the full look of window borders, explorer style and taskbar.
Update: The team behind UxStyle has updated the program to support Windows 8 as well. Yes, Windows 8 users who would like to install third-party themes can now download UxStyle Core for Windows 8.