Tutorial: How to install and use Vista themes and visual styles

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Step 1: Download Windows Vista UxTheme patch.

How to install

1. Login as a user with Administrative privileges -or- have Administrative credentials ready (check under the keyboard for a slip of paper).
2. Navigate to %systemroot%\System32
3. Right-click uxtheme.dll and click properties.
4. Take ownership of the file and close dialogs.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for themeui.dll and shsvcs.dll
6. Right-click uxtheme.dll and click properties.
7. Give yourself (or group) Full Control permissions and close dialogs.
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for themeui.dll and shsvcs.dll.
9. Rename uxtheme.dll to uxtheme.old.
10. Rename themeui.dll to themeui.old.
11. Rename shsvcs.dll to shsvcs.old.
12. Copy patched files into %systemroot%\System32
13. Reboot (yes, this is really required)

Step 1b: If you find the above too intimidating, download VistaGlazz and just run it, it automates the whole patching process so you don’t have to worry about it! It is basically like Neowin uxtheme patcher we used to have for Windows XP.

Step 2: Download a Windows Vista Visual Style from our free Windows Vista Themes gallery, and copy the theme to Windows/Resources/Themes folder.

Step 3: Right click on desktop and click on Personalize. From the page that pops up, click on Theme and choose your newly installed theme!

For comments and questions please go to this thread on forums.

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