Customizing Windows

More Than 200 Hacks,Tweaks,Moods,and Customizations.

English French Germany Spain Italy Dutch Russian Brazil Japanese Korean Arabic Chinese Simplified

Installing new visual styles

Currently, you can use new visual styles on XP in two different ways. Both options work around the requirement that visual style files must be signed. First, I am going to explain how to use, as well as the benefits of using, TGT Soft’s Style XP to use new visual styles. Then, I am going to show you how to use patcher XP as well as the benefits of using it. But first, I am going to show you where to download visual styles that can be used on your computer.

Downloading visual styles

Many cool sites on the Web offer thousands of visual styles to download. Unlike boot and logon screens, you do not need to worry about the version of a visual style because they are not system-critical files and their format does not change when service packs are released. This capability makes downloading them even easier, because you don’t have to worry about screwing up your computer.

Check out the following list of my favorite sites from which to download visual styles. I think you will find them very helpful.

_ ( offers well over 1,100 visual styles for Windows XP. It is, by far, the leader in the XP visual style world.

_ XPTheme ( offers over 300 visual styles.

_ NeoWin ( offers a great theme forum that has a lot of quality visual styles.

_ deviantART ( is another good site for visual styles that has an easy to use navigation system that shows 24 thumbnails of visual styles at once.

_ TSS2000 ( is a great site from which to get quality visual styles.

Although they require you to register on their site to download a visual style, this
requirement is worth it. They also have a large collection of Apple OS X-looking visual styles.

I personally like the look of the Apple OS X visual styles but do not like trying to make my PC look like a Mac. My favorite visual style is called iBar 4 set on the WinFlag color scheme. It is a nice blend between the OS X look and a Windows visual style. The iBar 4 visual style can be downloaded from 4650418/.
Many more sites are available from which you can download visual styles, but the sites mentioned previously will give you plenty of styles, more than you are likely to ever go through or use. Once you have downloaded a few visual styles that you would like to use from the Web, you are ready to extract them and place them in the appropriate place on your hard drive.

Windows stores the default Windows XP-style visual style at C:\Windows\Resources\
Themes on your hard drive. This is also where you should extract all of your visual styles that you downloaded inside a folder that has the same name as the .msstyles file. If the folder is not named correctly,Windows XP may not recognize the visual style. Also, you will find that when you extract some ZIP files where there was a visual style, there may be a folder called shell. This folder contains other visual style data and should be put in the same folder as the visual style file. If you also have a .theme file included with the visual style download, you should place that in the themes folder instead of inside the visual style folder.

When you have finished installing all the visual styles that you have downloaded to the themes folder, you are ready to set up your computer so that you can use the visual styles. The next two sections will show you how to install them using the two different approaches already mentioned: using the shareware Style XP and using freeware patches such as UXTheme Multi-Patcher.

Using Style XP to use non-Microsoft visual styles
Style XP, which is made by TGT Soft, was the first program that allowed Windows XP users to use non-Microsoft visual styles. Style XP and the free patch that TGT Soft also released are responsible for creating the visual style world on the Web. In this section, I am going to show you how to use this interesting app to install and use all of the thousands of visual styles available on the Web to transform the way Windows XP works.

Style XP 2.0 offers a lot of new features, such as icon packages, as well as logon and boot screen management. However, we are just going to focus on the visual style feature because that is what made this program famous.To get started, you will need to get a copy of Style XP 2.0 from TGT Soft. Visit to get a copy of Style XP. Once you are on their site, you will notice that they offer a couple of different download packages.
Make sure that you download Style XP 2.0 full install. They offer two different versions of this install, one for men and one for women. The two versions are the exact same version of Style XP except they have different visual styles included as a convenience if you have not already downloaded other visual styles. But because you have already downloaded some visual styles, you don’t really have to worry about that.

Once you have Style XP 2.0 downloaded and installed, you are ready to get started using it. Follow these steps to get Style XP up and running:

1. Click the Start button and navigate to All Programs, then look at the top of your Start Menu when all programs are expanded by Windows Update. Expand TGT Soft to run Style XP.

2. When Style XP loads, click the Visual Styles button and Style XP will search your
Theme folder for new visual styles.

3. You will see a list of all of the different visual styles on your computer in the middle of the window. A preview will be shown when you click the different visual style names.

4. Once you find the visual style that you want to use for the whole user interface, click the Apply Style to Current Theme button.

5. Your new visual style will now be applied. If you are satisfied with the new look, close Style XP and you are finished. If you’re not satisfied, go back to Step 3 and start over. As you can see, Style XP provides a very easy mechanism to change the current visual style that the Windows XP skinning engine is using. If you decide to download more visual styles, just install them and restart Style XP so that it can detect the new visual style. Then you will be able to change the visual style just as you have done previously.

Using UXTheme Multi-Patcher to enable use of non-Microsoft visual styles
Style XP 2.0 is not a free program. It provides an easy way to change the visual style, as well as a bunch of other features such as the ability to use visual styles without having to modify any skinning engine to accept non-Microsoft signed visual style files.With this convenience comes a price that you have to pay, if you want to use the program for more than 30 days.

If you would like a free solution to using non-Microsoft signed visual styles, then the best option is a program called the UXTheme Multi-Patcher, which will allow you to patch the visual style engine. This patch will remove the code in the engine that checks for a Microsoft signed file, which will then allow you to use any visual style that you want.

Another program that will also patch the visual style engine is known as Patch XP. However, there are various versions of XP, such as Original, Service Pack 1, and Service Pack 2. Each of these versions has a slightly different visual style engine, and that requires a program to bewritten for each specific version. I like to use the Multi-Patcher because it can patch different versions of Windows XP, unlike Patch XP, which requires a specific version for each Windows XP version.

UXTheme Multi-Patcher is developed by an XP user known as Windows X and can be downloaded at their Web site located, at
Download a copy now and perform the following steps to patch and change the visual styles on your computer without having to use Style XP:

1. Once you have downloaded the latest copy of the Multi-Patcher, double-click the Exe to start up the program.

2. When the Patcher loads, you will see the main program screen. Hit the Patch button

3. The OS Detection screen will pop up, asking you to confirm the Windows XP version that you are running. If the information is correct, click OK to continue.

4. When the patch is complete, you will be prompted with a screen asking you if you want to restart. Click Restart, if you want to restart now, or you can always restart at a later time. However, the visual style engine needs to be reloaded in order to accept non- Microsoft visual styles.

5. Shortly after the restart screen is shown, a Windows File Protection window may show up.Windows XP has detected the change in the system file and wants to replace the system file with an unpatched version. Click the Cancel button so that Windows XP does not replace the patched file with the original file.Windows will make you confirm your decision by popping up another window; click Yes so that you keep the patched version of the file.

6. Once you reboot, you will be running the patched version of the visual style engine.To change the active visual style, right-click the desktop and select Properties.

7. Then, click the Appearance tab and adjust the visual style by changing the Windows and Buttons drop-down box.

8. After you change the visual style, also consider adjusting the color scheme. Many of the visual styles that you download have different versions stored as different color schemes.

9. Once you are finished changing the visual style, just hit the OK button to save your changes and view the new visual style.

If you have problems with the UXTheme Multi-Patcher after running the patch, you can always revert to your original system file by running the Multi-Patcher again. Doing so will display an option that allows you to revert to the original visual style engine file.

Bookmark and Share

0 komentar:

Post a Comment


Blog Archive

Thank You


free counters