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Windows 7 themes for Windows XP

Windows 7 uxtheme
Update: we've added a new post that includes several newer options - for both XP and Vista!

Sure, we don't actually have any real idea what Windows 7 will look like. But if you believe the screenshots floating around the web, the next version of Windows will look an awful lot like Vista. With a few new effects. And so when the folks at DeviantART decided to put together a few Windows 7 themes for Windows XP, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the themes look and feel a lot like Windows Vista.

That said, they're much prettier than the default themes available for Windows XP. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't make it easy to install third party themes for Windows XP. Officially you're pretty much stuck with Windows XP, Windows Classic, and a Microsoft Zune theme. So the first thing you need to do to install a third party theme is to install a program called UxTheme Patcher.

If you're running Windows XP SP2 or earlier, you can download a Windows 7 theme and UxTheme Patcher in one fell swoop at MegaLeecher. Just unzip the file and click the multi-patcher file in the UX Theme Patcher Folder and then click the Windows 7 M1 VS.msstyles file in the Windows 7 M1 VS subfolder in the Themes folder.

But the included UxTheme Patcher isn't compatible with Windows XP SP3. So if you have SP3 installed, you'll need to download and install a patcher from another location. Once you've done that and rebooted your system, you should be able to install third party themes like the Windows 7 theme. Just don't expect it to look like much other than a Windows Vista theme.

What are some of your favorite third party themes for Windows XP? Let us know in the comments.

[via Life Rocks 2.0 and Shell Extension City]

Tags: freeware, osupdates, themes, uxtheme, uxtheme-patcher, windows-7, windows-7-theme, windows-xp, windows-xp-sp3

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