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Do you like Windows Vista only because of its newly revamped Graphical User Interface? It surely does have an attractive interface but many are still hesitant to upgrade. Some because of it’s massive system requirements, and some because of all the negative buzz around it. Whatever your reasons are, you still can get a Vista like look even on your Win XP system. Below are some of the better free tools that can help you to make your Windows XP look like Vista. Just make sure you got a bit of spare RAM on your system.

Make Windows XP look like Windows Vista

Vista Start Menu

Vista Start Menu turns XP’s Start menu into one like on Vista. Not only do you get a better look but also many new features that are normally not there. These include: resizable start menu, zoom in/out, program launcher, desktop search, power buttons, tabs, and more. Another noteworthy aspect, Vista Start Menu does not change your system settings, thus making it easy to install, as well as simple to remove.

Vista Start Menu 2.2

Vista Transformation Pack 7

VTP changes XP’s interface, including the Start menu, the Control Panel, system dialogs, icons, and more, to Vista style. Also includes a transparency function to mimic Vista’s Aero Glass functionality. It’s probably the most comprehensive package out of all, so be very careful with it. While I haven’t experienced any problems some folks reported difficulties in uninstalling it (see comments here). Here are some of the notable changes that will be made to your system.

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[Update: Version 8 was released yesterday (Nov 28). It’s seems to be better and much more stable. Read more here]

  • Boot screen / Welcome Screen / Logon Screen.
  • New desktop, file and toolbar icons.
  • Progress Dialogs.
  • New System Tray icons.
  • New Sounds scheme.
  • New interface visual styles.
  • Windows Media Player Skins.

RocketDock

RocketDock is a portable, memory-friendly, smoothly animated, alpha blended application launcher that sits on your screen. It provides a nice clean interface to drop shortcuts on for easy access and organization. Some features that are worth looking at include: Minimize active windows to the dock, drag-n-drop interface, Dual-monitor support, Auto-hide and Popup on mouse over, and Running application indicators. Check it out in action in the video below

VistaMizer

VistaMizer modifies about 400 of your system files, and when you reboot your system after installation you won’t remember how your old desktop looked like. It’s highly customizable and changes lots of stuff. What’s really good about is that it will keep backup of all the changes (so that you can easily revert it) and won’t replace/overwrite anything that would risk destabilizing your system.

WindowBlinds

WindowsBlinds is not a program specifically designed to Vistalize your system. It’s more a tool for applying different visual theme on your entire current Windows environment: changing overall look and feel, title bars, push buttons, start bar, start menu and more. Similar to the above RocketDock, it claims to be memory-friendly, so it shouldn’t slow down your system. Once installed, you can either apply one of the default visual themes or download one from the WindowsBlinds gallery (over 1000 themes). WindowsBlinds comes both in a free and paid version. Although the free version lacks some of the additional features it still does the job.

WindowBlinds 5.0

Share you thoughts in comments!

(By) TechDune (edited by Aibek)

  1. Birthday Flowers
    January 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    unbeliveable nice article - great!

  2. ev
    January 11, 2010 at 9:00 am

    exactly, it should be social medialized!!!

  3. steve
    December 13, 2009 at 1:13 am

    thank mate thats just made my day

  4. arung himawan
    December 6, 2009 at 7:01 am

    heyy..it works

  5. vandy
    December 4, 2009 at 7:07 am

    i am not able to reboot vistamizer

  6. SWP
    November 3, 2009 at 12:45 am

    nice tutorial

  7. Pratik
    November 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    hello

    I need the my xp to look like vista with the soft buttons on the destop.

  8. Muhammad Babar
    September 27, 2009 at 12:53 am

    It is very good,I like it.thanks

  9. karbito
    September 23, 2009 at 4:52 am

    thanks for vista transformation of xp,its awesome.

  10. VistaSwitch
    September 20, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for the cool downloads! My Windows XP looks exactly like a Vista! Soon, I will try to see if I can make mine a Mac! Look out for MacSwitch!

  11. icoupon
    August 31, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Great article - thanks! You can learn more about Coupon registration and great discount offers and the pros and cons of different Websites through our website...
    Regards,
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  12. sean
    June 25, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I know what you can use to make your computer sound look like and have all the features in and for vista
    that you can download for any operating system,
    it is called Windiws Vista Transformation Pack

    How do I download it?

    Ok il just give you the url website link...http://www.google.co.uk/url?q=http://www.windowsxlive.net/vista-transformation-pack-9.0.1-its-fixed...&ei=i8ZDStmyDoKUjAey4ZWmDw&sa=X&oi=smap&resnum=1&ct=result&cd=3&usg=AFQjCNEacFDkhv_jAASZN0m-seHAqV9JmA

  13. mr b
    June 7, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    me xp look mad out it looks better than ever

  14. high class call girl
    April 27, 2009 at 7:52 am

    It is a great article. In addition, the best other guides for Windows XP to Windows Vista and Windows 7 Transformation i’ve ever known on WinMatrix for every Windows XP. cheers and thx

  15. Iproxp
    March 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for this great article. In addition, the best other guides for Windows XP to Windows Vista and Windows 7 Transformation i've ever known on WinMatrix for every Windows XP user (thanks to AMIRZ above):

    http://www.winmatrix.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=20480

    and

    http://www.winmatrix.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=21246

    You can find and download many cool stuffs + even some port apps and guides/links there to totally transform and enhance XP like Windows Vista and or Windows 7 for free, in both GUI and feature/function! Just FYI. Thanks.

  16. AMIRZ
    March 17, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Updated the above link:

    "List of Most Vista and Windows 7 Applications and Features for Windows Xp":

    http://www.winmatrix.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=20480

    and

    http://www.winmatrix.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=21246

    Long live Xp!

  17. obsługa kart płatniczych kraków
    March 13, 2009 at 4:00 am

    it’s great!

  18. themisfit
    February 26, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    nice work

  19. kelly
    February 10, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    how many gigs of ram do i need?
    i have 1gb of ram.

    would my computer be able to handle these programs?

  20. muhammad
    February 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    thx

  21. amber gifts
    February 5, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks to this article made nearly a year ago, I discovered RocketDock. Now my entire IT department for a rather large school system is using it, and we all wonder how we functioned with clunky old XP pro before!

    cheers :)

  22. tanie strony internetowe
    January 29, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for this article, it's great. So great that we've made it 'sticky' on The Webmaster Forums. Now we don't have to repeat ourselves, just send people to this article!

  23. zAHID
    January 24, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Hi!
    Its a rip off I installed the download link it asked for a code by sms which cost me 9 pounds and nothing really happend please help!

  24. Northman
    October 25, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks, Techdune.

    I think my preference is VistaStartMenu, as it is light touch and does not change much on my systems - especially performance.

    Here is some help to hl7.com.au/Fix&Optimize-Slow-Windows-XP.htm keep your XP running fast ...

    I also like the irony of running XP that looks like the ill-fated Vista ...

    N

  25. joma
    October 23, 2008 at 10:41 am

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    megauploadfiles.com

  26. Amirz
    October 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    List of most vista applications and features for xp + Download links (i.e all vista applications ported to Xp etc) : -> Recommended for All Xp Users!

    http://www.winmatrix.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=20480

    Cheers! ;)

  27. Zapper
    October 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Hello, this is an awesome packet, although I have some questions for you, Techdude. Do you need alot of ram? Does it have the vista personilize tab? Must I use the Vista startupd?

  28. Itaque
    September 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks to this article made nearly a year ago, I discovered RocketDock. Now my entire IT department for a rather large school system is using it, and we all wonder how we functioned with clunky old XP pro before!

    Thanks for the wonderful articles, keep them coming!

  29. kaez
    September 5, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    thanks for this wonderful post

  30. prashanth
    August 19, 2008 at 12:42 am

    it is very beautyful

  31. Mark
    August 15, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Vista transformation pack doesn't work for me, does it only work for 64 bit versions of windows or pro edition of windows xp????

    • Mike
      September 17, 2008 at 2:45 pm

      No, I am running Windows XP Home Edition 32 bit and it I ran it for a short time.( got rid of it because it got boring)

      Although, I do have a 64 bit processor that shouldn't mean anything.

  32. Charles David
    July 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Hey guys,
    Do you know any program which can make your xp look like Mac OSX?Vista is way too boring for me :p

    • Mark
      August 15, 2008 at 2:32 pm

      Try flyakite os x, it bulks down your computer a lot, but it doesnt look bad. It makes it look like OS X Tiger or well the fourth version i forgot witch one that is...

  33. Ray
    July 10, 2008 at 3:19 am

    this is an ok guide and help to making Xp look like vista. but what if your computer isn't compatible with VTP 7 (vista transformation pack). mine can't but i would say all you need is VIstart , vistamizer and transbar.

    VIstart = the start menu of vista
    vistamizer = the looks, sounds app's and everything of vista
    Transbar = the transparency of your taskbar

  34. Yosep
    July 7, 2008 at 6:37 am

    Hi TechDune! nice post!
    Thanks for this post, I had my WinXp like Vista now ^^

  35. Dojan5
    June 26, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    I do not like the looks of Windows Vista, unless of course you count out the Basic theme.
    I find Aero to be incompleted, and it does not melt in with the rest of the interface.

    I have Windows Vista, and none of the tools will make Windows act like it.
    Vista is smooth, even on older systems, like my own.
    Many people talk how Vista is crap and none of their programs work.
    Guess why?
    They are numskulls, thats why.
    I am a computer programmer (Look at my site if you dont belive me).
    I know over 20 programming languages, including the most basic like C#/C++.
    There is no problem with Vista if you use it fr what it is meant for. Doing stuff that matters.

    My computer specs are:
    256MB RAM
    800MHz CPU
    32MB GPU
    160GB HDD
    And of cource, a broken motherboard.

    • OWN3D
      July 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

      You know over 20 programming languages, yet you don't know English?

      Sounds like a good mix.

  36. ankit
    June 17, 2008 at 7:48 am

    please tell me how to use rar files

  37. john
    June 7, 2008 at 5:58 am

    very good program

  38. ahmer
    April 16, 2008 at 5:33 am

    very very informative .. thanks ...

  39. Jo
    March 2, 2008 at 7:08 am

    I wish I could use Window Blinds, but it won't install (sigh) and no help section on their website. Not a good start!

  40. Maiden PEI
    February 25, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Hi!...I just installed Vista Transformation Pack 7 but don't have the screensavers, sidebar or the transparency function to mimic Vista's Aero Glass...what do I need to do to get these? Anyone have any ideas????? Thanx!

  41. BlakeAnderson
    February 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    that doesnt look like Mac OS X....*sarcasm*

  42. neale
    February 17, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    major props to RocketDock for using Run Lola Run in their example of minimizing video content.

  43. Sudesh
    January 3, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Is there any performance issue faced after installing This particular Transformation Pack.

  44. Tal Adler
    November 30, 2007 at 8:35 am

    Zune desktop theme - excellent skin for XP:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=75078

  45. Joy
    November 29, 2007 at 9:11 am

    These are great tools..^^...I tried using WindowBlinds before..^^..and it was really nice..^^

  46. Lawrence the Photographer
    November 28, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Great post and pictures! This is very enticing!

  47. Matthew James Taylor
    November 28, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Why would you want to do that? Vista looks horrible!

  48. Lachlan
    November 29, 2007 at 1:25 am

    Vista Drive Icon can be used to replace the Windows XP drive icons to look like Vista icons, including the little bar which shows the available free space.

  49. Edward
    November 28, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Sorry guys but all the information here is nothing but rehashes of posts that were made back at the beginning of the year. While I give you an A for effort, I give you an F for reusing the content.

  50. cocacolafun
    November 28, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    I am not sure why anyone would do such a thing!

  51. Macz
    November 28, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    An OS is merely platform to start the applications I actually use. While a minimum aesthetic is necessary, caring what an OS looks like is tantamount to feeling passionate about interior design in a parking garage. What an OS does is far more important than how it looks.

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2007 at 11:10 am

      Agree... But if you spend half of your day in front of the screen why not to make it look like something you would enjoy looking at.

  52. Genius
    November 28, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Or you could quit wasting your time with windows and get a real operating system by upgrading to OSX Leopard...

  53. John
    November 28, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    And why would you want to make XP look like vista again?

    • Draig
      November 29, 2007 at 6:27 am

      So you don't have to look at the clunky 'Early Learning Center' My First OS look that XP sports, or indeed the bastardized classic view.

      Personally I think WindowBlinds is the way forward. I used to use VTP but it was an absolute hassle. Plus, with WB you can choose from a plethora of different themes, not just Vista =]

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2007 at 11:05 am

      Just to make it look better.
      P.S. Of course you need to have enough RAM as well.

  54. galador
    November 28, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Seems that you're article's already a bit out of date. ;P

    Vista Transformation Pack 8.0 was just released a little while ago. Link: http://www.jcxp.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=23824

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2007 at 11:02 am

      Yeah, you're right here. I think it was released within 24 hours after we published this post. :-)

  55. r
    November 28, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    what is point?

  56. firewolf
    November 28, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    I don't agree with the author of this Article!!!

    1. TrueTransparency 0.8.5
    2. WinFlip 0.42
    3. QT Address Bar 0.9.5

    This is how i like it better... :)

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2007 at 11:01 am

      Are they free?

  57. Linda Martin-Peoples
    November 28, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    Great post, TechDune!
    A lot of research there!
    Besides that...you always have some of
    the "best looking" posts around!
    Great job!
    ~Linda~

  58. Jesse
    November 28, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Vista Transformation Pack has gotten much better, more refined and mature (albeit a bit more bloated). I've been using it since it was Longhorn, and it's come a long way. However, if you want to achieve the window border transparency, you'll need Windowblinds.. I think maybe even the paid version to get it. Overall, good set of tools here aimed at a very specific audience - I don't doubt a large one, either =) Many people think Vista is pretty, but that's all it has to offer, and that includes me.

  59. suicidalsam
    November 28, 2007 at 9:13 am

    great post. everything people need to turn their xp to look like a vista is right here in this post.

  60. James
    November 26, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Hi there,

    I found this is another nice tech blog. I like your posts..

    Cheers,
    James

  61. Kaly
    November 26, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Nice to see you here John. Thanks, some interesting tools you got over here. Going to check them out ...

    • TechDune
      November 26, 2007 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks Kaly,
      I will be waiting to bookmark your posts too..

  62. R3dd0g
    November 26, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    I use BricoPack Vista Inspirat Ultimate 2 ( a screenshot here ) and Desktop Sidebar with BLN_Vista_III skin to achieve my Vista look.

    It seems like Transformation Pack has gotten their act together and I think I'll give them a try

    • TechDune
      November 26, 2007 at 7:05 pm

      Hi R3dd0g,

      Thanks for adding that wonderful tool to this list..

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