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windows 8 themesWindows has always had an active community of enthusiasts who customize everything about it, including its desktop theme. Although Microsoft tries to prevent this, Windows 8’s desktop can be themed just like Windows 7’s 5 Cool Ways To Customize Your Windows 7 System 5 Cool Ways To Customize Your Windows 7 System Read More . We’ve covered tweaking your Windows 8 PC’s appearance Make Windows 8 Sexier With These Background & Theme Tweaks Make Windows 8 Sexier With These Background & Theme Tweaks Does your Windows 8 system look too bland with the default settings? You can customize it in a variety of ways, changing a variety of backgrounds and colors -- whether on the Start screen, lock... Read More before, but you can go much farther than just changing the desktop theme’s colors.

Many of these Windows 8 themes also include custom desktop backgrounds and icons that you can use if you like them. They don’t just change your desktop’s colors — they change the look of the window buttons, the appearance of interface elements like buttons, menus, checkboxes, and much more.

How to Install and Use Desktop Themes

Like previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 doesn’t support third-party desktop themes out of the box. You’ll need to patch some system files. This isn’t is scary as it sounds — all you need to do is download and run UltraUXThemePatcher. You’ll be prompted to reboot your computer How To Shut Down Windows 8 How To Shut Down Windows 8 Windows 8 brings the biggest changes to the familiar Windows interface since Windows 95. The Shut Down option isn’t where you’d expect to find it – in fact, the entire classic Start menu and Start... Read More after running the installer.

You can now download and install third-party themes, which have the .theme file extension. To install them, place them in the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes directory on your computer. They’ll appear in the standard theme window — right-click the desktop and select Personalize to view your installed themes and switch between them. They’ll appear in the Installed Themes section. You can also double-click a theme’s .theme file to apply it once it’s installed.

windows 8 themes

Note that many of the themes below also include icons, which must be installed separately. Some themes include other system modifications, such as Ribbon Disabler, which disables the new ribbon in the File Explorer Fun & Useful Alternatives For Windows Explorer Fun & Useful Alternatives For Windows Explorer Windows Explorer – now known as File Explorer in Windows 8 – is a mainstay of the Windows desktop. No matter how many alternative programs Windows tweakers use, most people seem to stick with the... Read More . Such themes will look ugly if you don’t disable the ribbon, as they don’t change its appearance at all. Read the theme’s readme file or download page for further instructions on setting up each specific theme.

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Some themes also include custom Start button images, which can be used by Start8 How To Tweak The Visual Effects In Windows 8 How To Tweak The Visual Effects In Windows 8 Well, my upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro hasn't been the smoothest one, but at least I'm slowly figuring things out. One thing that should be considered criminal is that Windows... Read More and other Start menu replacements for Windows 8 Start Menu, How I Miss Thee: 4 Ways To Make A Start Menu On Windows 8 Start Menu, How I Miss Thee: 4 Ways To Make A Start Menu On Windows 8 Windows 8 brought down the axe on the Start Menu. This is a feature that no one paid special attention to for years but its untimely demise has caused all sorts of despair. Not only... Read More .


Base uses a dark taskbar and window borders along with light main area, drawing attention to the content of your windows. It also includes a variety of high-quality background images for your desktop wallpaper, which rotate automatically by default.

microsoft windows 8 themes


Simplex offers a simple, light theme with minimal window buttons. It requires a third-party tool that makes its window borders transparent, offering transparencies that aren’t possible on Windows 8 without such third-party hacks.

microsoft windows 8 themes

Royale 8

Royale was a Microsoft-created theme for Windows XP. If you miss that Windows XP look, you may want to try Royale 8, a port of this Microsoft-designed theme to Windows 8. It’s not as easy to create themes that mimic Windows 7 DOWNLOAD The Ultimate Windows 7 Guide DOWNLOAD The Ultimate Windows 7 Guide Read More or Windows Vista because Microsoft removed the code that allows for Aero How To Enable & Troubleshoot Aero Effects In Windows 7 How To Enable & Troubleshoot Aero Effects In Windows 7 Read More -style transparency.

microsoft windows 8 themes


Many theme-creators create themes that mimic other operating systems, bringing foreign looks to the Windows desktop. Platinum is a pack of themes inspired by Mac OS X. If you prefer that Mac look but find yourself using Windows 8 for some reason, give one of these themes a try. It also offers OS X-style icons, which you can choose to install.

themes on windows 8

Work for Windows 8

Work for Windows 8 is another theme with dark window borders. Unlike Base, it uses more gray colors and gradients, reducing the contrast between the borders and content. It ships with a flat-color background, emphasizing that the Work theme is for getting down to work.

themes on windows 8


WhiteDior is one of the more popular themes available. It’s very high-contrast, offering almost solid-white window themes paired with a black taskbar and a black line at the bottom of each window. The minimize and maximize buttons are invisible until you mouse-over them, which demonstrates just how aggressively minimalist this theme is.

themes on windows 8


areao4.8 has a slate-colored taskbar and titlebar along with bright blue window buttons. It uses a gray background with bright blue elements for its content areas, and even bundles a set of included icons that fit the theme. Like Base, it includes rotating wallpaper images.



The Glow theme offers a brighter theme with more use of white and gray gradients, contrasting with many of the darker themes available for Windows 8.



Some people just like dark themes. If you’re one of them, give Dark8 a try. It’s different from the other dark themes above because it goes full-on dark, replacing even the typically-white content areas with dark backgrounds and gray text. It’s definitely not for everyone, but some people will love it.

windows 8 themes

Finding More Desktop Themes

You can find many more Windows 8 themes in deviantART’s Windows 8 Utilities section. This section also includes a wide variety of other user-created customizations for Windows 8.

Windows 8 and previous versions of Windows can also use customized mouse cursors Tired Of Your Mouse Cursor? Replace It With Something Fresh & Beautiful [Windows] Tired Of Your Mouse Cursor? Replace It With Something Fresh & Beautiful [Windows] Let's face it, the mouse cursors included with Windows are getting a bit old. While it’s seen a few tweaks over the years, that white mouse cursor has remained largely the same for over a... Read More if you feel like tweaking your Windows 8 desktop even more.

Have you found any other awesome desktop themes for Windows 8? Leave a comment and share them!

  1. Marcus
    October 8, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Some lovely themes here!
    However it comes as no surprise that patching system files to incorporate a 3rd party theme seriously hinders performance - even on a relatively new system. I'd tried it and it slowed boot time significantly, which is sad.

  2. An-hoà N
    September 25, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for sharing my theme :)


  3. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Dark8 is awesome. I still prefer my customizes win7 though.

  4. julien c
    April 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    WhiteDior seems pretty good gonna try it

  5. julien c
    April 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Is there any security risk in patching, and would it slow the computer down by installing the patch?

  6. Gagandeep Singh
    April 20, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Great work! Thums Up 2 u

  7. Abhi
    April 20, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Thanks! I was looking for such Windows 8 themes. :)

  8. Humza Aamir
    April 20, 2013 at 3:16 am

    areao4.8 looks promising, i'll give it a try for sure :)

  9. Taha Ben Ali
    April 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    windows eight he the best desktop theme in art 2013.

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