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It’s hard to believe that Windows 7 has already been out for over four years. That’s a long time to be staring at the same old Aero theme Your Easy Guide to Windows 7 Themes Your Easy Guide to Windows 7 Themes Read More day in and day out. Are you ready for a change? If so, we’ve got a treat in store for you.

The theme system that powers Windows 7’s appearance isn’t the most flexible out there, but it’s still quite powerful. Hundreds of artists have tried their hand at re-skinning the operating system and many attempts have turned out great, but the difficulty is in trying to sort through all of them.

That’s why I’ve done it for you. Here are what I consider to be the best of the best themes for Windows 7. Take a look. One of them might be the next look for your computer.

Geniun 8

windows-theme-geniun8

Geniun 8 is one of the sleekest themes I’ve ever seen for Windows. Inspired by the Metro look of Windows 8, it aims for a flat minimalism that doesn’t distract you in any way. It’s a complete facelift that makes everything look as clean as it should be.

This package comes with: Theme, Start Button, and Explorer Frame.

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Zune Quickplay (Black / White)

windows-theme-zune

The Zune never really caught on in the technology world, which is a shame because it had a few redeeming qualities. One thing I really liked about the Zune was its interface design — a real breath of fresh air back when Web 2.0 found a way to poison everything. We may not see any more Zune products (spoiler alert: it was discontinued) but the interface lives on with this visual style.

This package comes with: Theme, Cursor, Wallpapers, and PSDs for editing.

Gizdom Reloaded

windows-theme-gizdom

At first glance, Gizdom has a Vista-like appearance to its overall design. It isn’t flat and minimalistic like modern graphics, nor is it incredibly flashy and shiny like Web 2.0. It strikes an interesting balance between the two and I think it benefits from doing so. It’s a clean design with a sense of depth to it.

This package comes with: Theme, Start Button, and Explorer Frame.

Adagio

windows-theme-adagio

If you want something similar to Gizdom with a smoother, softer sense of styling, then Adagio is the one you want. It feels like a blend of Windows, Mac, and Linux Gnome all wrapped up into a pretty little theme. Think of what might happen if Vista was touched with a dash of minimalism and a spritz of Mac.

This package comes with: Theme.

Shine 2.0

windows-theme-shine2

Shine 2.0 is a theme that’s often mentioned in Windows 7 theme roundups like this post. It takes the modern aesthetics of Windows 8 and spins it with its own twist, turning it fully translucent with a bit of glassy shine (hence the name). But beware: due to its lack of contrast, it can be difficult on the eyes if your wallpaper is exceedingly dark or bright.

This package comes with: Theme, Start Button, Icons, and Wallpaper.

Elune

windows-theme-elune

Here’s another translucent theme that will stun you. Just as Shine 2.0 is a unique see-through twist on the look of Windows 8, Elune is a unique see-through twist on the look of Vista. In fact, Elune is more than just a twist. It’s the successor that fixed everything that was wrong with Vista and then some.

This package comes with: Theme.

Windows 8 For 7

windows-theme-win8

Do you prefer Windows 7 over Windows 8? You aren’t alone. But maybe you prefer the look of Windows 8? You still aren’t alone. This theme is a respectable attempt to replicate the look of Windows 8 for Windows 7 so that people like you and me can enjoy a modernized version of Aero.

This package comes with: Theme and Start Button.

Macnificent

windows-theme-macnificent

Are you a fan of the Mac look but hate Mac OS? It’s not a perfect replica but Macnificent will transform your computer in that direction. You’ll still be able to tell that you’re running Windows, but it manages to capture some of the essence that drives that rival operating system.

This package comes with: Theme, Start Button, Icons, and Explorer Frame.

All of these visual styles come from DeviantArt, but it isn’t the only site where you can find skins and themes 7 Websites For Desktop Customization: Download Free Themes & Skins 7 Websites For Desktop Customization: Download Free Themes & Skins Read More . Check out those alternative sites for more visual customization options. If you’ve moved on from Windows 7, you may find these Windows 8 themes Amazing Windows 8 Themes You Need To See Amazing Windows 8 Themes You Need To See Windows 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. We've... Read More useful.

Do you use any Windows 7 themes to spruce up your computer? Tell us about your favorite ones in the comments!

  1. -n
    May 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    they show the minecraft icon omg

  2. Dalsan M
    May 9, 2014 at 7:29 am

    I've gone further and changed the boot skin, login background, Start orb, device list position in explorer, icons for almost everything (Windows system apps and otherwise), sound schemes (including creating them), the Windows Property logo (Windows to FBI) and brand logo (Acer to NSA), mouse pointers, etc.

    I don't like being like others (have the same things and looks), so I use bits and pieces from different themes and schemes, edit and modify, add or delete, and create my way into something I like. One of these days, though, I'll create everything from scratch, including drawing the icons and images.

    By the way, you might want to warn readers that modifying the uxtheme.dll and/or other system file can decrease the security of the system. Also, being that themes would install into a system folder, Microsoft felt that it was necessary to protect against infection and damages made from bad themes. Third party themes are not guaranteed to be malware/virus free, though in many cases they are perfectly fine.

  3. Krish
    May 9, 2014 at 4:36 am

    Deviant Art themes almost always creates problems in 32 bit systems. I recommend these two sites for 32 bit systems.

    http://www.crystalxp.net/en.htm

    http://www.thoosje.com/

  4. sa
    May 7, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Placebo by SolMiler is the best theme ever.

    • Joel L
      May 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Wow, I like it! I'm not one to fall for circle buttons for min/max/close so I'm glad to see that there's a normal variant. I'm going to give it a try soon. :)

  5. Sa J
    May 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Genuin 8, Elune and Shine are among my favorites. Right now I'm using Gemini, which comes in blue and green versions.
    http://www.deviantart.com/art/Gemini-425760453

    Universal Theme Patcher helps to patch the system files in a few clicks. Make sure to run it as an Administrator. I've never had any issues with it and it allows for custom themes to be installed. I've used it on multiple computers and laptops, 32-bit and 64-bit.
    http://deepxw.blogspot.com/2008/11/universal-theme-patcher.html

    • Joel L
      May 7, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks, I should have mentioned Universal Theme Patcher. It does ease the process and helps guard against critical system errors due to mishandling. If only Microsoft would improve the theming system so things like that wouldn't be necessary. :)

  6. Zoran N
    May 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    My all-time favorite theme for Windows 7 is Cushy 1.2
    http://snipes2.deviantart.com/art/cushy-1-2-fixed-192033313

    It is very elegant, with elegant blue colors... One of not many with nice blue highlight of selected items in drop-down menus :) That is very important for me.

    • Joel L
      May 7, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Cushy looks nice. When I get sick of my current theme, I'll give it a go. :)

  7. michel
    May 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I like the idea of themes, but to install third party, you have to make changes to system files that ALWAYS - always, really - totally borks my computer.

    • Joel L
      May 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I understand. If you aren't willing to risk making changes to your system (which you shouldn't unless you know exactly what you're doing) then you should stick with the default Windows themes. It's too bad that Microsoft doesn't have a better theming system.

  8. Paul-kristjan A
    May 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I don't want to use any of these unless there is a program that makes it a one-click-install. I've had the problem of installing 2 themes in the past by-hand, both times I lost everything.

    INB4 you start saying, that I should've backed up, I did, it did not work.

    • Techno
      May 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      There's a couple of tools out there for this. This one happens to be a good one I've used for years. Check out his other tools too.

      http://kishan-bagaria.deviantart.com/art/Windows-Theme-Installer-v1-1-157848476

    • Joel L
      May 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      I'm not aware of any one-click theme installers for Windows. The closest thing I can think of is Windowblinds by Stardock, which is awesome but costs $10. Windowblinds uses its own theming system so you won't be able to use the themes listed here, but it has its own repository of awesome skins that you might like.

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