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Microsoft teased a host of new features that are incoming with the Creators Update A Peek Into the Windows 10 Creators Update A Peek Into the Windows 10 Creators Update Microsoft just announced the next major Windows 10 upgrade. The Creators Update will come to 400 million users in Spring 2017. Here are the highlights of Wednesday's Windows 10 event. Read More . That was at the Windows 10 event back in October.

Fast forward to December and Microsoft is introducing one of those teased features to the Windows Store. The first batch of Windows 10 themes have arrived in the Windows Store. However, you can’t actually use them yet — officially.

In that sense, the tease continues, but at least we can preview the range of themed sounds, wallpapers, and window settings How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop You just upgraded to Windows 10 and you're wondering how you can customize and personalize it. We help you turn your desktop into a virtual Windows experience, one step at a time. Read More . Moreover, we will show you a workaround to use the themes after all!

They’re There… But Not Quite

The new Windows 10 themes remain frustratingly out of reach. Windows 10 Insider Preview 14965 users can see them and click them (heck, they can even preload them) but until they go fully live in early 2017, that’s all that will happen. They even appear in the regular Windows Store.

windows 10 store new themes

Here are some of the new themes found in the Windows Store:

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Windows 10 Home and Pro users can follow those links to enter the Windows Store page for each listed theme. However, you won’t be downloading. Instead, you can follow the Join Now button to enlist in the Windows Insider Program (this still doesn’t grant you access, at least not yet).

windows 10 theme cats everywhere

Our very own Joel Lee has explained exactly why you should join This Is Why You Should Join the Office Insider Program Now This Is Why You Should Join the Office Insider Program Now Office 2016 is Microsoft's flagship office suite. Office 365 subscribers can join the Office Insider Program, where they get to try new features before anyone else. We'll show you the benefits and how to enroll. Read More the Windows Insider Program. Conversely, Ben Stegner has detailed several reasons why it might be time to leave Windows 10 Insiders: You Might Want to Drop Out Now Windows 10 Insiders: You Might Want to Drop Out Now The Windows 10 Insider Program is about to begin another round of fresh updates, but if you've been wanting off, here's how to return to the normal release schedule now. Read More the Windows Insider Program. They’re excellent reads and will help you decide if receiving early “beta” updates is right for you.

Look But Don’t Touch… Much

Windows 10 Home and Pro users currently using Build 14393.576 (the latest release) can browse what is available. Type Store in the Start menu search bar and select the first result. Alternatively, select the Windows Store icon on your taskbar.

windows 10 store search

Once the Windows Store loads, select Top apps. Then select Personalization from the Category drop-down menu.

windows 10 store personalization category

Once the Personalization section loads, scroll down to view the new Windows 10 themes. My personal favorites are Garden Macros and Futuristic Fractals by Duncan Lawler.

windows 10 theme future fractals

These both make a return from Windows 7.

What If I Can’t Wait?

Then you’ll be happy to know there is a sneaky way around the theme embargo. However, Microsoft doesn’t make it easy.

Please bear in mind the following tutorial only applies to Windows Insider Preview users on Build 14951 or higher.

windows 10 new themes os requirements

Find the theme you’d like to preload and download it. Don’t skip this part!

Head to C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. If you cannot see this file, use the Windows Explorer View tab to Show Hidden items.

windows 10 view tab hidden folder

You’ll then need to make yourself owner of the newly discovered folder and its contents. When you attempt to open the folder, you’ll likely be denied permission. This is fine. Click the highlighted security tab link in the error message, followed by Advanced, then Continue.

The current owner is good old TrustedInstaller. Select Change.

windows 10 trusted installer folder owner

Input the name of your administrator account under Enter the object name to select, then press Check Names. It should return your computer name with your administrator account name, like the below image. Then press OK.

windows 10 select user or group permissions

Select Replace owner of subcontainers and objects. This will save us having to do this again in a moment. Then press Apply.

Windows 10 will hastily change the permissions of each item in the WindowsApps folder. You now need to look for a filename that corresponds to the theme you previously downloaded.

Once located, open the folder, and launch the .themepack file.

Theme, Theme, Theme

The newly introduced themes look nice The Dark Side of Windows 10: Set a Theme & Change Colors The Dark Side of Windows 10: Set a Theme & Change Colors Windows 10 is so bright, it can cause eyestrain. Setting a dark theme is a simple way to give your eyes a break. We show you how to theme Windows 10 and its most commonly... Read More . Then again, the eagle-eyed will have duly noted that many, but not all, are actually repacks from Windows 7 How to Make Windows 10 Look More Like Windows 7 How to Make Windows 10 Look More Like Windows 7 Windows 10 introduced many updated and the visual design wasn't spared. If you prefer the aesthetics of Windows 7, we'll show you the steps to take to mimic its user interface. Read More . In that sense, how “new” are we talking here?

Once the so-called Creators Update goes live in 2017, the Windows Store Personalization section should see many more original options. There is even a chance that Windows 10 themes will feature on the Xbox One. Furthermore, we’ve already seen Microsoft test the water with some paid themes. Microsoft briefly teased the Minecraft: Steve’s Stroll theme for $1.99 and a League of Legends: Classic Vayne theme for $2.49.

Given the vast amount of money people spend on cosmetic objects for free games, we can safely say these would attract a significant amount of interest.

So, When Is the Update?

The Windows 10 Creators Update (or Windows 10 Version 1703: Redstone 2) is scheduled for release sometime during Spring 2017. As well as the introduction of themes to the Windows Store, the Creators Update is set to boost “the next wave of innovation… giving you creativity and gaming experiences built around the people who matter most.”

We’ll see support for the Windows Holographic suite 11+ New Features Coming to Windows 10 in 2017 11+ New Features Coming to Windows 10 in 2017 The Windows 10 Creators Update is due in Spring 2017. We compiled the biggest updates and new features you can look forward to. Read More , an improved Action Center, full pen support for Microsoft Word (following on from the Windows Ink announcement), and the Groove Music Maker app. As well as this, other neat little features, like the themes and custom accent colors are set to arrive.

Are you excited about the Windows Store themes? Or do you prefer to design your own? Has anything in the Creators Update caught your eye? Let us know your thoughts below!

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  1. Doc
    December 27, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Don't give a rat's behind about "themes" that are just sounds and wallpapers...but would LOVE to see a Windows 7/Vista theme with the rounded corner buttons and *gasp* Aero Glass...the Win7 theme by Sagorpirbd is darn near perfect.