Windows 7 has many improvements to boast of, theme customization and management is one of them. Now, all the customization features have been grouped together and are accessible conveniently from one place.
Here is all you need to know about Windows 7 themes:
Activate hidden themes in Windows 7
Did you know that Windows 7 activates themes based on the region you select while installation? So there are a number of themes belonging to different regions that remain hidden. They are not available via the personalization window. However, you can still activate those hidden themes in windows 7 and use them. Here’s how to find them:
- Press Win + R, then type %systemroot%/Globalization/MCT into the Run field
- If you don’t see anything, click on Organize, then on Folder and Search options and then choose to view hidden files and uncheck Hide protected operating system files.
- You will see some folders containing themes belonging to various regions. These folders contain the .theme files that you can use to apply the themes
Create Your Own Windows 7 Themes
Creating a theme is super easy. A theme is just a collection of various elements like desktop wallpapers, sounds, screen savers, color, mouse pointers, icons etc. Make your pick for each of them and you have made yourself a theme. There are a few changes from previous versions of Windows that you should be aware of and use to your advantage.
Windows 7 allows you to specify multiple desktop backgrounds. It then switches the desktop background automatically, picking from the ones you specified. The best way to specify a group of wallpapers is to place all of them in a folder. You can then point Windows to this folder, check all the wallpapers you wish to use, specify the cycle time and Windows will take care of the rest.
Clicking on Sounds lets you choose from amongst the built-in sound themes or you can create your own. To create a sound theme, just specify a sound file to use for different events that you see. Changing all of them and getting a perfect sound theme can get quite cumbersome, so you might want to stick with changing a sound or two and saving the modified theme. If you are looking for some sound files, you can check out FindSounds or Soungle.
Similarly, you can choose screen savers, colors, mouse pointer and icons – which are pretty straightforward. After all the choices are made, you have created yourself a theme.
Share your themes with friends and family
So you spent some time creating the perfect theme and the results seem good. Sometimes you might want to apply the same theme to all of your computers or share them with your friends and family. So do you perform everything all over again? Na, just make all the changes you want, add the custom desktop backgrounds, screen savers or sounds you want (in short, create a theme once) and then when you are done making the changes, right-click on the unsaved theme and choose Save for sharing.
You will get a .theme file that you can transfer to other computers or send across to somebody.
Download Windows 7 Theme Files Online
Windows 7 now presents an option to ‘Get more themes online’. Clicking that would take you to Microsoft’s Personalize My PC page. You can download windows 7 theme files, backgrounds and gadgets here. You can also find themes created by others. However, they generally leave a lot to be desired and I prefer to stay away from them unless I absolutely trust the source. If you know a good source let us know in the comments.
Do you create your own themes? Or are you content with the built-in ones? Share your thoughts in the comments!