How To Install Third-Party Themes On Windows 10

Looking to try your hand at applying some custom skins to Windows 10 but don’t know where to begin? You’ve come to the right place. Windows 10 might not have been around that long, but there are already quite a few fancy third-party themes out and about on the web. You’ll find a small fortune of themes on DeviantArt, in particular.

The only problem is, Windows doesn’t allow you to apply these third-party visual styles. by default. You’ll have to go through a few minutes worth of tinkering about to ready your system for these themes, and that’s probably why you’re here. In what follows, we’re going to show you, in as simple a way as we can, how to apply third-party themes on Windows 10.

How-to-install-apply-3rd-party-themes-Windows-10

Once you’re done here, don’t forget to check out our list of the best Windows 10 themes.

Caution: As is suggested for anything that involves tinkering with the system files, create a system restore point before you begin. Do not skip out on this as it might be the only thing that saves your Windows installation in the event that something goes wrong.

Creating-system-restore-point Windows-10

Note: You may have to repeat this process after a Windows update as the system files modified through this method might be restored/overwritten. No matter how many times you repeat the process, remember to create a restore point beforehand.

Patching Your System

1. Download the latest version of the UltraUXThemePatcher tool from syssel.net/hoefs/software_uxtheme.php, then head over to the UxStyle website (uxstyle.com) and download the latest build of its Windows 10-compatible version.

Be sure to check whether UltraUXThemePatcher is available for your version of Windows. The latter can be determined by pressing the Windows and R keys together to bring up the Run dialog and entering “winver” in it. This post was last updated when the tool was compatible with build 1703.

Theme Patcher run as administrator

2. Right-click the UxStyle EXE file , select Run as administrator and hit Install.

UxStyle setup

3. Now, run UltraUXThemePatcher as administrator and go through its installation process as well.

UltraUXThemePatcher 3.0.4 setup

4. Restart your PC.

5. Try applying a third-party theme using the steps outlined below. If it doesn’t work, revert to the default Windows 10 theme and continue to step 9.

Applying a Third-Party Theme

6. Unpack whatever third-party theme you want to apply, copy the contents inside and paste them into the Windows > Resources > Themes folder within the Windows installation directory.

7. Right-click an empty space on the desktop, select Personalize > Themes > Theme settings.

Personalize-Windows-10-Theme-settings

8. Scroll down to Installed Themes and select the newly added third-party theme.

Apply-third-party-themes-Windows-10-Personalization

Manually Patching themeui.dll (If Theme Fails to Apply)

9. In the unpacked archive from step 1, double-click to install the Add_Take_Ownership_to_context_menu.reg registry key in the Take Ownership REG Files folder.

Take_Ownership_REG_files-Registry-keys_2

Note: You can later use the Remove_Take_Ownership_from_context_menu.reg key to undo the changes made by this step.

10. Within your Windows installation directory, navigate to Windows > System32, and look for the file themeui.dll. An easy way would be to hit the first few letters in the name.

11. Right-click themeui.dll and select Take Ownership.

Take Ownership context menu entry

12. Now, right-click themeui.dll one more time, select Rename, set its name to something like “themeui.dll.bkp” and hit Yes followed by Continue. This is to back up the original file, which we’re going to replace in the next step.

System32-rename-themeui-DLL-file_1

13. Open the folder where you unpacked the archive in step 1, copy the themeui.dll file from inside either the File Patch x64 or File Patch x86 folder (depending on your system type), paste it into the System32 folder and hit Continue.

Note: If you aren’t sure whether your Windows installation is x86 or x64, you can find out by right-clicking Computer and selecting Properties, by navigating to Control Panel > System and Security > System, or by searching for and launching “About your PC”. The info you need is labeled System Type.

14. Repeat steps 6 through 8 to apply a third-party theme.

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Sameed Khan

I'm an engineer, blogger, and graphic designer who loves creating and experimenting with different forms of online content when he's not looking for a mix of inspiration and escape in PC gaming, comic books and anime. You can find me on Twitter and .

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  • Adam C

    10584.71 broke the themes correct?

    • Sameed Khan

      10586.71? It seems to have, yes. The update likely rewrote the associated system files, so they’ll need to be patched again. Will have to confirm if the old patcher still works or whether a new tool will be needed. Will have the article updated accordingly.

      • Adam C

        thanks

  • renenae12

    my windows panel doesnt change i tried everything

  • Techno Manish

    I am not able to open my laptop after the installation…please help me in this need…

  • kody edwards

    can you patch windows 10 anniversary update version 1607

  • Luciano Horta

    ok now it fucked my windows..
    How can I install the themes with the most updated win10?

  • this is stupid – why cant people leave it alone! you are basically telling non technical users to modify system files when they dont know what they are on about then breaking their systems doing it

    • Daniel Hare

      right… i just rebooted my OS twice so i could make my fucking cursor a cool green Prometheus. style too much adderall. Maybe just stop forcing your stupid updates and cool desktop icons. I fucking lost my god damn pgp key and programs. just fucking kill me. I wanna die Fuck this fuck themes. Do you people think that making your pc into a transformer looking painting will get you more girls??? fuck no youll just break your system files and spend an hour longer on the computer, then try again with the stupid ass alien green theme FUVK fdjksalf cool background bro. mouse pointer is fucking green and glows…. shit now its gone, shit my fucking computer crashed. Fuuck how am i supposed to get anything done now when i have to reboot my machine, what about the stupid ass paper i need to write , no fuck that ill have to do it later once i reboot and try to install the god damn terminator 5 theme which is gay fuck you

      • Daniel Hare

        fuck

        • Daniel Hare

          my harry potter theme wont let me delete this message, im gonna have to convert back to windows 96. which was just about as boring as watching youtube videos about how to customize your start menu what a god damn magic show. Go eat some more chicken and fuvk your siister you dick hads. Quit trying to show off your tedious file dragging and dropping. and you fucking sexist racist themes

  • uxstyle patch is not working on win 10 1703 build 16251, can you please fix it? it causes problem opening msconfig,device manager and other utilities software.