Customize Desktop Theme With Visual Style

[Windows XP / Server 2003] Want to customize your desktop but not sure where to start? There are several ways of doing it, but in this guide, you will learn how to customize your desktop with visual style, which is free, without all the advertisements popping every time you boot your computer.

Patch uxtheme.dll

Before you could use visual style on your Windows XP, you will have to replace a file in C:\Windows\System32 called uxtheme.dll. You can either do it manually, or download the patcher, which will do the job for you automatically.

After downloading, run the program to start patching. All file protection dialogs should be canceled, and after everything are done, restart your computer. You can always un-patch by running the program again, so no worries.

Download & Install Visual Style

You can already start customizing your desktop using visual style after restarting. Download any visual style that you like, and place the file or folder to C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes. These few websites have good collections of visual style:

Next, right click on your desktop and select “Properties”. Select the “Appearance” tab and choose the visual style you have just installed from the drop down menu. Click OK and wait. You will then see your old boring Windows theme changing to a nice theme of your choice.


  1. narendra.s.v - February 14, 2008 @ 10:57 am

    they look pretty cool! thnx

  2. stephanie - March 2, 2008 @ 1:20 am

    hey vincenT! ;p
    this post is really good! and now i’m having 0 difficulties in customizing my desktop! thanks lots lots! haha

  3. eXPeri3nc3 - March 16, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

    Hmm nice tut for beginners. =)

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