I have been waiting for someone to find out a way to start customizing Windows 8. Well, the time has come to talk about the few customization option available today. I’ll discuss a few of them with you which I tested so far. Before we start very important thing we have to do is to create a System Restore point since the process includes replacing and patching several system files and folders.
Create System Restore Point
Follow the below steps to create System Restore point:
- Go to the Metro UI and type in System
- Make sure you select Settings from the right side panel
- Then click on System
- Next click on “System Protection”
- Finally click on “Create” to create a new System Restore point
- Now type in a name and click OK
Good. Now you’re all ready to customize your system.
Customize Windows 8
You may remember on Windows Vista and Windows 7, in order for the custom theme to work, you needed to patch around 3 dll‘s. Likewise for Windows 8 there are a few ways. I’ll mention two methods that worked for me.
Method 1: Download and install UXStyle. It’s a utility that will works just like patching the uxtheme.dllbut without patching. Confused ? It a small service that will enable the custom themes to work so you don’t need to patch the uxtheme.dll, but there were few negative reports of issues with this software since it’s under experimental beta. But if you’re willing to dare you can try it.
Method 2: The traditional uxtheme patching. This method is fully working without any issues. I have tested on my Windows 8 RTM 64-bit.
- Download UltraUXThemePatcher
- Install the application it will patch at the install process (If I remember correctly it will ask to download a toolbar you can skip).
- Reboot the system to complete the process.
Installing Skin Pack
Now that you have patched the uxtheme.dll you should be able to get the custom themes to work. I would recommend installing this skin pack. It looks very cool and you don’t have to go around manually replace the file or take ownership of the dlls. There are two or three packs available. The one I installed is called 8Style Skin Pack for Win8.
Here are few screenshot:
You can download them from skinpacks.com.
Stylish Start Menu:
There are a lot of replacements for the Windows 8 Start Menu. But the one that caught my attention is called Pokki. It’s not just a Start Menu, but it also supports other applications and displays real-time feeds from Facebook and Twitter. You can also add favorite applications as icons. Here is a screenshot if it.
One of the unique features is that, you also have Windows 8 store application icons available within this Start Menu. There are hundreds of free desktop apps too!
You can also customize it from the Settings Menu like Boot to Desktop, Press the Windows key to open Pokki Menu, etc.
There is so much more you can do and I see a lot of potential for this application. I expect a lot of more options in upcoming updates.
Well you have customized you Windows 8. I’m sure in coming days load more themes will be released so you’ll have a lot more to choose from.
Hope you find this article helpful!