How to use Windows 8 themes and theme packs on Windows 7

If you have tried to use Windows 8 theme packs on Windows 7, you may have found that you will not be able to do so. This is because, Windows 8 uses  a new file extension .deskthemepack, unlike the .themepack file extension in Windows 7. While you can apply Windows 7 themes on Windows 8, Windows 8 cannot be applied on Windows 7.

This is because Windows 8 adds additional support for multiple monitors with a single large wallpaper; and where the images are small, different images are displayed on each desktop. Moreover, themes in Windows 8 now support automatic color change for the windows, based on the primary color of the wallpaper displayed.

Use Windows 8 theme on Windows 7

But there is a way to use Windows 8 themes on your Windows 7.

To do so, download any Windows 8 theme of your choice and  right-click on the Windows 8 theme file which you may have downloaded to your Windows 7 desktop and extract its contents using a free file extraction software like say 7-Zip.

The extracted files would be a .deskthemepack file and a DesktopBackground folder which would contain the wallpapers.

Now simply use the usual method to create a Windows 7 themepack, and save the theme for sharing.

Once you have done that, simply double-click on the theme to install it on your Windows 7.   That’s it!

Install Windows 8 theme

To install Windows 8 themes, simply double-click on the files. This will install the new theme automatically.

A simple – but useful idea – and thanks to my MVP colleague Ganesh for thinking about it!

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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