Windows 7 themepack will not install if its name has a space in the 9th character

Here is a rare situation you may face – a situation which may leave you perplexed! Let us say that you have created and saved a Windows 7 themepack. But when you double-click on it install it, nothing happens!

Check the 9th character of the themepack name. Is it a blank space? If yes then for some strange reason it will not do!


No idea, and Microsoft has not explained the reason why this happens – only that it could happen!

Lets say you have saved a themepack as “Birds of Prey”. Double-click on it. It wont install? The 9th character is a blank space.

Windows 7 themes which have a space in the 9th character will not install.

Rename it to “Predatory Birds” and sure enough, it will install! The 9th character is ‘Y’, and the 10th character is a blank space. This will do.

Strange … but true! 😀


Our reader Mister Lee has the following to say:

Windows 7 themepacks store, theme info inside the theme pack as xml files, but again with a different extension theme. Every theme pack has the extension .themepack.

It includes:

  • Info xml file with extension .theme.
  • A folder with theme sounds, wallpapers, etc 

You have to open the .theme file with notepad, and change the string here, filling the 9th gap.

So the proper way to make the theme pack work is bit complicated.

Simply renaming the .themepack file will not rename the theme pack. To rename a theme pack, you have to follow these steps.

  1. Change the extension of the theme pack that’s not working from .themepack to .cab. 
  2. Go to folder options and uncheck “hide extensions for known type” from VIEW tab.
  3. Extract the contents of the .cab file to a folder. Simply double click the .cab file.
  4. Inside, you will find a file with the extension .theme.
  5. Open the file in a text editor like notepad. (See image above).
  6. Edit the theme name to remove the blank space.
  7. Save the file.
  8. Now you will have to pack the edited theme back into a .themepack file.

To do that download CabPack, a freeware compression program with which you can create cabinet.

Open CabPack. In the Source directory, locate the folder which contains the edited theme pack files. In the Destination directory, enter the location where you want to save the theme pack.

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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.