Microsoft does not recognize the themes and visual-styles that are not digitally signed by Microsoft. To load the themes and styles without the signature, we should patch some files to remove the digital signature requirement of Microsoft Windows.
There are several options to install visual styles, some are free and some are paid. But I recommend to go to option number 3 and 2.
Remember: Disable UAC in Windows. Google it for more details. Tweak your system file at your own risk.
If you want to download visual styles, you can read this article – “Most Popular Windows 7 Visual Styles #1″.
To install third party visual style, you should patch 3 system files.
They are uxtheme.dll, themeui.dll & themeservice.dll.
1. Download Universal Theme Patcher. (Sorry, I can’t provide the setup file link. Please Google it or search it in any torrent sites)
2. You can see two .exe files in the folder – UniversalThemePatcher-x64.exe (64-Bit) and UniversalThemePatcher-x86.exe (32-Bit).
3. If you are using 32-Bit version of Windows 7, open UniversalThemePatcher-x86.exe. Of you are using 64-Bit version of Windows 7, open UniversalThemePatcher-x64.exe.
4. After you open it, choose language and click on OK.
5. Now it scans the files that needs to be patched and gives you a report.
If its the first time you are patching Windows 7, it will show that these three files need to be patched.
6. Click Yes.
7. In the next dialog box as seen on screen shot below, click on “Patch” button on each .dll item.
8. After patching these 3 .dll files, you should reboot the pc for the process to complete.
After all the steps are successfully completed, you can go ahead and install the themes and visual styles. Windows 7 themes are usually in *.theme format. (eg: 123.theme)
9. To apply a theme, copy “sample.theme” file and paste it in theme folder to “C:WindowsResourcesThemes“.
10. Open the sample.theme file by double clicking it to add the theme.
The theme is added to Desktop Personalization list.
Using UxStyle is simple than the above option. Download and install UxStyle from here. It does everything automatically.
After it is installed, it will patch the digital signature requirement in the memory. Now you can load the third-party visual styles.
You can follow step number 9 and 10 to install the files.
TuneUp Utilities is paid application but gives you 15 days trial. I love this application and have been using it since last 3 years. You can quickly add visual styles and roll on without having to tweak any system files. Isn’t it clean. In addition to visual styles, you can change, create and tweak stylish boot screens, system icons, animations and over 400 program & system settings. Find more about this versatile application in tune-up.com. To download demo, click the image.