where can i download from, "themes" for vista?


Supreme [H]ardness
Nov 7, 2007
.... When is SP2 coming out for Vista??? Anyone know????....

I swear... if your system don't run like shit, I'd be surprised.

The thing about themes and Vista... XP primarily used images. Therefore, you could replace those images and skin it how you wanted to... Pretty much customize it how you want.

However Vista is a whole different ballgame. It more efficiently utilizes your GPU to run the system... with Aero. Running all the "eye candy" is actually better than not, if you have a decent GPU.
So when you start skinning Vista, you'd be taking all of that advantage away. Your system performance WOULD decrease (assuming you use Aero).
I haven't seen any (and I don't think we will) themes of any sort that would still be able to support Aero.

You can color Vista's taskbar and windows any color you'd like... If you want basic, that's basic.


Limp Gawd
Jul 16, 2005
Check out this Deviant Art Section. I'm a bit rusty on the exact specifics so you'll have to forgive me. Without using Window Blinds, you have to modify your shellstyle.dll file if you want a customized theme that uses Aero. This is from one of the downloads of a modified Aero theme I tried out about a year ago.
To replace shellstyle.dll and other system files you will need to be owner of a file.
Taking ownership of files in Windows Vista:
Right-click the file you want to take ownership of , and go to properties.
Go to the “Security” tab.
Click on “Advanced”
Go to the “Owner" tab and click edit.
Click on your name and apply.
Exit the properties to apply changes
Go once again into the properties of the file.
Go once again to the “Security” tab.
Click on your name and then edit, give yourself full permission on the file.
Apply and close. Done.
Now go to \\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero\Shell\NormalColor\
Make a backup of shellstyle.dll
Then replace old shellstyle.dll with new shellstyle.dll

Honestly I forget how the Aero customization worked after replacing the shellstyle.dll. My guess would be to check out Personalization > Theme.

If you want to use non-Aero (Windows Basic) styles (XP Luna variations anyone?), I believe that after you download them, you simply place the folder in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. Looking at a readme attached with one of them, you'll need a uxtheme patch (unless you're running Vista 64 make sure to get the xx one that pertains to your Service Pack state). I have Luna Metallic and Luna Royale sitting in that folder. To make sure it worked and the new non-aero styles are selectable, go to Personalization > Window Color and Appearance > Open classic appearance Properties and the options should be there. If you're worried about security, I can say my system hasn't crashed as a result of replacing the file. I think the worst I did was use the wrong download and only get Vista basic.

Hope this helps.

Joe Average

Ad Blocker - Banned
Apr 6, 2008
Also check out the Themes related subforums at Neowin.net. That's one of the largest communities for theme creation and GUI modding, and one of the oldest too.


Aug 27, 2000
Just to give some prospective but it was 4 years before SP2 came out for XP, so being that SP1 just came out for vista it might be awhile.


[H]F Junkie
Sep 6, 2007
I've never been able to get theming to work in Vista, even with VistaGlazz or whatever it's called. I do like the fact I can change the colors and hues already, so that's pretty much what I do. Back when I used XP, I'd get all my themes from Neowin, as Joe Average suggested.


Oct 10, 2003
just go with objectdock and your all set, even if we could theme vista like xp it will still look the same, at least with object dock it looks different


Limp Gawd
Jul 21, 2004
I would advise not using 3rd party program because they are bloaty as hell. Take the little extra time and do it the long way. You can have texture themes that run off the GPU.


[H]F Junkie
Mar 5, 2005
Oh come on, skinning Vista isn't hard at all, and it doesn't bloat your system contrary to what some other posters are saying (you're exchanging one PNG file for another, where's the bloat?).

Here's the Vista desktop I've got set up on my Laptop, going for that Longhorn look. Windows skin, shell style moved to the top (changes color with folder type), sidebar skin, balloon tips skin (glass toast), user image in the start menu skin (it's 3D and rotates), and tabbed explorer windows (QT Tab Bar).