We all know how boring the default themes that come with Microsoft Windows XP are and If you are wondering how to spice up your dull looking Windows XP look and Feel, then read on.
There are many Shell Replacement utilities available for Windows like StyleXP, WindowBlinds, Talisman etc which are all good. However, They cost a lot of money. If you are looking for some freeware to make the Windows XP look better, then you have to look into a smart alternative called UXtheme. Just download it and install it. When you install UXTheme patcher, Windows XP will complain that the vital system file is being replaced and will prompt you for Windows XP CDs, Ignore all of them and continue. You will need to restart your PC. Once you are PC is rebooted, you can have real fun.
Where to get the free themes?
Just head over to DevianTart and navigate to Customization->Skins and themes->Windows utilities->Visual Styles. You will see a ton of good quality themes for Windows XP. They just work fine with UXtheme and you don’t really need StyleXP to be installed.
How to install new themes?
Simple, select the theme you like and download it. Mostly you will see a folder that contains .msstyles and shellstyle.dll (there will be other files too but these are important). Copy that folder and put it under c:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes.
How to change the theme?
Right click on the desktop and click on properties. Click on Appearance tab. Under Windows and Buttons, you will find the theme that you just copied. Select that and apply. Now just sit back and enjoy the new theme.
Here are some sample themes;