LiteStep and Windows 7 x64 : running them both

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ATDE's avatar
Installing Litestep on Windows 7 x64

You need to download some required libraries in order for Litestep to run on
Windows. The libraries are called "Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables"
otherwise known as vcredist.exe. What you will need are the 2005, 2005 SP1,
2008, 2008 SP1 to run properly (it is what the Litestep installer will be looking for)
If you currently develop with Microsoft Visual Studio (Express, Web Developer),
whichever version, your libraries should already be in place; though checking
for updates is a good idea. For good reason, I also recommend looking for
"Sec ATL" updates, they contain patches and fixes for possible security flaws within
Microsoft's code source.

I know it sounds funny, but you need to get the x86 (32-bit) and the x64 (64-bit)
installers for this reason: The Litestep program is by default, 32-bit architecture,
however the 64-bit update package (0.25 Alpha and greater) will be a patch after
you install Litestep. The 32-bit libraries are for the core runtime of Litestep, the
64-bit libraries are to run the threads and core instance of Litestep, and any possible
plugins or other code source which may require 64-bit libraries.

To take a look at what you may need for LOSI or Litestep, tobbe on githup can show
you here:…

The downloads for the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Packages can be found

You will need to search for the following packages, the links change sometimes.
(if you cannot find them within your country, you can try… to search the English Microsoft Download Center)

Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack Redistributable Package (x86)

Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x64)
Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x64)
Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x64)
Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x64)
Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack Redistributable Package (x64)

After you have installed the Redistributable packages, head on over to or ( is further updated) to get the Litestep

LiteStep Installer
LiteStep 0.25.0 "Alpha" from - which has the 64-bit (x64) patch

For litestep installer (src and bld are available there)

for the 64-bit package…


After installing LiteStep on your computer, go ahead and open the
0.25.0 Alpha package (the new LiteStep installer should technically
have $Win64$ support on it already). Once you open the archive, go ahead
and find your LiteStep install directory. Then from the archive, extract the
files into your LiteStep install directory.

When running the installer, I highly reccomend setting the install directory
to C:\Program Files\Litestep or C:\Litestep to run the process. Modifying
permissions for all directories within the LiteStep install are recommended to
be Read-Only; except for $ThemeDir$, that should be read and write if you
are making and or installing themes. Some themes may need their sub-directories
to be writable in order to save file changes within the theme.

Setting LiteStep as your default shell manually:

You can use an advanced startup configuration tool such as Microsoft Autoruns, which
allows you to see registry entries (if located within the System32 folder. If not, it will
only show regular startup entries. Same with any of the TechNet tools, when not in System32)

To edit your Registry, you can launch regedit in a few different ways:
cmd /c C:\Windows\system32\regedit.exe
cmd /c regedit
HotKey (bring up the RUN console) : WIN+R : (then type in) regedit

To locate the default shell for your Windows Logon navigate through the following folders:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell
Change: "explorer.exe"
To: C:\%LSLocation%\litestep.exe

( %LSLocation% is a word for, where you installed Litestep; %LSLocation% by default in the LiteStep installer is C:\Program Files(x86)\LiteStep  (-OR-) C:\Program Files\LiteStep (-OR-) C:\Litestep\ )

Policies held by the system shell

Logon events for the shell, in event viewer and auditing
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell

Local Machine policy for the rule of system shell

If you wish to run LiteStep and Explorer in a "Dual Shell" mode, you should
leave the System Shell entries alone, and add LiteStep to your startup list
in order to run it when you log on. (I recommend installing it as a Service,
which you can learn more about Service.exe here:…)

C:\> cmd /c sc create LiteStep binPath= "C:\Program Files\Litestep\litestep.exe"
(note: C:\Program Files\Litestep\litestep.exe can be replaced with where you installed LiteStep)

after you install litestep, go ahead and open


and add:

This will tell LiteStep that it is not the default shell. If you are running a "Dual Shell" mode.

Once you get this done, you can run your themes, though what I have learned from this:

You do not need jDesk or xDesk to run your themes, however you may still need to set your workspace.
Running themes without jDesk or xDesk is still possible; it will enable you to use the Windows Active Desktop
when running LiteStep. Though depending on your version of xDesk or jDesk you may need to use it.
There are a few ways to make LiteStep plugins / addons  and modules without using jDesk or xDesk,
but it is fairly complicated as far as LiteStep plugin scripting goes.
© 2011 - 2021 ATDE
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SwE-DynamiteN's avatar
this helped me alot when starting out with litestep a while back. but it is quite complicated.

there is also this site from greywool that does help alot and is pretty easy to follow guide
you should give it a go
helderm's avatar
Too complicated. Coldn't get working.
coroners's avatar
You must be  sick of questions about this now but I'll throw one at you anyway.  Are the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Packages not needed? I am trying to get Litestep working smooth on Windows 8 now and I am looking over all the packages and stuff and noticed the 2010 packages are not listed here and got curious.
I'm usally good at tweaking but now I'm completly lost.

When I copy the 64-bit package in litestep folder and try to run Litestep I'm getting an error that it can'T run because I have 32 bit modules. Am I suposed to delete them and download 64 bit modules somewhere?

If I try to run in 32 bits mode I'm getting C+ errors even though I installed about every C++ available:…

Any kind of help would be really appreciated. I'm on windows 8.1 64 bits, installed Litestep on C:/Litestep

Hey, I notice that this tutorial is quite old, any major change that I need to know or is it just the same as it was back then?
ganknevets's avatar
That's crazy. LOL. I guess some people like both. :) Cheers for a great tut. :highfive:
pitkon's avatar
Very interesting and informative...
ATDE's avatar
Thank you, it has also been updated a little bit.
DaVince21's avatar
The instructions are kind of an unclear mess, but they helped me get this installed and working nonetheless. Thanks.
ATDE's avatar
I updated them, hoping they are easier to understand now.
regedit cant find HKLMSOFTWEAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonShell
ATDE's avatar
Try look at it now. The journal removed the "\" characters beforehand. My apologies.
do i need to download it ALL if im using win 7 ultimate???
ainq's avatar
nice tut, now all i have to do is fix the 5-or-so module dependency errors :-)
can u show me a screenshot about this?

"after you install litestep, go ahead and open %LSLocation%personalpersonal.rc
then add this to the personal.rc somewhere in order to tell litestep that it is not
the default system shell.

manjatsonic's avatar
Yep, I'm get a little confused haha... I'm just installed them and stuck.
Stuck the LS appear LSNoShellWarning then i ignored them, after that the LS not perfectly working.

It's means the LS running together with windows default shell ( I use x64) so LS run very very lagged
and became Not Responding when you're trying to attracting to LS theme.

Got any solution?
Desiqnnn's avatar
still don't understand
FateZoom's avatar
thanks so much, it works almost perfectly !!
Xarive's avatar
Does this working on x86?
manjatsonic's avatar
Windows x86 system doesn't need the advanced tutorial like this, if you use x86 Litestep can run smoothly and easy config. However it depends to microsoft visual too..
coroners's avatar
restarting now to see if this did the trick. reporting back soon
coroners's avatar
Forgot to report back but I manged to get it working perfectly with this information. Now I am on a new installation of win7 again and repeating the procedure. Hopefully it will work as good as it did the last time.
arsenio187's avatar
thanks for this really helped
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