Introduction to Desktop Customization (Themes)

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CRCustomization's avatar

Customizing Windows 10

Have you ever seen someone's desktop screenshot and just been amazed?  Windows has many options when it comes to desktop Customization.  It just takes a few simple steps and programs to turn your UI into something tailored to your needs and wants.  This Journal aims to start you on your way.

It's easy and fun.  The results can be amazing!


The following is a very popular method among Windows 10 users to install third-party themes. Patching you system will allow you to control the look of your File Explorer, and other applicable programs like the Task Manager.

It's important to remember before continuing to always set a restore point before installing a custom theme. Please follow how the developer explains the installation STEP-BY-STEP.

First you will need UltraUXThemePatcher, which will allow for installing of third-party Windows 10 themes. 
FAQ (From the site)
Problem - Patcher is patching, but after a reboot nothing is modified 
UXThemePatcher does not patch all files even if my Windows Version is supported. How do I fix it?
In rare cases after a Windows 10 Update, the patcher is not able to take ownership of the necessary files in c:\windows\system32 (uxtheme.dll, UXInit.dll, themeui.dll). Only solution today: Sign in as Administrator, take ownership to the 3 files and grant full authorization, reboot and afterwards use the patcher again as Administrator. The modification should work now.

Secondly important to have OldNewExplorer, which deactivates the ribbon section of your File Explorer.   

Next you need a theme, luckily you're at the right spot for that.  DeviantArt is the best place to search for Windows 10 Themes.  Have a look!   

Here are some examples...

Nemo by KDr3wSimplify 10 Dark - Windows 10 Theme Pack (50 in 1) by dpcdpc11ARC X Windows 10 Theme by niivu

Once you've chose a theme.  Please pay attention to any special instructions which may be included in the package or on the site.  You'll have to move the contents of the extracted theme files folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes.  Then apply it using the Personalize/Themes option.

If you get the bottom task pane after applying the theme, Press Alt+Shift+P to hide it.

Even More

You may opt to use StartIsBack in order to skin the Start Menu and Taskbar in Windows.
Other useful tools include.
Winaero Tweaker
Quick Access Icon Changer
Blank It

To Revert

To restore the original Windows 10 theme, simply right-click on your desktop and select Personalize. Then, select Themes and click on the Windows option.  This is an important step to take before any major update of Windows.

You can also use the restore point created earlier.  However this will not only revert your Theme to default, it will revert any icons and system configurations back to normal as well. 


In a matter of minutes we've transformed your UI to something great!  There are many other great customizations for your desktop, including Wallpapers, Icons, Rainmeter which can greatly change the UI to a whole new level.  Stay tuned! Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask first.

© 2019 - 2021 CRCustomization
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It would be really helpful if you record a tutorial with clearer instructions for beginners. Thanks in advance

uxtheme patcher only patch 2 file, themeui.dll and uxinit.dll and not patch uxtheme.dll no option on uxtheme patcher. please help, did i need to disable secure boot or something?

Screenshot 2021-08-06 170720
AZERTUL's avatar

how do you change the appearance of the task manager and file explorer

please tell me too

jabir04's avatar

Hi thanks for all the great themes you've been putting out, though there is a windows update coming, and I would like to jump on that. Will I have to uninstall SecureUXTheme and other tools you've listed above before I proceed to update? Or do I only have to select the Windows default theme in Personalize?

I also have Lumicon iPack running as well, is there a way for me to revert this? Some of the icons isn't working properly, and I would like to do a fresh reinstall in the future.

Help me fix it,plz.


Does not work.

why is nothing changing on my pc i move that folder to that way and nothing happen .

should i install something???

can someone help with perfect OldNewExplorer settings for niivu's and KDr3w's themes?? pls pls pwetty pwease?

I'm on a fresh install of 20h2. I'm forced to manually take ownership of the 3 files for ultrauxthemepatcher to install proper. But my issue is that upon reboot after successful patching, the start menu doesn't work. Windows store & all windows store apps are broken too. This is before ever attempting to add any themes to the theme folder or any other any modifications whatsoever. Anyone else encountered this problem?

mJack's avatar

Hey dude...just wondering if there is a resource you'd recommend for explaining how to make a 1909 theme compatible with 20H2. I've looked here and other sites like Virtual Customs but I really don't see anything about making an older theme compatible with a newer version of windows.


Penninqton's avatar

Hi! these themes are so nice :). Can someone help me figure out why the corners are not rounded when I apply themes? I am using SecureUXTheme ThemeTool on Windows version 1909 and have tried a few different themes that appear to have rounded corners from the previews and from what I have seen on youtube videos.

abrahamt24's avatar

Is there any way to enable the command bar? I often use it to turn navigation pane and preview pane. Help is appreciated, thank you!

tokiioKH's avatar

How would I be able to revert all icons back to normal without the system restore? I created a system restore but just in case how would I do it without using the restore?

nothing changed..after doing all

theme is nott applying

Grum235's avatar

I tried many times, but there is still this black background on the title of each window with the Nord Theme...

Do you know how to fix it please ?

msedge d4qLZaUgld

That is your color accent, change it to match the color of the theme

with the 20h2 update, does windows allows to install custom themes?

peoplebusters4's avatar

Not true that taking ownership of themui.dll will allow uxtheme patcher to patch it. uxtheme theme patcher already says that "no need to patch" themeui.dll exists before installation. And still file explorer and taskbar visual styles never change.

I go through this problem every single time and am not sure any longer what is stopping visual styles from loading.

would appreciate some honest and accurate information because absolutely nothing that has been offered thus far works.

I have an MSI GS65 Stealth 9SD running on Windows 10 Version 2004 or build 19041.610 .

niivu's avatar

The information supplied is honest and accurate and works for many. Maybe try the alternate patcher that is also listed. Also the site has a FAQ site if you're having issues.

MarxOliva's avatar

How can I get rid of this?

Screenshot 4
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