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Use the Windows Embedded Theme on XP and Server 2003 (without patching)

with 7 comments

Windows XP has to be the most tweakable and skinnable piece of software ever created. Of course, how to compete with such a dominant and widely used operating system, but then again it might also be its light blue fisher price-like theme that gets in everybody’s nerves eventually.

For some of us, upgrading to Vista has been somewhat of a relief. The rest of Windows users still using XP have probably either gone back to the silver boxy Windows or relied on official or third party patching for getting the job done. Unfortunately last time I checked (a couple of years ago), even the most elaborate skins for popular applications like WindowBlinds lack the finish and subtlety I require.

But don’t despair. My advice, use some of the Microsoft-made themes that replace the original blue theme and make for a much better impression than the built-in silver or green themes.

Windows Embedded Theme for Windows XP/2003

Previously available themes include:
Royale Noir (by far my favorite)
Zune theme

Now also available (thanks to Sizzled Core), the Windows Embedded theme that uses a strong blue but still looks quite good IMO.

Notice neither of these require UxTheme.dll patching or other workarounds.

Written by Julio Franco

October 13th, 2008 at 6:40 am

7 Comments so far

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  1. Personally I have been using the Zune theme maybe since it was released now. It is mcuh better than the standard XP themes I think. (Plus I own a Zune 30GB)

    I Would use some of the very nice looking third party themes but I dont want to have to use a third partt application to apply them.

    I will deffinately take a look at the new Windows Embedded Theme.

    Zac Dean

    14 Oct 08 at 5:11 pm

  2. Hi Julio,
    Great to know this new Theme.
    I would like to remove my Royale theme to install the Royale Noir, how do I remove this?


    15 Oct 08 at 4:30 am

  3. well how do i download this theme??????/////

    its an excellent theme but i can find a way 2 download it.

    ritesh dominator

    15 Oct 08 at 12:19 pm

  4. All available themes are linked at the bottom of the post, below the screenshot.

    You can also find them here:

    Julio Franco

    16 Oct 08 at 6:18 am

  5. Zune theme will not work on XP x64. It complains about SP2 not being installed when in fact it is.


    28 Oct 08 at 3:26 am

  6. Your blog is so informative keep up the good work!!!!

    Ramona Ruz

    27 Apr 09 at 5:25 pm

  7. As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you


    2 Sep 09 at 3:17 pm

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