Making Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Linux Look Like XP

It is possible to make Windows 7, 8, 8.1, Windows 10 (limited support), and Linux look like XP. 

Select Your Operating System to Transform

Windows 7 Windows 8 Windows 10 Linux

For Windows users, the first step is to install Classic Shell.

Classic Shell

Download and install the latest version of Classic Shell.  Classic Shell extends custom themes (including our own XP themes) by allowing you to configure and style components NOT affected or styleable by 3rd party themes (such as the start menu layout, the start button icon, the Windows Explorer look and feel, and more).  Classic Shell is a great supplement to any third party theme.  It will enhance the look of our XP themes that make any version of Windows look like Windows XP.

(Windows 7 Only): Download and Install UxStyle [New Recommended Way]

The first step to getting Windows 7 to look like XP is to download and install the latest version of UxStyle.  This utility allows you to run third party themes for Windows.  Without it, you will not be able to install the XP theme created by Microsoft named Luna. 

Download UxStyle | Mirror 1

Installing UxStyle

Extract the UxStyle installation files using an archive utility such as WinRar or 7-Zip.  Browse to the folder you just extracted.  You will see two executable files named UxStyle_Core_Jul13_x64.msi and UxStyle_Core_Jul13_x86.msi.  If you're running a 64-bit installation of Windows 7, run UxStyle_Core_Jul13_x64.msi by double clicking on it.  If you're not running a 64-bit installation of Windows 7, run UxStyle_Core_Jul13_x86.msi by double clicking on it.  If you don't know, you can find out by going to Start → Settings → Control Panel → System.  On this page, it will notify you if you're running a 64-bit OS.  Run the installer and follow the prompts.  Once installation is complete, restart your computer, and you can now use 3rd party themes!

If UxStyle does NOT work for you, please click here to show the instructions below for installing and using Universal Theme Patcher.  We do NOT recommend using Universal Theme Patcher due to conflicts with VirtualBox.

(Windows 7 Only): Download Universal Theme Patcher

The first step to getting Windows 7 or Windows 8 to look like XP is to download the Universal Theme Patcher.  This utility allows you to run third party themes for Windows.  Without it, you will not be able to install the XP theme created by Microsoft named Luna. 

Download Universal Theme Patcher

Using Universal Theme Patcher

Extract the Universal Theme Patcher using an archive utility such as WinRar or 7-Zip.  Browse to the folder you just extracted, and inside the UniversalThemePatcher_20090409 folder, you'll see two executable files named UniversalThemePatcher-x64.exe and UniversalThemePatcher-x86.exe.  If you're running a 64-bit installation of Windows 7, run UniversalThemePatcher-x64.exe.  If you're not running a 64-bit installation of Windows 7, run UniversalThemePatcher-x86.exe.  If you don't know, you can find out by going to Start → Settings → Control Panel → System.  On this page, it will notify you if you're running a 64-bit OS.  Run the program and choose your language.  You'll see a screen similar to the one shown below:

Universal Theme Patcher for Windows 7

Patch the 3 files by clicking on "Patch".  The program will let you know if you're successful.  After all of the files have been patched, restart Windows 7.  You can now use custom themes and don't need to run the Universal Theme Patcher again.

Downloading the Windows 7 Luna and Royale Themes

Windows XP Luna Theme for Windows 7

Download the Windows 7 XP Luna Theme

Downloaded 10801 times!

Windows XP Royale Blue Theme for Windows 7

Download the Windows 7 XP Royale Blue Theme

Downloaded 5257 times!

(Windows 8 and 8.1 Only): Download UltraUXThemePatcher

Before you can download and install custom third party themes for Windows 8 or 8.1, you'll need to download and install UltraUXThemePatcher.  This program patches Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 allowing you the ability to use any theme you want!

Download UltraUXThemePatcher | Mirror 1

Downloading the Windows 8 Luna and Royale Themes

The Luna and Royale themes have finally been ported over to Windows 8.1.  They should work in Windows 8, but they have been tested in 8.1.  If you want to make the themes look even truer to their Windows 7 counterparts, please take a look at installing Aero Glass for Win8

Windows XP Luna Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 XP Luna Theme [VERSION 2]

Version 2.0 is almost as XP as you can get in Windows 8 without having to go ham in the style builder utility!
Downloaded 10654 times!
Theme Last Updated:  6/11/2014

Download Lighter Inactive Background V2 (Title Text Anomalies)
Downloaded 1590 times!

Windows Royale Blue Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 Royale Blue Theme

Downloaded 4022 times!
Theme Last Updated:  1/9/2014

Windows XP Olive Luna Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 XP Olive Luna Theme

Downloaded 2770 times!

Windows XP Silver Luna Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 XP Silver Luna Theme

Downloaded 2567 times!

Windows Vista Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 Vista Theme

Downloaded 2318 times!

Windows XP Royale Noir Black Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 XP Royale Noir Black Theme

Downloaded 2327 times!

Windows XP Dark Green Luna Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 XP Luna Dark Green Theme

Downloaded 1900 times!

Windows XP Light Green Luna Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 XP Luna Light Green Theme

Downloaded 1677 times!

Windows XP Zune Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 Zune Theme

Downloaded 2072 times!

Windows XP Luna Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 XP Luna Theme (Includes Mostly Default Windows 8 Controls)

Downloaded 5169 times!
Theme Last Updated:  12/22/2013

Windows 3.1 Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 3.1 Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Downloaded 2168 times!
Theme Last Updated:  10/25/2014

Windows 10 Limited Theme Support

It is possible to run 3rd party themes on Windows 10, but it involves quite a bit of work.  Please read this guide for detailed instructions and information.  Microsoft changed the way themes work in Windows 10, and as a result, several components are no longer themeable (the taskbar is one of many components that cannot be styled).  After trying to convert the XP themes over to Windows 10, we decided it was NOT worth doing.  Updated versions of the themes I've created for Windows 8 will NOT be updated for Windows 10.

Theme Installation Help Videos

Check out this video for step by step instructions!

Windows 7:

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1:

Installing Custom Themes (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10)

Extract the theme files into your Windows\Resources\Themes directory, usually C:\Windows\Resources\Themes using WinRar or 7-Zip.  To use a theme, go back to your desktop, right click on your desktop, and choose "Personalize".  Under installed themes, you should now see the Luna and Royale Blue themes.  Simply click on either to change your theme.

The XP Custom Start Buttons

Windows XP Original Start Button Windows XP Royale Black Start Buttons Windows XP Royale Blue Start Buttons
Windows XP Royale Black Blue Start Buttons Windows XP Zune Start Buttons Windows XP Silver Start Buttons
Windows XP Olive Start Buttons

Download All XP Start Button Icons

Just right click each image, and choose "Save As".  Download them to your computer, and use them when configuring Classic Shell.  The process is described in the proceeding section.

Get the XP Start Button and Menu Back

Download and install the latest version of Classic Shell if you haven't already.  After you have downloaded and installed Classic Shell, click on your current Windows start button.  A window pops up.  Click on "Classic with two columns" under the "Start Menu Style" tab.  At the bottom of the screen, click on the "Replace start button" checkbox so that it is checked.  Next click on the "Pick image..." button.  Browse to your where you saved the start menu button image that you downloaded from this page.  Choose the button, and click on "Open".  Now, back at the top of the window, click on the "Skin" tab.  Under the "Skin:" dropdown, select "Windows XP Luna".  Click on OK.  You're done.  Enjoy the XP theme!

Here's a video that helps with this process:

Making Linux Look Like XP

If you want Linux to look like Windows XP, first download and install the MATE desktop environment for your Linux distribution.  Then, download the Luna theme from the link below!

Windows XP Luna Theme for Linux Download

Download the Luna XP Theme for Linux
(For Ubuntu 16.04+, Mint 17.2+, and Newer Linux operating systems released within 2015 and 2016. Tested in MATE 1.12.1+)

Downloaded 15698 times!

Theme Last Updated:  8/4/2016

Changes:

  • Fixed the display of checkbox and radio controls for newer operating systems while adding fallback styles to support legacy systems.
  • The Luna theme has been rewritten using the latest Ambiance theme as a template to fix minor issues present in the older version.
  • Firefox may have a few glitches and inconsistencies that Mozilla is working on fixing to fully support GTK3.

Previous Fully Functional Versions

  • Download the Old Version
    (For Ubuntu versions 12.10 to 14.10 and Linux operating systems released between 2012-2014)
  • Download the Original Version
    (May Work Better with Older GNOME2 or MATE DISTROS. Intended for Ubuntu 12.04, versions of Ubuntu older than 12.04, and Linux operating systems released in or prior to 2012)

Installing Updated Versions & Preventing Conflicts

It is best to install the latest version of the Luna theme over the previously installed version.  If you installed the Luna theme globally with sudo, continue installing the latest version over the old one using this method.  If you have installed the Luna theme under your local account without sudo access, continue installing the latest version over the old one using this method.

If you are unsure which installation method you chose originally or run into glitches & anomalies (like radio buttons and checkboxes not displaying properly) possibly caused by conflicting versions, completely remove the theme everywhere it may have been installed by running the below commands from a terminal:

sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/Luna
rm -rf ~/.themes/Luna

Now you can reinstall the theme using any method.

Luna Linux Theme Description

The GNOME2 based GTK2 theme Luna has been ported successfully over to GTK3 (tested within the MATE desktop environment). The Luna theme (makes components look like Windows XP) now works correctly with the latest and greatest Linux operating systems while still working in older versions of Linux still running GTK2 and GNOME2!  Before the conversion to GTK3, graphical anomalies plagued nautilus, terminal windows, and gedit itself.  However, that has all been corrected.  Code was used from the Ambiance GTK3 theme to successfully convert Luna to GTK3.

To install the Luna theme in Linux, extract the files to any directory, and run the install.sh bash file!  To install MATE on any version of Ubuntu and for a complete command walkthrough for installing the Luna theme itself, click here.

Check out this video for interactive instructions:

About & Copyrights

Microsoft owns the copyrights to all of these images.  This site is merely here for us XP die hard fans to keep your best creations alive!  Without Microsoft, this would not be possible.  Thank you Microsoft!