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
For Windows users, the first step is to install Open Shell.
Download and install the latest version of Open Shell (mirror download link #1). Open Shell (formerly known as 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). Open 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.
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.
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:
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 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!
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 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 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
Just right click each image, and choose "Save As". Download them to your computer, and use them when configuring Open Shell. The process is described in the proceeding section.
Get the XP Start Button and Menu Back
Download and install the latest version of Open Shell if you haven't already. After you have downloaded and installed Open 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, extract the files, change into the luna_theme directory, and run the installer using the command of sudo bash install.sh. Congrats, the theme is now installed.
Download the Luna XP Theme for Linux
Previous Fully Functional Versions
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!
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