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Making Windows 7 & Windows 8 Look Like XP

Thanks to Classic Shell, it's easy to make Microsoft's ™ Windows 7 or Windows 8 look like Windows XP!  Microsoft loves to change their main graphical user interface each time a new version of Windows is released.  However, in my opinion, Xp's look and feel was the best in terms of readability and ease-of-use.  I've spent countless hours hoping that one day I could make Windows 7 look like XP.  Without Microsoft, we would not have one of the best themes ever created for Windows, the Luna theme!  Today, I can safely say it is finally possible to make Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 look like XP, and here's how to do it: 

(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 9727 times!

Windows XP Royale Blue Theme for Windows 7

Download the Windows 7 XP Royale Blue Theme

Downloaded 4706 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 9352 times!
Theme Last Updated:  6/11/2014

Download Lighter Inactive Background V2 (Title Text Anomalies)
Downloaded 1377 times!

Windows Royale Blue Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 Royale Blue Theme

Downloaded 3641 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 2377 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 2267 times!

Windows Vista Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 Vista Theme

Downloaded 2017 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 2031 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 1635 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 1369 times!

Windows XP Zune Theme for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Download the Windows 8 and 8.1 Zune Theme

Downloaded 1840 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 4813 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 1827 times!
Theme Last Updated:  10/25/2014

More Windows 8.1 Themes Coming Soon After New Years

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

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 the link is dead for some reason, you can download it from the mirror here.  After you have downloaded and installed Classic Shell, click on your current Windows 7 start button.  A window pops up.  Click on Windows XP under the "Start Menu Style" tab.  Next click on the "All Settings" radio button.  Go to the "Start Button" tab, select the Replace Start Button checkbox.  Under "Button Look", choose "Custom Button".  Now, to use the start button you downloaded from this site, click on "Button Image".  You'll see a path and a box with "..." in it.  Click here, and browse to your where you saved the start button.  Choose the button, and click on OK.  You will be advised to restart before the settings apply.  Restart or log off, and then log back in.  You'll see your classic start menu.  Enjoy!

Help Videos

Check out this video for step by step instructions!

Windows 7:

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1:

Making Linux Look Like XP

If you want Linux to look like Windows XP, download the Luna theme from the link below!

Windows XP Luna Theme for Linux Download

Download the Luna XP Theme for Linux
(For Ubuntu 15.04+, Mint 17.2+, and Newer Linux operating systems released within 2015. Tested in MATE 1.81+)

Downloaded 14381 times!

Theme Last Updated:  8/1/2015

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)

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:

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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!