Access hundreds of cool Windows XP themes and skins using the UXTheme Multi-Patcher
Patching ‘uxtheme.dll’ as been a popular Windows XP modification amongst power users for some time now. Although you can easily apply basic themes to your Windows XP desktop, if you want to get the best looking themes, you’ll need help from the UXTheme Multi-Patcher. Running this utility will allow you to use 3rd party ‘msstyle’ themes on your Windows XP PC. These themes can change the whole look and feel of your desktop and go way beyond the simple colour changes that basic themes implement.
Why do you need to patch or unlock a system file in order to use these themes? Microsoft chose to secure this file so that third party themes could not change the image of Windows XP too far. Possibly so that they could protect the corporate image of Microsoft and Windows XP on your desktop. Whatever their reasons, without performing this modification you won’t be able to use third party themes (you can however still use skinning tools like Windowblinds or MyColors as an alternative).
Although Top-Windows-Tutorials.com has tested this modification on several PC’s and we are sure that it is free of any kind of malware, we cannot guarantee that this modification will work for everyone. You may wish to back up your system before you proceed. Furthermore, if you do have problems after patching, you can run the utility again to put things back to the way they were.
With the disclaimers out of the way, let’s get patching! Download the UXTheme Multi Patcher for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The file is downloaded as a .zip file, double click on the download to open it, you should see the window shown below:-
Double click on the “UXTheme Multi-Patcher 6.0” icon, you should then see the window shown below:-
Click on “Patch”. You will then be taken to the window shown below:-
Check that the information given matches with what you know about your system. If you keep your computer up to date it should be the same as the Window above. If everything is in order, click on “OK”. You will then see the window shown below:-
Look for the Windows file protection window appearing, it may appear over the top of the window shown above, or you may need to click on it on the taskbar:-
If you see a flashing blue “Windows File Prote…” window on your taskbar, click on it to maximise it. You should now see the window shown below:-
Windows detects that a system file has been tampered with and offers to replace it with the original version. Normally this would be a good idea, but since we want to replace this file we’ll need to cancel Windows file protection. Wait around one minute then click “Cancel”. You will then see the following window:-
Here, Windows is basically saying “You cannot be serious?!” and it points out that keeping unrecognized versions of system files might affect your computers stability. Click on “Yes” to confirm. You will then see the window shown below:-
Click on OK and reboot your computer. Once your computer has rebooted, the process is complete.
What can I do now? Now this process is completed, you can install and use any of the advanced themes which require ‘uxtheme.dll’ to be patched. You can obtain themes like this from Customize.org or DeviantArt.com Once you have completed this tutorial, installing and using these advanced themes is exactly the same as using the basic Windows XP themes.
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