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Full Transformation: How to make Windows 7 look like Windows 8, minus Metro UI

Preview Make Windows 7 Desktop Look Like 8_Ll Windows 8 is the newest version of the popular OS, but it really doesn’t bring all that many improvements over Windows 7. If you want to stick with Windows 7 but still want to get the fresh Windows 8 desktop look, you can make 7 look like 8 with a bit of work.

Changing the way Windows looks

Windows was never meant to have different themes – it was easier to completely change the look and feel in XP than it is in 7, but it’s still nowhere near the level of any Linux OS, for example. Windows 8 introduced a fresh look for the desktop that many people like, but which is not worth upgrading from Windows 7 for.

Make the Windows 7 desktop look like Windows 8

Fortunately, you can get that look on Windows 7, as well – it requires a bit of work, but it’s nothing too hard. Here’s how to make your Windows 7 installation look like Windows 8, minus the annoying Metro UI:

1. Step First you’ll need to download UXStyle – an app that lets you customize the themes in Windows 7 without changing any important system files (which was the way it was done in the past). You can get the program from the official website, uxstyle.com.

Download UXStyle for Windows 7

2. Step Run the appropriate installer from the UXStyle zip file – x64 or x86 depending on whether you’ve got a 64 or 32 bit installation of Windows, respectively.

Run the appropriate UXStyle executable

3. Step you may need to allow UXStyle elevated access by clicking Allow – it should install pretty quickly. Now, you’ll simply need to get the Windows 8 themes and place them in the right folder!

You can find many themes for Windows 7, and there are too many variations on a Windows 8 theme to count, but one of the best is mare-m’s version, available on DeviantArt.

You can download it from this address: http://mare-m.deviantart.com/art/Windows-8-RTM-Theme-for-Windows-7-318932206

Once it’s downloaded, open the archive (you may need to install 7Zip archiver if you don’t have it) and navigate to the “Windows 8 Themes” folder.

There are three themes in there, each different versions for the taskbar location and start menu user picture – just select the one you want and copy it to “C:\Windows\Resources\Themes” (you will see the Aero and default themes there, too). You can even copy them all if you want, but it may get a bit confusing.

Copy the desired theme to the right folder

4. Step Now you can find the new Windows 8 themes under the Personalize menu – just select any of them and they will be applied. You can’t change the color of the window the usual way, but you get a nice enough preset selection to choose from.

Apply desired theme from Personalize menu

Now you’ve got a totally refreshed look for Windows 7 – no need to get Windows 8 just for it! By the way, you should try to install more Windows themes this way – there are a lot of good ones on DeviantArt and elsewhere online.

Conclusion

If you like Windows 7 but have grown tired of the usual windows with rounded edges and different colors, making the desktop look like Windows 8 is one of the best ways to refresh it. Be sure to give it a try – if you don’t like it, it’s easy to go back!

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Published: Monday, May 13th, 2013 Last Modified: February 24, 2014

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