This theme can’t be applied to the desktop!

Did you receive the error message “This theme can’t be applied to the desktop!” after applying an unsigned 3rd-party theme? If you did, read this tutorial and learn how to fix it and how to install Windows 7 themes properly.


Windows 7 does not come with built-in support for 3rd-party themes, that’s why you have to patch some dll files first in order to apply the themes.

If you did not patch your files properly you will always receive the error message: “This theme can’t be applied to the desktop!”

Patch UXTHEME.DLL

The following tutorial you will teach you everything about installing 3rd-party themes. I highly recommend Method 2: UXTheme Patcher, because it’s the easiest one and you can’t mess up much:

Link: How to install Windows 7 Themes properly?

So, apply the patches. Next, copy the 3rd-party themes to C:/Windows/Resources/Themes, then you can simply double-click on them and the theme will applied to the desktop!

After you have patched all files successfully AND restarted your PC you will no longer receive the message “This theme can’t be applied to the desktop”.

Now, you are also ready to install our Windows 7 Premium Themes or this Sexy Windows 7 Theme.

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- Cheers!

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Written by:
Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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3 Responses to This theme can’t be applied to the desktop!

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    asta said:

    windows 7 aero theme on my property cannot be used because after I used the theme patcher. theme can not be replaced with all the original aero theme windows 7. all aero theme in control panel> appearance and personalization> personalization is disable and cannot click.

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    asta said:

    advanced above:
    I’ve tried to restore using the theme patcher but can not.

  3. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    M.H. Guda said:

    I have downloaded themes from Microsoft, but I get the same stupid message that the theme cannot be applied to my desktop. I see themes in my personalisation window but when I try to click any theme it gives me the same message. I don’t think I need to patch any files, since I am not trying to install third party themes – just stuff from microsoft.
    The Aero theme seems to work alright, I do get transparency and 3D effects, I just am unable to change the theme. What is wrong with my system? All the theme files are in my user folder, not in the windows resources folder. Is that as it should be?

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