Windows 8 doesn’t allow 3rd party themes by default and we need to patch Windows 8 to be able to use custom themes.
UxStyle is a UxTheme Patcher for Windows 8. Install this to enable custom themes in Windows 8.
Applying Custom 3rd Party Themes
Once you have patched your system, copy your desired theme (containing a .theme file and a folder containing .msstyles file) to “C:\Windows\Resources\Themes” folder. If you have installed your Windows 8 on another drive, then select that drive.
Once you have copied the theme files, right click on your desktop and select ‘Personalize’, you will find all your custom themes in ‘Installed Themes’ category. Click on the desired theme to apply that theme.
To uninstall a theme, just delete the theme folder and the .theme file from “C:\Windows\Resources\Themes” folder.
How to apply System Metrics settings
System Metrics settings are not applied by themes in Windows 8/8.1 by default. System Metrics settings must be applied for themes to display correctly. To apply the theme specific System Metrics settings; select the desired theme, select any higher DPI options in the “Display” settings and press “Apply”. You’ll be prompted to sign out to apply the changes. Just follow the instructions and sign out and sign in to apply the changes.
Now, revert back to “Smaller – 100% (default)” DPI and apply the changes. You’ll be prompted to sign out again. Just follow the instruction and after signing in, all System Metrics settings will be applied properly. Repeat the procedure every time you change the theme. To revert back to default System Metrics settings, select the default aero theme and repeat the procedure.
Don’t use the registry files provided with some themes. They do the same thing in a coarse way and will mess up your system if you don’t find the correct registry file to revert back the changes.
When using StartIsBack/StartIsBack+ with Aero Glass, disable Start Menu and Taskbar translucency in SIB/SIB+ settings. System Transparency is handled by Aero Glass and enabling the translucency settings in SIB/SIB+ will cause weird display effects on Start Menu and Taskbar.
If uxstyle stops working, as it sometimes does; don’t sign out/restart the computer. Just go to “TaskManager > Services” and restart “UnsignedThemes” service.
Most of the Themes on this site contain at least 2 or more visual styles – one with Start Menu for StartIsBack/StartIsBack+ users and another with native Windows 8/8.1 JumpList for those who don’t use StartIsBack/StartIsBack+. Make sure to use the correct visual style according to your preferences.