Styling your desktop is pretty easy if you have Windows 7. In this blog post, we’ve compiled 25 of our favorite themes—to help give your desktop a sleeker, sexier look. Beautiful backgrounds, nice colors, and amazing sounds—all in one package—what more could you want?
What’s a “theme”?
There’s a lot of confusion about the term “theme”. According to Microsoft, a theme is a package that changes the desktop wallpaper, the color scheme and, in some cases, sounds and screensavers. You can get these packages online from Microsoft (refer to our tips below) and change them with just a double-click. Here’s one example:
This is Microsoft’s own Bing theme which includes several wallpapers that automatically change every 30 minutes.
The confusion comes from the fact that there’s yet another way to customize Windows— with so called “visual styles”. These aren’t officially supported by Microsoft, since it requires some changes to Windows system files. Visual styles change much more than just the background or colors; they change the entire shape and many elements of the Windows user interface. Here’s one example:
The visual style “Aero Glow” is pictured above—note how the shapes and forms of the Start menu, the Details pane in Windows Explorer and the Windows border have changed.
We previously covered how to change Windows 7′s visual style. This article is for all you folks who love the default Windows 7 design, but want to add some stunning wallpapers, new colors and more to your desktop!
Our 25 favorite Windows 7 themes
Over the past few months, we’ve tried countless Windows themes—some from Microsoft’s own gallery and some from the fantastic website Window7Theme.com. Here’s our list; to get to the download, just click the preview. Note: For themes from Window7Theme.com, you need to log in using a Windows Live ID.
Create and share your own themes
You’ve got some nice pictures? Perfect! Create your very own unique themes, and email it to friends or upload them to a file sharing service. It’s as easy as this—right-click on your desktop and select “Personalize”. At the bottom of the window, select your own desktop background, a fitting window color and maybe your own sounds! Done? Scroll down through the list of your themes, and select “Save theme”.
Name your theme, and right-click on it. Go to “Save theme for sharing”, and Windows will create a theme package that is easy for emailing or uploading.
What do you think of our 25 favorite themes? Do you have another great resource for themes? We would love to hear from you!