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Thread: Tools needed to install and run custom themes Share

  1. #1
    Dark Knight is offline
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    Clean Tools needed to install and run custom themes

    These are the tools that I personally use without issue, tools you will need to install and run custom themes as intended by the designer(s).

    I have created this because a lot of members, especially new members have trouble with installing and getting third party themes to look like what is pictured by the designer, 99.9% of the time it is because one or more of the tools listed below are not installed or not configured properly. This list may change from time to time with updated software and methods, it would be a good idea to bookmark it.

    In This article I will provide download links to
    the prospective sites of the tools listed below but will also provide direct downloads for all the tools at the bottom of this article. It would be wise to bookmark the download sites just to verify the downloads I am providing are the latest and greatest as this article may not be updated as quickly as the tool are released. All the tools I provide below if they are free will be free, if the tool(s) are paid or donationware, they can be used as trials and must be paid for or donation made for a key to their respective owners before they become full version.

    I DO NOT provide keys, cracks, serials or anything else of the matter to make ANY software full version without a purchase being made.

    Theme Patchers:
    UX Theme Signature Bypass (Recommended) (Free)
    Download is located at the bottom of this post
    - This is the patcher that I personally use, I have used it since Windows 8 without incident.
    - This patcher allows you to complete Windows updates without having to revert to the default Windows theme before doing so, You can leave you custom theme installed and Windows updates can be completed on the fly!
    Some may use this in conjunction with another UX Theme Patcher as sort of a "Backup", personally, I have used it stand alone since Windows 8 and have never had one issue with it.
    - If you do not have some sort of UX Theme patcher installed you will not be able to run third party custom themes.
    - If you choose to use this method but NOT use Aeroglass (Below) you will need to manually create an Aeroglass directory on your C: drive because it is there that the tool is ran from.
    - The tool was developed by the same maker of Aeroglass, if you would like to read more about it you can here:[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Windows Explorer Tweaker:
    OldNewExplorer - Current Version is (Free)
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    - OldNewExplorer is the Windows 10 (and Windows 8.1, and 8) shell extension / tweaker which can undo "improvements" to file browsing made in newer Windows versions, make Windows Explorer in Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 look like Windows 7. All settings in OldNewExplorer are optional and can be set to your liking.
    - After installing OldNewExplorer, use the following configuration by opening your C:\ONE directory and double clicking the "OldNewExplorerCfg.exe" file.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Start Menu and Taskbar:

    StartIsBack+ (Free Trial - $3.99)[Only registered and activated users can see links. ][Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Current Version [Released 17 July 2019] - 2.8.7 - For Windows 10 1903 -improved dynamic taskbar transparency. Fix Run as administrator missing from UWP desktop apps.
    2.8.6 - For Windows 10 1903 - Fix Windows Sandbox missing from apps list
    2.8.5 - For Windows 10 1903 - Fix non-hybrid shutdown used
    2.8.4 - For Windows 10 1903 - Fix reboot not working if other users are logged in
    2.8.2 - For Windows 10 RS2 (Creators Update, version 1703) Thru RS6 (Spring 2019 Creators Update, version 1903)
    2.8.1 - For Windows 10 RS2 (Creators Update, version 1703) Thru RS5 (Fall 2018 Creators Update, version 1809)
    1.3.4 for Windows 10 versions RS1, TH2 (versions 1507 , 1511) up to The Anniversary Update (version 1607)
    1.7.6 for Windows 8.1 only
    2.1.2 for Windows 8 only
    - Taskbar Skinning
    - Center Icons on Taskbar
    - Ability to reduce resource usage by disabling newer Start menu and Cortana processes from prelaunching
    - Ability to use adequately sized (32x32) large icons and larger start menu button on taskbar
    - Modern icon glyphs on Start menu right hand pane
    - Modern blur, drop shadow and immersive context menus for start menu
    - Fully dynamic DPI aware start menu and configuration app
    - New modern style with round user picture
    - Lots of new minor additions and tweaks

    - Upon first installation of this software, glyph icons must be disabled, otherwise your power button configuration on your start menu will not be placed correctly. You can do this by:
    - A.) Going to the control panel and click on "Start Menu" or
    - B.) Click on your start button to open the start menu then right click in an empty area of the start menu and select properties.
    - Either action will open the StartIsBack Configuration menu.
    - After opening the configuration menu , deselect "Display glyph icons" as in the graphic below. If you do not de-select this your start menu wlll not display properly.

    Optional Software:

    Aeroglass - (Donationware)
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    - Aeroglass will restore that Window 7 acrylic glass feeing to your Windows 8 / 8.1 / 10 machine
    - A simple donation will get you a key to use Aeroglass unrestricted, although the software can be used free without a key indefinitely but be warned, without a donation to receive a key it will have a watermark present at the bottom right corner of your screen.

    - There are multiple versions of Aeroglass depending on what your Windows OS may be ....

    Current Version: Aero Glass for Win8.1+ v1.5.12
    This version is up to Win10 v1903 (10.0.18362)

    Aero Glass for Win8.1+ v1.5.11
    This version is up to Win10 v1809 (10.0.17763).

    Aero Glass for Win8.1+ v1.5.3
    This version is for Win10 10.0.14393 only.

    Aero Glass for Win8.1+ v1.4.6
    This version is for Win8.1 6.3.9600 and for Win10 up to 10.0.10586.

    Aero Glass for Win8 v1.3
    IMPORTANT: This is for Windows 8 ONLY and it does NOT work on Windows 8.1

    You can also use and I would recommend using Mr GRiM's Aeroglass installer which IMO works better than the designers installer located here: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Everything on the list with the exception of the Theme Patcher is pretty much optional but beware if you do leave any of them out with the exception of Aeroglass, the installed theme will not look as intended and will possibly have parts of the graphics missing.

    Theme Install Directory:

    All third party custom themes should be installed to your "C:\Windows\Resources\Themes" directory on your hard drive.

    Custom Icon Installation:
    There are two different schools of installation of custom icons for Windows:

    - 7tsp icon packs (FREE) - To use 7tsp icon packs you will need the 7tsp software which has been updated recently for use of 7tsp icon packs on Windows 10, you can download the software here :
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    - iPack icon packs (FREE) - To use Ipacks you will need to use the Ipack Builder By Mr. Blade Designs (Windows 7 thru Windows 10) to install and / or modify them , you can download it here :
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Personally I prefer iPacks over 7tsp packs, reason being is that iPacks install and uninstall much cleaner than 7tsp packs, 7tsp packs have a nasty habit of not uninstalling cleanly , leaving unwanted icons behind, then the user having to run an sfc scan in command prompt to cleanup the unwanted left behind icons.

    Just a little note when installing and uninstalling whether it be 7tsp or iPacks, turn off and disable all Antivirus / Antimalware and Antiransomware (All security software in general) software before installing and before uninstalling, leaving them running is going to provide undesired results and your custom icons may not fully install or uninstall, this is because you will be changing certain .dll's that are protected by your security software, therefore it/they must be disabled in order to complete the changes.
    Some people do not like doing this (disabling security software) and if you are one of them that is fine too but if you install custom icons with your security software enabled and the pack either does not install or does not uninstall fully, you will know why. I have been using the disable method here for years without any issue or problems whatsoever, I however cannot speak for other custom theme / icon sites as the only material for themes and icons I use are from Virtual Customs and Virtual Customs alone.
    Once the installation is complete you can re-enable or re-start (if requested by the pack) to re-enable your security software.

    As with any changes one makes to their system, it is both an EXCELLENT and RECOMMENDED idea to make a restore point or better yet a backup of the present system before making ANY system changes.
    It will save you A TON of headaches in the end
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    Last edited by Dark Knight; 08-04-2019 at 05:44 PM.
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  2. #13
    cgamboa73 is offline
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