Did you accidentally break your Windows 7 PC by applying an unsupported 3rd-party theme? If so, don’t worry you can easily change / apply Windows 7 themes from a command prompt.
Tip: Once you know how to apply themes via shell, I also suggest you create a batch file to backup all shell themes and themepacks
- The Personalization CP is slow and boring to use – instead we’re now going to apply your Windows 7 themes using a neat command prompt trick that will allow us to change themes on the fly
Applying themes via Rundll32.exe
1. Step The rundll32.exe in combination with desk.cpl can be used to apply Windows 7 themes via command line
2. Step Enter:
rundll32.exe %SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL %SystemRoot%\system32\desk.cpl desk,@Themes /Action:OpenTheme /file:"C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\landscapes.theme"
3. Step If you want to apply a different Windows 7 theme, you obviously have to change the name landscapes.theme to the correct theme name. The Windows 7 themes are stored in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes
Use Path C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\
4. Step If you want to apply themepack themes, use the path C:\Users\(yourusername)\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes
rundll32.exe %SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL %SystemRoot%\system32\desk.cpl desk,@Themes /Action:OpenTheme /file:"C:\Users\sOliver\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\Dead Space 2.theme"
Can’t Open Windows 7 Themes Personalization Control Panel NOR Explorer?
It can actually happen that you can no longer access the Windows 7 theme control panel. Then you’re screwed!
.. No, of course you are not screwed.
1. Step Log into another user account, if you don’t have another make sure to activate the hidden admin account via cmd.exe
You can start the task manager, click on File, New Task, enter cmd.exe and then activate the admin account via the commands listed
2. Step After logging in to the account go to the Windows 7 themes folder either C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\ or C:\Windows\Resources\Themes and change the name of the currently applied BROKEN theme to xxxx.bak
3. Step Rename another WORKING theme to the old BROKEN theme
4. Step Now log in and enjoy Windows 7 again
We’ll keep you updated with more Windows 7 tutorials and tricks how to make Windows 7 themes even better or how to fix them.