Turn older versions of Windows into Windows 10 with a transformation pack

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 13, 2014
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows tips

Whenever a preview of a new operating system is shown chance is good that someone will create a transformation pack that turns older versions of an operating system into the new one.

We have seen transformation packs for a variety of systems in the past. You can turn current versions of Windows into Mac OS X Yosemite for instance.

Attention: Most transformation packs modify files on the system and install new programs on it. This can lead to unforeseen consequences which is why it is always suggested to create a backup before the installer is run on Windows.

The Windows 10 Transformation Pack, as the name suggests, turns current versions of Windows into a Windows 10 look-a-like system. It is compatible with all versions of Windows starting with Windows XP all the way up to Windows 8.1. In addition, it is also working on server systems.

windows 10 transformation

The transformation pack is a collection of programs, themes, icons and designs that are installed as one package on compatible systems.

Note: Some programs and features require various .NET framework versions. The start menu and Aero auto-colorization require the .Net Framework 2.0 for instance, while Newgen (Metro UI), the Framework 4.0.

Integrated are the important UxStyle memory patching program which makes necessary modifications to Windows system files in memory so that third-party themes can be loaded, specific themes for each supported operating system, and six additional programs that add various features such as a start menu or virtual desktops.

As you can see from the screenshot above, there are limitations in regards to how close it comes to Windows 10. The start menu for instance looks different even though it combines tiles and programs just like the Windows 10 start menu does.

The transformation pack has a size of 92 Megabyte. It comes as a zip file that you need to unpack on your system after the download. A single executable file is extracted that you need to run on the system to install the transformation pack on it.

This brings up the an options menu that you can use to customize the installation. It is for instance possible to disable the installation of virtual desktops or the start menu (which only works in Windows 7 or newer anyway). The Immersive UI (Metro) is not enabled by default. If you want the Charms Bar or Metro Start Screen, you need to enable that separately as well.

What you may want to do is disable the set to homepage option which is checked by default. Your browser's homepage will be changed by the installer if you don't.

Once you have made your selection the installation begins. It may be necessary to restart the PC after the installation before all the changes are visible on the screen.

You should be able to uninstall the transformation pack again at any time using the default program uninstaller or any third-party program.

Closing Words

The Windows 10 Transformation Pack does a great job at turning current versions of Windows into Windows 10. The customization options are mighty useful, I like that it provides you with options to block certain programs from being installed. The start menu for example is not really that usable in my opinion.

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  1. Quick Brown Fox said on October 15, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Given that Windows 10 hasn’t officially been released yet, and may undergo changes before it does, why would anyone want to convert their current version of Windows into a look-alike of this one?

  2. Keith D said on October 14, 2014 at 6:18 am

    “Never quite understood the draw of “make an OS look like a different OS” theme packs.”
    I agree. If you want that “look”, get the real thing. What is even worse is the Linux distros that imitate Windows. WTF? Most Linux user want to distance themselves as far from Windows as posible.
    –The computing world is a strange place. Enjoy what you have!

    1. anon said on October 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

      Choice is a good thing and one of the strongest point for Linux (though you usually have to make one yourself).

      1. InterestedBystander said on October 15, 2014 at 2:18 am

        I sympathize with the “make an OS look like a different OS” idea. Say I like the user interface of Mac, but I need or want to run some Windows programs. Why not have a Mac interface on Windows? Personally, I like some features in some Linux distros. Why not use tools making the features I like available in other OSes? Why not be able to eliminate distasteful features of Win 8 by using a theme pack to make it work like Win 7?

        Why be stuck with an OS designed by marketing strategists instead of choosing a GUI to to suit my tastes?

        As far as Linux distros that look like Windows (I’m talking to you, Zorin!) the intent is obvious: to make an interface that’s convenient for users who have recently moved from Windows to Linux.

        Actually, the idea of hierarchical menus is cognitively ergonomic for most people, whether it’s the Start Button in Windows, Applications in Mac, or the Mint button in Linux Mint. The idea of a dock for commonly-used applications is also ergonomic, and so it’s implemented well in Mac and some Linuxes, less well in the Windows taskbar. Icons on a desktop is another metaphor which is so widely understood that Mac, Windows, and most Linuxes implement it.

        Not copying or mimicking: it’s convergent evolution.

  3. Dwight Stegall said on October 14, 2014 at 1:44 am

    I’m sick of the flat borders around windows. I liked the old-style better. I wish someone would make a app to bring them back.

    1. Doc said on October 15, 2014 at 12:37 am

      There is one. It’s called UXTheme Patcher, which the transformation pack(s) in this article make use of. Then go to someplace like DeviantArt and find the theme of your choice.

  4. InterestedBystander said on October 14, 2014 at 1:04 am

    OR you could choose to make Windows look like Ubuntu! (*ducks*)


    1. Doc said on October 15, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Oh yeah! Window control buttons on the wrong side, everything drab orange and brown, like Quake I, stupid left-hand Unity launcher…just great!

  5. Doc said on October 14, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I can’t imagine ever wanting to turn any version of Windows into the flat, drab Windows 8/10 UI. I’d rather us the UXTheme Patcher to install a Windows 7-like theme, which I in fact did with my Windows 8.1 install…not perfect, and no Aero Glass, but still nice.

  6. dwarf_tossn said on October 14, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Never quite understood the draw of “make an OS look like a different OS” theme packs.

    Also, opting-in to a Metro UI is just craziness.

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