Windows Store: now with desktop themes

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 20, 2016
Updated • Dec 20, 2016

Microsoft has begun to move desktop themes for Windows 10 to the Windows Store. The company announced some time ago that it would make available themes in the Store, and the move marks the first step in that direction.

Windows Store features apps and game downloads, Edge extensions, and also music, movies & TV content right now. Microsoft wants this to be the one-stop shop for all things Windows. One thing that you may never see in the Store however are legacy Windows programs.

Windows 7 and newer versions of the Windows operating system support two types of themes. Full themes that may change any button, icon, font, color and more on the system, and light themes that change wallpapers, some colors, sounds and the screen saver.

Windows Store Themes

windows store themes

The first set of light themes are now available in Windows Store.

The store pages open just fine when you click on the link, and the get operation to download the theme to the local system works as well. The launch operation however is not functional yet which means that you can't just go ahead and switch to the theme easily right now.

It appears that Microsoft will add the missing functionality somewhere between now and the release of the Creators Update release candidate.

The themes are downloaded to c:\program files\windowsapps\[themename]. You find the .theme file under theme in the folder that is created when the Windows Store download completes.

Please note that users don't have access to the windowsapps folder by default. This means that you need to add the user account that you are using to the list of accounts allowed to access the folder (via the Security tab). The theme installs fine then when you double-click on it.

All themes add mostly images and nothing more to the operating system. While some users may like this, it is not anything special considering that you can create your own Windows themes as well using custom images.

Closing Words

Some users may like the new functionality and Microsoft will surely push more themes to Windows Store prior to the release of the Creators Update for the operating system. You should not expect anything more than wallpaper bundles though with a custom color or two thrown in to the mix though. (via MSPU)

Now You: Do you use a custom theme?


Windows Store: now with desktop themes
Article Name
Windows Store: now with desktop themes
Microsoft has begun to move desktop themes for Windows 10 to the Windows Store from where users can download and install them on their PC.
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  1. sketch said on December 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Why they put it in Apps category, it must have their theme category next to game. Now our searched will be more confusing.

  2. chesscanoe said on December 20, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    In current stable Win10 x64 Home I have the dark theme chosen along with the option to let Windows choose colors based on my self selected background, which manually or automatically changes frequently each day. Chrome is themed as well with custom background images for Gmail and tabs. Additionally URLs are selectively customized with the Change Colors extension and my own colors and font, which work much better than the usual accessibility options.

  3. anon said on December 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    >Full themes that may change any button, icon, font, color and more on the system
    This is achieved by modifying system files. It is not official support and Microsoft has never recognized these themes.

    1. Beardsworth said on December 20, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      That’s not strictly true. “Full” themes were officially supported up until Windows XP, I think. 98SE had this little doodad in its Control Panel to easily change themes:

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on December 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      That does not mean they don’t exit and/or are not popular.

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