Create a theme

If you spend a lot of time looking at your computer screen, you know how important it is to like what you see. In Windows 7, you can change the desktop background, window border color, sounds, and screen saver to suit your style—by creating your own theme.

Watch this video to learn how to create a theme (2:48)

Create your own theme

To get started, open Personalization in Control Panel and click any theme to apply it to your desktop. Then change the desktop background, window border color, sounds, and screen saver until each one looks just the way you want it to.

To create a theme

  1. Open Personalization by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type personalization, and then click Personalization.

  2. Click a theme to apply it to your desktop.

  3. Change one or more of the following:

    • The desktop background. You can have a single picture or a slide show (a rotating series of pictures) as your desktop background. Use your own pictures, or choose from the pictures that come with Windows.

      To change the background, click Desktop Background, browse to the pictures you want to use, select the check boxes for the pictures that you want to include in your slide show, and then click Save changes. To learn more, see Create a desktop background slide show.

      Picture of one check box cleared in a group of selected photos
      Point to a picture, and then select its check box to add it to your desktop background slide show.
    • The window border color. To change the color of your window borders, taskbar, and Start menu., click Window Color, click the color that you want to use, adjust the color intensity, and then click Save changes. For more information, see Change the colors on your computer.

    • Sounds. To change the sounds you hear when events occur on your computer, click Sounds, click an item in the Sound Schemes list, and then click OK. For more information, see Change computer sounds.

    • The screen saver. To add or change a screen saver, click Screen Saver, click an item in the Screen saver list, change any settings to suit your preference, and then click OK. For more information, see Change your screen saver.

    Your new theme will appear under My Themes as an unsaved theme. If you want to come back to your unsaved theme later, make sure you save it. To learn more about saving a theme, see the next section in this Help topic.

    Picture of an unsaved theme
    An unsaved theme

Note

  • If you upgraded to Windows 7 from Windows XP or Windows Vista, be aware that themes work a little differently in Windows 7. Anytime you change the desktop background, window color, sounds, or screen saver, you're creating a new unsaved theme, not making changes to an existing theme.

Save a theme

Once you're happy with the way a new theme looks and sounds, you can save it and come back to it again and again.

To save a theme

  1. Open Personalization by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type personalization, and then click Personalization.

  2. Click your unsaved theme to apply it to the desktop.

  3. Click Save theme.

  4. Type a name for your theme, and then click Save.

    The theme will appear under My Themes.

    Picture of a saved theme
    A saved theme in Personalization in Control Panel

Share a theme

You can share themes you've created with family and friends who have Windows 7. To send a theme to others, you'll need to save it in a file format that can be shared, called a .themepack file. Then you can share the theme using an e‑mail account, a network, or an external hard disk.

To share a theme

  1. Open Personalization by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type personalization, and then click Personalization.

  2. Click the theme you want to share to apply it to the desktop.

  3. Right-click the theme, and then click Save theme for sharing.

    Picture of right-clicking an unsaved theme
    Sharing a theme
  4. In the File name box, type a name for your theme, and then click Save.

    By default, Windows saves the theme in your Documents folder.

    Picture of a .themepack file in the Documents folder
    A .themepack file in the Documents folder

Tip

  • Themes are available in only some editions of Windows 7. So if your friends and family have Windows 7 Starter or Home Basic edition (or a different version of Windows), they won't be able to open or use your theme.

Delete a theme

If you get tired of using a theme you've created or downloaded, you can delete it from your PC. (The themes that come with Windows can't be deleted.)

To delete a theme

  1. Click a different theme to apply it to the desktop. You can't delete a theme while you're using it.

  2. Right-click the theme you want to delete, and then click Delete theme.

Get more themes

You can find more themes in the Personalization Gallery on the Windows website.