If you feel that the themes (by default has 4 or 5 different themes included on installation) is not enough for personalization, Windows 7 (from build 6956 onwards, including build 7000) has hidden themes that can be unlocked, and applied as the theme for Windows 7 system. These locked hidden themes is actually meant for some regional countries such as Australia, Canada, Great Britain, United States and South Africa.

Windows 7 Themes
Original number of themes included in Windows 7

To unlock and reveal the hidden regional themes in Windows 7, do the following:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Click Organize, and select Folder and Search Options.
  3. Go to View tab.
  4. Select Show hidden files, folders and drivers and uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended). If prompted with confirmation, click Yes.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Browse to the following folder:

    \Windows\Globalization\MCT\

  7. There are five folders in the name with format MCT-XX (where XX is AU, CA, GB, US, or ZA) which represents globalization settings for each region. Go into the folder that you want to activate its theme.

    Note: AU, CA and ZA regions have the same themes.

  8. Open the Theme folder inside the selected region folder.
  9. Double click on the XX.theme file to apply the theme to the Windows 7 desktop system. Once a theme is ran and activated, the theme will be remembered and saved into Personalization options, so that user can change or select the theme again directly from Personalization settings screen.
  10. Now to go to Folder Options to reverse the first 5 steps to hide the hidden and protected system files and folders again.

Windows 7 Unlock Hidden Themes
After unlocking, there are more themes for personalize selection.

Alternatively, go to \Windows\winsxs, and search for *.theme. Double click on the first 5 themes with name in the format of XX as listed above to apply and save the theme. The rest of the themes returned in search results are already included in the system.

Activate Hidden Themes via WinSxS

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  • Nils

    Hi,

    I used this information for a small batch file (AddLocalPacks.cmd):

    ———————————-

    setlocal

    rem load Default User hive

    reg.exe load "HKUSETUP" "%USERPROFILE%..DefaultNTUSER.DAT"

    for /f "delims=" %%a in ('dir /s /b %windir%GlobalizationMCT*.theme') do call :addreg "%%a"

    for /f "delims=" %%a in ('dir /s /b %windir%GlobalizationMCT*Wallpaper') do call :addreg2 "%%a"

    goto end

    :addreg

    set filename=%1

    set filename=%filename:=%

    reg.exe add "HKUSETUPSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemesInstalledThemesMCT" /v %filename% /t REG_SZ /f

    goto :eof

    :addreg2

    set filename=%1

    set filename=%filename:=%

    reg.exe add "HKUSETUPSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerWallpapersKnownFoldersWindows WallpapersMergeFolders" /v %filename% /t REG_SZ /f

    goto :eof

    :end

    rem unload Default User hive

    reg.exe unload "HKUSETUP"

    endlocal

    ———————————-

    This script creates entries in both hives for the default user. And it will just look which of the packs is installed. So this script is usefull for unattended installation.

    If you just like to add the entries for the current user use this (AddLocalPacksCU.cmd):

    ———————————-

    setlocal

    for /f "delims=" %%a in ('dir /s /b %windir%GlobalizationMCT*.theme') do call :addreg "%%a"

    for /f "delims=" %%a in ('dir /s /b %windir%GlobalizationMCT*Wallpaper') do call :addreg2 "%%a"

    goto end

    :addreg

    set filename=%1

    set filename=%filename:=%

    reg.exe add "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemesInstalledThemesMCT" /v %filename% /t REG_SZ /f

    goto :eof

    :addreg2

    set filename=%1

    set filename=%filename:=%

    reg.exe add "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerWallpapersKnownFoldersWindows WallpapersMergeFolders" /v %filename% /t REG_SZ /f

    goto :eof

    :end

    endlocal

    ———————————-

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  • Gonzo68

    I don't want to be rude but there is a simple way to do that…

    Here is a way to have them all on Windows 7

    Open notetab and add the following lines in it and save as allregional.reg

    i did put %windir% to accommodate everyone as the install drive may be different for each other… you can replace %windir% by D:Windows where in my case D: is the win7 drive

    Just double click on the allregional.reg file to install them into your registry and you could see them by right clicking desktop and personalize

    [quote]Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemesInstalledThemesMCT]

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-AUThemeAU.theme"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-CAThemeCA.theme"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-GBThemeGB.theme"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-USThemeUS.theme"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-ZAThemeZA.theme"=""

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerWallpapersKnownFoldersWindows WallpapersMergeFolders]

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-AUWallpaper"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-CAWallpaper"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-GBWallpaper"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-USWallpaper"=""

    "%windir%GlobalizationMCTMCT-ZAWallpaper"=""[/quote]

  • Ambious

    Now to figure out how to create themes for areas which microsoft didn't deem worthy.

  • Bryan

    Neat, Thanks!