I was sitting in my dorm room watching the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother, which by the way was amazing, when my friend came in and asked if I could help him install a third-party Windows 7 Theme. Now I have never actually done it myself but it seemed easy enough. My friend explained the instructions seemed complicated but here’s a dumb downed version that should be easy for the everyday computer to understand.
Download Universal Theme Patcher and run the application that matches up with your operating system, either x86 (32 bit) or x64 (64 bit). To check this go to Computer–>System Properties. Under the System heading will be your system type.
Once you run the correct version, you’ll see a screen like this. Now manually patch all three files. A backup of each file will be made so don’t worry if something goes wrong, you’ll have the original files.
The reason you’ve decided to load a new theme is most likely that you saw a crazy theme that you just loved and wanted to embark on the journey of installing it. If not, there are some great sites that offer like the ones at Addictive Tips (Remember to save it and not open it). Once you’ve got your new theme saved on your computer, extract it to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes.
Now make your way to Control Panel–>Personalization and select your newly installed theme. Voila, you’re done.
Update: Some people have made it easy to install Windows 7 Themes and one of those happens to be one of my favourite themes. Smashing Magazine makes a post of desktop wallpapers for the current month. Someone else just took those wallpapers and made a theme. Check it out, Smashing Magazine January 2010 Windows 7 Theme because I am loving it.