How to Install and Use

Custom Windows Themes

by dpcdpc11


Hey guys, in case you're new to Custom Windows Themes, here is some information that you might find useful and a guide explaining how to install and use a custom theme. If you're in a hurry, jump ahead to the HOW-TO GUIDE below.
The first thing you have to understand is that Custom Windows themes only apply to Win32/classic apps that inherit the classic Windows UI.
However, custom Windows themes don't apply to UWP/modern apps (like the Settings panel, Calculator, Windows Mail, Calendar, etc.) and apps that have a skinning system of their own like for example Winamp (a media player that uses its own skins) or the Microsoft Office apps (that have their own custom user interface).


For Windows 10, Stardock has created an app called Curtains that has the ability to style the titlebar and caption buttons of UWP/modern apps.
For this reason I've created matching Curtains styles for each and every one of my Windows 10 themes, which you can find in the Matching Extras section of the included README file. Also, each Curtains theme includes detailed instructions on how to install and how to use it.


If you're into Dark Themes, then you have to understand that these come in two flavors: Dark Mode compatible themes and Forced Dark Themes. The first category only applies the dark UI to Windows Explorer and other Dark Mode compatible apps, while the second category is trying to force the dark UI on most of the Windows UI elements. Most of my Dark Themes are in the Dark Mode compatible category and I'll explain why. The old Windows UI was never meant to be dark in the first place so most classic apps make use of the Windows UI in this way. Thus by using a Forced Dark Theme some apps can become challenging to use. Here are a few examples: older versions of Microsoft Office will get a dark background in the writing section; some apps will get dark menus with dark text making it impossible to read; some websites will have dark background text fields with black text making them very hard to use. Nonetheless, to please the fans, a few of my Windows 11 themes have Night variants which are basically Forced Dark Themes but as I mentioned above, they have some issues that can’t be fixed so you’ll just have to get used to them if you want to use such themes.


Please feel free to check out the Matching Extras section in the README file of each theme where you’ll find recommended links to further customize your Windows using custom Mouse Cursors, Wallpapers, Firefox themes, and so on, but first, make sure to read the Guide below before you embark on your Custo Adventure!


My Windows Themes have the following compatibility:

NOTE: please don't use Windows 10 themes on Windows 11 because they don't work properly. I'm doing my best to bring back some of my old themes to Windows 11, but this is a time-consuming process so please be patient.

How-To Guide

Contact & Support

Email me for support at

Check out my store

Follow me on