Patch UXTheme.dll to really skin WinXP

In: Operating Systems

18 Nov 2003

Update: Multi-Patcher is a newer, better patching program than PatchXP mentioned in this old entry. Read about it.

Some of you Windows XP users may use or have used StyleXP to skin your desktop with XP themes. StyleXP uses Microsoft’s native skinning (or theming) engine, so it doesn’t slow your system down like WindowBlinds does. I took it for a trial run (it’s available as a30-day free trial) and it was cool to see how pretty it can get – Luna Blue is really, really tacky and I hate Luna’s guts. I’d rather use the “Classic” style and I do in it first thing in a new Windows XP system. StyleXP allows you to use custom themes (or rather, Visual Styles, as Microsoft calls them) like those from and ThemeXP.

StyleXP Display Properties screenshot

But I didn’t like to have to pay for something that really should have been in Windows XP itself. It turns out, there exist ways to patch Windows XP such that you can use these custom-made themes. The easiest way is using PatchXP – I’ve tried it and it works on my Windows XP Professional Edition with SP1. Another way, which is slightly more of a hassle, is via Multi-Patcher – this is more likely to work, since it’s more updated than PatchXP. Have fun. This should tide you over until you make enough money to get a Mac, or have enough energy to customize KDE to the max.

11 Responses to Patch UXTheme.dll to really skin WinXP



February 23rd, 2004 at 9am

Hey, in the little screen shot you have posted with the entry, what theme is it? I like that one and I’m thinking about downloading the Multi-Patch so I can use that theme, but I want to make sure I know what theme it is before I go ahead with everything.
Thanks very much.


Cheah Chu Yeow

February 23rd, 2004 at 1pm

If I recall correctly, that theme is CoughDrop. Try looking for it in the sites I listed.



August 3rd, 2004 at 11am

I’m NOT fond of hacking OS required dlls thank you.



August 8th, 2004 at 4am



Forever Geek

May 7th, 2004 at 3am

Skin WindowsXP
I have known about this for some time, but figured it would be helpful to a couple of you out there. In a nutshell it can be quite easy to make Windows XP look stunning. I don’t spend too much…


Zápisník Seldy a Roeho

May 7th, 2004 at 12pm

Windows skiny – jednodu¹e a zdarma
Multi-Patcher je ¹ikovný prográmek, který patchne uxtheme.dll a umo¾ní skinování Windows XP pøes Display Properties – Appearance. Není tedy potøeba…


Michael G. Emmons

September 2nd, 2004 at 8am

I would not really call uxtheme.dll a OS Required DLL. It’s only purpose in life is to skin the operating system. That’s it. The OS even runs without it…although it looks crappy. And, hey, it takes about 3 seconds to make a backup of it before you make any changes.



December 9th, 2004 at 7pm

I resource hacked luna.msstyles and put my own bitmaps in there, and changed the textfiles and strings. However, windows won’t accept it unless I’m running StyleXP. I’ve patched UXTheme.dll and taken off all the Windows File Security things. I want it to work without StyleXP running in the background.
Any help on how it could work? Thanks.


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