While installing a theme pack (.deskthemepack or .themepack) is a straight-forward job in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, installing a third-party visual style (popularly known as theme) isn’t as easy as it sounds. For those who don’t know, a theme pack only changes the desktop background, window and taskbar colour, while a visual style changes window border frames, caption buttons, taskbar style, and some other areas of the operating system.
As you may know, a visual style downloaded from the web can’t be installed in Windows by default. In other words, because of some security restrictions, Windows doesn’t let you install third-party themes and allows themes signed by Microsoft only.
In order to install themes in all recent versions of Windows, you need to first modify or replace three original system files: uxtheme.dll, themeui.dll, and uxinit.dll. When it comes to automatically modifying system files to add support for third-party themes, Windows users have two options to choose from: UXStyle Core and UXTheme Patcher.
If you have already upgraded to Windows 8.1 and looking to customize the default look of the operating system by installing a new visual style downloaded from the web, you’ll be glad to know about the availability of Ultra UXTheme Patcher software. Yes, the developer of popular UXTheme Patcher has just updated the program to 2.1 beta and it now supports Windows 8.1 as well.
The cool thing is that when you install UXTheme Patcher it backs up original system files before replacing or modifying them sot that the original files can be replaced when required by uninstalling the software.