How to patch up your UXtheme.dll file in XP home or pro

Posted by risherz in Windows

In order to use custom themes or MSStyles on your computer you need to patch up your Uxtheme.dll file. Otherwise you can only use signed themes that are created by Microsoft.

*Replacing system files is not always dangerous but if you want you might want to set a restore point.
Note: There are two ways to accomplish this please try the 1st one first then if you are unsuccessful then you can try the 2nd one.

1. Okay first you need to find out which Service Pack you are running. To do this simple press the Windows flag key+Pause/Break key. This is going to open the system properties window. Here it is going to say which service pack you are running
2. Now you have some downloading to do.
First get: The appropriate Uxtheme.dll file
If you are running Service Pack 1 then get this file.
If you are running Service Pack 2 then get this file.
3. Unzip the file to your desktop
4. Now you need to download the Replacer(I recommend getting a stable version). The replacer efficiently replaces your system files and is supposed to be completely safe. This program also backs up your file in case you need to revert the changes.
5. Unzip the Replacer to your desktop. Make sure you read the “readme” because it has some important tips on how to revert those changes that you made.

Now you are ready to replace your uxtheme.dll file

1. Now double click on the replacer file (replacer.cmd)
2. Then it will ask you to drag and drop the original system file you want to replace. So go to the System32 folder and somewhere near the bottom you are going to see the uxtheme.dll file. Drag and drop it into the window.
Note: your computer may have more than 1 uxtheme.dll file but usually the file that you computer is using is the one in the system32 folder. (usually the location for your Uxtheme.dll file is C:\WINDOWS\system32\uxtheme.dll)
3. Press Enter
4. Then it will ask you to drag the file you want to replace. Open the folder with the downloaded file and drag and drop the file into replacer.
5. Now it will ask you to confirm that you want to replace the files or not. So double check and then press enter.

Replacer will now swap your original file with the new one. Now restart your computer.

Congratulations you can now use custom msstyle themes on your computer. Which is going to make your computer look super cool!

To change your theme just right click on desktop» properties» appearances tab» Windows and buttons

If the above method doesn’t work then don’t loose hope. Just download
this multipatcher
(no matter what service pack you have) and it might do the job for you!

Oh yeah and one last step: Don’t forget to enjoy (and show off)your new theme that you are going to installing on you computer!

In case you are looking around for some Visual styles and themes here are some sites that might help you in the quest for the perfect style for you:
Deviant Art

If you are unsure and want some more proof then you can find some here at

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, I’m using Service pack 3 and was wondering if you could maybe update the software so it was with SP 3 please.

  • katy

    i cant seem to run the replacer.cmd file. it just flashes open and close again and I cant even read what it says it goes so quick. I caught a bit of it, it was something like something isn’t recognised. help! i haven’t used windows for ages (a linux convert) so I’ve forgotten how i ued to tweek things. What about doin it in safe mode?

    • dude

      Just open Command line and CD to the right dir.
      Then open the file with open replacer.cmd .

  • dude

    Is this save, or has it a risk?

    • clamum

      OH IT’S SAVE

  • yana

    i’m running the service pack 3. which file should i use? or are there any files that i can use aside from those two?

    • yana

      never mind..i found it.xD

      • yana

        oh and THANK YOU so much! now it works!

      • jimmy

        What did u use please tell me cause i can’t find it

      • idk

        How and where did you found it?

  • Anthony

    The first method didnt work and the multipatcher doesnt work either, it comes up with a rather confusing error
    “UXTheme Multipatcher v6.0 has detected that there’s any Windows NT setup file in C:/WINDOWS/i386”

    I’ve got one other ‘uxtheme.dll’ file in C:/WINDOWS/SoftwareDistribution/Downloaddd9ab5193501484cf5e6884fa1d22f9e
    Should i replace that aswell using the first method?

  • Faye Valentine

    This is incredible

  • Unnamed

    And if I’ve Service Pack 3?

  • Stephanie

    I have service pack 3 and so am a little lost… could you please help me out? Thanks a ton!

  • pet

    i use service pack then?

  • Redydav

    If replacing fails goto run and type “services.msc” without the ” scroll down to themes right click and press stop, then try again, if it works restart themes and if it dosent work still reenable themes.

  • dick

    i have ”service pack 3”
    what do i do ?? 🙁

  • Sam Elliott

    LOL, dude go back & lay down in front of the big screen & wait for the next bud….

  • Daniel

    Is there anyway that I can still get the vista theme, even though I’m running a Service Pack 3?

  • silk

    why are people ignoring questions from those using service pack 3? I think that is very bad. especially, Yana who was able to found the file ;xd.

    • Beatrice

      Yana didn’t say WHAT she found, so it’d be very useful if someone told us!

  • jamal

    what if you have number 3

  • Vash Prower

    I noticed you don’t have a file to download for service pack 3…
    Will I be able to use the service pack 2 file on my service pack 3 version?

  • amazing! worked like magic. having been searching for a while on how i could get rid of my xp blue theme…


  • Moop

    It says i am running service pack 3…

    What do i do?

  • ted

    i have service pack 3. you dont have a file for sp3 what should i do?????

  • deadlyalive22

    go to this site and you should find it:

  • Jackie Chin

    Damn Man, what a good file you uploaded! Thx dude !

  • lester

    what if im running xp pro sp3??? where can i get patched uxtheme.dll file? will sp2 file work? and where can i download the replacer, the safe one?…tnx

  • integrator

    What if you are running SP3?

  • Insect Grain

    I have service pack 3

  • Viper2599

    What if you have Service Pack 3…. -_- ,

  • wan

    how to solve the problem in replace your uxtheme.dll for the number 4. It say open the downloaded file and drag and drop the file into replacer. I cannot understand it . help me !

  • blabls

    whenever i open replacer it says some kind of file is not found. it then crashes whenever i drag anything into it

    • casa

      that is the data file…u hav to extract both files to a location [i.e desktop] and then start the replacer from there

  • Bighead

    if i’m using Service Pack 3, what’s it gonna be?
    tell me..
    thank u…

  • julieann

    copy the URL above & paste it to your address bar, boom you’ll find the patcher for WINDOWS XP SERVICE PACK 3.

  • Monty

    I’m current using XP with service pack 3.. what will be the next step?

  • casa

    im using XP, SP 2 and i hav patched the .dll file but i still cant seem to use msstyle themes coz wen i download one and goto properties>themes tab>browse i cant select a .msstyle coz it onli lets me select *Themes or theme files..why is this?

    on here it says goto properties» appearances tab» Windows and buttons but with the windows and buttons i only have XP style and classis style.

    help appreciated..cheers.

  • Jerry Sturgill

    What if one is running service pack 3?

    • Jerry Sturgill

      Sorry for asking, didn’t see the post above.

  • SeanJohn

    YO NICE (Y) Worked perfectly for me, I am running SP2 and I now have a Vista theme on 🙂

  • keyur

    what if you have service pack 3

  • Beatrice

    What if you have the new system pack 3?

  • i have service pack 3

  • Brendan

    I Have Service Pack 3 – Do I still use one of the downloads from the first option or do i just go and try the second option?

  • fire magician

    i have service pack 3

  • ahmed

    i have service pack 3
    what do i do/or downoad?

  • joe flow

    service pack 3?

  • Fredo

    Thanks for the info… was of great help and easy to do.

  • er

    how about for service pack 3?

  • twiclo

    ya… i have service pack 3

  • Scott

    What if im running service pack 3?

  • anonymous

    i can not find the uxtheme.dll in system32.
    what can i do?

  • Connor

    i have windows service pack 3, so what do i do?

  • Cole

    im on service pack 3 what do i do then??

  • joemar

    What if ur running system pack 3?
    what should i do?

  • Jake Parker

    What do you do if you have service pack 3?

  • Bob

    And what file do you use if you have system pack 3 for windows xp???

  • Bob

    That windows sp3 with free computer scan looks really dodgy and I wouldn’t be suprised if it plants viruses in your computer.

  • ayman

    after putting the uxtheme.dll in the replacer which file do i have to put in the replacer next. (as given in step 4)

  • crazydoodle

    i have service pack 3…. what do i download? 🙁

  • Anonymous

    I’ve got Service Pack 3… so yeah… :l

  • Frances

    I have service pack 3…

  • jeremy

    im using service pack

  • I’m running Service Pack 3.. What do I download?

  • Dominic

    I am running on servis pack 3. so what do I do?

    • Anonymous

      Just try service pack 2.

  • Thanks! works for me 😀

  • Anonymous

    Greetings !
    I´d like to do a couple of Skins myself. So I would like to ask : DOes it work with SkinStudio ?
    Thanks a lot

  • Anonymous

    How about service pack 3?

  • Anonymous

    Uh dude I have service pack 3…..

  • Paul

    im also running service pack 3 and i cannot find answer among the other comments.
    what do i download?

  • Anonymous

    I have service pack 3? What file do I use?

  • Hugh

    How do you do it with windows xp sp3

  • Anonymous

    Please help. I followed the steps above^^^ step by step and when I restarted my computer EVERYTHING was gone. The only thing I can see is my wallpaper. no buttons. no start. No nothing. Please help me restore it!!!

  • Anonymous

    i have system pack 3…

  • chase

    i have service pack 3

  • Name

    I have service pack 3 what shall I do

  • Anonymous

    Would if you have service pack 3?

  • Name

    Im another dude that has service pack 3…

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    It Looks Cool!

  • Anonymous

    Is It Possable To Change It Back?

  • Anonymous

    i have service pack 3 what do i do..?

  • Do either of those files work with Service Pack 3?

  • Xeni Ziba

    Lol i am using Service Pack 3
    what should i do ?!

  • Ninjaboy1898

    I have service Pack 3????
    What should i do?

  • Anonymous

    Really helpful guide thanks. I found a decent programs to manage and find dll files easily yesterday, I really want to get to grips with it as I can never find a theme that I like, the standard ones that are already included are pretty awful in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    You have to be very careful when patching UXtheme.dll it could damage your computer. That’s why you should back up all your dlls before patching them, or you might need dll search or some other tool to help you find a healthy backup.


    But wait i have a service pack 3 computer. Do i need to do anything to that file?

  • AM

    after i follow the instructions and restart, i found my computer stuck, and start pop up a warning menu saying that the uxtheme.dll is not windows image… now i can’t use it,, what should i do please help..


  • Anynom

    I really want this Vista Skin to my XP computer but I when i read this and do what you just said I got a problem… My computer was Service Pack 3… HELP!

  • MikeLOne

    sir i use Service Pack 3. what file do i need to get?

  • Pluto1997

    i ve got Service Pack 3 :(((

  • Zoo

    Where can you download quality .theme files.. ie. windows themes

  • Addie_binds1234

    None of this stuff works for me…I have downloaded everything all the right ways as the site says and also have downloaded so many themes and nothing is showing up. I keep going to my Display Properties..nothing is there about what I have downloaded. Then, when I browse the themes I have downloaded and try to get it to use them it says,The theme could not load because the needed files could not be found. etc. etc. Please comment if u know how to help.

  • jdar2


  • theman

    This on is Written Above:
    If the above method doesn’t work then don’t loose hope. Just download
    this multipatcher (no matter what service pack you have) and it might do the job for you!

    Or you can download here:
    remember always make a back up file!

  • kave

    This method works for my problem. thanks a lot!!

  • Naba

    I use service pack 3.What can i do?

  • I have Service pack 3 !!! What is that all about?

  • XTCrefugee

    Thanks for this. I had to update an old system of mine and had forgotten how to do this. The replacer script is definitely the way to go, I tried UxStyle earlier but it installs a new service to bypass uxtheme, which kind of defeats the whole point of patching a system file!

  • deepesh

    I do this and restart bt afterit my start button and desktop are gone now what should i do

  • Josh

    Yea im service pack 3..

  • Henry

    GREAT !!! Worked fine. Thanks a lot. Greetings from Germany 🙂