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Access Hidden Regional Themes in Windows 7

Windows 7 offers you location specific Aero themes based on the language and location you pick during installation.  Here we will take a look at accessing other hidden themes from different countries.

When you first start the Windows 7 installation the first thing you will do is select a language, time and currency format.  This is where Windows determines what themes you’re presented with by default.

2Inst

Being from the US I’m presented with location specific themes from the United States with desktop backgrounds such as scenery from Maine, Idaho, Oregon etc.

1-us

To access the other international themes copy and paste the following path into the search box and hit Enter.

C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT

3-run

In the MCT folder you will find additional themes for Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain.

4-mct 

You can go in and grab just the Wallpapers…

5-wallpaper

Or go into the Theme folder double click on the the thumbnail to add it. 

6-thm

Here you can see I added all of them and now they will be available under the My Themes section for when you want to change them around.

my

This is a neat little trick that will let you customize Windows 7 with hidden themes already available.  Also if you want to get more themes head over to the Microsoft site.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 08/24/09

Comments (42)

  1. Firas

    Great man ;-)
    many thanks

  2. Wouter V

    Thanks! I already downloaded additional themes from the Microsoft-website, but not all of these where available.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Beauseph

    Nice find!

  4. William Knight

    Tried this but didn’t work, the search part said “no items match your search” also checked for C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT and there is not MCT file at that address.

  5. sasser

    same prob here.
    i’ve got a german win7-installation (rtm)

    nothig else then the german files

  6. 2

    Not in the RC version :(

  7. ScottW

    Thanks, Mystic — it’s nice to have more themes. Also see:
    http://windows7themes.net/

  8. Mascobz

    These hidden themes are not available in Windows 7 RC ?

    Anyway thanks for the post.

  9. Caleb

    @anyone who cannot find the hidden themes: I don’t know what is wrong but I am using the RC Build 7100 release and have all of the hidden themes.

  10. Barak Obama

    Unlock hidden Windows 7 Themes

    Some themes you can unlock yourself! The Windows 7 beta has some hidden & locked themes that were created for countries all over the world (Australia, Canada, Great Britain, United States and South Africa).

    Actually it’s pretty easy to unlock them.

    1. Simply open the Explorer (Windows + E) and goto C:\Windows\winsxs

    2. Enter *.theme into the search field. If you have problems to type *, use the * sign on the number block.

    3. Now it should look like this: Click me!

    4. Double-click the themes ZA, US, GB, CA, AU to install them.

    5. Voilà, you have unlocked 5 cool themes.

  11. Paul

    Mystic Geek… Thnks 4 this cool tip. But it doesn’t work in my Windows 7 RTM(PT-BR)…
    I Search C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT and nothing else then the brazilian files…
    Anyway, i have downloaded the other themes in the MS Site.
    Thanks You!

  12. Hannelore

    my PC windows vista cannot find directory if I type the above code into the search box

  13. Ramma09

    Thank you very much barak obama! ;)
    works great!

  14. Mark

    i can’t get these themes to show up when i follow the instructions. Any further suggestions?

  15. calebstein

    @Hannelore: that is because this is only available on Windows 7.

  16. Roberto J

    Aloha Oe Barak!! Thanks Cuz..your instructions worked!! Mahalo from da Islands!!

  17. vikash gilra

    cool job dude .

  18. Kunal P

    Thnx man tht was gr8 share. :)

  19. kk

    really its nice…thnx man!

  20. mammananny

    This was a great tip…thank you!

  21. Catnips

    my uncle lives in one of the cottages near the cliff in the UK theme.

  22. John

    Nice job, thanks.

  23. vaisforlovers

    When I tried the search on Windows 7 Home Premium, I couldn’t find the file either. Then I did the search on “computer” , and the MCT folder finally showed up. After the initial search comes up empty there is an option to search in various locations that are listed beneath the original search box. Hopes this makes sense. I finally saved the search cuz every time I clicked on a file to save the theme, the search disappeared and I had to search all over again!!
    Hope this helps if anyone is still having trouble.

  24. Marcel

    Hi guys,
    I’m happy that i did subscribe to HOW-TO GEEK believe me it wort it Thank you for the trouble that your doing to please your client every days.

  25. Syntax error

    you can also add all the wallpapers from them all to the us folder, first take ownership of the folder with the “take ownership ” hack found on this site.

    next you will want to use the ” open with notepad ” hack to open one of the themes, i opened the US file found at “C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper”

    i edited it so it looked like this

    [quote]; Copyright © Microsoft Corp.

    [Theme]
    ; Windows 7 – IDS_THEME_DISPLAYNAME_US
    DisplayName=@%SystemRoot%\System32\mctres.dll,-200000
    SetLogonBackground=0

    ; Computer – SHIDI_SERVER
    [CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\DefaultIcon]
    DefaultValue=%SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-109

    ; Documents – IDI_MYDOCS
    [CLSID\{59031A47-3F72-44A7-89C5-5595FE6B30EE}\DefaultIcon]
    DefaultValue=%SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-123

    ; Network – SHIDI_MYNETWORK
    [CLSID\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}\DefaultIcon]
    DefaultValue=%SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-25

    ; Recycle Bin – SHIDI_RECYCLERFULL SHIDI_RECYCLER
    [CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\DefaultIcon]
    Full=%SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-54
    Empty=%SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll,-55

    [Control Panel\Cursors]
    AppStarting=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_working.ani
    Arrow=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_arrow.cur
    Crosshair=
    Hand=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_link.cur
    Help=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_helpsel.cur
    IBeam=
    No=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_unavail.cur
    NWPen=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_pen.cur
    SizeAll=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_move.cur
    SizeNESW=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_nesw.cur
    SizeNS=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_ns.cur
    SizeNWSE=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_nwse.cur
    SizeWE=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_ew.cur
    UpArrow=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_up.cur
    Wait=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_busy.ani
    DefaultValue=Windows Aero
    DefaultValue.MUI=@main.cpl,-1020

    [Control Panel\Desktop]
    Wallpaper=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\US-wp1.jpg
    TileWallpaper=0
    WallpaperStyle=10
    Pattern=

    [VisualStyles]
    Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\Aero.msstyles
    ColorStyle=NormalColor
    Size=NormalSize
    ColorizationColor=0X6669372D
    Transparency=1

    [boot]
    SCRNSAVE.EXE=

    [MasterThemeSelector]
    MTSM=DABJDKT

    [Sounds]
    ; IDS_SCHEME_DEFAULT
    SchemeName=@%SystemRoot%\System32\mmres.dll,-814

    [Slideshow]
    Interval=1800000
    Shuffle=0
    ImagesRootPath=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper
    Item0Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\US-wp1.jpg
    Item1Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\US-wp2.jpg
    Item2Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\US-wp3.jpg
    Item3Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\US-wp4.jpg
    Item4Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\US-wp5.jpg
    Item5Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\US-wp6.jpg
    Item0Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ZA-wp6.jpg
    Item1Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ZA-wp5.jpg
    Item2Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ZA-wp4.jpg
    Item3Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ZA-wp3.jpg
    Item4Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ZA-wp2.jpg
    Item5Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ZA-wp1.jpg
    Item0Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\TR-wp6.jpg
    Item1Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\TR-wp5.jpg
    Item2Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\TR-wp4.jpg
    Item3Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\TR-wp3.jpg
    Item4Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\TR-wp2.jpg
    Item5Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\TR-wp1.jpg
    Item0Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\RU-wp6.jpg
    Item1Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\RU-wp5.jpg
    Item2Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\RU-wp4.jpg
    Item3Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\RU-wp3.jpg
    Item4Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\RU-wp2.jpg
    Item5Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\RU-wp1.jpg
    Item0Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\PL-wp6.jpg
    Item1Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\PL-wp5.jpg
    Item2Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\PL-wp4.jpg
    Item3Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\PL-wp3.jpg
    Item4Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\PL-wp2.jpg
    Item5Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\PL-wp1.jpg
    Item0Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\NL-wp6.jpg
    Item1Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\NL-wp5.jpg
    Item2Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\NL-wp4.jpg
    Item3Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\NL-wp3.jpg
    Item4Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\NL-wp2.jpg
    Item5Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\NL-wp1.jpg
    Item6Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\MX-wp6.jpg
    Item7Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\MX-wp5.jpg
    Item8Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\MX-wp4.jpg
    Item9Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\MX-wp3.jpg
    Item10Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\MX-wp2.jpg
    Item11Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\MX-wp1.jpg
    Item12Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\KR-wp6.jpg
    Item13Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\KR-wp5.jpg
    Item14Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\KR-wp4.jpg
    Item15Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\KR-wp3.jpg
    Item16Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\KR-wp2.jpg
    Item17Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\KR-wp1.jpg
    Item18Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\JP-wp6.jpg
    Item19Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\JP-wp5.jpg
    Item20Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\JP-wp4.jpg
    Item21Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\JP-wp3.jpg
    Item22Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\JP-wp2.jpg
    Item23Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\JP-wp1.jpg
    Item24Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IT-wp6.jpg
    Item25Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IT-wp5.jpg
    Item26Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IT-wp4.jpg
    Item27Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IT-wp3.jpg
    Item28Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IT-wp2.jpg
    Item29Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IT-wp1.jpg
    Item30Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IN-wp6.jpg
    Item31Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IN-wp5.jpg
    Item32Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IN-wp4.jpg
    Item33Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IN-wp3.jpg
    Item34Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IN-wp2.jpg
    Item35Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\IN-wp1.jpg
    Item36Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\FR-wp6.jpg
    Item37Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\FR-wp5.jpg
    Item38Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\FR-wp4.jpg
    Item39Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\FR-wp3.jpg
    Item40Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\FR-wp2.jpg
    Item41Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\FR-wp1.jpg
    Item42Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ES-wp6.jpg
    Item43Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ES-wp5.jpg
    Item44Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ES-wp4.jpg
    Item45Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ES-wp3.jpg
    Item46Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ES-wp2.jpg
    Item47Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\ES-wp1.jpg
    Item48Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\DE-wp6.jpg
    Item49Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\DE-wp5.jpg
    Item50Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\DE-wp4.jpg
    Item51Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\DE-wp3.jpg
    Item52Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\DE-wp2.jpg
    Item53Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\DE-wp1.jpg
    Item54Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\BR-wp6.jpg
    Item55Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\BR-wp5.jpg
    Item56Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\BR-wp4.jpg
    Item57Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\BR-wp3.jpg
    Item58Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\BR-wp2.jpg
    Item59Path=%SystemRoot%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\BR-wp1.jpg[/quote]

    next i did a search in the “C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT” folder for ” *.jpg ”

    i copied everything that came up, and added it to the

    “C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper”

    folder , now i get to see all the wallpapers on random and changing normally with out having to chose one of them over the other, country that is

    all country wallpapers are now added to the US theme

    there are 59 total

    hope someone besides me finds this useful ;)

  26. Brijesh

    i hv Windows Vista in my laptop, now my problem is that i want to make new partion in HD without formateing coz when i hv purches this laptop their wr two drive C(290GB) and D(12GB) now want to make three drive and make all drive hv same volum.
    so plz help me

  27. comput

    What type i have windows 7 ultimate i found somthing like that and it couldnt open it.

  28. Chris

    @syntax error,
    It’s actually a lot easier to do. If you’d rather save yourself 20 mins…

    1. Open windows explorer as administrator
    2. In the address bar type: C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT
    3. Open a country’s folder
    4. Then open the folder with the country’s name
    5. Copy the .jpg files
    6. Go back and open the US folder and paste the jpgs there
    7. DONE

  29. Travis

    This how to unlock them in 5 seconds:

    1. Open “Run”

    2. Type: “C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT”

    3. Window should open with the themes. :)

    (Note you must be on a administrator account)

  30. Notar

    I found on the Internet someone claim to have a hidden Swedish theme. Is that genuine?

  31. Captain Flex

    why does microsoft keep all the good stuff hidden. if they were only as strait forward as my sony motherboard….

  32. Adam

    can’t find it…

  33. Tony

    If you just go here all of them plus many others are there to download free. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/personalize/themes

  34. Niraj

    Peast that path in “search” and press enter then the theme window will open

  35. kev2ne1

    thanks for the great suggestion. I searched for the themes and after clicking them to add i just went back to my current theme and selected all for the picture backgrounds, changing them every 10 mins. looks great

  36. Sungsam79

    You can add the additional wallpapers that come with Windows 7 for Australia, Canada, UK, US, and South Africa by doing the following:
    1. Open regedit
    2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WWindows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Wallpapers\KnownFolders\Windows Wallpapers\MergeFolders
    3. Right click the right hand pane
    4. Select -> New -> String Value
    5. Paste in the following folder location:
    C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-AU\Wallpaper
    6. Repeat steps 3 – 5 with the following folder locations:
    C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-CA\Wallpaper
    C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-GB\Wallpaper
    C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper
    C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-ZA\Wallpaper
    7. Reboot.
    8. Right click your desktop
    9. Select Wallpapers and you should see all the available regional wallpapers that came with Windows 7.

  37. Paul Blades

    KUDOS! I had to reinstall WIN7 with a new hard drive and lost my entire collection. It’s nice to start out with this small group to save me some downloading time at Microsoft’s site. What I like most is that when you use this method, you can pick the specific wallpapers you want without having to take the ones that suck as a package deal. That’ why I use mostly third party wall paper sites (checked for viruses and other nasties first) instead of Microsoft mostly because they are still hung up on the “take it all or leave it all” mentality.

  38. Alisha

    This was really fun! I also had Korea, Japan, India, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and Turkey!

  39. Greg

    thanks alot for the tip!

  40. piriform

    For those of you having trouble finding it on search make sure you’ve selected “Show hidden files and folders” in the Control Panel, or just open task manager then new task and paste C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT

    Hope this helps :)

  41. Ivydapple

    These are a lot of fun to find. :D

  42. Maninder Pal Singh

    cool! Thanks

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