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Sweet Black Theme for Windows XP

I’ve received a number of emails asking where we got the sweet black theme for Windows XP in most of the screenshots. It’s the Zune theme from Microsoft, which you can get directly from their download site:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=75078

The best thing about this theme is that it doesn’t require any cracks or hacked versions of system files, since it was created by Microsoft. Just run the installer and it’s ready to go.

Here’s a screenshot of the default theme look.

image

The first thing I do is swap out the background image with something better.

image

Enjoy!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/1/07

Comments (118)

  1. Nik P

    Thanks for this! It’s awesome! Does Microsoft have any others like this? My Media Center Laptop came with a different one as well.

    Thanks!

  2. mysticgeek

    In fact I was skeptical at first, but now I set all of my PC’s to this theme (not my Linux box’s though). Definitely want to change the Desktop Background right away though … LOL!

  3. Sajid

    oh…This theme is too old, launched with Zune arrival. I am using it from last 5 months.

  4. The Geek

    I’ve been using it for many months as well, but most people don’t know about it.

  5. John Casablanca

    “…but most people don’t know about it.”

    yeah, like me, many thanks for the link. :) i was tired of the old look of my xp.

    but is there a way to change the color of the ‘Start’ buttom?

  6. The Geek

    Sadly, you can’t change the color of the start button… you could always use a custom theme if you patch XP’s userstyles file.

    The only problem with that is that every time I use a patched theme I end up with out of memory errors and stuff like that. I prefer the legit signed themes if I can help it.

    Of course, I’m running Vista and Ubuntu… I only use XP in a virtual machine these days.

  7. James

    If you don’t like the orange button try the royale noir theme. Its more or less the same but with a black button ;) http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/Themes/Royale-Noir-Theme.shtml

  8. Kal

    Sadly, you can’t change the color of the start button… you could always use a custom theme if you patch XP’s userstyles file.

    The only problem with that is that every time I use a patched theme I end up with out of memory errors and stuff like that. I prefer the legit signed themes if I can help it.

    Of course, I’m running Vista and Ubuntu… I only use XP in a virtual machine these days.

  9. Kal

    good

  10. Burrd

    wow this looks really sweet, thanks for the tip!

  11. Seth

    i think that blue ice from add ons from mozilla and this are a good mix

  12. Wil

    Is there a way to change FireFox and Thunderbird to match now?

    \/\/

  13. Blaine G Hunt

    awasome a color theme that works without crashing your system thank you very much

  14. Jim

    Praise the lord almighty!

    I’ve been wanting a black theme to match my windows media player for months…

    I’ll deal with the orange…

  15. Omar

    gr8 theme
    thanks for the link
    been waiting for black theme without the hassle of installing n e software for it !!
    orange on black is my fav combination !!

  16. Tiberiusfury

    It doesn’t work on Win Xp x64 :(
    At least, not with SP1 only; I won’t install Sp2 because it supposedly disables DaemonTools.

  17. Jojai

    This won’t work on XP x64 even with SP2. I read else where that it is possible to install on a compatible machine then manually install on x64 by dragging and dropping to replace the current theme… Sounds dodge to me, plus I gave my second PC away.

  18. Jason Biggs

    Hey man thanks! I have been searching for a real theme forever and you are the first. Thanks a million!

  19. levi

    ty 4 the download was gr8 :) looks good!
    and no hastle :D

  20. vance

    I like the royale noir but it’s unfinish theme…

  21. bob1337

    i love this! tell microsoft i said thank you! :)

    5/5

  22. johnnylectric

    oh bangin! thanks! i’ve been waiting for a cool black theme for ever now for xp, now my nasa space launch firefox and office 2007 black finally match my everything else :)

  23. Rubbelu

    I like this theme,because it looks like FireFox’s skin with theme.Thx for sharing!!

  24. John Kiely

    ”if you don’t like the orange button try the royale noir theme. Its more or less the same but with a black button ;) http://www.softpedia.com/get/D…..heme.shtml”

    Wow this theme is awesome, thanks james !!

  25. Dan

    Neat design and look. It’s just nice to have it on your desktop ;)

  26. Chris

    Hey, thanks a lot! I just formatted my PC and I was too bored to go through the usual theme-download-then-crack thing, but this solved my problem!

  27. Min

    One problem I have had with the Zune theme is that when I point to a file or item in a windows explorer window, the selection turns solid blue which obscures the name of the file (dark blue on black). This does not happen on drop down menus.

    Any ideas

  28. Ashley

    This is awesome! Thanks!

  29. Omer

    Thanks for the link. its a cool theme I have found another theme that matches to this one but Without the orange and the start button is black . To install that theme you must have style xp and then you can apply the theme without any problems..

  30. ibn Suleiman

    Try this with the Pitch Black theme for Firefox and Thunderbird

  31. robert

    I finaly found what i wanted!
    other sites are junk!

  32. syed faisal ahmed

    first i doesn’t know about my xp colour then i knew by my frnds about this and i go thru it and changed my windows xp color

  33. moonzai

    What a fantastic theme is this.
    i love it very much!!!!!

  34. Jayesh

    Thanks Friend for this excellent theme. :-) XP has discontinued themes but I could get it through the direct link you have provided here.

  35. james burniston

    wayhay! love this theme. goes with my windows live and my firefox i think black on a computer looks the bizz thanks mate

  36. sybor 9

    cool theme!!!

  37. Queen

    I love this theme, its so great. Makes me feel like im using a brand new computer. It so sleek and shiny! GREAT WORK!

  38. x1c3c0ldx

    Try this with the Zune theme for Firefox, looks awesome xD

  39. Jesper Ginge

    Hi
    Thanks for even making this site.
    You can find all kind of stuff on this site.

    I just want to say this

  40. Ess Sider

    10x a lot! it`s a great them.. those who use Firefox muat try the nasa lunch theme f firefox..

  41. John

    Wow, I’ve been searching for non-blue-ish theme for XP for years. FINALLY!

  42. Geek

    Wow!! U guys are realy cool! u have been using this for months? I just worship u!

  43. Andrew

    Fracking awesome! finally something useful related to Zune :-)

  44. Vinay

    man u rock…thnx a lot for this

  45. jony

    awesome theme!! AHH im gonna set that up right now! by the way…is that coachella i see in the background??

  46. George

    it doesn’t work , i have an error and it says “This installation package could not be opened. Verify that the package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid windows istaller package”

  47. TzG

    thanks man, i just reformatted my comp and it didn’t feel right with the default themes.

    cheers.

  48. essam

    beautiful, light, simple.
    thnx a lot

  49. Klexur

    I have been using this theme for over a year now and I like very much. The only thing that bothered me was two little pink dots next to the user pic, so I fixed it and had to patch my uxtheme.dll. Just out of curiosity, anyone else have that problem?

  50. KArtMan

    Thanks a lot. This is what I was looking for!!

  51. diamond

    Thanks for the theme its awesome, do you know where I can find more themes?

  52. Porter

    Thanks For this great Theme. I love XP even More now! I was actually gonna switch to vista just for its looks. then i saw Vista Transformation Pack. Tried it. slows comp down to much.. Im desperate. search the web. AHA! i Found it. and its all thanks 2 you!

  53. JACKSON

    thanks
    this is nice theme looking nice

  54. ganesh

    i have used this for 1yr, after that i formatted system…. i forgot this theme name … i was searching for this from last 6months ! now i got it ! thanks

  55. lee edwards

    Thank you, this is ust what ive been after for years…..yiippppeeeee!!!!!!

  56. Gar

    Can someone tell me where I can download other themes like this one? It was really easy to install.

  57. Ian

    I always wanted a black theme on my pc and now i got one this is a NICE theme thanx a LOT!!!

  58. Mais

    it is great but i can i modify it?

  59. aJIT

    Thanks a zillion for the theme… Never knew that there were others than the boring Blue, Sucking green and that crappy silver…

    I also tried the transform pack for fedora amd mac for windows XP..
    (replaced, system32, msgina , mydoc etc ) but then it looked dangerous .. and moreover, it started shrowing errors…
    Anywayz this is good..

  60. Jeswanth

    Cool one, I am going to change right now!

  61. antz

    i found a better one its all metalic black type in on google all black theme for windows then click on the seccond one down itz lush

  62. Jackie

    Thank you so much!

  63. Iris

    Thnaks so much for share ^^

  64. Joshua Ramey

    Sadly, the link doesn’t even work for my computer when I click on it, it says “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” what do i do?

  65. vijay
  66. L4t10n

    Awsome theme! Thanks for this. But um, my little “flag” icon thing next to the word “start” is RIGHT next to the word start, like on it.. lol um, anyway to change this? :o thanks

  67. L4t10n

    Oh wait, I fixed it. It was just a simple problem. :)

  68. Prady

    Thanx dude, its really cool n simple to install

  69. Vaibhav

    The Theme Is FABULOUS

  70. Jackz

    Could someone help me,
    Once I finish downloading the theme its not in the Properties -> Themes list…
    ???

  71. ghader

    nice

  72. The answer

    O.k I know how to change your windows xp look Listen the geek there is a better way than what you
    OK here are the instructions

    1) go in Google and type in vi start
    2) Click the top one
    3) Click products
    4)All the styles including start button are there for you to download

    I hope his help :)

  73. Mathias

    You can`t install it if you have windows xp 64bit, It sucks!

  74. james

    you can get themes @ deviant art my xp now looks like vista. James

  75. james

    you need to put all theme files into %windir%\resources then they will show up. James

  76. dr

    Thanx alot dude.

  77. james

    no problem mate but when you add them to the folder remember to click on them to make them log in your appearance bar. James

  78. victor

    thanx

    but after i found out u can get a windows vista theme for windows xp4 free

    i removed this 1

  79. Samsin

    kool theme for xp

  80. Salman Omrani

    Yo,

    I don’t know about the rest, but I’m pretty much happy with this zune theme, may it be old, but its still cool. thanks!

    Salman

  81. hi

    does it damage your computer

  82. Ben

    @hi

    No, its from microsoft. Also, I’ve tried it out.

  83. hi

    be careful I think stuffed my motherboard in the computer

  84. eyad

    think you

  85. eyad

    think you imlove yjgn lghosbtsv

  86. Nicolas

    Is there a way that my computer (Vista) can switch all the schemes at night time so that the windows are black instead of white and the test is white/grey/green etc. for when I’m working at night with the lights off – It would be a lot easier on my eyes. Even a gadget or hot key would do the trick

  87. Rondo

    Is there any way to make everything black instead of some of it grey? Just curious. Or let me know if there is another site that has something like that. Thanks.

  88. mahdi3kafi

    wooow thanks darling . it`s so useful

  89. Bleach 4 life

    thanks for the dl , i have been looking for so much time and now i found it so simply -.- .
    it’s awesome , matches with ichigo’s black robes and orange hair :P

  90. Il-Pingu

    Wow! Very cool!

  91. Dickson G

    Wow !Thanx for everything,Its Ow some

  92. Dini Kusuma Dewi

    Terima kasih. Thank you!!

  93. annj

    who knows, where can i find a similar theme for windows 7.. or its imposible? xDDD

  94. Abe

    Thank you so much! I’m using “Zilla Spec” Persona for Firefox and “Bento Classified” Skin for Winamp. Great to have this theme for WinXP. Thanks Zune!!!

  95. airbagh

    it doesn’t work when i try to install it it just says “The installation package could not open “

  96. Gen

    Ok, this is a few yars later and way out of date, but…
    Min wrote on February 28, 2008 9:33 am abou the the selection turning solid blue in exlporer and obscuring the filename, when using this theme. The work-around I found was to install “TweakUI” from the Microsoft Website, then run it, go to ‘Explorer’, ‘Colors’, and change the ‘hot-tracking’ colour to something else. Orange works well and settles in with the theme. Problem solved. Almost 3 years later :P

  97. Core

    GREAT theme!

  98. Newfyworld admin

    I am SO happy! I have seen videos of windows xp hacks, and some people had this theme. I never found it, untill now! Again, Thank you SO much for this theme!

  99. bobh

    it work…:D thanks

  100. mental

    this is virus do not download this virus i dont like this theme! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  101. Ginggy gomin

    are there any other colors or themes like this one cause this is awsosme and goes great with gir

  102. abhishektawda

    i like this and thank u

  103. Trev

    This software works fine, Looks awesome, I have run extensive scans and it’s 100% safe

    Thank you.

  104. smarter

    what a non sense theme . try to provide the good and the graphics . so that it looks good enough.

  105. Rosche

    Thank you very much, My computer does look much prettier than before. thanks for the new windows XP theme (Black)

  106. AUTOBOT

    Nice
    Thank you for the XP Theme
    safe download virus and spyware free

  107. sarah

    ohhhh it’s amazing
    you’re best

  108. rjt_15

    it’s awesome

  109. gayan

    Zune is awesome!!!

  110. Hades De'ens

    i’ applyin’ that theme. nice one. thanks zune, microsoft and majorgreek

  111. Aizaz king khan

    Hi friend what up u can see me friend ok what about day?

  112. Aizaz king khan

    Hi my name is Aizaz king khan and i am all of you friend boys

  113. Hellosuny

    Nice Theme.

  114. Haritha J

    its a nice theme but the thing with these cuztom themes is that the task bar notification icons look weird.
    Also the orange is slightly revolting and the royale noir theme is better if u dont like the orange start button. These signed themes are so muxh better than the others.

  115. Eva

    I LOVE IT! I’d been looking for a black theme, so glad I found one! Most people find the orange annoying, but it adds that extra touch that makes it great!

  116. tarun

    LOVE IT! I’d been looking for a black theme, so glad I found one! Most people find the orange annoying, but it adds that extra touch that makes it great!
    its a nice theme but the thing with these cuztom themes is that the task bar notification icons look weird.
    Also the orange is slightly revolting and the royale noir theme is better if u dont like the orange start button. These signed themes are so muxh better than the others.
    Nice Theme.
    Hi friend what up u can see me friend ok what about day?

  117. gd

    not compatible with x64 bit… :(

  118. Travis R

    When installing this Theme, your display options window opens, and it asks you to select the ‘Zune theme’ and press finish. You can return the drop down list to ‘current theme’ and then go to the appearance tab to change the color style to Zune. This will apply the color style to your windows without changing your background or other relevant items.

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