How-To Geek

Enable Vista Black Style Theme for Google Chrome in XP

If you’ve seen the screenshots of Google Chrome on XP vs Vista, you’ve probably noticed that the interface looks completely different. If you want to make your XP version use a slick black theme, you can do so with a custom hack.

Note: the tip for this article came from our great reader Jim. Thanks!

For those of you unsure what we’re talking about, here’s the default XP theme:


And here’s Google Chrome in XP with the ZOMBRE custom theme installed:


It actually looks somewhat similar to the Vista theme in terms of slickness.

Installing the Custom Theme

You’ll first need to download the patched theme file from the link at the bottom. Next, open up an explorer window, and paste in the following to the address bar:

%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\\Themes

You should see a file called default.dll, which you want to make a copy of before you do anything else.


Next you’ll want to paste the default.dll contained in the theme’s zip file into this directory. You should be prompted to overwrite the current file (which you should have backed up).


At this point, you can start up chrome and you’ll see the new theme.

Removing the Theme

Simply delete the new default.dll file and rename the copy back to the original defualt.dll name. That’s all there is to it.

Important Note

You should note that these themes will have to be re-patched every time a new version of Google Chrome is released, which could be quite often. I’m not really recommending using these themes, but we like to explain how to do things here for those that want to try it out.

Download ZOMBRE Google Chrome theme from

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 09/4/08

Comments (11)

  1. Saint Germain

    I like google chrome, its very fast, but i will keep my firefox !

  2. onestoploser

    Nice! I added this in Chromium. It looks way better than the default blue IMO. Thanks!

  3. Gravity

    awesome… i loved this theme, and the tutorial worked amazing. thnx.

  4. linlinaung

    It’s good.. I Love Google Chrome…

  5. Bill

    The latest update does this automatically.
    Click on the Spanner, Click About, and Click update

  6. Ian

    It turns to red for me help i want this :(

  7. Scott

    this just turns all weird red for me… please help… and what is this latest update? whats a spanner?

  8. Harry

    Can it also on version

  9. Brian

    Doesn’t work for me… :(
    i only got a red blank space

  10. guy wit problem

    is any 1 gonna answer wat 2 do if the thing turns red or what?

  11. RJF

    There is a nicer (in my opinion) black theme for Chromium; check out the Aero theme on deviantART.

    Simply google: chrome aero theme deviantart stamga. It should pop up as the first result on the top.

    In this theme, the tabs themselves are not white (as on the screenshot) but also shiny black. The New Tab page looks very good as well, go see it for yourself

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