Windows 7 Themes for Windows Vista

November 10, 2010, By Christian Cawley

It’s only been a few years since Vista was released, and already the OS is looking tired, thanks to the success and comparative ubiquity of Windows 7; ironic, given that it’s pretty much the same operating system.

With Windows 7’s success comes a problem for Windows Vista users – if these two platforms are so similar, why can’t Windows 7 themes by used on Vista? Why can’t the cool “aero shake” feature be included into Vista to make minimizing a lot of background windows so much quicker?

Naturally, there are ways, but they all require additional software. Most notably, VistaGlazz is a tool to let you use Windows 7 themes on your Vista PC and apply the glass effect of the Aero UI to windows when they’re maximised as with Windows 7, while Aero Shake will minimise background applications windows as you “shake” your current window.

Get Windows 7 Themes for Windows Vista with VistaGlazz

Download VistaGlazz from www.codegazer.com/vistaglazz/downloads – this tool shouldn’t take too long to install and will let you apply the Windows 7 glass-effect to maximised windows in Microsoft Windows Vista – currently Vista only has the glass effect when the windows are standard size.

Once you have downloaded and installed VistaGlazz, you can create the glass effect on maximised windows by running VistaGlazz and selecting the Style file icon. Choose Patch Style to apply the glass effect.

The main thing that VistaGlazz does is make it possible for you to run Windows 7 themes in Windows Vista. This is done using the System Files patch – by replacing the standard Windows Vista Uxtheme.dll with a tweaked version, the digital signing that Windows applies to its themes packaged desktop themes isn’t verified, meaning that you can browse the web for a selection of new themes from places like DeviantART. Indeed, one of the best Windows 7 styles for Vista can be found at that very site courtesy of giannisgx89, and this theme includes taskbar buttons, Windows Explorer borders and the Start menu shutdown options.

Use the Aero Shake Feature in Vista

If there’s more Windows 7-style customizing you want to do to your Windows Vista computer, take a look at Aero Shake, a very cool tool that minimises background windows when you shake the current window with your mouse pointer. In Windows 7, this is a great way to bring your widgets into view again without closing programs, and using the Aero_Shake_1.3.exe tool you can bring this functionality to Windows Vista (as well as XP).

First, download Aero Shake for Vista, and install it. The installation is pretty quick as AeroShake is quite a small file. Once installed, the file AeroShake.ini is created on your desktop, and this settings document can be used to configure the size of the shake (distance in pixels), the number of shakes required as well as whether the minimizing of the background windows is animated or not.

For a free tool to add a Windows 7 style function to your PC, these two utilities are both great options!

(Image courtesy of hainteractive)

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