Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Windows classic theme for Windows 8 RTM, 8.1, 10 by kizo2703 Windows classic theme for Windows 8 RTM, 8.1, 10 by kizo2703
For everyone who prefer classic Windows theme, this is the closest to the original theme.

Just move it to C:\Windows\Resources\Ease of Access Themes folder and use it.

Of course, You can use this theme file on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8.
Applying the Classic theme will change the Start screen background and tile color to classic view as well.

NEW: theme is compatible with Windows 10 Technical Preview as well!
Add a Comment:
fabitryl Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
with this theme can i get more process, ram, or something like that?
KaiCalimatinus Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2016
Thanks for this. Just did the upgrade, a couple weeks left for the free one and was like... I want the clear blue skies of old. pointed me here.
AlexMercerYT Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2016  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
kizo2703 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 8, 2016
Click on "Download" button?…

Optionally, right click on download and click on "Save as ...".
Archany Featured By Owner May 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
The main issue of this with me is the fact that the taskbar icons in the bottom right of the screen have a black box around them, if you have any info about that id appreciate it.
Nautiler Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016
Mine has that too on windows 10, any way to fix it?
Archany Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Nah, you just kinda ignore em after a while
dkyrtata Featured By Owner Edited May 18, 2016
My apologies. I only meant to be helpful, but I do understand your objection.
anscari Featured By Owner May 17, 2016  New Deviant
thanks people!!!
blacksaibot Featured By Owner May 15, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
magnatha Featured By Owner May 6, 2016
windows 95 =)
Kamoodle Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2016  Student Digital Artist
After applying this classic theme, I notice it also affects the way websites look in my Firefox. It makes it more difficult or even impossible to view certain links, checkboxes, or words. Sorry for such a dumb question if the answer is right there, but is there a way for the theme to not change visual appearance of the internet pages?
dkyrtata Featured By Owner Edited Apr 30, 2016


When you use this classic theme, you are using the old theme engine used by the High Contrast themes available from "Ease of Use." As such, Microsoft products (such as the IE and Edge browsers) will display a high contrast background. Firefox will inherit the same thing, but Chrome will not. As far as I know, Firefox is the only one that can be configured either way. Here's how:

   1) From the Firefox "Tools" menu, select "Options."

   2) From the Options screen (on the left margin) click on "Content."

   3) Click on the "Colors..." button on the right.

   4) From the window that pops up, uncheck, "Use System Colors." This will prevent Firefox from inheriting the system colors from the High Contrast theme engine.

   5) To be extra sure, select "Never"  from the pull down menu where it says "Override the colors specified by the page with my selections above:"

   6) Restart Firefox.

Either one of these two changes should work. I have both set this way.

If that does not work for you, try experimenting with other settings. Let us know your results.

For additional tweaking of the classic theme and Windows 10, read my posts below.
Kamoodle Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I followed the instructions and it worked. The theme is now not affecting the way Firefox looks. Number 4 was actually unchecked beforehand but step 5 pulled it off. I also didn't need to restart FF - just refreshed the currently active pages. Now I can show off my new theme when I am going to present my final 3D Max project to my class next week. XD

Thanks for the help. :)
T0m0h4wk Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2016

I tried Windows 10 at home and had to revert to Windows 7 because I am photophobic and the colour schemes were too bright.

However, my employers have now decided to upgrade to Windows 10 soon so I am now really worried!

In all previous versions of windows, I managed to change my colors so that I had a grey background instead of white.

Could someone please tell me, if I uses this classic theme, can I get a grey background so that my applications like Internet Explorer, Word etc, they will inherit the grey background?

Thanks in advance


dkyrtata Featured By Owner Edited Apr 14, 2016



Interesting you found Windows 10 too bright. I found it too dark and gloomy with not enough contrast between the taskbar and the open folders/programs that are displayed on it.


The "Window" attribute which I listed as "255 255 255" is the color-code for white. It will give a white background to folders, the taskbar, Word, Excel, and IE - probably all Microsoft software. I wish there was a separate attribute for the taskbar color.

You can change the background color to any shade of gray you want, such as "214 206 200". Software from other companies will probably ignore this setting and use the color options that the software provides for you to choose from (if any).


IE will also respect your chosen "Window" color, but it will be contrary to what a web page is designed to show. So if it displays a blue sky with white clouds,  IE (and Edge) will show it all gray, while Firefox and Chrome will show it as blue with white clouds. (Is that what you really would want?) Firefox has a setting to display it either way.


I can provide some screen prints on a cloud drive to show what things can look like.
T0m0h4wk Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2016

Hi dkyrtata, many thanks for your reply.

I agree with you, when I said it was too bright, I really meant the contrast . 

My colleague has a windows 10 laptop so he’s going to give me the chance to try this out.


I am so grateful to you, this is a life saver!


dkyrtata Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2016
Let me know how it goes.

I am learning a few things about Windows 10 as I experiment with its new features and standards. For example, I could not understand why the taskbar was always taking on a blended tone between the color chosen for it, and the color of the desktop. So whatever light color chosen, always came out dark and gloomy.

As I experimented with the Classic Shell freeware (which allows better customizations), I discovered I can give the taskbar the gray color that I was used to from previous Windows. However, it did not look quite right. The white font on top of it was difficult to read on gray (and any other light colors). Older Windows versions use a black font on the gray taskbar. But Windows 10 uses white. Hence, the dark colors needed for the taskbar to show the white font brilliantly. Unfortunately, I do not think there is a setting in Classic Shell to select a font color.
dkyrtata Featured By Owner Edited Apr 20, 2016

I should make one clarification about my previous post. The Classic Shell freeware I mentioned above, has nothing to do with the "classic theme" that is being discussed (and downloaded) from this web page.  Even when you install the classic theme, you still get the bulky tile-based Start Menu of Windows 10.

Classic Shell, on the other hand, is free software (which accepts donations) that you install on your machine to customize Windows 10 even further - particularly the appearance and functionality of the Start Menu, taskbar, and folders (as well as other components).


It can be configured with one of 3 styles of the Start Menu familiar from previous Windows versions. When you click on the Start Menu, the first option can bring up the Windows 10 style of the Start Menu. So you have the best of both worlds.


The taskbar can also be of any color you choose, as it contains a user-defined color palette which provides an endless number of color options. And yes, unlike the Windows 10 palette, the color you choose is the color you get – not a blend with the desktop color.


You can download Classic Shell from here:


In short you can make Windows 10 look and feel more like previous Windows versions, by combining the functionality of Classic Shell with the appearance of the classic theme.

I hope this helps some of you.

T0m0h4wk Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2016
will do! thanks again
Bro2494 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this!
Moscow1234 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2016  Student Interface Designer
Where's the download link?
Edrethecivilwarman Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2016  Student General Artist
How do i down load this
dkyrtata Featured By Owner Edited Mar 26, 2016
Here is how you download the file:

On the top right side, click on the "Download" link. If you are not prompted for a folder to download it, try right clicking instead. From the popup menu select "Save Link As. . . ."

You will see the name of the zip file that your are downloading. Save it on your computer, then double click on it and drag the "classic.themes" file to your desktop.

If you want to implement the changes I described in my previous message, cut and past these 9 lines into the file under the section labeled "[Control Panel\Colors]"

ActiveTitle=255 0 0
TitleText=255 255 255
InactiveTitle=0 0 0
InactiveTitleText=255 255 255
Hilight=255 128 128
HilightText=255 255 255
Background=27 139 207
Window=255 255 255
WindowText=0 0 0

Save the changes, and move the file to the folder where Windows 10 expects to see it in. On my machine, it is. . .


where "dkyrtata" is my user name

If you created other themes, you will see them there too.

To be safe, if by chance the new file already exists, rename the existing one to something else so you do not overwrite it.

Note: The "AppData" folder is not always visible if your "folder options" are not set to see hidden files. So from "Folder Options," you will have to click the radio button to "Show hidden files, folder, and drives."

Folder options can be found from any folder-window in "View-> Options->Change folder and search options."

Then from the window that comes up, click on the view tab and click on the appropriate radio button. Click on "Apply."

Now you can reach the desired folder.
dkyrtata Featured By Owner Edited Mar 26, 2016
I am new to Windows 10, and quite disappointed with the difference in look and feel, and dropped features of previous Windows.

I have been acquiring bits and pieces of information from various sites to obtain what was available before.

I am glad I found this site, because I was able to edit the "classic .themes" file to restore the color scheme I have been using since Windows 95.

Below are 9 properties that I found in the file that have an affect on the Windows colors.

So all you need to do is edit the "classic.theme" to customize the colors of the title bar, desktop background, window background, and highlighted text.

The following property values (below "[Control Panel\Colors]") can be changed and grouped together for easy identification. The first occurrence of each property prevails. So the original properties that are listed further down can be left untouched where they are.

These are the colors I use. Go ahead and change them using the link below to map out the colors you want with the corresponding color codes. "0 0 0" is black, "255 255 255" is white.

[Control Panel\Colors]
ActiveTitle=255 0 0
TitleText=255 255 255
InactiveTitle=0 0 0
InactiveTitleText=255 255 255
Hilight=255 128 128
HilightText=255 255 255
Background=27 139 207
Window=255 255 255
WindowText=0 0 0

Here is the link to help you find a color with the associated color number:…

Save each change and double-click on the file to see the effect it has.

The name of the theme will continue to appear under the "themes" link when you right-click on the desktop and select "Personalize."

If the theme does not stick after you reboot, try loading a real Windows 10 theme and reboot. If that sticks, then reload your theme and reboot. That worked for me.

Let me know, if any of you figure out what all the other properties do.

I hope this help you as much as it helped me!
I also did some other customizations on the Start menu using ClassicShell. There are various settings for different windows components, such as folder-windows.

You can download ClassicShell here:

Finally, I made one more change with regedit to allow desktop icons to be spaced closer together (vertically and horizontally). This was a settable option up until Windows 7.

If anyone is interested, I can provide some simple steps to do it. It's quite easy.
jupitersalien Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I like it but it doesn't allow slideshow background. I'll rate this 7/10.
smallmctall Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2016
thank you sooooo much i love it
colin23erk Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016
Not quite what I wanted but but to me the addition of some colour to the bland Windows 10 Folder look improves how I navigate the options -

I was looking for the full Classic Windows 7 folder layout but on my Win 10 it only modifies the colours of the existing folder design . Is this the correct way the program should work  

I would like the option to select a custom colour as I find some the ones available to vivid for my taste 

Many thanks for your work 
computationalprince Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2016  Professional Filmographer
the correct title for this deviantart page is: "A Parody of Windows classic theme for Windows 8 RTM, 8.1, 10"
caballiti Featured By Owner Edited Jan 12, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Great!! but not useful for me :( i want my windows 10 to look and feel like windows classic from xp or older so no more that stupid start menu!!!
eltonscruz Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2015
Download ?
kizo2703 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2015
Click on download button?
bahamhastra Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2015  Student Filmographer
can it speed up my pc performance? like older version of windows ?
laley18 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2015
de donde descargo?
kizo2703 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2015
Haga clic en el botón "Descargar".
NicolasTX12 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2015
I'm having some problems with it, like my browser area where you type the site names is just a void. This happens on Opera and Chrome. Anyone with the same problem?
CortexgalReturns Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016
I don't have a problem with it on Chrome. xP
amigleo1994 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015
thank you mate
bbrandis Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015
Good, thanks
pietrigno Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015
Is the theme still compatible with latest updated version of Windows 10 professional? Will it clash with system updates?

Add a Comment:


Submitted on
September 6, 2012
File Size
1.3 KB


222,885 (149 today)
104 (who?)
106,131 (72 today)


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.