25 Best Windows 8 Themes & Visual Styles

Anyone would get bored looking at the same computer screen day after day. Changing the look of your system with new wallpapers and themes every now and then makes it feel fresh. Applying new themes isn’t all that hard; it’s looking for the perfect theme that takes a fare bit of time. Back in 2009, we compiled a list of great themes for Windows 7, and now, after a long time, we have put together for you a collection of awesome Windows 8 themes. While the themes remain roughly the same, a major (and much needed) addition in Windows 8 personalization now allows you to apply a different wallpaper to the each display in a dual-monitor setup. In what follows, you’ll find some of the best themes from deviantART and Windows’ own downloads page, plus a little surprise for our dual-monitor users.

Best-Windows-8-Themes

Applying Third-Party Themes

Windows 8 doesn’t allow you to add custom or third-party themes by default without modifying or patching three system files; themeui.dll, Uxlnit.dll and uxtheme.dll. You needn’t fret though, as you can easily patch these files via UltraUxThemePatcher. Simply download the application and then follow some simple on screen instructions to install it. The files will be automatically replaced during the installation, though you will have to restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

UXThemePatcher3

Now, you can simply download any of the themes included below and copy the .theme file and its pertaining folder to:

C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

UXThemePatcher-Themes-Folder3

Third-Party Themes & Visual Styles

If you want to give your desktop a complete makeover, then what you want is a full skin or visual style, which replaces system files to provide you with deep customization instead of merely changing the wallpaper. deviantArt is probably the best place to look for such themes, but it’s a huge community with a lot to offer. So, to spare you the hassle of having to browse through countless search results and portfolios, we’ve picked out some of the best themes from there.

Aero By Design (by ~LiveOrDieTM)

Aero By Design

Ourea (by ~neiio)

Ourea

Simplex (by ~link6155)

Simplex-theme-for-Windows-8

Areao4.8 (by ~neiio)

areao4.8-by-~neiio

Platinum (by ~ZEUSosX)

Platinum-for-Windows-8

Alduin (by ~charleston2378)

Alduin-theme-for-Windows-8

Work for Windows 8 (by ~neiio)

Work for Windows 8

Dark 8 (by ~Gr8StyleX)

Dark 8

Dumbass V8 (by ~neiio)

Dumbass V8

Gray 8 (by ~gsw953onDA)

Grey 8

Incomplete VS (by ~sinopt)

Incomplete VS

Night Smooth (by ~neiio)

Night Smooth


Space Blueberries (by ~neiio)

Space Blueberries

TwentyThirteen (by ~Sand-And-Mercury)

TwentyThirteen

Windows Themes

If you are not a fan of customizing every UI element and just want a pack of some cool looking wallpapers, you might be interested in the themes on offer on the official Windows website. Below are our favorite themes from the collection.

Spectacular Skies

Spectacular Skies

Limited Edition Artist Series

Limited Edition Artist Series

Space

Space

Illusions

Illusions Theme

Bubbles

Bubbles Theme

Surreal Territory

Surreal Territory

Cobblestones and Corridors

Cobblestones and Corridors

AddictiveTips Windows 8 Metro Walls Theme [Watermark-free version]

AddictiveTips-Metro-Windows-8-Metro-Wall-theme

Panoramic Themes (For Dual-Monitor Setups)

Panoramic themes are a little different from the regular ones in terms of how they are displayed on your screen. In a dual monitor setup, instead of displaying the same wallpaper on both screens or a different one on each screen, a panoramic wallpaper extends across both monitors if they have the same resolution.

Bridges Panoramic

Panoramic Bridges

Cityscapes Panoramic

Panoramic Cityscapes

Forests Panoramic

Panoramic Forests

That’s it for our Windows 8 themes compilation. Make sure to comment about the ones you liked best and feel free to share great themes that you think we’ve missed!

If you liked this list, you might also want to check out our compilation of our very own Metro-themed Windows 8 wallpapers and guide to getting the Windows 7 look and feel on Windows 8.

Fawad Mir contributed to this post

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  • http://lukelarris.com/ Luke Larris

    I’d use the Addictive Tips wallpapers but they don’t give me watermark-free options :(

    • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Sameed Khan

      We could upload a watermark-free version for you.

      • http://lukelarris.com/ Luke Larris

        Oh thanks, I would love that :)

        • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Sameed Khan

          Done!

          • http://lukelarris.com/ Luke Larris

            Thanks!!! <3

  • ltech

    Tried simplex? That theme should be on this list! It’s transparent and awesome :)

    • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Sameed Khan

      Thanks for the tip!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ruelsaunders Ruel Dean Saunders

    Link is dead for patcher

    • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Sameed Khan

      Try again now. It’s working fine for me currently.

  • Anon

    anyone have an alternative link ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DZamoraF Daniel ZF

    Finally, i was starting to get bored to hell of the win 8 default them.

  • King Mohamed

    Very Nice :)….. But how can I download

  • NiellMG

    Gracias :D

  • Matias C

    Son HORRIBLES

  • Trumarcus

    I love the space one