How to install custom themes in Windows 8

When it comes to their operating system, users do not only refer to the practical part. They also like to have an attractive screen and some good looking features. Windows 8 comes with (disputed by many) graphical improvements, but the versatility of the existing themes it is not how we all expected. But luckily for us, there are others who are willing to put their effort into creating attractive themes for this operating system. All you need to do is to install them on your computer and enjoy. Here are the steps you need to do, if you want to change the theme of your computer with some third party ones.

Doing this is not that simple, as Microsoft installed some protection systems on the operating system. So, you will need some tools to make the change happen. Download and install programs like UxStyle or Ultra UX Theme Patcher. Without them you won’t be able to install your custom themes. Don’t worry, because these programs will not harm the way your system works. You will still receive updates every time Microsoft sends them out.

UxStyle-0.2.3.0-Setup

Afterward, you need to find the spot on the computer to place the new themes. Even if you make them on your own or download them from the Internet, you cannot just put them anywhere. The system will not recognize them, and you won’t be able to proceed with installation. It is important to note that Windows 8 has a special place where it puts themes. Follow this path C:\windows\resources\themes, and there add all the new themes you want to use. Make sure you place here the file of the theme and the folder with its content as well.

Themes

If you decide to search for ideas on well-known search engines like Google or Bing, you should know that you can find themes for Windows 8 that do not require additional tools in order to install them. They will be recognized and installing them won’t be a problem. But if you want something special either you check out the themes created by the designers on Deviant Art or you just start a theme hunt all over the Internet until you find something that suits your tastes. The number of available themes is not endless, but there are still plenty to choose from. Once you have found the theme or themes you like, and added them to the previously mentioned folder, using them is rather straightforward. The theme just needs a simple execution, like double clicking on it or selecting it and pressing Enter, to apply it to your system.

So, as you finally notice, changing your Windows 8 theme with a custom one is not that hard after all. You just need to remember that if you can’t install an item, it is because of three files in your system: hemeui.dll, UXInit.dll, and uxtheme.dll. All these files are being patched by the tools mentioned previously, so your path towards new themes will be open. Enjoy a new look of your Windows User Interface.

Rainmeter 3 Review – Create Interactive Windows Desktop

Tired of the default plain look of your desktop? The preset images your operating system is offering are no longer attractive? Well, how about if you could find an application that will not only enhance the looks of your desktop, but will also provide a bunch of great and smarter features. I bet this already sounds interesting. I am talking about Rainmeter, a complete customization tool that allows any user to merge useful information with amazing skins for his desktop. The first version of Rainmeter was not that interactive, which was a big minus in time when interactive applications are highly appreciated. But that was about to change with the appearance of the 3.1 version of this application.

Skin and image by http://dikashind.deviantart.com/

The best part about the Rainmeter 3 is that it is entirely free. No charge needs to be paid in order to use it. It is an open-source software and does not contain any ads. If you never used a desktop customization tool don’t worry, the application contains great and comprehensible tutorials to facilitate your way through its features. If you have a computer that is a bit older, you should also know that the application works on Windows XP, or if you have Windows 8 or 8.1 version, both 32 and 64 bits are supported. The features you can choose to be displayed on your desktop range from the usual time and weather status, resource usage of the computer, unread e-mail, RSS feeds and many more. It is up to you which information is more important to display. The application leaves a free hand to every user to create the desktop that is more appropriate for their needs, instead of making a rigid skin that varies only in color or themes.

The skins for the Rainmeter can be  found mostly on Deviantart,  but also in the forums or various third-party websites that offer skins for this purpose. You can also attempt to design your own skin, but if you are a newcomer to this skill, this goal will be a bit hard to achieve. But even if you import the skins, you will find them highly interactive, as they are computational modules rather than just beautiful displays. You can mark a certain event on the calendar, and the skin will be able to remind you, a day prior or depending how you set it, that you have an event to attend to. Also, the CPU usage bar will shift colors depending on the usage level to pinpoint when the usage level is too high and might slow down your computer.

The truth is that Rainmeter 3 is a very versatile tool for transforming your plain old desktop into a more interactive one, filled with useful information without having to enter folders and running many separate applications. It is highly customizable, and it contains a set of features that are worth to be explored. Only your imagination is the limit when it comes to creating your desktop. It doesn’t cost anything, so you will have nothing to lose if you chose to play with it. There is a high chance of discovering  the best combination of custom features you’ll love seeing on your desktop, which will ease your everyday activities.

Everything you need to know about Windows 10

We are rather accustomed to the rapid pace technology changes and evolves around us. We, the users, are pushing it to shift and improve. We are in a constant demand for better products that will make our professional and personal lives much better. And since much of our time revolves around tech devices and gadgets, we also need efficient and improved software to handle them. Thus, software developers feel the need to stay competitive by creating new operating systems for the items we love the most. Computers, laptops, and more recently smartphones and tablets, are a big part of our daily routine. So, how does Microsoft manages to keep the promise of delivering an operating system that handles them all? Could Windows 10 be a one-fits-all solution that we are all expecting? The management team at Microsoft is confident about the final product, that is announced to be released in October this year. Until then, lets us look at the product preview.

Because there were a lot of speculations on the market about the latest Windows, the developers released a small preview. Although, they claim that the product will be much improved, and we should expect some significant changes. First, everybody was waiting for a Windows 9 and received a surprise when the new Windows 10 was announced. The product is the one that will pass through the longest testing period ever recorded at Microsoft. Regarding the major discomforts of Windows 8, it is easy to understand that they cannot afford a release of a product that is not stable or thoroughly verified. The preview for customers was issued on the 1st of October 2014, and the product should be published by the end of 2015. The company wants to create a product that will be great for business, desktop computers with keyboard and mouse, laptops, while optimized at the same time for mobile devices with touch screen.

Win10

Perhaps the most obvious change is in the Start Menu. It looks very familiar to the Windows 7 users, but also contains the Windows Apps. Thus, you can use the Modern UI apps right from the desktop, without having to search the entire computer or mobile device. The Start Menu is also customizable, so you will be able to set the most important features and apps for you. Another great feature is the Snap Assist. Compared with the same feature in Windows 8, the new one seems improved and more cooperative. Any app can be snapped into a window, and you can do this with up to four apps per windows. A feature like this can increase the multitasking capability. Also, if you snap a document, the Snap Assist will propose a similar one that you can place right next to it, this can be time-saving and will rescue you from unnecessary browsing through folders.

Task View is another significant improvement, it allows you to create virtual desktops. It is like creating a multi-monitor option on the same and only screen. ALT+TAB is still used to move through the virtual screens, but there is also the Task View button that will show you the entire bulk of opened tasks on all virtual screens. Also, the search mechanism of Windows 10 promises to be better. Search and File Explorer will show all the recent documents you’ve visited or worked on. Thus, the hustle to find your most relevant documents should be over.

We all hope that the long testing period and the less pleasant experiences with Windows 8 will help the developers be more careful the next product they are about to release. Since the technical preview offers rather scarce, but useful set of features, and the company tempts us saying the final product will be even better, we are looking forward to the official release date.