Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista

The Themes setting includes settings to customize elements of the Windows® visual style, including the window glass color, desktop background, and screen saver.

To customize the Windows default theme, you must include the settings: DesktopBackground and ThemeName. You may also optionally include the settings: BrandIcon, ScreenSaver, and WindowColor.

To use the Windows Classic theme as the default theme instead, set DefaultThemesOff to true.

To create additional custom theme files, use the Personalization item within Control Panel, or see the MSDN topic: Creating and Installing Theme Files.

Child Elements


This setting is deprecated in Windows® 8.Specifies whether to use the Windows Classic theme instead of the default theme.


Specifies the path to a graphic file that is used for the desktop background.


Specifies the path to a screen-saver file.


We do not recommend setting this value. Instead, we recommend using automatic power plans to dim the screen. This can help reduce system power consumption. For more information on power plans, see the Battery Life Technical Reference in the Windows® Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) Technical Reference.


Specifies the name of the custom default theme.


Specifies the color of the Windows border and taskbar.

Valid Configuration Passes





Parent Hierarchy

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | Themes

Applies To

For a list of the supported Windows editions and architectures that this component supports, see Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup.

XML Example

The following XML output shows how to set a customized theme.

   <ThemeName>Fabrikam Theme</ThemeName>
   <WindowColor>Color 11</WindowColor>

See Also