I have Windows 7 on one of my computers, however, I spend the majority of my time using Windows XP, both at home and at work. Recently, I saw a very nice Win7 theme and I wanted to use the wallpapers on my WinXP netbook. This made me dig into how Win7 themes are made and how they work.
You can find the official Windows 7 themes at Microsoft:
There are plenty of other places to get Windows 7 Themes, and we’ve written about some of them. As an example, let’s take a look at a theme we posted about recently.
Here’s the FIFA 2010 World Cup Windows 7 Theme by EA Sports.
When you download the theme in Windows XP, you’ll see that there is no program associated with it to open the file. So how can you open it up?
There are at least two ways, first lets try the easy method. Rename the file and add the extension .CAB to the end of it.
Now you’ll see that Windows XP recognizes this file type (hopefully). Double click it and the CAB file will open in an Explorer window.
Copy the JPG files into your My Pictures folder or some other place and you can use them as wallpapers. Sometimes, there are also cursor and sound files that you can use if you wish. As far as I know, there isn’t much you can do with the THEME file you’ll find in a Windows 7 themepack.
If you can’t open up the CAB file because Windows doesn’t recognize it, you can use a third party program to open it. I recommend 7zip. Once it’s installed, you can right click on any themepack file and extract it to a local folder.
Now you know about as much as I do about Windows 7 themepack files. Be sure to tell me if you know a little bit more about these files that you think is useful. (comment below)