Enable Hidden Windows Themes


Windows 7 configures a handful of themes upon initial installation, but did you know that there are several more that are not installed by default?  Microsoft has set up Windows 7 to only install themes relevant to the language and location you specify during the installation script, but you can easily access and install more themes that Windows doesn’t think you want to see.

The additional themes are Australia, Canada, South Africa and United Kingdom, and the wallpapers they use are professional photography, just like the Architecture, Landscapes, and Nature themes installed in the default U.S. installation.

In just a few minutes you can install these “new” themes that you didn’t know were already there.

1.  First you need to locate where the themes are.  You can browse to it with Windows Explorer or use a Run dialog.  Either way, find your way to this location:

Get to the Windows Globalization Folder


Of course, substitute C: for where your copy of Windows is installed.

2. You will see several folders which co-relate to different locations:

  • MCT-AU is Australia
  • MCT-CA is Canada
  • MCT-GB is Great Britain
  • MCT-US is United States (probably already installed)
  • MCT-ZA is South Africa

The Australia Globalization Theme Folder

Navigate within each of these folders.  You will see a folder that contains the wallpapers (i.e. Australia in the MCT-AU folder), and a Theme folder.  Navigate to the Theme folder.

3. Double-click on the theme and it will automatically install and appear in your Control Panel’s Personalization applet.

Hidden Canada Theme installed Hidden South Africa Theme installed

Go through the rest of the country folders and install the additional themes.  You can use the new themes and wallpapers just like you would any other theme.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.