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Pretty obvious, How do I extract a background from a Windows 7 Theme file?

I like the background pics from some of the themes I've downloaded, but is there anyway I can get the pictures (background images) by themselves?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

In the Personalization Control Panel save the theme for sharing as a .themepack file - right click on the current theme and choose "Save theme for sharing". Then open the saved themepack file with 7Zip or similar and extract the images you want.

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really? its just a zipped file? awesome. thanks – Miles Apr 26 '10 at 0:23
This no longer works. – Seth Feb 20 '14 at 1:29
Works fine for me, 7zip 9.20 in Windows 8.1. Right click on .themepack file and choose 7zip > Extract... – Baodad Jun 24 '14 at 4:56

You can find those wallpapers on your C drive after you install a theme

Navigate to

C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes

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This no longer works either. All I see at that location are .theme files which can't be extracted. – Seth Feb 20 '14 at 1:29
Works for me, but mine were in Roaming instead of Local. Try navigating to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes instead – D Schlachter Dec 2 '15 at 19:21

with 7-Zip,

1) right click the file, select Open archive
2) open DesktopBackground folder
3) select the wallpaper you want or select all by mouse pointer, then click on extract option

now check your extracted location

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You first have to save the theme for sharing which will save as a ".themepack" file. Then you can open it as an archive as shown above.

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In the Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Personalization\Desktop Background under personalisation. Right click the required image and select Propeties Location is where it is. Works for me on W7 Home Premium

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If you have Windows 7:

1.) Go to your desktop,right click, select Personalize.

2.) Select Desktop Background on the bottom left of the window.

3.) Click select all then right click and select preview.

The windows photo viewer will pop up with the pictures. 

4.) There Select file, select Make a Copy..., select your folder you want to save it too, click save.

5.) Hit right arrow key and do the same process for the next pic.

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It works for me with Windows 10 theme packs. If it doesn't work, make sure that you have already installed 7-Zip or equivalent so that option is available when you right-click.

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Thanks for the answer, but this duplicates information already provided in another answer by Sim – bertieb Aug 17 '15 at 15:04

Directions for how to use themes not compatible with Windows 7:

  1. Download MS theme from website. Filetype will be *.deskthemepack

    It doesn't matter where you save it, but to keep it all together save it here:


    The file will not be assigned to any program to open.

  2. Open the unknown file in an archive program like 7zip. Extract files to a folder you can name with the same name as the themepack.

  3. Go back into Control Panel -> All Control Panel Items -> Personalization.

  4. Double-click on Desktop background and then browse to the folder where you saved the images. Your new theme images are loaded and now work, but are unsaved.

  5. Select any other customized settings, like Sounds, etc.

  6. Double-click on the "unsaved theme" in the my themes lists and it will prompt you to save the images as a compatible *.theme file.

  7. Now you can go back into your themes and launch the theme by double-clicking on the name you saved it as.

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This doesn't really answer the question which is about WIndows 7 themes not incompatible themes. – DavidPostill Dec 2 '15 at 21:05

navigate to: C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper

All the jpgs for the themes are saved here. Copy your preferred pictures or point your screensaver to this directory.

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Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. – DavidPostill Apr 21 at 9:59

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