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?

10 Answers 10


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.

  • 1
    This no longer works.
    – Seth
    Feb 20, 2014 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, 2014 at 4:56
  • This still works. A theme pack is essentially a CAB with a different extension. Most archiver should be able to handle it.
    – iBug
    Jan 22, 2018 at 15:38

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

  • This no longer works either. All I see at that location are .theme files which can't be extracted.
    – Seth
    Feb 20, 2014 at 1:29
  • Works for me, but mine were in Roaming instead of Local. Try navigating to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes instead Dec 2, 2015 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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

  • This doesn't really answer the question which is about WIndows 7 themes not incompatible themes.
    – DavidPostill
    Dec 2, 2015 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.

  • Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question.
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 21, 2016 at 9:59

I renamed the theme file with a zip extension and unzipped it with winrar and got all the images extracted.

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