I'm trying to move to Windows 8. My problem is that I'm using a custom Visual Style that turns my OS to dark and it's not possible in Windows 8 for now. For that reason, I'm looking for a Explorer replacement that is fast enough for daily work and can be themed to a dark color.

My current Explorer looks like this: My Current Windows Explorer

  • What theme/style is that screenshot? Is it for W7?
    – Moab
    Jun 4, 2012 at 0:15
  • It is a modified version of Mango-XB-K I have changed it for my personal use, but I just changed a few things (such as controls), the main look is the same. And yes, it's for Windows 7 Jun 4, 2012 at 0:33
  • 2
    Related: A Dark Theme for Windows 8 Jun 4, 2012 at 1:27
  • 3
    possible duplicate of Good Windows shell replacement Jun 4, 2012 at 1:28
  • @techie007 That question is mine too, but there I'm looking to turn the existing Explorer (and the whole desktop) to dark. Also, I'm not looking to replace the whole shell, just the file management part. (the screenshot I posted) Jun 4, 2012 at 9:56

3 Answers 3


Install uxstyle, that theme should work for it, and uxstyle will enable certain themes more access to change color schemes such as explorer.

  • Actually, it is not a theme. UxStyle enables users to install custom visual styles. At the time I posted this question, it wasn't available for Windows 8. But now, it is. Also, there are dark visual styles for Windows 8. Jan 10, 2013 at 14:55
  • However, my question is not a dark VS for Windows 8. I asked for an alternative for File Explorer. Jan 10, 2013 at 14:56
  • I understand both points, I am saying that with uxstyle your theme would affect native explorer and thus you would not need to replace it with an alternative. Either way, thanks for your subsequent post, as I used your reg file and grabbed nexus :) I didn't like any of the themes I found and couldn't find any help on building my own theme
    – scape
    Jan 10, 2013 at 16:18
  • Thanks. I'm glad you liked my post. I'm with you on the native explorer. I like to use native File Explorer too because it is pretty much flawless in Win8. However, currently, with the reg file you mentioned and some modification in 3rd party software, I don't need much change in OS' visual style. Jan 10, 2013 at 17:59

CubicExplorer has a dark theme and as I know it should be no problem to modify or create a new one.

  • Thanks but its UI was too cluttered for me. Jun 27, 2012 at 16:33
  • Alireza Noori: you can close unused windows and panels and also switch off some toolbars so you can get very clean UI if needed. :-)
    – Juhele
    Jun 28, 2012 at 9:07
  • Thanks. For now I'm using NexusFile but I'll check the CubicExplorer to see if it offers better experience. Thanks again. Jun 28, 2012 at 9:41

One can use gratis file explorer Q-Dir, it has a dark mode:

enter image description here

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