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I just reverted to Win7 (yay) and was looking forward to use the classic theme again.

However, Windows does apply something different when I select "Windows Classic". It looks like this:

Screenshot of supposedly non-classic theme

It becomes even more ugly, the desktop background black etc.

Any idea what could be the reason for that?

/EDIT: It seems that the profile is somehow "broken" - it works for a different user on the same machine. Are there potential caches/settings to delete/reset in registry/profile related to themes?

/EDIT2: One more thing I observed: It works when I stop the "Themes" service. Also, if I go to "System"->"Advanced System Settings"->"Performance" and deselect "Use visual styles on windows and buttons". However, when I go back to themes then, it enables the ugly Aero (?) style again, no matter which theme I pick. It seems that something is forcing the theme to use aero except the themes service is turned off.

This is the content of the registry as suggested to post below:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance
    SchemeLangID    REG_BINARY    0904
    NewCurrent    REG_SZ    
    Current    REG_SZ    
    CustomColors    REG_BINARY    FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00FFFFFF00

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance\New Schemes
    SelectedStyle    REG_SZ    4

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance\Schemes
    @themeui.dll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
    @themeui.dll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
    @themeui.dll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
    @themeui.dll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
    @themeui.dll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

/EDIT3: NICE! This reg-key seems to be broken. I just deleted it now everything works as expected.

2
  • Log on with the non-working profile, open a command prompt, type the following command, and press Enter: reg query "HKCU\Control Panel\Appearance" /s > "%userprofile%\Desktop\reg.txt" Then post here the full command output you got. – and31415 Jun 15 '14 at 10:48
  • Thanks, it's above. But this was already what I was looking for! I just deleted the key and now it seems to work! If you re-formulate this info as "Answer" I could mark it as accepted answer... – divB Jun 15 '14 at 23:33
0

Quick analysis

The settings for the classic and high contrast themes are stored in the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance\New Schemes

Each subkey is associated with a theme:

  • 0 - High Contrast #1
  • 1 - High Contrast #2
  • 2 - High Contrast Black
  • 3 - High Contrast White
  • 4 - Windows Classic

When any of these subkeys is missing, the corresponding theme won't be applied properly.


Resolution

After deleting the Appearance registry key, any missing entries will be restored when switching themes.

  1. Select any theme not listed above (e.g. Windows 7 Basic).

  2. Open a command prompt, type or paste the following command, and press Enter:

    reg delete "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance" /f
    
  3. Switch to the theme you want to use.

0

I've exported the Windows Classic theme (via Export for Sharing)*. You can download it here. I hope it fixed your problem.

* I had to change at least one of the properties of the theme so I could export it (you cannot export preset themes, go ahead and try it). So I changed the screensaver to "Ribbons". If you like, you can change it back to "No Screensaver" - the default of the Windows Classic theme.

1
  • Thanks! Unfortunately does not work. As edited above, something in the profile seems to enforce Aero style except the Themes service is stopped or when I temporarily disable the visual effects. But still then, the Aero design is restored after I select "Win 7 Basic" – divB Jun 15 '14 at 23:28

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