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Customize Windows 8 by Creating an Aero Lite Theme

Microsoft has several themes you can download from its website for Windows, but if you want to be really geeky, you can create an Aero Lite theme by hacking what’s already built-in to the OS. And after you create it, you can stick it on a flash or network drive and use it on your other Windows 8 or RT systems.

To access the theme, hit the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + R and type: C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\aero then hit Enter or click OK.

Run Resources

Now copy aerolite.msstyles.


Then paste it to the Themes folder (the parent file one level up). You’ll get the following message about admin permissions – just click Continue. After that copy aero.theme to the Clipboard.

Admin Access

Then paste it to the desktop (so you have the ability to edit it). Right click the file and open it with Notepad.

open with notepad

On the fifth line down, under [Theme] you’ll see “DisplayName=@%SystemRoot%\System32\themeui.dll,-2013” highlight it and delete it.


Then change it to DisplayName=Aero Lite

change display name

Now scroll down further and under [VistualStyles] change the path to: Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\Aerolite.msstyles

path equals AeroLite

Now go to File > Save As then set the Save As Type field to All Files (*.*) and File Name as aerolite.theme.

save as aerolite theme

Copy the saved theme to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder. Again you’ll get the message you had earlier about Admin permissions, just click Continue.

Move file to Themes

Right click on the desktop and select Personalize from the Context Menu or open Control Panel and select Personalization from there.


Under Installed Themes you’ll see the new Aero Lite theme. Just click it to activate the your new Theme.

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new aero lite theme

The Aero Lite Theme isn’t hugely different, but you’ll notice subtle changes with the buttons, window outlines, System Tray, and a change in window border contrasts.

aero lite theme

It takes a bit of work to get this Theme created. But once you have it created, you can stick it on a flash or network drive and use it on your other Windows 8 computers including the Surface RT.

Aero Lite Theme Surface RT

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