Windows 7 Hidden and New Themes

Article by George Norman (Cybersecurity Editor)

on 14 Jan 2009

After the official release of Windows 7 Beta 1 to the general public earlier this week, Microsoft has now come out and issued a series of themes for their operating system. This seems like a good idea from two points of view: first of all, Windows 7 featured only a handful of themes (some of which are hidden and you would be hard pressed to access them); secondly, it is a viable marketing ploy to draw some more attention to their product (somewhat similar to the free MSOffice 2009 calendars).

Let’s start with the hidden Windows 7 themes I mentioned above, since they are already included in the software. It seems that Microsoft has set up Windows 7 to activate these themes according to your location, and unless you are in the proper geographical zone (US, Canada, UK, Australia, or South Africa), they will remain hidden. To activate them, follow this simple step by step plan:

- Windows Explorer -> Organize -> Folder and Search Options ->Show Hidden Files
- Uncheck the Hide Protected Operating System Files. Confirm your actions of prompted to do so. Click OK when you are done.
- Go to the folder WindowsGlobalizationMCT and locate the following five folders: MCT-US, MCT-CA, MCT-GB, MCT-AU, and MCT-ZA). All these files correspond to the five geographical areas mentioned above. Also, you might want to know that the themes for Australia (AU), Canada (CA), and South Africa (ZA) are the same.
- Access folder containing the theme you would like to activate. Example: for UK access MCT-GB and double click GB.theme. This will activate the theme; in the future you will be able to activate it from the personalization settings.
- The final step is optional: uncheck Show Hidden Files and reactivate Hide Protected Operating System Files.

If these themes do not do it for you, then you must know that Microsoft has launched Personalize your PC, a web page that currently provides 15 new themes for Windows 7, as well as 13 new wallpapers and 8 desktop gadgets.

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