11 of the Best Windows 10 Themes You Should Check Out

Best Windows 10 Themes Hero

In terms of themes and visual features, Windows 10 isn’t generally seen as a super-customizable platform like Linux. Be that as it may, there are still plenty of official and unofficial themes for Windows 10, with which you can give your desktop some pretty incredible makeovers.

So whether you’re looking for a nostalgic theme that takes you back to the fledgling years of Windows or something a little more edgy from a designer at DeviantArt, you’ll find something here.

Note: if you don’t know how to install Windows 10 themes, then read our guide on how to do it first.

1. WinClassic

If you want the quintessential Windows 10 classic theme, this is it. If you’re prepared to follow the rather elaborate guide to the word, then your Windows 10 will end up looking just like Windows 98/2000, albeit with all the extra little modern conveniences, like panes, File Explorer, high resolutions and so on.

Best Windows 10 Themes Winclassic

It’s a really impressive project, with a big community behind it that’s completely committed to recreating, but also modernizing, that old-school Windows feel.

Given the scale of the changes, you’ll need to do a lot more than just use the UltraUXThemePatcher to load many of the other themes in this list. But put in the work, and you’ll be justly rewarded with a truly convincing retro Windows theme (that’s highly customizable, too!).

2. macOS Big Sur

One of the main things that people switching over from Mac to Windows complain about is the UI design, which is drastically different from what they’re used to. Which one you think is better design-wise is a discussion for another time, but the point is it’s different enough that it can take a lot of getting used to.

Windows 10 Themes Macos Big Sur

Or, instead of learning the ways of Windows, why not just bring the macOS UI experience over with you? From the notification center to the Launchpad, lock screen, and the way window control buttons sit at the top left corner of a window instead of the top right, this theme is one of the best ever recreations of the Mac experience on Windows. Visually, it’s pretty much perfect, though some may be annoyed by the fact that there are options, like “Apple Software Update,” that are basically redundant (instead of, say, redirecting you to the Windows Update menu).

The good news is that you can apply this theme to any version of Windows from XP all the way to 10.

3. Desktop by Jonatica-andl

The name may not give much away, but one look at Jonatica-andl’s mesmerizing theme should tell you all you need to know. It looks beautiful, with centralized taskbar icons and a Mac-style dock just above it, helping everything look very elegant.

Best Windows 10 Themes Desktop Jonatica Andl

We love the subtle OSD in the corner showing vital information like CPU, memory and hard drive usage, as well as Internet speed. And look at that stylish date display at the top-centre.

The Google search bar is a nice bonus, too.

4. cakeOS

A mixture of vibrant, almost neon, buttons and icons with firm opaque white or black themes for actual windows, cakeOS is a tasteful theme for those who want a little bit of “pop” to their Windows experience. It’s hard to compare cakeOS to anything else, other than to say it has a nice bubblegum-retro feel to it. Even the Start button gets a vivid makeover while keeping with the Windows logo colors.

Best Windows 10 Themes Cakeos

You can make various adjustments to the theme, such as choosing between borderless, bordered or rounded corners on the actual windows, as well as how the buttons look when the window is in a hover state. You can also opt for rounded window corner buttons (macOS-style) or Windows-styled square ones.

5. GreyEveTheme

One of the best “dark” themes of recent times, GreyEveTheme makes Windows 10 literally much easier on the eyes with its color palette of blacks and greys. For those who find the harsh white backgrounds of windows like File Explorer and the Settings app, this one’s for you.

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Note that this theme doesn’t include any interface or design changes. It sticks with the flat Windows 10 design and pretty much switches the lights off on it. If you’re looking for more significant overhauls of how Windows 10 looks, read on.

6. Windows XP

Let’s get started with possibly the most nostalgic and universally-loved theme in Windows history – Windows XP. Doesn’t that blue-and-green taskbar just look so welcoming and bouncy?

best-windows-10-themes-classic-shell-windows-xp

To get an authentic Windows XP look, you first need to get Classic Shell, which provides the necessary customization tools for Windows 10. After that, you can get the Classic Shell XP suite for Windows 10 to get that unadulterated XP look.

7. Penumbra

penumbra-windows-theme

Like the other themes we review in the rest of this list, Penumbra is not made by Microsoft. You’ll need to apply the patches above before and manually place the theme’s files in the right folder before you can use the theme. But once you have it set up, it’s a beautiful, dark theme that makes using your system at night a pleasure.

8. Arc

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Arc includes several variations of its main black and white theme. For maximum effect, you’ll want to install the Arc icon pack alongside the theme, also from DeviantArt.

9. Simplify 10

simplify-10-windows-theme

Simplify 10 is actually a pack of Windows 10 themes, all collected around the same simple aesthetic. It flattens the Windows interface as much as possible, relying on subtle variations in grey and white to distinguish different parts of the UI. It also shrinks the window control buttons, which may or may not be to your liking.

10. LAB

lab-widows-theme

AB‘s major visual change is a heavy black bar that runs across the top of every themed window. It also reduces contrast dramatically across the entire system and reskins most of the UI.

11. Anthem Two

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Like LAB, Anthem Two also adds a heavy black bar to the top of all themed windows. It doesn’t reduce contrast as much as LAB, however, making it a little easier on the eyes.

If you’re willing to risk a little frustration to get a much better-looking system, these Windows 10 themes will be right up your alley. For more Windows 10 tips see our guide on how to reset group policy settings. If you’re still running Windows 7 (you probably shouldn’t be), then you can also make it look like Windows 10.

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Robert Zak Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

One comment

  1. For #6 (the “Windows XP” theme), you say to install “Classic Shell”. However, Classic Shell is no longer under development and has been “picked up by volunteers on GitHub under the name Open Shell.” Open Shell is here: https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu

    I use Open Shell on my Windows 10 laptop and it works great. I highly recommend it as a way to get rid of the horrible standard Windows 10 Start Menu. It also makes File Explorer very configurable.

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