How to Remove or Uninstall 3rd Party Transformation Packs (or Skin Packs) in Windows?
If you are a Windows user and love customizing Windows look-n-feel, you must be aware of 3rd party transformation packs (aka customization packs or skin packs). Transformation packs are basically a collection of Windows themes, software skins, mouse cursors, sound schemes, login screen, boot screen, 3rd party customization software, etc.
Most of the times transformation packs are created to transform existing Windows look into another OS look such as converting Windows XP look into Windows 7 or Windows 8, converting Windows look into Linux or Mac OS, and so on.
We have also shared a few transformation packs in past which can be found in our exclusive Themes and Wallpapers section.
Transformation packs are not released officially by Microsoft, these are created by 3rd party theme developers. Although theme developers take all kind of precautions while developing transformation packs but sometimes you might face problems while installing or using these transformation packs. Many times Windows doesn't boot after installing a transformation pack or sometimes you don't like the final look of Windows after applying the pack.
In all these cases, you might want to uninstall and remove the transformation pack from Windows to get the previous default look back but most of the people don't know how to uninstall these transformation packs.
Today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to get rid of these 3rd party transformation packs from Windows? Using the simple methods given in this guide, you'll be able to remove these packs from Windows OS.
We have divided this tutorial in following 5 parts:
- METHOD 1: Using System Restore
- METHOD 2: Using Transformation Pack's Uninstaller
- METHOD 3: Manually Restoring Everything Back
- METHOD 4: Using Sfc/ Scannow Command
- METHOD 5: Using Windows Setup Disc
So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:
METHOD 1: Using System Restore
We always advise everyone to create a System Restore point before installing any transformation pack so that you can restore your system back to previous working state if you don't like the new Windows look or if you face some problem while using Windows.
Most of the transformation packs automatically create System Restore point before modifying system files and installing stuff but its always a wise idea to manually create a System Restore point before installing these packs and don't depend upon these packs.
So if you want to uninstall a transformation pack and want to remove it from your Windows, just use Windows built-in System Restore tool and restore your system to a previous state to get the default look back.
To learn how to use System Restore program in Windows, check out first point "Always create System Restore Point" in following tutorial:
METHOD 2: Using Transformation Pack's Uninstaller
If you didn't create a System Restore point and the transformation pack also didn't create it, then first method is not for you.
Don't worry! You have other options left. Almost all transformation packs come with an uninstaller which helps you in uninstalling the pack from your system.
You can find the uninstall option to remove the transformation pack in "Add/Remove Programs" (Windows XP and previous OS) or "Programs and Features" (Windows Vista and later OS) under Control Panel.
If you can't find the uninstall option in Control Panel, check out transformation pack's entry in "All Programs" list in Start Menu. It should contain the uninstall option.
If you don't see transformation pack entry in Start Menu, check out the setup folder which contains transformation pack installer, it might also contain the uninstaller if the developer provided.
METHOD 3: Manually Restoring Everything Back
If the transformation pack didn't come with an uninstaller, you can restore Windows look manually using following simple steps:
1. First apply default Windows theme using Desktop Properties. It'll immediately provide the default UI back in your Windows.
2. Now uninstall all 3rd party software installed by transformation pack. You can uninstall them from Control Panel as mentioned in Method 2.
3. Then apply default cursors, sound schemes, etc using Desktop Properties or Control Panel.
4. Transformation packs also modify login screen, boot screen, etc to change Windows UI. To modify these things, transformation packs edit lots of system files such as DLL, EXE, CPL, etc using Resource Hacker tool. If you know which system files are generally modified by these transformation packs, you can restore those system files using Windows setup disc or by copying those files from another computer.
If you don't know which system files contain these GUI resources, check out following tutorials to learn more:
- List of Windows 7 System Files to be Customized Using Resource Hacker
- List of Windows Vista System Files to be Customized Using Resource Hacker
- List of Windows XP System Files to be Customized Using Resource Hacker
- List of Resource Locations in Windows XP, Vista and 7 to be Customized Using Resource Hacker
And once you know about the files, you can restore them back by extracting the default system files from Windows setup as mentioned in following tutorial:
METHOD 4: Using Sfc/ Scannow Command
If the above mentioned manual method is too hard and complicated for you, you can try a simple command to restore all default system files easily, quickly and automatically.
Windows comes with a built-in tool "System File Checker" to check the integrity of all protected system files. It scans your system to find system files which are corrupt or have been modified and automatically restores default system files if required.
To run this tool, you just need to follow these simple steps:
1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator as mentioned here and run following command:
2. It'll take a few minutes in scanning your system and will automatically restore corrupt or modified system files. It might ask you to insert Windows setup disc, so keep the disc ready with you.
3. Once the process completes, you'll need to restart your system and then you'll get the default Windows look back.
METHOD 5: Using Windows Setup Disc
If everything fails and none of the above mentioned method works for you, then you'll need to follow the ultimate solution i.e. repair Windows using setup disc.
Boot using Windows setup disc and then you can repair Windows to restore all default files and settings. It'll keep all your personal documents and software installed in your system, so don't worry about them.
Phew... That's all for now guys. We hope the above mentioned methods will help you in uninstalling unwanted transformation pack from your system. If you know about any other method, feel free to share it...
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