Transform Windows 7 into Windows 8 RTM without using Customization Pack

UPDATE: Tutorial updated to match latest Windows 8 RTM UI.

Finally, the wait is over. After getting so many requests to post a tutorial to transform Windows 7 into Windows 8, today we are happy to announce it. This is the 4th tutorial of our "Transform Windows" series. You can take a look at other 3 tutorials using following links:

Although we have posted a few 3rd party transformation packs in past which help you in making Windows 7 look-like Windows 8 like Windows 8 UX Pack and Windows 8 Transformation Pack but this tutorial has been created for people who love to do the task manually and want to use selected things to convert Windows 7 into Windows 8 so that they can have an idea what they are going to do with their system.

NOTE: Please create a Restore point using "System Restore" before applying anything mentioned in this tutorial so that you can restore your system back to default if you don't like the changes.

After following this tutorial, you'll get the same Windows 8 look in your Windows 7. Following is a list of things which are going to change after following this tutorial:

  • Windows Theme or Visual Style and Wallpapers
  • Boot Screen
  • Login Screen or Welcome Screen
  • Start ORB or Start Button
  • Icons, Sounds and Cursors
  • Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer
  • Start Screen with Live Tiles
  • Charms Bar
  • Windows 8 Metro Task Manager
  • User Picture Tile in Taskbar
  • Aero Auto-Colorization Feature
  • Centered Titlebar text, icon and Up Button in Windows Explorer
  • Extras

So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

Windows Theme or Visual Style and Wallpapers

Windows 8 features a clean and minimal theme which doesn't come with Aero glass transparency and blur effect. You can get a look-like interface in Windows 7 using following themes:


Download your desired theme using following topics:

You can also check out many other Windows 8 Metro UI inspired themes for Windows 7 in our exclusive Themes and Wallpapers section.

Boot Screen

Windows 8 comes with a new clean and minimal boot screen which looks like following:


You can get a similar boot screen in Windows 7 using following article:

Download Windows 8 RTM Boot Screen for Windows 7

Login Screen or Welcome Screen

Windows 8 login screen looks very simple and doesn't provide any eye candy effects as shown in following screenshot:


To get Windows 8 login screen in Windows 7, check out following articles:

Download Windows 8 RTM Login Screen for Windows 7

Download Windows 8 Blue Login Screen for Windows 7

To get the date and time on login screen, check following topic:

Download Windows 8 Metro Logon Clock Screensaver

You can also check following awesome Windows 8 concept login screen for Windows 7:

Download Windows 8 Concept Login Screen "Gloosh" for Windows 7

Start ORB or Start Button

Although Microsoft has completely removed Start Menu and Start button from Windows 8 but Windows 7 users can replace existing Start ORB with a nice looking Windows 8 style Start button as shown in following screenshot:

You can get this Start button in Windows 7 using following tutorial:

Get New Windows 8 Start ORB (Start Button) in Windows 7

Icons, Sounds and Cursors

Windows 8 icons are almost similar to Windows 7. You can get new Windows 8 sounds and cursors from following topic:

Download Windows 8 Sounds and Cursors for Windows 7

Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer

Windows 8 also features Office 2010 Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer. You can get the Ribbon UI in Windows 7 Explorer using following articles:

Start Screen with Live Tiles

Microsoft has featured a new Start Screen in Windows 8 which looks similar to Windows Phone 7 home screen. It basically shows live tiles of the installed programs in Windows 8.

You can get this new Start Screen in Windows 7 using following articles:

Charms Bar

Windows 8 also comes with new Charms Bar which is a black sidebar panel which shows some useful shortcuts like Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings when you move your mouse cursor to right-side of screen.


You can get this new Charms Bar in Windows 7 using following articles:

Windows 8 Metro Task Manager

Windows 8 comes with new modern and advanced Task Manager which opens in a small window and shows the running programs list.


You can get a similar Metro Task Manager in Windows 7 using following topic:

Get Windows 8 Look-Like Metro Task Manager in Windows XP, Vista and 7

User Picture Tile in Taskbar

Initial Windows 8 testing builds featured new user picture tile in Taskbar notification area. It was added because of the integrated Windows Live services in Windows 8 shell.

If you want, you can get it in Windows 7 using following topics:

Aero Auto-Colorization Feature

One of the most interesting feature of Windows 8 is "Aero Auto-Colorization" which is the ability to automatically configure the color of Aero elements, like the Start Menu, Windows Explorer windows, and the taskbar based on the desktop wallpaper.

You can get the same effect in Windows 7 using following free tools:

Centered Titlebar text, icon and Up Button in Windows Explorer

Windows 8 Explorer comes with good old "Up" button in toolbar. The Explorer window also shows titlebar text along with icon in center.


Windows 8 Shows Centered Titlebar Text, Icon and New Up Button in Explorer

You can get the same in Windows 7 using following tutorial:

How to Get Windows 8 "Up" Button and Titlebar Text in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer?


Following are some software and skins which will provide Windows 8 Metro UI feeling in Windows 7. You should definitely have a look at them:

That's all for now. After following all above mentioned steps, you'll get Windows 8 look-n-feel in Windows 7.

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Posted in: Themes & Wallpapers, Windows 7

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  • Good work! VG thnx for sharing such a good article

  • I wish to never transform my beautiful 7 into an ugly 8, perhaps to a 9 or 10...
    For those who want to do it, this is a very complete guide.

  • VG

    ^^ lol and thanks. :)

  • Hi, This is really interesting that we can transform Windows 7 into a Windows 8 look and feel.

    However, I would like to know if this can be reverted back to Windows 7 without any issues if I do not like the features of Windows 8. Please comment.


  • VG

    ^^ Yes. All changes can be reverted back to default.

  • this look great

  • really it works good you solved my problem .. now i don't need to download windows 8 i am happy with windows 7

  • No mention of that lock screen, vishal?

  • VG

    ^^ Because you cant have Lock Screen in Windows 7. But you can check following:

  • I truly appreciate all the hard work and dedication that you have done to provide us such an exceptional step by step tutorial for this. Not only have you provided an outstanding service but you took the time out of your life to do all this absolutely free of charge, completely non profit. Even more so to spoon feed diagnostics to so many Eye Dee Ten Tee erros (C'mon people do some leg work too.) My only feedback I have at the moment is that the Wallpaper you are displaying, references to Windows 8 X Wallpaper R2. However the link on the other page for that specific wallpaper actually directs you to a Wallpaper called CodeName SkyBlue. </3 Windows 8 X Wallpaper R2 LOOKS SO BAD A**!!!

  • VG

    ^^ The wallpaper creator has replaced the old wallpaper with a new one. :)

  • Hi VG how can i get the windows 8 drive icon in windows 7? Please Reply.

  • VG

    ^^ Here:

  • hi Vishal Gupta. There is no startorb windows 8 blue like the original for startorbz?

  • VG

    ^^ I didnt understand your question but if you are talking about Windows 8 Start button for Windows 7, its present in the above mentioned theme.

  • oohh. and 1 more, how to make centered titlebar text?

  • VG

    ^^ Thats defined by the theme. If the theme was created to show titlebar text in center, then it'll do otherwise not.

  • ooh. So, I had to install a theme that could make titlebar text in the Middle? Do you know the theme of any kind that could be so?

  • VG

    ^^ No.

  • :v :v :v. thanks VG,

  • When I use Windows 8 RTM Theme for Windows 7, it turns into kinda Windows 98. Help!

  • VG

    ^^ It seems you didnt patch your Windows using Theme Patcher as mentioned in instructions.

  • If I go to save something in Word for example, nothing shows up in the navigation pane so it makes it hard to get into a different folder. Is there any way to fix it?

  • hi vg my windows 7 did not run aero my video card is 128mb how i can run aero plz tell me

  • I want that original windows8 rtm orb. how can i get it. it is not there in your tutorial, Vishal

  • Lock screen can be installed if you have downloaded mosaic ( T o downlaod, visit

    Then click on time tile, which shows time in it & you will see a lock screen!

  • where do i download this pack..?

  • VG

    ^^ Its not a pack. You need to follow the tutorial to change Windows look.

  • hello >>> in the first step " Windows Theme or Visual Style and Wallpapers " i chose the first topic " Download Windows 8 RTM Theme and Wallpapers for Windows 7 " and i downloaded the theme but when i come to apply it the windows theme changes to classic theme why ??? and in the tutorial the publisher said that you need to patched your system to use custom 3rd party themes but i don't >> so what can i do ??

  • VG

    ^^ Check following topic:

  • thanks for reply but i have 2 questions :
    1- did Patching system files using 3rd party software breaks the system security , privacy or make microsoft to consider my windows as not genuine or inactive ?

    2- can i apply windows 8 theme in another way without patching my system ??

    thanks in advance

  • VG

    ^^ The answer to both of your questions is NO. Patching Windows to use 3rd party themes will not break security and will never make your Windows not genuine or not activated.

    And you cant use 3rd party themes without patching Windows.

  • thaaaaaaaaaaaaanks

  • I wish there was a place to download patched files, so you don't have to use patch. I prefer manual method you know. I have Windows 7 Professional N SP1 x64.

  • The only problem with this is when you download files from the internet on Chrome, it doesn't let you select where to download, only the downloads folder. Furthermore, when opening downloads, it doesn't let you use the option 'show in folder'. Otherwise, pretty good.

  • boot screen transformation doesnot work in my pc ie windows 7 ultimate 32 bit

  • I used the theme and it turns into windows classic.
    I have patched it and stuff but the themes still do not work.

  • Am i able to revert this back to the default windows 7 themes? And will it slow down my computer etc?

  • Hi VG! Thanks for the awesome guide. I almost have everything like windows 8 except the minimize, maximize & close button. I don't know how to deal with it. My Os is win7 64 bit. Thanks.

  • Sorry, but my places bar from save file dialog box has dissapeared.( the one which provides shortcuts to save file to any place like desktop, my computer)

  • i think i BETTER change my win 7 pack through win 8 pack

  • How can i change to default Windows 7?

  • VG

    ^^ You can restore system to earlier state using System Restore. You can also try method 4:

  • Black screen when restarting, and now i cannot play my pc

  • VG

    ^^ It seems you replaced a wrong file in your Windows. You can boot using Windows setup disc and repair Windows. If you can boot into Safe mode with Command Prompt, run sfc /scannow command.

  • Looking to get rid of everything and use strictly the app-looking screen. No home screen, desktop, start menu or button, anything else. Is this possible? If so, is there A tutorial for this?

  • VG

    ^^ You can try following:

  • Everything is nice but the problem is system properties can you change it also

  • And what about copy dailog of windows 8 Except this everything is outstanding

  • VG

    ^^ Take a look at following topic:

  • Nice thankxx looks lke windows 8

  • good opinions

  • This pack make Windows 7 more flattened + faster + battery saver for laptops as it uses less aero transparency. I like the flat metro look of Windows 7.

    NOTE: For Windows 7 64 bit (x64) users : replace original shell32.dll in sysWOW64 folder with 32 bit shell32.dll present inside the pack, otherwise it could break your system.

    For SYSTEM32 folder, use 64 BIT SHELL32.dll provided inside this pack.

    Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit
    Intel i3 - 64 bit

  • Your tutorial is incomplete.

  • How do i make my navigation button back to the default one?

  • Hello guys, i need your Urgent help please. im a newbie to this and i was following the steps above step by step. i reached where i had to install the Start Orb program and i browsed for the bng file and when i clicked ok, too many errors came and now the explorer is not working. i restarted the computer and after i put in my credentials it gives me an error (explorer.exe - The application was unable to start correctly 0xc000007b ) and im stuck there i cannot login to my windows. all i can do is use the task manager and restart my computer. i tried to restart and enter the recovery mode but it gets me back to the same point. i beg all of you for help, i am using my friend laptop now and i really need my laptop i have exams and i need to study :( please help !!!

  • VG

    ^^ You dont need to worry. Just open Task Manager and then run new task. In browse window, go to C:\Windows\ directory and you'll see Explorer.exe file and a backup file of it. Just rename Explorer.exe file to some other name such as Explorer_old.exe and then rename backup file to Explorer.exe. Now restart computer and it should fix your problem.

  • Please tell me How to Transform Windows 7 into Windows 10 Insider Preview Without Customization Pack .
    This is Also very nice.Cheers mate :)

  • VG

    ^^ The tutorial will be almost same. Just use following theme instead:

  • Hey VG! Nice and Awesome theme.. :D It worked perfectly fine on my netbook.. Do you have an "Aero" version for this theme...i mean transparent/blurred borders, taskbar?

  • VG

    ^^ There are actually many. Just check out following section:

  • I mean...this Windows 8 theme with Aero transparencies.

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