Introduction: Build a Better Vista for Free.

Picture of Build a Better Vista for Free.
How to build a better Vista for free.

Many people reported serious problems by updating there existing Windows XP (TM) machines to Vista (TM).

Even on brand new machines. See for example:

So many people planed to switch to Mac OS/X but still need WinXP up and running on there existing machine. See

One solution is to have in the mean time the same Look & Feel for your XP.

Check the two screen shots. Before and after.


Step 1: Just Do It.

Picture of Just Do It.


Everything you need is described in detail here:

Download the Package. There is only one installation file you need.

The installation is very easy.

- You can choose what to to. Optional create a restore point.
- What features you what to need.

During the installation, It will change different files from your XP system.

Here, I select all options, so this will change my XP in a Mac OS/X Look&Feel as much as possible. - Also the login screen will be changed.
NOTE: It will need less then 300MB!

Step 2: Reboot.

Picture of Reboot.

After reboot, you will not know your Windows system anymore.

But note: It's still Windows ;-)

You will also notice that the Look&Feel; will change during the installation. The start menu bar will go to the top of the screen and also some action sounds will be changed to the Mac sounds.

Step 3: Problems With the Dashboard?

The only problem I had till now is, that after booting, the so called Dashboard on the bottom was not able to load and so not there.

Go to
C:\Program Files\Tiger System Preferences v2\Skins\gif
find the file "skin.ini".

Open it. The Dashboard section should look like: (There was no path given to Path=, so enter the correct path and filename to "RKLauncher.exe" witch is the Dashboard.)

...[DashBoard]NormalImage=dashboard.gifDownImage=dashboard_d.gifPath=C:\Program Files\RK Launcher\RKLauncher.exeLabel=Dashboard && Expose...


mattronix (author)2009-09-28

macs are for people taht cant work or be botherd for a real os like windows xp linux sucks mac os sucks vista is not that bad xp awsome windows 7 awsome

Tithen (author)mattronix2010-07-19

personally i think linux is more of an operating system than windows.

Jack Attack (author)2007-03-21

we just recently bought two new computers- oone is vista, the other one is mac osx. Vista runs fine because the computer came preloaded, but i must say that vista is almost an exact copy of the mac. Why does everyone hate macs so much? when you buy a windows computer, all it gives you is a bunch of 30 day trial programs that slow down your computer and then you have to spend more money to get the actual software. with macs, it comes with the full version of evrything-except for pages-and most of the programs are better anyway. The only thing really great about the vista computer is that we can use word on it without slowing it down. i you try to use word on a mac its only using an emulation so it will slow it down a little. I have to admit, the mac equivalent of word is not nearly as good as the real one, but that is the only thing better about windows computers.

Aeshir (author)Jack Attack2007-03-21

*ahem* I'm not saying Windows is awesome, I'm just saying everything Apple sucks. Because they make you use iTunes with an iPod, which both suck. Lol.

P.S. - Linux pwns.

joshualater (author)Aeshir2010-05-15

 I love your instructables Aeshir but on this i disagree Apple made their stuff only work with iTunes so they would perfectly be integrated into each other. yes i will buy an iPad. not because apple made. not because its shiny, but because it is a wonderful piece of hardware and software. iPad = The Future

trebuchet03 (author)Aeshir2007-03-21

So you're judging an OS based of a multi platform peripheral using inaccurate information? FYI - iTunes is not the only software that can be used with the iPod. Here's a short list - xPlay (Windows), anaPod (Windows/OSX), ephPod(Windows/Linux).... Hell, Apple even bundled MusicMatch Jukebox before iTunes for windows was released.

Wow, I'd like to hear your opinion on the reliability of the Boeing 787 - but please, only judge based on how many positions a coach class passenger seat can be adjusted to ;)

What you should be complaining about is the proprietary formats of purchased music from iTunes... Which is of no consequence of OSX :P

michi (author)Jack Attack2007-03-21

I used Word for many years. But now, also for many years, the solution is OOo ( Runs native on WinXP/Vista, Mac OS/X and Linux, etc. OOo comes with everything you have in the full MS-Office packet.

King825 (author)2008-11-23

P.S. finished product:

joshualater (author)King8252010-05-15

 I find it entertaining that people ( not you in particular) bash apple but try to make their pc look like a mac. lol the beautiful interface of OSX with the viruses of Windows yea!! best of both worlds

Yerboogieman (author)King8252008-12-09

Ha! You have McAfee

berky93 (author)2007-03-27

i have a joke program that makes you think that your system is being updated to vista ultimate, and then it "boots" vista and even shows the opening scrn for it - but then it covers your computer with a pic that makes it look like you are running a mac - LOL

alltootechnical (author)berky932010-05-04

You've got it from RJL Software, right?

me! (author)berky932007-09-22

whats so funny about macs? they are far better then windows for almost everything apart from CAD and gaming and they last ages (im writing this on an original iMac thats runing Tiger!)

greenbean (author)me!2009-07-29

Macs are anti-oldschool computing/optimizing (hacking, not cracking). They are purely artsy fartsy and they are only for those who would rather internet explorer or safari over firefox. Windows is about being open ended. Macs...not so much. Anyways, macs last cause they make there own hardware. A good dell lasts just as long. That has nothing to do with the software. From a developer's view, you can't compare it. Windows wins.

berky93 (author)greenbean2009-07-29

yeah I agree. windows is awesome. I seem to be the only person I know that thinks vista is a good operating system. all you need to do is take the time to adjust things the way you want them and it works out amazingly.

greenbean (author)berky932009-07-29

I agree! All I really had to do was enable telnet and switch the power setting. It's not as old school as xp but you can set it to be, plus the power of vista's newness.

ReCreate (author)me!2009-02-22

everything,those over priced ...umm i don't want to start another debate

ReCreate (author)ReCreate2009-02-22

here is a good quote
the OS was kludgy and messy. It looked like 2-3 people worked on different parts of it, and never collaborated - a mess of brushed metal, candy-cane scroll bars, and glass.

xACIDITYx (author)2008-02-15

i tried to download flyakiteOSX. Don't. Safe and Secure sees it as a trojan. i'll trust safe and secure.

theburn7 (author)xACIDITYx2008-05-31

of course it isnt a trojan, the scanner uses heuristics and guesses it is by how the installer was made, as for it has home made coding

xACIDITYx (author)theburn72008-05-31

I think I'd rather be safe than screwed.

elluart0609 (author)xACIDITYx2008-12-02

yeah. i looked up a couple of forums commenting on flyakite, and 8/10 say that their computers get screwed up completely and have to reset the computer.

fwjs28 (author)elluart06092009-06-16

the trojan didn't screw it up (there is no trojan btw) it was their stupidity...

Arbitror (author)fwjs282009-11-19

I agree!

fwjs28 (author)Arbitror2009-11-19

haha, digging up the long dead comments much? :P 

Arbitror (author)fwjs282009-11-19

Ya, I like lookin' at 'ibles, and replying to dead comments!

fwjs28 (author)Arbitror2009-11-19 im going to prowl you're really old comments and find the randomest ones and comment them.. :D

amummau (author)elluart06092009-06-04

I agree. I tried this and found a Trojan too.

ProjectZro (author)xACIDITYx2008-10-11

very true and a smart statement dont use vistaosx either it will screw your computer something fierce when you try to uninstall. look at the comment above i may make an instructable on it

strcrusher (author)ProjectZro2009-03-20

really awe man I just installed vistaosx but mine didn't lag or anything it works perfectly oh maby I'm just lucky

Arbitror (author)2009-07-11

So this is just a skin? So it doesn't really change Windows XP into a Mac...

albylovesscience (author)2009-06-02

if you want to take screen shots of your screen activity just bring up windows paint and then go to what you want to screen shot then press the print screen/sysrq button next to scroll lock then go back to paint and left click then paste

Aeshir (author)2007-03-21

I'M NOT A MICROSOFT FAN! GAWD! What I mean by "you have to use iTunes with iPods" is you have to use a loader with it, and 90% of people use iTunes, even on Windows. I infinitely prefer drag and drop. Easier Modding, self troubleshooting too. Please, i'm not trying to be a troll or anything, i'm just trying to make my point. And with WMP, I'm just saying there's too much colour difference between what you choose on the colour chooser bar, and the multiple shades you get of that colour. They're to different. Same with Windows Live Mail Desktop, which I use because I live on an acerage and the good cables don't reach so I have to use dial-up. I prefer not having to load tons of pages everytime anyways. And just plain faster access.

LasVegas (author)Aeshir2007-03-21

Aeshir, From reading your posts, I have to conclude that it's not Apple you despise, but any company that want's you to buy their own software. It's okay! You can use some variants of Linux and all open source freeware. You'll have a hard time installing, and even a harder time using it, but no one will be making a profit from you! Apple has never forced anyone to use iTunes. It's free! If you want it, use it! You don't even need to own an iPod! If you don't like it, use anyone else's program, they also work. Same thing with any other software Apple publishes. If you don't want to buy OS X for your Macintosh, you're free to install Linux or Darwin (BSD/UNIX) for free or even Windows on newer Macs. Of course, you have to pay M$ for the later.

Aeshir (author)LasVegas2007-03-22

I hate Apple.

ReCreate (author)Aeshir2009-02-22

hate is such a hard word,i say :
the OS was kludgy and messy. It looked like 2-3 people worked on different parts of it, and never collaborated - a mess of brushed metal, candy-cane scroll bars, and glass.
good quote

LasVegas (author)Aeshir2007-03-22

As I said before...

That's okay, aeshir... There's no law against ignorance.

zachninme (author)LasVegas2007-03-21

*cough* Linux *cough*
*cough* Ubuntu-is-easy-to-install *cough*
*cough* Easy-to-use *cough*
*cough* I-need-cough-medicine *cough*

Aeshir (author)zachninme2007-03-22

I can't use Ubuntu. I always get errors when I try to install. And I can't use all my apps with it, and I know about WINE. So I'll probably be using Winblows until I die.

LasVegas (author)zachninme2007-03-21

I wasn't referring to the installation of Linux. If you've got common hardware, many distributions of Linux are very easy to install. Ubuntu would not install easily in my Intel Macbook Pro. I was referring to many open-source freeware packages. Many are very dificult to build in Linux.

trebuchet03 (author)Aeshir2007-03-21

you have to use a loader with it,

I quote again

That's okay, aeshir... There's no law against ignorance.

No, you don't ;)

Aeshir (author)trebuchet032007-03-22

Well it's not drag and drop. You guys are confusing me.

trebuchet03 (author)Aeshir2007-03-22

Well it's not drag and drop.

Wow.... Just Wow....

You know, you'd be more believable if you didn't start of by saying you hate their stuff ;)

King825 (author)2008-11-22

I completely disagree. I have installed this program, and not a thing has lagged a bit more than it ever has. Thank you, Michi, I love my new "Mac"

ProjectZro (author)2008-10-11

dude its a longer prosses but better, get RK launcher look for the 0.41 beta ( ) it has a couple of good fixes, and download windowblinnds from and get this theme

and vuala you have mac for pc without changing system file and what not you can even make the tiger logon screen and get screensavers at

puffyfluff (author)2008-08-20

You should use screenshots instead of taking pictures of your screen.

Xellers (author)2008-03-07

Sorry, but the program you used made your machine look bad... I don't think I'd want to try this... However, you did encourage me to try to find another mac theme pack that works well. I've seen some very nice ones...

royalestel (author)2007-03-21

This doesn't even make sense considering your title. Eh?

royalestel (author)royalestel2007-03-21

Why not retitle this to "How to make your XP look like a Mac?"

michi (author)royalestel2007-03-21

If the Vista is a copy of the Mac, then this is the Vista on XP. ;-)
See for example:

About This Instructable




More by michi:Setup QCad Professional.Screw LockBuild a better Vista for free.
Add instructable to: