Changing Windows Vista to Look Like Windows XP

I now use Windows 7 which runs just as good as Xp.
I had switched from Vista to Xp because its so much faster.
This Instructable will explain the process of changing Windows Vista and making it look like Windows XP. This covers changing the log-in screen, the computers theme, changing the mouse cursor style, and customizing other little features. Let me know if I miss something and comment, as this is my first instructable.

Step 1: Wallpaper

Attached is the official Windows XP Bliss wallpaper.

Step 2: The Theme

Windows Vista doesn't allow you to change the theme to ones non certified by Microsoft. To work around this, you have to replace the system theme .dll files. This can easily be done by using VistaGlazz from Code Gazer.

1. Download and Install VistaGlazz.

2. Launch VistaGlazz and choose the first option, patch system files.

3. Reboot your computer at the prompt.

4.Download the Luna(XP) theme from deviantART user =Satukoro

5. Copy/Extract the Luna Blue Folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

6. Right-click on the desktop and choose personalize.

7. Select Windows Color and Apperance.

8. Choose Luna -Blue and select apply.

You now should have a similar desktop to the one in the second picture. The first picture shows the desktop before applying the theme.

Step 3: Login Screen

Using a program called LogonStudio Vista, you can use any image as the background for the login screen.

1. Download and Install LogonStudio Vista.

2. Download and save the attached file called Windows XP.logonvista

3. Open LogonStudio. Choose load and find the windows xp.logonvista file.

4. Press the apply button. It will lock the computer to show you the new backround.

This is a Windows Xp background that I modified to fit the Windows Vista logon screen.

Step 4: Mouse Cursor

The Windows XP cursor and the hour glass is easily brought back.

1. Right-click the desktop and choose Personalize.

2. Click Mouse Pointers.

3. Choose "None" from the menu.

4. Click Apply.

Step 5: Titles in Windows Explorer

In Windows Xp's Windows Explorer, the folder name and icon was displayed in the title bar.
Bring them back by using a program called Aero Bar.

1. Download the attached file AeroBarIco.exe

2. Save in Startup folder in Start Menu.

3. Double Click it to run.

Placing it in the Startup folder starts it when windows starts, not needing to run it everytime.

Step 6: Firefox

1. Use this theme to restore the previous Xp theme in Firefox.

2. Install.

Step 7: U.A.C.

User Account Control may be one of the most annoying features of Vista. Using a program called Tweak UAC, you can choose the level of annoyance.

1. Download and run Tweak UAC.

2. Choose your level. I personally use Quiet Mode, which doesn't prompt adminstrative accounts at all, but leaves it on for other accounts.



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    28 Discussions


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

    you DO have to use vistaglass as it patches theme files so you can run 3rd party themes on your pc

    if you don't it will NOT look the same as the screenshot here.


    Reply 1 year ago

    VistaGlazz is now confirmed malware. It is better to use UXStyle or UXTheme. UXTheme is also confirmed to work with Vista. Just make sure you have SP2 installed on Vista. Also VistaGlazz actually would delete UXTheme.dll from the computer making it almost impossible to undo. (Unless you have a Restore. But you would have to press F8)


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

    but if you want you can go through the hassle of doing it yourself. But if you do decide to to the diy way make a system restore point so if you crash up your visual styles you can revert back to when you did not tamper with them.

    yes it does but one of the features is disabled.

    don't worry because the 'patch system files' feature is the one you need and it isn't disabled.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    And to think that I worked SO HARD to make my xp look like vista. :P. I like the vista theme but of course, xp is waaay better. Now I have 7. May the last dinosaur be with us. Ssslouter


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    Thanks for the tip. I just realized that's what it should be. I'll update the Instructable.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    yeah.. so when i click the link it doesnt say run it says find what should i do?

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    You need to download and save it to a location of your choice. Then, copy it to the "Startup" folder to start it when the computer turns on. Double click it to run it for the first time without restarting.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    so it should be with all of the other programs that come on when i startup my computer?