Style XP

Patch Windows XP to use unsigned visual styles

Style XP allows you to expand the customization features of Windows XP and gives you the power to install new themes that break the mold of the existing XP shell. View full description

PROS

  • Lots of customization options
  • Comes with a decent range of bundled themes
  • Doesn’t gobble up too much system resources

CONS

  • Interface can be a little daunting for novice PCs
  • Possible risk to your system files when installing the software

Good
7

Style XP allows you to expand the customization features of Windows XP and gives you the power to install new themes that break the mold of the existing XP shell.

If you’re one of those people who spends most of their free time tinkering with your mobile phone ringtone or reorganizing your bedroom, then StyleXP could become your new favorite toy.

Style XP works by patching your operating system to accept unassigned styles, scores of which are available for download from the web. Once you've applied a style you can tweak virtually any aspect of the appearance, including the font size, screensaver, colors, menu transparency, or even the boot screen. What’s more, if you're particularly artistically minded you can to create your own elements in a graphics editor and apply them to the skin in Style XP.

Although the developer has made strides towards making the interface as simple as possible, there are so many customization options that it can be a little daunting for new users of Style XP.

There's no doubt that the temptation to make Windows look like OSX or apply a 'Windows Pirate Edition' boot screen is pretty appealing, but pimping your OS in this way does come with a risk. It’s worth bearing in mind that because of the way the Style XP writes files to your system folder you could end up doing damage to your machine, especially if you install a patch or a new service pack.

Having said this, we've experienced no problems yet (touch wood) and also found that Style XP runs pretty smoothly without sucking too much RAM. You can choose to keep Style XP locked in the System Tray, or release it so that it uses no resources, which is a refreshing thing to see from a developer.

With so many themes and customization options available, Style XP is well worth a look if you fancy a change of scenery on your desktop, but keep in mind the risks involved in using a patching program such as this.

How sleek is your desktop? Style XP unleashes the full potential of your Windows XP desktop by allowing you to download and install XP themes. Themes are available for free from ThemeXP and won't slow your computer down while you work or play.

Style XP is not a skinning engine. It uses Microsoft's built-in visual style engine, but enhances it by providing many useful tools. Style XP can import, select, rotate, and manage themes, visual styles, wallpapers, logons, bootscreens, icons, and explorer bar. Future versions may support sounds, cursors, screensavers, and packages of all the above. How does it work? Instead of lines and gradients, the XP user interface natively supports the use of skinned bitmap controls (a visual style). This is Microsoft's own innovation. Style XP includes its own visual styles.

Choose to have Style XP run in the system tray for easy management and selection of new styles, or turn Style XP off for zero-footprint operation. No additional memory will be utilized unless you desire it. Style XP skins are zero-footprint because they use the same Visual Style Source that is built into XP. XP's Visual Style Engine will load and draw our start button with the exact code used to load and draw the infamous green start buttons of the original Blue, Olive Green, and Silver skins.This is done by performing an in memory patch to XP's Visual Style Engine. Style XP does not use SetWindowsHookEx, which can noticeably slow system performance. Nor does it hook the "Appearance" tab on the Display Properties property sheet.

Style XP

Download

Style XP Men 3.19

— User reviews — about Style XP

  • Orpheus75

    by Orpheus75

    "wrong version of XP ?!?!?!?!"

    Installed just fine.. but on running it I get a "wrong version of XP", followed by a long digit of wha... More.

    reviewed on October 17, 2011

  • "English would be good"

    I have downloaded and installed but NO English. I hit the sprache tab and there is only Deutsch there. NO option for Eng... More.

    reviewed on June 20, 2011

  • StyleXPUser

    by StyleXPUser

    "Works well, until you want to install on your new PC"

    The application worked well for me. Good wallpapers and no problem. However, the installation is bound to a specific ke... More.

    reviewed on September 12, 2010

  • atmasurya

    by atmasurya

    "ITS VERY GOOD"

    I think style XP more excited than other application similar. nice jobs. please makes a lot of theme with a magnificen... More.

    reviewed on July 15, 2010