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Simple hack enables classic theme in Windows 10 (and 8, too!)


CamTron
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It turns out that the Windows 98 style classic theme still has not been removed after all! I figured out that it's possible to enable it by closing the handle to the ThemeSection object in the winlogon.exe process. By doing this, theming is disabled, and any new applications will fall back to the Windows Classic theme. Sysinternals has released a command-line utility that can view and manage handles (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896655.aspx), so I've decided to create a batch script that uses this utility to enable the classic theme in one click. Place ClassicTheme.bat (frickin' msfn won't allow me to upload batch files, so I had to change the extension to .txt  :angrym: ) in the same directory as Handle.exe and run the script as administrator. Pardon my terrible batch coding skills. :blushing:  All newly-opened applications will use the classic theme. Not all applications work well with the classic theme. Internet Explorer has heavy graphical issues, Task Manager closes immediately, and restarting explorer.exe causes the taskbar and start menu to no longer work.

 

Screenshot:

post-391308-0-87344400-1422246452_thumb.

ClassicTheme.txt

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Now if only Microsoft would let anyone classic mode, Windows 8+ might find service in real roles.

 

Like on ships and oil rigs, space and industrial places which if you watch any amount of documentaries

on cable / satellite television... I do... XP was almost clever having that awful green start button.

 

You see it immediately everywhere... Lately I've been looking to See classic themes in use, and try to guess

what they are running.. 95/98/NT..... On process control computers, and even cat scan machines.

 

Win8++ I can't see being used for real work, unless it has a 'normal' , classic... Bu!!Sh!t free user interface.

 

But no, they are tearing out Win32 code and replacing it with... well, rubbish.

 

Perhaps a simple graphics driver change to 'Standard VGA' might convince/force a Win98 style theme.... I'll have to try it.

 

Cheers.

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 Pardon my terrible batch coding skills. :blushing:  

 

Maybe useful, maybe not, this should be a simpler batch:

@ECHO OFFSETLOCAL ENABLEEXTENSIONSFOR /F "tokens=3,6 delims=: " %%A IN ('Handle ThemeSection') DO (ECHO handleid=%%BECHO Pid=%%AHandle -c %%B -p %%A -y)

to the same effect which, provided that Command Extensions are enabled, could also be reduced to a oneliner:

@FOR /F "tokens=3,6 delims=: " %%A IN ('Handle ThemeSection') DO Handle -c %%B -p %%A -y

UNtested as I don't have a Windows 8/8.x or 10 install available.

jaclaz

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Perhaps a simple graphics driver change to 'Standard VGA' might convince/force a Win98 style theme.... I'll have to try it.

I doubt it will. Windows 8 and 10 are pretty hard-coded to always use the Metro theme. Even on virtualbox with a pathetic amount of video RAM allocated, it still uses it. The classic theme is only there as a last resort fallback if something really screws up. What I did forces this by closing the handle to the ThemeSection memory-mapped file. Thus, new programs can't use any themes because they are simply no longer available.

 

Although the themes are killed, DWM is still running, and the fancy animations still work. The graphical problems in IE and other programs are caused by assuming that if DWM is enabled, the Aero or Metro theme is active. But it's not, so functions like DwmExtendFrameIntoClientArea() and friends, which make that "sheet of glass" effect, don't work properly.

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  • 5 months later...

 

Do share the magic :) 

PS: Is this more stable and error free than OP's method?

In essence it is the same method with handle hack, just using another utility:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=113024

 

The one I use is attached, it is not the latest version but works the best for me. Also I use ClassicShell 4.1.0 because they broke classic theme support later.

w8classic.zip

Edited by Anixx
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PS: Is this more stable and error free than OP's method?

 

1. Taskbar works, but some elements are shifted by 1 px. I wrote an AHK script that mostly fixes the problem.

2. IE can be patched

3. Extension for Firefox is available that fixes a similar problem

4. Task manager does not work, one needs one from Win7 (there is an utility that installs it)

All the rest should be the same as with the hack from this topic.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 

Do share the magic :) 

PS: Is this more stable and error free than OP's method?

In essence it is the same method with handle hack, just using another utility:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=113024

 

The one I use is attached, it is not the latest version but works the best for me. Also I use ClassicShell 4.1.0 because they broke classic theme support later.

 

 

It doesn't work on Windows 10. Is it possible to get the method that is mentioned in here applied at startup?

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Using classictheme provided by ibmpad, using reactos newer explorer, desktop is broken on it, working startmenu & it works with capability XP, partial tray icons & classy windows 10.

post-374202-0-78986700-1440157773_thumb.

Edited by mmtrt
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Using classictheme provided by ibmpad, using reactos newer explorer, desktop is broken on it, working startmenu & it works with capability XP, partial tray icons & classy windows 10.

very cool what version you used for this reactiOS 0.4

what link for download you used too w8classic.exe?

 

 

got from dailybuilds livecd-xxx-dbg from here https://www.reactos.org/getbuilds & http://bertrand.deo.free.fr/TEMP/w8classic.zip use classic taskmanager or you will end up restoring windows get taskmgr from here http://www.guidingtech.com/18977/get-back-windows-7-task-manager-windows-8/

in other words you got crippled OS :D

 

you can always logout to previous state as normal.

Edited by mmtrt
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