Microsoft has done a great job in giving a lot of customization options to its users on Windows 7, in form of Windows 7 Themes. Now users can easily download themes based on their interest and personalize their PC according to their taste.
The customization options are however missing from Windows 7 Starter and Home Basic edition. You can’t change your wallpapers, use the Aero effect and it doesn’t even have the “Personalize” option in the Desktop context menu. A lot of readers have asked if there was a way our themes could be used on Windows 7 Home Basic or Starter editions, and now we have an answer.
The Windows Home Basic and Starter edition users can rejoice because a simple and effective software called “Personalization Panel” brings the Personalization panel of Windows 7 Ultimate edition to these low-end restricted editions.
The best part is, it supports application of Windows 7 Themes on these computers as well.
Personalization Panel – Features And Usage:
Personalization Panel lets the users of Windows Home Basic and Starter Editions bypass restrictions set on the OS and provides useful UI.
Once you download (link below) and install this software, it opens an access to advanced customization options on your computer. Let’s understand how it works and what are its features.
Here are the main features of Personalization Panel:
1) Desktop Context Menu integration: Once installed this software gives you the option to enable the personalize option in the desktop right-click menu. Just click on it and a Windows opens that lets you make changes to your desktop.
2) Language-independent/Auto-translation: All text labels are from Windows libraries and always be in your native language (the language your OS is installed in).
3) * .theme files support in both Starter and Home Basic: Supports installation of Windows theme files.
4) Can change Windows 7 Starter Wallpaper (See notes): Provides the option to change the wallpaper in Windows 7 Starter edition.
5) Can change windows and taskbar colors: In Windows 7 Home Basic it can change the taskbar and Windows colors by two methods with live preview (See notes)
6) Useful access to related Control Panel applets: Provides access to change the Icons, Cursors and sounds for your presently applied theme.
7) Types of Files handled: Provides .theme files, .msstyles files and .themepack files associations handling (limited to installation at this moment. You can’t create own themepacks).
Important to note: All our themes are made in the standard .themepack format specified by Microsoft for Windows 7. The .theme and .msstyle are files are a part of the .themepack file and also used by 3rd party themes (themes that need external software installation), which we currently do not create.
The themes we publish are in the standard windows 7 theme format. For applying our themes, the association with .themepack is all that you need, and this software provides that.
This program does not recognize file association if you use the portable version, so when you download the software – install it on your PC, instead of using the portable version.
Make sure You choose a convenient directory to install the software. Its default installation location is not Program files, but root drive. So if your Windows is installed on the C drive, the personalization panel software would be installed at C:\Personalization Panel.
To understand how this works on each Windows version, check out these videos:
Personalization Panel On Windows 7 Home Basic Edition –
Personalization Panel On Windows Starter Edition –
These videos pretty much explain what this software is capable of and what changes can be made in each of the Windows versions. To read further about how this software works or any questions, visit the program developer’s page here.
For using the themes in our Windows 7 Themes Gallery, just download the theme and extract the theme from the Zip file and apply the theme.