You cannot change your desktop theme in Windows XP

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Article ID: 883391 - View products that this article applies to.
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You cannot change desktop themes, and you cannot select the Windows XP theme on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer.


This problem occurs when the Themes service is stopped.


To resolve this problem, start the Themes service. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.
  2. In the list of services, right-click Themes, and then click Properties.
  3. On the General tab, click Automatic in the Startup type list.
  4. On the General tab, click Start under Service status, and then click OK.
  5. Exit Services.


This behavior is by design.


Article ID: 883391 - Last Review: November 10, 2004 - Revision: 1.3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
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