How to convert your Windows Server 2003...
to a Workstation!

Enabling Themes and patching UXTheme.dll on Windows Server

Where are the themes I hear you scream! You've come to the right place. Let's get them enabled with little effort!

We will need to go back into Services to enable the Themes Services. Go to Start -> Run -> and type Services.msc followed by enter. Scroll down until you find "Themes", now double click on Themes -> change the startup type to Automatic -> Apply -> Start -> OK. Now close the Services window.

For now you only have Luna Blue, Silver and Olive Green to choose from.

Want to use a hacked visual style? Move on to the next step to easily patch your UXTheme.dll

Enable Themes Service

Manual Installation

Thanks goes out to for supplying us with a patched UXTheme.dll. There were no instructions included, so I've added a batchfile (*.cmd) thanks to Fredrik Thorson. If you'd rather use an autopatcher, click here otherwise proceed with the instructions outlined below:


(if for any reason you need to restore your original uxtheme.dll - Click here to download)

Extract the zipped file and follow these steps:

  1. Copy UXTheme.dll to C:\WINDOWS\System32\dllcache
  2. Copy the uxthemepatch.cmd to the root of your C:\ drive
  3. Reboot into Safe Mode Command Prompt (Press F8 upon booting)
  4. Once the Command Prompt has loaded, type cd\ followed by enter, then type uxthemepatch followed by enter.

That's it! Remember to replace C:\WINDOWS with your drive and WINDOWS folder name where applicable!

Automatic Installation

Courtesy of xBetas and Tech-Critic, we have 2 different AutoPatchers to simplify the process of patching your UXTheme.dll, let's download either one from the links below. The screenshots used in this demonstration is the xBetas patch.

Download: xBetas' PatchXP | UXTheme Multi-Patcher for XP/2003

As the patcher says, just click the Patch button, ignore any Microsoft or WFP related messages (I didn't get any though) and then click on Reboot! If you followed the instructions well, you should now be able to use hacked visual styles on Windows Server 2003!
xBetas' PatchXP Hacked Themes Enabled

Many people have requested by email what theme I'm using in the above screenshot. It's called Watercolor XP v4.2 and can be downloaded at by using the search engine (search for Watercolor)

If you want to theme your Startup and Shutdown windows, please go to Themes Xtra

Let's look into what other Services you should enable, move on to the next section!

Page 9 - Other Services

Thanks goes out to these sites for supporting this guide!

[NT Compatible] []