How to Specify a Default Theme to Load for New Users in Windows 7
This will show you how to have a theme that you specifiy to be applied by default when a new user logs on for the first time.
You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do this tutorial.
If enabled, this does not prevent the user from changing their theme or any of the theme elements such as the desktop background, window color, sounds, or screen saver after the first logon. It only sets the theme you selected to be used by default until changed.
Your millage may vary.
It has been reported that this does not always work properly in 64-bit Windows 7, but does in 32-bit Windows 7.
The Windows 7 Starter and Home Basic editions do not have the Personalization features included in them, such as changing and saving themes.
4. To Enable Loading a Specific Theme for New Users
A) In the left pane, right click on Windows and click on New and Key. Type Personalization and press enter. (see screenshot below) NOTE:If you already have the Personalization key, then skip this step and continue to 4B below.
B) In the right pane of Personalization, right click on a empty space and click on New and String Value. (see screenshot below)
C) Type in ThemeFile and press Enter. Right click on ThemeFile and click on Modify. (see screenshot below)
D) type in the full path of the .theme file with file extension in quotes that you want to be used by default for new users. (see screenshot below)
I was able to use this procedure to set the default theme in Window 7 Pro 32 bit OS. But, in Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS the new user doesn't get the default theme. I checked the registry key and the key is enabled and the group poliocy to load a specific thjeme is enabled and the path is correct. Is there a bug in windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit thta prevents the common theme to be set for all new users?
Umm, it worked before on my 64- bit Windows 7 Ultimate, but I'm getting a the Windows Classic theme instead now for the new user no matter what them I specify. I'll have to do some more test to see what happened. Perhaps some update or something?
Default Theme is working better in W7 Ultimate 64 bit
There must have been an update because now when I set a default theme for new users, the new user does get the correct wallpaper and start menu confugurations. The new user still doesn't get all of the desktop ICONs specified though. There may be other settign that are missed but, at least we are moving in the right direction!
I was too hasty in saying that the default theme is set for new users. In fact, it is not set for new users and this is a problem for my team. We build HW platforms and proprietary applications that require specific settings for menu size, windows color, fonts etc. I am able to capture these configuration settings in my saved theme and I am able to make the theme available to a new user by putting the .theme file in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\myTheme.theme I used the group policy editor to enable the default theme and I checked the registry key to verify the setting is saved there. However, on my Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS, the default theme is not set for a new user by default. Can you verify that the default theme functinality is working for you? Or is it not working for you on a Windows 7 Ult 64 bit OS?
Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong or if MSFT can fix this. We are preparing to go to market in a few weeks and we need to get this resolved.