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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Using Windows 7 themepack pictures with OS X

If you’ve seen Windows 7 in a store, you’ve seen the beautiful desktop pictures that come with it. How could you get them on your screen without a Windows 7 PC?

Here’s how to put the pictures from a Windows 7 themepack on your Mac’s screen:

1. Download and install The Unarchiver. These themepacks are just ZIP files at heart, but I found the native OS X unZIP support insufficient. Go here to download The Unarchiver.

To unZIP this program, the native OS X unZIP application is sufficient.

Now unZIP it and put it in your /Applications folder.

Now double-click on it to start it up. You will see a Preferences with three buttons across the top: Archive formats, Extraction, and Advanced.

For right now, just select All formats by clicking on the “Select All” button at the bottom of the Archive formats window.

Now you can start downloading Windows 7 themepacks. Go here to the Windows 7 themepacks download point at Microsoft.

You’ve downloaded one, but you’re not there yet. Now you need to change the file’s extension from .themepack to .zip. Click once on the .themepack to highlight it. Now press Command + I to open a Info window.

Go down to the name and extension. Change the extension to zip from themepack. You’ll get a warning window at this point. Just click on the button for zip extension.

Now to unZIP the files. Just double-click on the renamed themepack file. You’ll get a folder with the name of the themepack. Open the folder.

Inside you’ll find a .theme file and a folder named “DeskTopBackground”. Inside that folder you’ll find JPEG pictures that you can use as your background.

To add pictures to your desktop, right-click on your desktop and click on Change Desktop Background…

You want to add a folder to your list of pictures, so click on the “+” sign just below the list of picture folders. You’ll get a File Dialog box. Maneuver to the location you put your new picture folder. Click on the folder. You’ll see thumbnails of the pictures within. Either pick one or display them on a rotating basis.

Have fun!


  1. Hey mate, Thanks for this. Just did it on the new iMac27 and it is a miracle. The missus has stopped whinging about her VAIO with W7 being better. And they say we shouldn't differentiate between the sexes!
    How many blokes do you know that would determine what the best software and operating system is on a computer?
    I have never seen Cnet rave about it either. Can you imagine it? "This month on Cnet, Microsofts ALL NEW desktop themes make it our choice as the best operating system on the market. We suggest you scrap any Linux and Mac computers you have and go get something with "window's pretty desktop, service pack 1" on it today"

  2. Thanks Sir! What I love about Windows 7 is the Aero UI and its Themes, I always wanted those cool wallpapers on my Mac as well, but never found a way to do so. Now I can!




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