Windows

Add hidden international desktop themes to Windows 7

No international themes are available

In the past, I have not been a big fan of the personalization features of Microsoft Windows. I found most of the Windows themes to be clunky, resource hogs, ugly, or all of the above. However, Windows 7 and the Aero interface is different, especially for those of us lucky enough to have a high definition resolution LCD monitor. Some of the included themes are quite elegant and engaging. In particular I like the image slideshow that serve as the background setting for many of the themes.

But there are several hidden international themes that do not appear as choices in the conventional United States-based installation of Windows 7. When you told Windows 7 that you were a resident of the U.S., the operating system hid the other international choices, but I don't like having my choices arbitrarily limited. There is a relatively simple way to add them to your list of available themes in the Personalization section of the Control Panel and it starts with a search.

Screenshots created by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic from Microsoft Windows 7. The gallery was originally published in May 2010.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

47 comments
MajorDad1947
MajorDad1947

Is there a site where I may download it?

Malleable69
Malleable69

No MCT folder And yeah, make a full page article.

wsaparts
wsaparts

I run Windows 7 Professional and I don't have this option at all???

gjs1
gjs1

******How do I add hidden international desktop themes to Windows 7? >>>>>>>>Windows & Office: Mark Kaelin: 2010 May 10: Windows 7 has several hidden international themes that are not visible via normal "Personalization Section" of "Control Panel"; Mark Kaelin shows how to add them to your available Windows themes: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window-on-windows/how-do-i-add-hidden-international-desktop-themes-to-windows-7/2444 ------------------------------------------------------------------- ********ADD HIDDEN INTERNATIONAL DESKTOP THEMES TO WINDOWS 7 >>>>>>>>Image Galleries: Mark Kaelin: 2013 May 24: http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/add-hidden-international-desktop-themes-to-windows-7/422563 ------------------------------------------------------------------- ********PDF: http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/abstract.aspx?docid=1741847 -------------------------------------------------------------------

dhays
dhays

So what? These pictures are so perfect as to look fake ans if someone had painted them instead of being photographs. Not enough to make it worthwhile to go to all of the trouble of using them. I use the my pictures slideshow to show pictures I have taken or ones that I have downloaded. (WXP) I also use such as the wallpaper pictures. I hav4en't figured out background pictures, I once had one and I need to to change it and couldn't figure out how, I was able to remove it but I can't remember now how it was done.

Gisabun
Gisabun

This tip has been around since Win 7 came out.....

FunTourBoss
FunTourBoss

I finally figured out that if I went to the top of the Windows 7 Personalization Web page I could change my location. Lots of themes not on USA site. Also thanks to all these comments. I wondered where the themes were saved and thanks to all of you I navigated my way to the C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT folder. I like this!

timthumb6100
timthumb6100

I am using Win 7- 64- home premium, and it works great. So I wanted to add more pictures. All I did was copy some of the pictures from the other folders and added them to the one I selected . Now I have mixed scenes. Great pics. TThumb6100

liljim
liljim

I have wasted too much time in a busy morning. I can't find the MCT folder in C:\Windows\Globalization on a Win 7 64 bit installation. I have hidden files and folders showing. I doubt the files are installed in a Win 7 Pro 64 Bit install.

mikifin
mikifin

TURN THIS INTO A PDF

rdkltr
rdkltr

Why wasn't this all put in one article? I hate having to save six or seven pieces to a Word file so I can get the entire text of what to do. R. D. Kenitzer

santeewelding
santeewelding

Looks too much like the Glory of God, to me.

.Martin.
.Martin.

these pictures are only 1920x1200, too small for my two screen :(

iddawg
iddawg

I'm running "Windows 7 Home Premium". I went to "Tools" and the "Folder Options" and put the dot in "Show hidden files, folders and drives, and also took the check out of the box to "Hide Protected Operating System Files Recommended" to no avail.

vze32xsd
vze32xsd

Got the Globalization folder, but MCT is missing. Wjndows 7, Home Premium.

Afoollery
Afoollery

I don't have the MCT folder in my globalization folder. Using Windows 7 Pro. Does that make a difference?

Tink!
Tink!

Funny how it defaults to thinking that you want pictures of local stuff. Don't most people want to see things they haven't seen before?

WebJunkie1996
WebJunkie1996

Actually I think this is only for the professional version of the Windows 7. As I do not have a MCT folder within my Globalization folder. It's a great tip though, maybe next time add "professional" to your title or search tag.

adimauro
adimauro

Hmmm...there doesn't appear to be any MCT folder on my Windows 7 professional installation. :( I am showing all hidden files and folders in folder options, so it's no that. Is this an Ultimate version only type of thing? I'll have to try it at home where I have that version installed.

staffordd
staffordd

Mark Cannot thank you ENOUGH for this. Even though I am in the UK, I will still be able to unlock a few folders that I won't have access to right now. I agree with you totally, this is the first time that a Windows personalisation has been worth the trouble. I remember "Themes" from a couple versions back - total resource hog, the whole computer just died if you had one running. But now, in Win 7, I have the slideshow running all the time, with NO noticeable slowing or performance issues - and, the real bonus, seeing the MOST beautiful images, ever changing, on the screen. The UK theme is stunning, so I feel, very, very much worth the trouble! Now - next. Show us how to make a CUSTOM slideshow, perhaps one that displays ALL the images from ALL the themes ?? I'd love it if I could ADD more pics into a theme. They give you the option to pick which images within a given slideshow, but I don't know that you can INCREASE the number of files displayed. But even without that - it's a brilliant and worthwhile personalisation, I have found the pictures to be breathtaking, and at the same time, calming and relaxing, as I work. It's beautiful, and now, thanks to Mark, we can find and enjoy even MORE beauty on our monitors! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

nelson.a.hurtado
nelson.a.hurtado

I also could not access the MCT folder. I Googled it and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtuoE9cMnfY where you enter the folder location into the search box. So just copy/ paste this: C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT into the search box. Thanks to NawafDandachi.

nelson.a.hurtado
nelson.a.hurtado

I also could not access the MCT folder. I Googled it and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtuoE9cMnfY where you enter the folder location into the search box. So just copy/ paste this: C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT into the search box. Thanks to NawafDandachi.

nelson.a.hurtado
nelson.a.hurtado

I also could not access the MCT folder. I Googled it and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtuoE9cMnfY where you enter the folder location into the search box. So just copy/ paste this: C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT into the search box. Thanks to NawafDandachi.

cassandraqe
cassandraqe

I have Win7 Pro 64 bit & had no problem finding file after unhiding everything. Put all pics in folder - added it to themes as suggested. Now I'll throw in some personal pics & enjoy! Thanks to all with helpful suggestions. FlaSunshine

_Pepe_
_Pepe_

1. Click Start 2. Into the "Search box" type %Windir%\Globalization\MCT 3. Press Enter & Follow .Martin.'s notes above... (open each of the "MCT-XX\" folders now visible, and then double click the .theme file inside each "MCT-XX\theme\" folder)

.Martin.
.Martin.

C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT then run the file in each of the 'theme' folders

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

Here's directions from early in the conversation that show how to unhide these folders and files. Worked for me. I always did this in XP but was a bit confused about where to find the option in 7. ************* Hidden files I forget that not everyone is like me in this regard. One of the very first things I do when getting a new PC is unhide all files of any type. I want to see everything no matter what. In Windows Explorer, under the Organize menu, click Folder and search options. Click the View Tab and unclick or click any of the options you need to to make all files visible

staffordd
staffordd

It took me a while, but I did eventually figure it out. Basically, if you do it in this way: 1) Change your view to show hidden folders globally - ignore the warning about system files being visible 2) Go to Windows/Globalization/MCT to get the themes. 3) Fire off each of the executables in each Themes folder to "activate" that theme. In addition, here is an enhancement I did - I created a new folder under Windows/Globalization/MCT called "All" I then copied ALL the images from ALL of the themes into the ALL folder I then went to the personalisation window (via Control Panel) and managed to point to the all folder and create a new theme called "All" So now, on my desktop, I have randomly, something like 40 amazing images from around the world...and it's even more beautiful than any single theme. Of course, too, as others have done, you can take any images you want, and cycle them around and around... How excellent is this? I really am starting to LIKE Win 7.... d

staffordd
staffordd

This absolutely NOT just in Professional, I have the cheapest one of all, Home Premium, and it has all the themes - I believe this part of Win 7 is the same across all versions. I am so happy to see that everyone likes these photos just as much as I do!!!!! Carry on... Oh - can someone tell me how to "tell" windows to slide show against MULTIPLE folders - or, do I HAVE TO put all the photos in ONE folder for it to work? thx

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

I forget that not everyone is like me in this regard. One of the very first things I do when getting a new PC is unhide all files of any type. I want to see everything no matter what. In Windows Explorer, under the Organize menu, click Folder and search options. Click the View Tab and unclick or click any of the options you need to to make all files visible.

Chipv
Chipv

Then you will see the MCT Folder

jpnagle59
jpnagle59

If you want certain pics or to make your own slide show, just create a folder, place your pic's in it. When you go to pick a slide show, choose the folder you made and let 'er rip!

The Joat
The Joat

from the US theme in C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper. If you look a round a bit you will find MCT folders for other countries too. A couple of years ago I created a folder called "Desktop Slideshow" and saved all these pictures from the various MCT folders to it. I use that folder as my desktop slideshow source and I save many new pictures I find on the web there. I always check "fit" rather than "fill" as my display choice. Enjoy.

trmyers
trmyers

search google Take Ownership and download reg file to fix or download ;

yodi.collins
yodi.collins

I got tired of the lack of options (not that I don't adore the Japan theme). I wanted to create one that was more personalized, and I'm into Asian television and had all these great screen caps from various Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese dramas. I created a folder called 'desktop background images' or something like it and dumped all my favorite screen caps into this folder. Then I went into the personalization feature of the control panel, selected the standard Windows 7 theme, clicked on the associated link to the desktop and pointed it to the folder I created. I set the images to shuffle, and to change every half-hour. Voila! Now my desktop is customized with my favorite images! I'm guessing you can do something similar with the images from the various MS themes, but I haven't tried it. Good luck!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Are you referring to the screen saver? I use National Geographic's Picture of the Day site to gather photos for screen savers and wallpaper. http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day I have at least 250 photos in the folder I point the wallpaper and screen saver to. If there's a limit or performance penalty, I haven't seen it yet. On the other hand, I haven't dared try the folder with my NASCAR photos. It contains several thousand! Configuring the rotating screensaver and wallpaper photos is about the only desktop customization I do. It's easier now that those features are built into W7; previously I had to install applets to do one or both.

AmishCake
AmishCake

I agree, the new images are stunning and make the day more beautiful. Thank you!

_Pepe_
_Pepe_

1. Click Start 2. Into the "Search box" type %Windir%\Globalization\MCT 3. Press Enter & Follow .Martin.'s notes above...

dsteiner_kc
dsteiner_kc

Thanks!! It seems whoever posted (or approved) this didn't do their homework. It is stupid how MS continues to "localize" the opsys in our shrinking world.

lrumley
lrumley

I have read your TechRepublic's article "Add hidden international desktop themes to Windows 7" as well as followed the thread of discussion down to your suggestion of exposing the hidden files. I still can not find the international themes. Rebooted at least three times in Windows 7 Professional.

lrumley
lrumley

Thank you for the tip. I really like the photos.

jim2350
jim2350

I had the same problem as the previous poster and attempted the same fixes. (I also use Win 7 Pro.) Your path worked perfectly. Thanks!

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

This is also a good way to find the MCT folder.

rowvin
rowvin

try using this path, i did it and it worked for me... :) C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT