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Published on 05.18.09 by Brent Trahan

Force a Specified Visual Style File or Windows Classic

Learn how to force a specified visual style file or force Windows classic in Windows 7.

This setting allows you to force a specific visual style file by entering the path (location) of the visual style file.

This can be a local computer visual style (aero.msstyles), or a file located on a remote server using a UNC path (\\Server\Share\aero.msstyles).

If you enable this setting, the visual style file that you specify will be used. Also, a user may not apply a different visual style when changing themes.

If you disable or do not configure this setting, the users can select the visual style that they want to use by changing themes (if the Personalization Control Panel is available).

Note: If this setting is enabled and the file is not available at user logon, the default visual style is loaded.

Note: To select the Windows Classic visual style, leave the box blank beside “Path to Visual Style:” and enable this setting.

Force a Specified Visual Style File or Windows Classic

  1. Type gpedit.msc in the Start menu’s search box and then press Enter.

    Note: This guide shows you how to make changes to Windows 7 using Group Policy. Group Policy is not available in Home versions of Windows 7.

  2. Navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, and then select Personalization in the left column of the Group Policy editor.


  3. Double-click Force a specific visual style file or force Windows Classic in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor.
  4. Select Enable, type the path to the visual style (default %windir%\resources\Themes\Aero\aero.msstyles) and then click OK to save the changes.


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