In this post I’m going to be giving a step by step guide on making Vista/XP look like Mac OSX. Before you begin you might want to create a restore point just in case things go wrong. (They shouldn’t but it couldn’t hurt to be prepared)
With that out of the way lets begin.
Step One – Patching
The first thing you need to do is to patch your system to allow 3rd party themes. There are fairly easy ways to do this, and there are also harder ways.
For Vista users I recommend you use VistaGlazz as it’s simple and easy to use.
All you have to do is click on the computer icon and then click on patch. If you have aero enabled, you may want to click on the colour card icon next to it. That will enable you to keep full transparency while windows are maximised (Like Windows 7).
It also supports windows XP as well.
However VistaGlazz will not run on every configuration, so make sure you read the documentation from the download link below.
For XP users, I recommend using the UXThemepatcher.
The video above will explain how to use the patcher.
Once the patching for both systems is done, it should prompt you to restart your machine. Go ahead and let it restart.
Step two – The Software
This is probably one of the biggest parts of this guide. You’ll be actually applying a theme that resembles Mac OSX. But before you download that, you’ll need to configure and install some software first.
First you will want to drag the task bar and lock it in at the top of the screen, all you need to do is right click the task bar, and then click lock task bar, and drag and drop the task bar to the top of the screen and then right click the task bar again and click lock task bar.
Secondly you’ll need to install the dock. There are several dock programs out there, I’m going to cover the 2 most popular programs.
Object Dock is the dock I would personally recommend. Its easy to customise and works better with the system. It also comes with the stacks docklet that you will have seen on some OSX systems. It runs on both XP and Vista so don’t panic.
You can also download the theme and icons I am using from the second link below.
Rocket Dock is not as fully featured as Object Dock. To be honest it isn’t the best Dock program, and the software has not been updated in a while. However it does have a very good libary of docklets, icon’s, and dock skins. All of these are cross platform so you can use them on both Object Dock and Rocket Dock if you wanted to.
However it is a pain to add icons and docklets etc.
If you have icons to add to any of the dock programs that are not included in the icon and theme pack, there is a free application out there called M-Reflect icons which is a simple drag and drop method to make any icon reflective. It is also free and light weight and it works across all systems.
Now onto changing the system icons.
For Vista users I recommend that you use Icon Packager which is made by the people who made Object Dock. Icon packager is easier to use, however it’s trial software, I am still looking for a freeware alternative for Vista.
Icon Packager is easy to use as you can just quickly install and use system icons.
For XP users I recommend a freeware program called icon tweaker. It works in very much the same way as icon packager, but it’s free and light weight.
If your on Windows XP and you want more software. Check out the link below.
Step 3 – The theme
The theme is the last and biggest part of this guide.
For Vista and XP users, you first have to download a theme and then extract it to C:\Windows\resources\themes
After that you want to go into the folder you extracted and double click on the MSstyle file. It should bring up a new Window.
because of the way Vista is bulit you will get a long list of Windows Aero and Basic themes, have a look around and when you have found the theme, click on apply.
You can download themes below, but make sure you download the right theme for you operating system.
Vista users should be aware that not all themes will work if you have a 64bit operating system.
That is about it for this guide, if you feel like recommending any more software related to this guide, leave it in the comments.