Access Hidden Themes and Wallpapers in Windows 7

Most people are familiar enough with installing software that when they are asked which language they use, it doesn’t come as any big surprise. Installing Windows 7 is no different. During the process, you’ll be asked for your language and location. Once installed, you can – of course – change your desktop wallpaper and theme. Depending on what you put down as your location, you may find some area-specific images, such as how computers located in the United States will have a theme (named United States), which contains images of U.S. settings (Maine, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Washington and Oregon).

Default United States Images

If you had selected a different location, you would have received a different set of images entirely, this set suitable to your location. Unlike some programs, however, when you installed Windows 7, you also installed all those images. They just aren’t visible by default.

To change that, simply follow the steps outlined below.

First, click the Start orb to open up the Start Menu (you could also hit the Windows key on your keyboard). Next, type C:WindowsGlobalizationMCT into the search box, then hit Enter to see your results.

Enter Text To Search For

No results should appear before you hit Enter, but once you do, a new Explorer window should open showing lists of different languages available.

Language Sets Available

As you can see, there are quite a few available. On our system, there were fifteen sets in all (including the US): Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, the United States and South Africa.

To get at a theme, double-click to open that country’s folder. You should now see something similar to this.

Spain Folder

Above you’ll see a folder named RSSFeed, one named Spain, another named Theme and finally a Websites for Spain folder. Not all folders will include the Websites folder, but that’s okay; we’re after the folder named for the country (Spain in this case), as it contains the images.

Spain Images

If we want, we can simply copy and paste the images from this folder into the My Pictures folder (or wherever else we may want them), and be done with it. If we want to treat the theme as a theme, open up the Theme folder, where you’ll see the theme file.

Spain Theme File

To make it accessible, simply double-click it. Your Personalization control panel will now open, showing the new theme in the My Themes section, ready to use.

Spain Theme Ready For Use

To add the rest of the themes, simply repeat this process. Go into a localization folder, then the Theme folder, and double-click the Theme file. Eventually you can have all available localized themes ready for use.

All Themes Available In My Themes

Having to jump through hoops like this is unfortunate in a way. As long as the themes are installed – they’re already on the computer – it just seems odd to hide them. Still, making them available isn’t too hard, and you get dozens of high quality images, perfect for your Desktop.

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