Windows Vista transformation guide

Guide Version 1.0
Built for Windows 10, version 1909. Compliance with newer builds assumed but not guaranteed.
Resources linked in this version involve using Stardock software. Guide starts with easy stuff and progresses in difficulty.
Vistafy Windows
Made by balkanfur

Hello there!

Welcome to Konsti's Vista transformation guide. This will run you through the hands-on process of returning Vista era graphics to your Windows 10 install.

Before you begin, make sure you:
  1. Have a bit of time on your hands
  2. Have an affinity for Aero Glass
  3. Are comfortable with software tinkering

Hit 'Next' to begin! We'll start off with the easy stuff.
To go back a step, hit the arrow in the top left. For a fullscreen tutorial,
click the maximize button.


The title says it all, Vista's default wallpapers are a very easy way to start off on giving your computer that 2007 feel. Set your favorite, put them on a slideshow, or stick with something of your own!

  • Windows Vista Wallpapers
  • Screensavers

    Most the screensavers included in Windows these days are unchanged from Vista onward. Unless you want to use the Aurora, Windows Energy, or Vista Logo screensavers, you can skip this step and just use what's included.

    Screensaver settings are accessible through the modern Windows Settings and typing in Screensaver in the search field.

  • Aurora Screensaver
  • Windows Energy Screensaver
  • Windows Vista Logo Screensaver
  • User Images

    Windows XP through Windows 7 came with a default set of user pictures that could be assigned to your account should you not have an image of your own to apply. While these are a minor touch, they're also an easy one to change around.

  • Windows Vista User Images
  • Higher Resolution User Images
  • Cursors

    Vista's cursors are rather similar to Windows 10's, but with an added touch of shadow and Vista's nice tint of teal applied to loading indicators. Thankfully these come with an install file that does the work for you.

    To install these, navigate to the Cursors folder, right-click Install.inf and select Install.

  • Windows Vista Cursors
  • System Sounds

    Vista comes with its own distinctive sounds. Unfortunately this is a manual process.

  • Windows Vista Sounds
  • The bundle linked above provides more than one sound set. Apply the "Windows Navigation Start" sound to "Start Navigation" to get some folder clicking going.
    Make sure to save these in the following folder. We'll need them there for further steps. C:\Windows\Media\Windows Vista

    Gadgets and Games

    These are yet another optional, but nostalgic part of the Vista/7 experience. Gadgets were removed from later versions of Windows over security concerns of their API, but if you just use the built-in clock widgets or whatnot, you'll be all fine.

  • Windows Gadgets
  • Windows Vista/7 Games
  • Explorer Customization

    Windows 8 and later implement what's known as the Ribbon UI. We can thankfully remove this with a simple little utility. You might even find yourself using this after you're done with this transformation pack.

    What this does:
    1. Makes libraries more prevalent again
    2. Removes user folder icons from 'This PC'
    3. Moves the details pane back to the bottom of the window
    4. Disables the Ribbon UI for a cleaner look

  • OldNewExplorer
  • Aero Glass Theme: Multiple Methods

    1. MSStyle Method

      You'll have to patch Windows to accept 3rd party themes first using UXTheme Patcher.
    2. UXTheme Patcher (Free)
    3. Windows Vista Visual Style

    4. Once you've installed the patcher, you can download the theme's files and drop them in the following folder:

    Aero Glass Theme Methods

    1. WindowBlinds Method

      WindowBlinds is a paid piece of software by Stardock, but it can provide much more accurate and versatile themeing.
    2. WindowBlinds (Paid)
    3. Windows Vista Skin for WindowBlinds

    4. Installation is very straightforward. Once you have the app open, just install the new theme through it and apply!

    Start Menu Skin

    For start Menu themeing we have two general options, listed below.

  • OpenShell (Free)
  • Start10 (Paid)

  • If you're using WindowBlinds to theme Windows, you'll have to go with Start10. WindowBlinds doesn't play nice with any other solutions.

  • Click on one of the links above for a specific guide on each.

    Sounds for Startup, Shutdown, Logon and Logoff

    On modern versions of Windows, these sounds can be triggered using the built-in
    Task Scheduler system. I've linked some XML files below that you just have to import into Task Scheduler, and you'll be set.

  • Sound Configurators
  • Vista System Icons

    Yet again, we've got two ways of going about this step:
    1. Using IconPackager

    2. IconPackager is another Stardock product, and although paid, it'll let you do this process in one link with the pack I've provided.
    3. IconPackager (Paid, Automatic)
    4. Using CustomizerGod

    5. CustomizerGod lets you play around with a lot of Windows icons. You may even be able to change more with it, but at the expense of having no pack to automate.
    6. CustomizerGod (Free, Manual)

    Windows Media Player

    Windows 7 through 10 ship with WMP 12, which is very similar to Vista's edition, only it doesn't feature glass transparency and doesn't have a Now Playing screen. If you'd like to install WMP 11 on your system to get those features back, click below.

  • WMP 11 Guide

  • This step involves replacing system files.
    Creating a System Restore point is recommended. If you're not comfortable messing with files in System32, I'd recommend skipping this part entirely.
  • 🐕

    All done!

    Thank me with a Ko-Fi