Applies To: Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista

CustomDefaultThemeFile specifies the path to a customized theme file. These files may include a .bmp file for customized background.


This setting is deprecated.
While you can add themes to a Windows® 7 or Windows® 8 installation by using a .theme file, .theme files can no longer be used as the default theme.
To define a default theme, use the settings: BrandIcon, DesktopBackground, ScreenSaver, ThemeName, and WindowColor.



Specifies the path to the customized default theme file. Path_to_theme_file is a string with a maximum length of 259 characters.

Theme files have a file name extension of .theme and are text files containing, among other things, pointers to visual resources such as background.

This string type supports empty elements.


The background color or design must not, in any way, obscure the Windows® desktop icons, taskbar, Start button, or Start menu, or otherwise impair the functionality of the user interface. Users must be able to view and to use the Windows desktop for its intended purpose, which is to provide easy access to icons and to folders.

Valid Configuration Passes





Parent Hierarchy

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | Themes | CustomDefaultThemeFile

Applies To

For a list of the supported Windows editions and architectures that this component supports, see Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup.

XML Example

The following XML output shows how to set a customized theme.


See Also