WindowBlinds WindowBlinds 10.81 for Windows

by Stardock Corp.

Avg. Rating 3.6 (377 votes)

File Details

File Size 53.1 MB
License Shareware, $9.99
Operating System Windows 7/8/10
Date Added
Total Downloads 346,551
Publisher Stardock Corp.
Homepage WindowBlinds

Publisher's Description

WindowBlinds is a program that allows you to completely change the look and feel of Windows to however you want it to look like. It allows you to completely customize your desktop by changing the style of title bars, buttons, and toolbars. You can change the look of buttons and check boxes by assigning them skins, or personalities, and you can assign buttons that will launch programs to toolbars. You can create your own skins, choose from the four that are included in the program, or download additional ones. You can also choose to exclude certain programs from WindowBlinds if you don't want to change their appearances.

Latest Reviews


krgood reviewed v10.5 on Nov 6, 2016

I also do not use because of the license issue. Having to re buy the program every few months is a real turnoff..Give me the option of upgrading but do not invalidate my current install just because I do not choose to upgrade. Too many Shareware companies are doing this and I just do not go there for that reason. OK Star-dock, what say you??


krgood reviewed v10.07 on Jul 20, 2016

It has some good but having to rebuy the program every few months is a turn off for me. Put it out there and then charge for updates if necessary...but give the option to the user to upgrade or not...


Music4Ever reviewed v8.13 on Oct 19, 2015

Does not work on Windows 10 yet & extremely unwise to try to force it too - Support for Windows 10 on the way.


Music4Ever reviewed v8.09 on Dec 17, 2014

Been totally stable for some years now, no changes in responsiveness of the PC running it whatsoever. Heaps of free skins available which although add no functionality, do make using Windows more enjoyable - A great program.


CyberDoc999 reviewed v8.06 on Aug 24, 2014

I did not like it at all


mikebratley reviewed v8.03 on Mar 11, 2014

5 stars


chrispaul reviewed v8.03 on Feb 17, 2014

really good


Music4Ever reviewed v8.02 on Nov 20, 2013

Brilliant program that never causes me any issues.


olivergiving reviewed v8.01 on Sep 25, 2013

5 stars


tomkelly reviewed v8.0 on Aug 22, 2013

solid program!

Avg. Rating 3.6 (377 votes)
Your Rating

krgood reviewed v10.5 on Nov 6, 2016

I also do not use because of the license issue. Having to re buy the program every few months is a real turnoff..Give me the option of upgrading but do not invalidate my current install just because I do not choose to upgrade. Too many Shareware companies are doing this and I just do not go there for that reason. OK Star-dock, what say you??


krgood reviewed v10.07 on Jul 20, 2016

It has some good but having to rebuy the program every few months is a turn off for me. Put it out there and then charge for updates if necessary...but give the option to the user to upgrade or not...


Music4Ever reviewed v8.13 on Oct 19, 2015

Does not work on Windows 10 yet & extremely unwise to try to force it too - Support for Windows 10 on the way.


Music4Ever reviewed v8.09 on Dec 17, 2014

Been totally stable for some years now, no changes in responsiveness of the PC running it whatsoever. Heaps of free skins available which although add no functionality, do make using Windows more enjoyable - A great program.


CyberDoc999 reviewed v8.06 on Aug 24, 2014

I did not like it at all


mikebratley reviewed v8.03 on Mar 11, 2014

5 stars


chrispaul reviewed v8.03 on Feb 17, 2014

really good


Music4Ever reviewed v8.02 on Nov 20, 2013

Brilliant program that never causes me any issues.


olivergiving reviewed v8.01 on Sep 25, 2013

5 stars


tomkelly reviewed v8.0 on Aug 22, 2013

solid program!


Music4Ever reviewed v8.0 on Jun 19, 2013

Excellent program & inexpensive & now supports Windows 8 - If though you bought version 7 you will need a new licence unless you have a current 'Object Desktop' licence - $9.99 for just Window Blinds.


Raimondas reviewed v8 (v7.95) Beta on Jun 8, 2013

7.95 version compared to 7.2 runs very well, don't have any performance problems on my Win 8 machine. Great software.


Music4Ever reviewed v7.4 on Apr 12, 2012

Great program - I'm very careful regarding what program & services I allow to run in windows & the impact this program has is minute, if it's even noticeable ~ If you having performance issues look elsewhere ~

I ran this version in Beta without problems ~ If you should need to remove WB it is not difficult & takes minutes with a reg editor & some sort of file manager.

The actual themes themselves are very small & I have maybe 30 or so, a program I will continue to support as long as I use Windows.


Raimondas reviewed v7.2 on Dec 11, 2010

"Machine (windows7 Q6600@3Ghz4Gig ram) takes quit a performance hit with this installed. Using Visualstyles and a patched uxtheme there was none or NO seeable performance hit. Also when you uninstall this it's a bit of a mess and leaves lots of rubbish behind and even trys to start something it removed. All in all looks great but the WORST version of windowblinds I've ever tried."

I agree with you. WindowBlinds 7 is the worst version i ever saw.

Input Overload

Input Overload reviewed v7.2 on Dec 10, 2010

I have had issues with WB & 'Prevx' which was sorted by lowering system guard on 'Prevx'. (Not an ideal solution).

I agree dougau with all the free themes available on 'Win 7' It's not as useful as it used to be.


trents reviewed v7.1 on Dec 2, 2010

Nice to know about this forum WindowBlinds 7.1 where you can find it more features....

Input Overload

Input Overload reviewed v7.1 on Jun 9, 2010

dougau ‘Windows Blinds’ is not 'Needed' at all, neither is a TV, buying Cd's, music newspapers, a Hi-Fi system etc? But as I see you have given it one star I have to ask have you actually reviewed this program?

I use 'Object Desktop' because I enjoy having a variety of different desks to suit my mood. If that is what you want & are willing to spend money on a program to do this ‘Windows Blinds’ is by far the best there is along with 'Icon Packager'.

Brilliant programs IMHO, & have used them for years & has no discernable impact on the performance of this PC at all. And it just keeps getting better. 10 stars.


dougau reviewed v7.1 on Jun 9, 2010

Is this program and its annual fee really needed with Windows 7?


stevvie reviewed v7.01 on Feb 9, 2010

Machine (windows7 Q6600@3Ghz4Gig ram) takes quit a performance hit with this installed. Using Visualstyles and a patched uxtheme there was none or NO seeable performance hit. Also when you uninstall this it's a bit of a mess and leaves lots of rubbish behind and even trys to start something it removed. All in all looks great but the WORST version of windowblinds I've ever tried.


JustForMyMemory reviewed v7.01 on Feb 9, 2010

the newest version always looks nice.

it is pretty slow, uninstallation hurts machine, Stardock's marketing mechanism is quite not right.


spikeoscar reviewed v7.0 on Nov 23, 2009

windowblinds is my utilitary software favorite since 1999, WB 7 is long time waiting for this, since windows 7 beta released.

tranks Stardock, nice piece of program

Input Overload

Input Overload reviewed v7.0 on Nov 18, 2009

I put version 7 on yesterday, I subscribe to Object desktop ultimate so it was a free upgrade. I paid early this year & got an extra 3 months free which was great. Version 7 is excellent, some nice new themes in there too. Next to MS Office, it's my second must have program which just keeps getting better & better.


luluz reviewed v6.4.100 on Sep 23, 2009

Nice customization features, some very nice themes, and plus it is very light on system's resources.


angrybulldog reviewed v6.4.100 on Mar 26, 2009

nice upgrade program WB gang! how about giving us subscribers a little something instead of paying full piper for an upgrade ... this program has been slow, though nice looking ... not worth the full price for something I feel I already bought and never worked as promised.


DudeBoyz reviewed v6.4 on Feb 12, 2009

I have downloaded and tried the new version and it seems to work very well on Windows XP Pro SP2.

I purchased version 5 and usually alternate between the original "StealthOS" and "Chaninja" themes and may just end up staying with that version for now, since I'm not using it on Vista or the Windows 7 Beta Build 7000. I'm not sure exactly what version 6.4 brings to the table in Windows XP installation when compared to the Version series and will need to look into this further to try and determine if it is worth upgrading since I'm sticking with XP for now.

Still, this is a good program, and I enjoy many of the themes available for it. I like and support the "UXTHEME" patch, which is free, but I do like the way that WindowBlinds works and looks and think it is a worthy investment if you want to have a little fun and spruce up your PC.

I am using Dual Core processors, and I'm not sure if it would perform badly on a single processor by comparison, but it does not seem to have any significant overhead on my particular gaming computer. It feels stable with the Nvidia 178.24 drivers and it's cool to be able to mix things up every now and then.

I think I'd feel good about recommending the program to others. Vista and Windows 7 have Aero, but I'm just not ready to go to another platform right now, so WindowBlinds helps give me a bit of visual goodness added to my daily computing experience.

Good price point, as well. Certainly worth a try.

Input Overload

Input Overload reviewed v6.4 on Feb 12, 2009

Brilliant program which has never caused me any issues or slowdowns whether on XP or Vista. This is one of my must have programs. Great stuff!. 10 stars.


Zoroaster reviewed v6.4 on Feb 12, 2009

When I first heard about WindowBlinds I feared it would slow down my system (a senior, healthy and dynamic, but senior) : not at all. WindowBlinds brings an everyday pleasure to my eyes and is totally unobtrusive. I just wouldn't (though I could) have XP's original aesthetic on my screen :)


mfaccone reviewed v6.4 on Feb 12, 2009

I see they are still wasting bits on this piece of...


GhoS reviewed v6.4 on Feb 11, 2009

"trynow" mentions about moving the start button, etc. You can do that with other programs like DesktopX and ObjectBar to name just a couple, but Windowblinds can't do that. WB is meant to skin the windows and taskbar, so therefore it can't really do much about the placement of some things like the start menu.
For what it can do its an amazing piece of software and one I just do not do without. The skins available for it overall are of excellent quality. This is a must have program for those who like to change things up every so often.


Gabriela reviewed v6.3 Build 67 on Feb 11, 2009

gabriela duarte da costa


trynow reviewed v6.3 Build 67 on Sep 30, 2008

Can they do best for us. For home users Xp for instance users have XP home at home and Xp Pro at work. And you want to see your OS like vista or other os windows look.I have XP home and I want it look like modernized XP. Cant they do different "start" button stand in the middle of "start" long bar? I enlarged here and I use many shortcuts there. I want a "Start button" in the middle of that bar or leave the start button in the left corner old place why dont they put a "shutdown" "resart" or "standby" button on the rigth corner? We need something different...Why dont they put media player button next to start button that you start also this one?


MikeEx reviewed v6.3 Build 67 on Sep 18, 2008

Best program to skin windows.

Windowblinds uses hardware acceleration, so it runs faster than window's built in visual styles engine and does the job using less memory while providing a much richer desktop theme.


ssb reviewed v6.3 Build 67 on Sep 18, 2008

A great looking way to make Windows even slower!

@MikeEx: WindowsBlinds subclasses native control painting and that means excessive processing overhead.


kholdstare reviewed v6.3 Build 67 on Sep 18, 2008

anyone knows if it works with XP SP3 yet?


Ryokurin reviewed v6.2 Build 61 on Jul 24, 2008

* Improved compression on start menu animations
* Animated wait screens during Apply
* Enhanced layer support (accompanied by skin author support in SkinStudio 6.2)
* Bug Fixes


Zoroaster reviewed v6.2 Build 61 on Jul 24, 2008

I like WindowBlinds, I use WindowBlinds, but I am unable to find out what's new in this version 6.2 compared to version 6.1. I've searched everywhere on their website, forums included, not one word on "What is new" ...


jspratjr reviewed v6.2 Build 61 on Jul 23, 2008

No problems on Vista here ...

Someone reviewed v6.2 Build 61 on Jul 23, 2008

5.5 on WXP doesn't make windows noticeably slower at all if you have 1GB RAM and a decent CPU... now Vista is a bloated piece of crap anyway so no surprise its slow on vista... oh and after a while themes just get old... i like windows classic look just fine no need for all useless the bells and whistles (i did buy this btw...) :)


Aegis69 reviewed v6.2 Build 61 on Jul 23, 2008

Should be called, "How to make windows a million times uglier and slower than it is". The biggest mistake Microsoft ever made was locking out the themes so we'd have to buy them from authorized third party's.

Luckily to fix this problem all you have to do it get the uxtheme patcher;

Then download and install any theme off deviant art you like.


arjesus reviewed v6.2 Build 61 on Jul 23, 2008

I tried on a Vista (32) and it didnt work properly, only the taskbar and some other stuff changed. too buggy on Vista


gate1975mlm reviewed v6.2 Build 61 on Jul 23, 2008

Good for Windows XP and butt ugly on Vista!


Zoroaster reviewed v6.1 Build 55 on May 8, 2008

I'd rate 5 if it weren't for the installer of another age.
I like WindowBlinds, performs very nicely even on a modest plat-form. This said, if the spaghetti is, like here, "a la dente", the real touch is in the sauce, I mean the skin. There are some really neat ones.


DudeBoyz reviewed v6.1 Build 55 on May 7, 2008

I'm having much better luck with the 5.x versions than the newer 6.x versions in terms of speed and stability.


rcglidden reviewed v6.02 Build 74 on Jan 17, 2008

I have always liked Window Blinds...used it for years, and still do (the version 5.xx)

This is the first time I have had any problems with installing WB. It keeps saying I need to turn off antivirus and spyware scanners and reinstall WB. I do that, reinstalls ok and keeps warning me about the same problem ...and never runs.

I'll keep trying things, but a 3 for now. :-(

UPDATE: Uninstalled WB and uninstalled all known virus/spyware utilities, reinstalled WB.... same issues. The "workaround" they provide doesn't work either. Most likely something to try and prevent hacking and cracks.

Now I'll give it a 2 ;-<


Adrian79 reviewed v6.02 Build 74 on Jan 16, 2008

for some reason sometimes i cant see my (X) on the top right corner of windows..i cant minimize,max,close.. that bar is missing... i uninstalled windowblinds for my vista machine

btw, to guy below.. i used to dualboot xp/vista also.. but its been months now that vista now plays all my games perfect! i reformated and got rid of xp pro!

cheers to vista and the upcoming final release of sp1


photonboy reviewed v6.02 Build 74 on Jan 15, 2008

I'm giving the program a "5" but:

-on XP (Media Center 2005) I tried many, many themes but always ended up preferring my default MCE2005 theme

-on Vista I don't believe there's a single theme that really does justice to the Aero interface.

I could seriously buy this program if there were even 2 awesome themes, but I've always ended up going back to the default themes in XP or Vista (dual-boot until Vista improve for gaming). The actual program is now very solid in terms of coding and I have to acknowledge that many people love some of the themes. But let's really do some justice to Aero shall we?


tannenwheel reviewed v6.02 Build 74 on Jan 15, 2008

on my old box (1300 CPU,500 RAM,30 MB graphic) it worked fine unless the system was fully used. watching the elements beeing drawn on screen one by one is a deal breaker. (so I allways went back to plain XP without themes, after some days)

but on my new machine (4600 CPU,2000 RAM,700 MB Graphic, 1600x1200 resolution) windowBlinds has found a steady home.

I prefer classic OS emulation skins. they are no longer in fashon and you hardly find them on the major skinnig sites. I use a modified version of a win 3.1 clone that I found on

i think windowsblinds is no fun unless you also have skinstudio to quickly fix shortcommings of your favourite skin. so many skins i tried and liked (even new skins) failed to render e.g operas toolbar buttons i such a way, that the button's current state (on/off) would be visible.

that could often be fixed in a minute with skinstudio and mspaint.


Brian49 reviewed v6.01 Build 40 on Nov 8, 2007

I'm not a fanboy of this or any other piece of software, but I find WindowBlinds to be an excellent program these days (I didn't a few years ago). It's true you have to search hard to find really top-notch skins, but the same is the case with any skinnable program you care to mention. As for resources, on my system it's currently using 2Mb of memory with a sophisticated skin loaded.


themiddaysun reviewed v6.01 Build 40 on Nov 8, 2007

I used this many years ago on Windows 2000. I decided to use it again on my Vista machine. I didn't find it restrictive at all on the themes I wanted to install. In fact I was able to install any of the free themes available. This allowed me to really see what it could do to the Vista Aero interface. I decided to purchase it and I am not disappointed. For those that complain about it being a resource hog, well it's no more of a hog than many of the chat clients that people use. I gave it 4 stars, it does what it says it does and does it well. It hasn't crapped out or crashed my machine in any way.


arkytech reviewed v6.01 Build 40 on Nov 8, 2007

I guess that this review will qualify me as a "Stardock fanboy".

I have been using Stardock software (Object Desktop specifically) since they were one of the few companies supporting OS2. Their software has always worked in my (admittedly) low end machines.

Windowblinds has the ability to change the skin (layout, color, transparency and blur, etc.) of Windows, the fonts you use, the desktop graphics, toolbar icons, explorer animations. All this from one control location.

Windowblinds IN CONJUNCTION WITH other programs can completely change how your system looks and feels. If you don't like the provided skins, make your own. If you feel that your layout is superior, upload it to

Stardock has been accused of bloatware - I don't see it. If you compare Windowblinds to other, lesser programs, it is larger, true.


roj reviewed v6.01 Build 40 on Nov 8, 2007

Apart from the paucity of taste and talent that most WB skinners have (which has no bearing on the program), I have always found this app to be a good way to add unnecessary bloat to an already bloated OS. StyleXP does not add as many "features" - but hen again, they're not needed. I want something that changes the appearance of Windows, doesn't add unnecessary fluff and stays out of the way.

This isn't it.

StyleXP is.

THREE stars for what is the latest bend in the road that started with Norton Desktop several lifetimes ago.


mfaccone reviewed v6.01 Build 40 on Nov 7, 2007

Well.. I see all the Stardock fanboys are here.
Migrated over from
For what its worth... windows 95 and 98 might have had reason for some software like this to exist, even in its windows destruction mode. Taking control of window hooks and putting a load on your system was what it did best.
Now... I gave ole Stardock and Froggy boy another chance to redeem themselves on a Vista machine. Curiosity always gets the best of me... darn it!@
I see they keep heading in the same direction... SOUTH. This has got to be the worst they have come up with... Don't even try this in Vista, you will be disappointed at best. Hardly any of the skinners realize that there even is a Vista OS out, letting alone skinning for it. And the ones that do, well... forgive them.
I will admit.. system resources were used a little lighter this time... but then I have a quad core compared to a P4 the last time I tried this...


jonbear reviewed v6.01 Build 40 on Nov 7, 2007

I tried this software because it claimed of being able to customize Vista into looking different. Unfortunately the included themes provide a poor example of how the default Aero interface can be changed. Nearly all of them are simply the default Vista recolored, it's like they took the standard Aero theme and recolored each little bit. The only theme that look radically different was the one with a dragon, but it was huge and gaudy. Not something that I would want to look at while working all day. The trial software is also extremely prohibitive of allowing themes other then the ones provided. That doesn't really do well for convincing me to buy the product, all your allowed to try are very elementary Vista recolors or "artsy" themes that look like cheap costume jewelery.


deepisland reviewed v6.01 Build 40 on Nov 7, 2007

Simply awesome...

I'm using it on both XP and Vista and everything runs great.


Vantorax reviewed v6.0 on Oct 3, 2007

I've been running WB6 since the very first beta on three computers (2 WinXP Pro and 1 Vista Ultimate). Never had a single problem. Top notch utility!


netean reviewed v6.0 on Oct 3, 2007

very disappointing.

(I downloaded the trial version)

The new themes that it comes with are just horrible, so much so that after applying them all I switched back to Vista Aero...

It crashed 3 times on applying the the theme - taking down explorer with it.

If the alternative themes are so bad that end up back with vista, what's the point?

Also, the trial is heavily crippled - so it's hard to see what I'd be spending my $20 on.

Also couldn't seem to find any V6 skins on (I know, WB6 has just been released - so i wasn't expecting many!) but when there isn't a decent alternative skin to try, this (at the moment) is just pointless (IMO)


GhoS reviewed v6.0 on Oct 2, 2007

This program does not mess up your system as Point Zero so eloquently put it. I've run this program for years and sure in its earlier versions it was buggy but over the past few years its been extremely stable.
I don't even have a good graphics card and I can run this just fine. Its great for those who wish to get a different look from the "fisher price" look and change easily.
If it messes up your system then you must have a unique situation that you should let Stardock know so they can adjust the program to work fory ou.
I can't do without WB, but have to at work and its a drag.

Point Zero

Point Zero reviewed v6.0 on Oct 2, 2007

So only $20 to **** up your Windows system, I think this is a deal, you can do the same thing with Symantec products and that costs you at least 50 bucks !


zridling reviewed v6.0 on Oct 2, 2007

Very nice and my system doesn't take a performance hit in the process. Why doesn't Redmond hire these guys?!


photonboy reviewed v5.51 Build 97 on Jul 8, 2007

No, Dsfargeg does not know what he is talking about. (I'm agreeing with the previous posts.)

I think the Wincustomize site has gotten very ugly and harder to navigate over the last couple years though.

If you like the MCE 2005 theme, I highly recommend getting the free program "XPero." I own MCE 2005 and still installed this as it enhanced a few things. It's 100% able to roll back but I always recommend setting a System Restore point for software of this type.

So, there's nothing wrong with Windowblinds and there's no free program that comes close but honestly I ended up liking the MCE 2005 theme the most anyway. Here's the link to XPero:

(You can easily modify XPero. I don't use the boot screen or the wallpaper and I uncheck this at the beginning. I don't like the "modified" versions but if the "Vista" theme improves I'll try it again. Many software makers try to get a lot of people using their software when it's free and eventually start charging. This may not happen with XPero because it's so close to the real thing. In fact, I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't had a hissy fit.. they did force a number of Vista-like Windowblinds versions to be removed.)

*Windowblinds has a lot of Vista-like themes. I tried them but whereas I liked the Vista theme I didn't really care for the Windowblinds versions.


deepisland reviewed v5.51 Build 97 on Jun 27, 2007

Hacking your uxtheme does not give you features like transparency and per-pixel skins. There is a big difference between the two, and WB barely uses any resources.

Great update.


simko reviewed v5.51 Build 97 on Jun 27, 2007

First of all patching uxtheme.dll doesnt alow you to use windowsblind themes and its a huge diffrence between the best of windowsblind skin and skins that only use uxtheme.dll.

yes using skins that make use of uxtheme.dll is a tad lighter resource wise but not by much.

Also tech wise some things you need windowsblind to even explore that, Skin that make use ofuxtheme.dll cant handle it.

So its not stupid if people buy it depends what you are after pure and simple.


Dsfargeg reviewed v5.51 Build 97 on Jun 27, 2007

This is so extremely superfluous it's not even funny anymore.
There was a point in WindowBlinds back at Win95/98 when there was no alternative.
Today, you can just patch your uxtheme.dll and use themes just fine. No point in putting a big overhead on your system which is just braking things out. Also, you must be pretty damn stupid to even pay for that on top of it.


Darken reviewed v5.5 Build 93 on Mar 10, 2007


5.50 Release
Technology Preview with support for 32-bit Windows Vista (no 64-bit Vista support in this iteration).

Windows DreamScene on Vista Ultimate and WB should be happier with loading/unloading.
Returning to Aero if you've disabled UAC should be settled down.

5.49o beta
Additional tweaks to skin applying.
Wavelab issue should be fixed.

5.49n beta
Update to correct Corel fixes being too broad and impacting shellstyles.
Should also correct UAC prompts not skinning.

5.49m beta
Workarounds for Corel Office apps to try and keep them somewhat happier under Vista.
Fixed issue with clicking in Office 2007 apps.

5.49l beta
Fixed issue with password entry fields not showing characters
Start button shouldn't go black on unload/switch to Classic
Tweaked sizing code on skin changes

5.49k beta
Fixed issue with Corel 12 starting maximized.
Fixed issue with OS/2 Warp 4 skin.

5.49j beta
Fixed a rare loop bug that could have stopped skinning.

5.49i beta
Updated to correct a crashing issue that was found. Reboot required.

5.49h beta
More updates and tweaks than you can shake a stick at.

5.49e beta
Refreshed to not have a Jan 1 beta timeout.

5.49d beta
My bad, updated 2 additional images with the Vista build. Same as 5.49c otherwise.

5.49c beta
More internal work.
Made arrow on Welcome dialog visible again.
Added explorer selection images.

WB 5.49b beta
Added back start menu blur
Fixed taskbar blur oversaturating
Fixed per pixel button alignment on maximized windows
Fixed event log crashing
Fix for when the secondary screen is larger than the primary causing max issues with some skins
Fix mdi windows sometimes not showing as maximized when they should
Fix for Firefox jumping
Tweak for some button issues
Some work for handling non DWM capable machines
Wallpapers code tweaked to handle wallpapers intended for multiple monitors
Internal work and improvements from OEM testing.

WB 5.49a beta
Against, this is a 32-bit only build for Windows Vista and Windows XP. There will not be a 64-bit beta in November.

-Tweaks for the occasional reports of explorer crashes on initial load
-Event viewer crashing is a known issue in this build.
-Prompt on IE7/Explorer dialogs with the textbackground painting black is known.
-Some known issues with titlebar button on office 2k7 with some skins.
-Minor corruption with excel 2k7 client area being looked into.

WB 5.49 beta
This beta build is 32-bit only. Please reboot after installation of the beta, though that should just be a beta limitation atm. System information for the 32-bit XP build will report itself as WindowBlinds version : WindowBlinds 5 (5.1 (build 81 x86)) , we haven't changed its version string yet.

-Added support for Windows Vista. RC2 and RTM builds should work, but it is likely any pre-RC2 build will be unhappy. Windows Vista Starter Edition is not supported, but all others should be functional (including per-pixel support on Windows Vista Home Basic with WDDM drivers).
-Added enhanced user interface for XP and Vista
-Added blur transitions on skin changes
-Fixed Corel X13 jumping
-Fixed IE7 tab text painting to paint in a better color (for some skins)
-Fixed hourly changing of wallpapers
-You must have WDDM drivers for your video card on Vista for this build to work.
-We know about the black text background with IE7 password prompts. There's also a missing arrow image somewhere, see if you can find it! :)

Please use the Stardock WindowBlinds Forum to report any issues. Be sure to include information on your video card, driver level, version of Windows Vista, and what skin you are using.


Adrian79 reviewed v5.5 Build 93 on Mar 8, 2007



Darken reviewed v5.1 on Oct 12, 2006

Great program!

@ DudeBoyz : :)


freegoo reviewed v5.1 on Oct 12, 2006

Phoon, maybe you shouldn't assume someone is clueless just because you don't agree with them. Or at least actually read their post. I didn't have a problem understanding WB, or it's wallpaper functions. My issue was that it broke the Windows system wallpaper changer (the one you get when you right click the desktop and click properties). I could use the wallpaper changer WB supplied, but frankly - I don't care for it.

Anyway, I'm trying out the new version and it looks good. The wallpaper thing seems to be fixed on my computer now. I still don't like that they have the "Apply any wallpaper supplied" from skins (skin authors seem to have lousy taste for wallpapers - and there isn't a quick way to go back to your own wallpaper. BUT, it's easy enough to uncheck that option.

This version still screams, and I'm also happy to say that I'm not having any of the previous compatibility issues I ran across before. I recently did a reinstall which may have cleaned some of the crap out that was causing problems before. Either way, much happier with this version now. Until the next version anyway. :)


gate1975mlm reviewed v5.1 on Oct 11, 2006

Window Blinds has gottin so much better!

Island Dog

Island Dog reviewed v5.1 on Oct 11, 2006

Another great release.


DudeBoyz reviewed v5.1 on Oct 11, 2006


I found no obvious diff when I updated my app to this version today.

I use the app on one machine with the rather outstanding StealthOS theme, and enjoy it quite a bit.

However, while it may not be the resource hog it was under Win 9x, it still has some stability issues and odd quirks that sometimes require a full-on reboot to reset things.

Still, the price is very reasonable and it does perform well on XP. The StealthOS skin is just awesome and sort of makes using XP almost fun. lol...

In particular, the pixel level alpha blending makes this product superior to those lacking the feature, imo.


Phoon reviewed v5.1 on Oct 11, 2006

Learn to use the program and you won't have to blame the program for your lack of know how.

With Windowblinds, you HAVE the ability to choose if an application does not get skinned.
If you don't like the wallpaper feature, don't use it. Nothing forces you to do that.

This application is the BEST thing you can do for your system to change the look. It IS very stable and will NOT affect your system performance in a negative manner what-so-ever.


freegoo reviewed v5.01 on Jun 10, 2006

This program does some neat things, but I ran across some issues you really shouldn't be seeing - beta or not. My most despised one was dealing with wallpapers. I didn't notice this "feature" and had a skin I installed maliciously changed my wallpaper to a lame "Cool3d" thing with the skins name on it. Uck. So I pull up display properties and go to change my background there. Bad news, I can browse for new backgrounds, but when I go to change it Microsoft is unable to change from the Windowblinds one. It gets worse, when I go into Windowblinds to change my wallpaper I have to add my folder to it's list of picture folders. So everything gets lumped into one long-unfriendly window. Worst of all, halfway through the pictures the program froze and would eventually crash. Long story not too short, I can't change my background. Why does Windowblinds even mess with this. It's a fact that most skin authors have very poor taste when it comes to Window backgrounds! And finally worst of all, Windows was still unable to change backgrounds even after I uninstalled WB. Luckily I made a backup image prior to installing WB so I was able to get my computer back into working order, but that's just completely unacceptable.

System performance is actually very good. Windows get drug around quickly and seems to be even more responsive than Windows itself with less flicker. Stardock has obviously done a lot of work tweaking and getting things running, and running well.

System stability is a mixed bag. While system crashes never happened I occasionaly had system pauses and some programs just aren't happy about being skinned. While this is unavoidable I resented having to shut down WB and/or the offending program to get WB to stop skinning said application. Worse sometimes WB would skin portions of an offender even after adding that program to the the disabled list. While some of these issues may not be WB's fault, they do go away when it's not installed. A program that changes a system in such a radical way really needs to be impeccable. Hopefully a lot of this stuff goes away after beta.

Beta or not, this program only gets 2 stars from me. It would be a 1 star program but I admire it's look and feel, and Stardock has done a real good job at getting the performance zipping along. If they get a final version out before my subscription ends I'll take another look.


photonboy reviewed v5.01 on Mar 23, 2006

this is a very good program.
(giving this a rating of 1 because it requires online activation is ridiculous. please rate products properly in the future or not at all as this affects the score of others who have actually given this serious thought)


RKOIV reviewed v5.01 on Mar 22, 2006

Great program--runs every time I fire up my computer--never a problem one. Does slow up my computer alittle bit--but you can`t have your cake and eat it too! I still give it a 5 rating Also great thing adding the wallpaper section. Really decks out my Win XP


1uk3 reviewed v5.01 on Mar 22, 2006

Very nice program... makes Windows XP look fresh again


riceboy reviewed v5.01 on Mar 22, 2006

They added a wallpaper manager as well as fixes and tweaks. Great program !!


UTAKER reviewed v5.01 on Mar 22, 2006

v good proggie but where is the changelog before i upgrade?


Adrian79 reviewed v5.01 on Mar 22, 2006

changelog pLllzzzz!!!

also, where is the enhanced build?


wellsjs reviewed v5.01 on Mar 22, 2006

I've been using WindowBlinds and other Stardock products for years. I do not see (experience) significant productivity issues, unless one advocates turning off all visual enhancement features, i.e. use 16 BPP display in 800x600 res, etc.

I do have to exclude a couple of ATI TV All-in-Wonder apps to get the television to display properly, but no big deal. I have one other app (Libronix Logos) that I prefer not skinned.

WindowBlinds 5.01 rocks! With so many talented skinners supporting Stardock's products, the variety of "looks" I have to choose from, I can't imagine life on my PC without it. I've been running Windows Vista-like visuals for months! :)


chimpypimpy reviewed v5.0 on Dec 26, 2005

Version 5 stopped working for you because of a problem with the crack.


TC17 reviewed v5.0 on Dec 20, 2005

Obviously version 5 hasn't been beta tested very well. It was working for a few weeks on my laptop, but now its totally unusable. Taking forever to load up, and not displaying title bars or the task bar correctly. I've uninstalled and installed many times now trying to fix it, with no luck.

I should also add that uninstalling requires booting into safe mode just to be able to get to my control panel. Its a real pain.


Wonder_Twins_Power reviewed v5.0 on Dec 7, 2005

As a novice to recreating desktop enviroments, I find windowblinds to be a plus! the only significant problem I've seen is the fonts on the buttons I've tried adjusting the fonts, but to no avail. Can anyone suggest how to correct this issue?


ArKay74 reviewed v5.0 on Dec 5, 2005

Once a year or two I decide to get a new Stardock Subscription in order to check out WindowBlinds and co, and each year I get disappointed. Same old problems as last year when I last tried it.

Starting with artifacts from dragging windows along the desktop, menu drawing problems if you use WindowFX menu fade effects... And then there are Java Swing apps which don't render correctly (content can only be seen while dragging). And I don't think I really should be required to blacklist java/w.exe from skinning since Eclipse (which I use half of the day and which uses SWT and therefor native controls) renders just fine and looks kind of lost if it's not skinned. So, not much here for me, again.

A patched uxtheme.dll on the other hand, does a perfect job. Why can't Stardocks ever get it 100% right?


dono1216 reviewed v5.0 on Dec 3, 2005

this is very good. it's worth 20 bucks. i use it on a relatively new (


xpose reviewed v5.0 on Dec 1, 2005

Finally Window Blinds is good enough to buy. Install the vista skin with the new WB5 and it is just amazing. It even changes the start menu layout to make it vista-like!

What about performance? Well, I see very very little to no performance lag finally. It only took them 10 years, but eh, I blame MS for not giving them the needed info to incoporate into the os.


cltx99 reviewed v5.0 on Dec 1, 2005

I've been using 4.51 for quite some time and was pretty much pleased with it. Last night, I forked over 15 bucks to upgrade to WB5. Seems to me I wasted my money, as I don't see a bit of difference when compared to WB 4.51. In essence, they took me to the cleaners concerning the WB5 upgrade.

However, it's a good programme.


ghammer reviewed v5.0 on Nov 30, 2005

Converted me from StyleXP with this version.
No resources used as far as I can see.
Applies to everything on my system without a problem.



gawd21 reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

Had a bug that caused my CPU to run 100% the whole time it was installed. Removed it and ran fine. Reinstalled and no problems. The 3 rating is for the bug, would be a 4 if I hadn't of had that.


gate1975mlm reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

Much Much better then Style XP now!

Gets better with every version!


danilloOc reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

Run very fast and have amazing new features :)


deepisland reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

Great software. The transparency alone is worth the price.


Zodiachus reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

It is, as they say, da s***.


Paradise-FH- reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

fabulous. no more seperate process.


-DarkPhoeniX- reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

It just keeps getting better...

The beta testing shook out the bugs, and this release runs very smooth, doesn't slow down my 2-year-old PC in the slightest, and the skins look stunning.

Another reason for me to add a 4th year to my OD subscription.


stevember reviewed v5.0 on Nov 29, 2005

Nice one Stardock..........

Nicer, A lot faster, Smoother and wait for it handles Dreamweaver better....


joost3 reviewed v4.6 on Sep 7, 2005

Jep, it's amazing! Just download it!


robmanic44 reviewed v4.6 on Aug 16, 2005

While you're about it you might as well get the entire Object Desktop package. It really doesn't cost that much more. I have the Network Edition and it is a lot of fun.
By the way, it is not the resources hog it once was.


ttrimble reviewed v4.6 on Aug 16, 2005

I'm still very pleased with the performance of WindowBlinds. And with this new update, the performance is even better. I've been using it for several years and will continue. Keep up the good work Stardock!
The ART of Software Development


Brian49 reviewed v4.6 on Aug 16, 2005

An excellent program these days - the `resource hog' label is certainly way out of date. I only wish that the option to force skinning of applications that don't natively support it could be restored; it used to be there, but disappeared a while ago.


GrooMan reviewed v4.6 on Aug 16, 2005

I never used WindowBlinds before, and I'm a uxtheme.dll user for ages. This was because I suposed that were no need for a program being running in the background when I could do almost the same not having it, and I thought this program eat a lot o memory.

I was wrong, after I installed it, it showed a very good coding of software and only needs about 700K of memory.

People who say otherwise didn't even try it.

Mountain Man

Mountain Man reviewed v4.6 on Aug 16, 2005

Stinking memory hog, lousy mofo.


Nicholas440 reviewed v4.6 on Aug 15, 2005

I've been using Windowblinds for a few years now, and I have to say I wouldnt be without it. I use the " Z " theme, which lets me right click on any window and it rolls up instead of minimizing to the taskbar, plus my taskbar has a totally new cool look as well. I cant say enough about this program, and I highly recommend if you havent tried it, give it a try and see for yourself. The memory useage is very low, and for the past year using Windows XP my computer has not crashed, nor locked up one time. You can customize Windowblinds to your liking as well.

This is definately a winner, and has been for a long time. It just keeps getting better. There are tons of skins you can download to suit your personal taste as well. I rate it a 5 because it works, and it works well. I couldnt see going back to the drab looking XP standard themes after having used this. Its an awesome program.


Hamp reviewed v4.51 on Apr 6, 2005

Anyone comparing WindowBlinds to something like a uxtheme patch is just sad and clueless. WindowBlinds can skin things like the console windows, progress animations, toolbar icons, logoff dialogs, and most importantly - NON theme aware apps. And if that's not enough, it can change the color of your skins on the fly, supports ATI and nVidia hardware acceleration and it's a no brainer that WindowBlinds is much better. And yea it uses a "whopping" 700k of memory -- less than uxtheme does so you actually get memory back when using WindowBlinds.


deepisland reviewed v4.51 on Apr 5, 2005

Windowblinds is a great program. Anybody who complains about memory usage hasn't tried this program for themselves. It uses less than 1mb of resources and doesn't hack your system.

The skins for Windowblinds are better looking than any hacked visual style you will find. Try this program.


GhoS reviewed v4.51 on Apr 5, 2005

Those who haven't used Windowblinds or tried it since before version 4 generally are the ones complaining about high memory usage. Although I only had poor problems with WB on Win98, but on XP some have experience some issues.
Regardless if you enjoy having a different desktop look WB is clearly the way to go. It skins more than the default in XP or the uxtheme.dll patch and it doesn't slow your system down.
Plus you can import your favorite msstyles using another program from Stardock so you can have the best of both worlds for a low price.
Excellent software that keeps getting better and better.


rondeth reviewed v4.51 on Apr 5, 2005

Not sure about 'memory hog', mine's using exactly 896k under WinXP (and no other process in memory is masked under another name).

I'm a skinning freak, so I actually have tried the hacked DLL, StyleXP (forget why I spent the $20 on that), and WindowBlinds...and WB wins hands down, IMO. The others simply do not skin as many elements as WB...and I've tried tons of skins. YMMV, but for the low price, I haven't found anything as good. YMMV, cheers...

Someone reviewed v4.51 on Apr 5, 2005

this is basically backing up the guy that said use the UXTHEME.DLL instead. why would you want to install a 10mb program that takes up resources while your computer is running when you can simply replace 1 file in safe mode and have full-featured skins that work exactly the same and look just as good??

"Remember when talking about uxtheme that you are talking about a hack. It doesn't skin as much as Windowblinds does and it can cause your system to become unstable."

LOL what a load of crap... i've been using different 'hacked' uxtheme.dll versions for each windows SP (and my friends and family too) and i've NEVER had ANY problems or instability and neither have they.

this program seems to be good so i'll give it a 3 but its like downloading a program to change your bootscreen when you can manually edit your kernel using reshack with NO 'instability' or any other side effects...its REDUNDANT and only really useful if you're a n00b and are uncomfortable with copying and pasting in safe mode...


ttrimble reviewed v4.51 on Apr 5, 2005

Just as in several other reivews, I used to use Windowblinds a few years ago but I ran into too many other problems. I came back about 6 months ago and I've been a happy user ever since. It is stable, the memory usage is acceptable, and the performance impact is minimal. I use it along with ObjectDock. I usually don't write up reviews on BetaNews but I feel so strongly about Windowblinds that I just had to add my comments.


tre2004 reviewed v4.5 on Jan 25, 2005

I have to admit. I just started using Windowblinds again.. I had stopped using it because of the amt. of system resources it used. I read that someone had said that it wasn't as bad as it used to be. I have been using it now for about 2 weeks, and the memory usage is awesome. Right now mine is using 1,360 K, normally lower than that. Last time I had it I had to unload it when I was goin to play a game, and I have 1 Gig of ram... so if you are someone like I was, someone that used to use it, loved the skins but couldn't handle the resource's that it was using.. try it again... they have finally gotten it right..


deepisland reviewed v4.5 on Jan 25, 2005

The "reviewers" below can't be more wrong.

The latest versions of WB are very stable and use very little memory. Mine is using about 700kb right now.

Remember when talking about uxtheme that you are talking about a hack. It doesn't skin as much as Windowblinds does and it can cause your system to become unstable.

Themes for WB are also free. It's a great product, just try it out.


-Lord- reviewed v4.5 on Jan 25, 2005

It may make it all look nice, but you have to pay for it, and it's a memory hog. instead, get uxtheme.dll It's a replacement for the one that your computer already has, and with the patched file, you can run themes on your PC without having to install WindowsBlinds or other software like it... and the themes and dll file are also free. Google for the uxtheme patcher. There are two versions. one for Sp1 and one for Sp2. Happy hunting.. you wont' be sorry.


robmanic44 reviewed v4.4 on Oct 8, 2004

I own the complete Stardock package and you would not believe what you can do with their software, but you better have plenty of RAM because this stuff just eats memory.


geekboy2000 reviewed v4.4 on Sep 28, 2004

As with each WB release, this one is better than the last. I really love WindowBlinds, and the capability that if offers. Having said that though, I still have difficulty finding more than just a very few skins that work well across all apps in terms of visibility, toolbar skinning, and other slight abberations in the skins. There's still some need to create per app exceptions. But, my quest for just the right skins continues, as it does have the ability to look terrific. Stability wise, I've had no issues. An overall very good app, and I commend Stardock for the responsiveness of their support as well.


RaveN-FH- reviewed v4.4 on Sep 28, 2004

wbload.exe ... 756 K mem usage. good luck finding something in your process list that uses less. can't remember the last time wb cause an app to crash ... and i use a multitude of apps. you can skin "icons" or at least the ie icons. if you want to change all your icons check out iconpackager.


klumy reviewed v4.3 on Jul 31, 2004

Nice program, but it could have more features like Icon Skinning, Folderskinning...


ILLEGALien reviewed v4.3 on May 12, 2004

If you want skins, this is a decent program... but the program add a lot of other features (such as transparency, rollup, minimize to tray, etc.) that are not as nicely developed as other software.

If you just want all useful functionality (which excludes skins) then Actual Window Manager 2.5 is a better program. It uses less memory and works more smoothly than WindowBlinds (based on my experience on a P4 2.4Ghz 1.25GB RAM PC running WinXP)


CyberHobo reviewed v4.3 on May 11, 2004

Keeps getting better. Have never had a crash with later versions of WindowBlinds. Top-notch, and well maintained. Updates always add improvements, bug fixes, etc. Better yet, go for Object Desktop (also from Stardock). Bravo Zulu!


zephlin reviewed v4.2 on Feb 12, 2004

Great looks! Incompatible with PTBSync atomic time clock synch. Will cause glitches in certain skins and a BIG memory leak. F.Y.I.


geminiz reviewed v4.2 on Jan 22, 2004

StyleXP uses no resource? whahaha...

WindowBlinds is pretty stable and efficient consider the additional eye-candy it enables.
However, it is incompatible with the Microsoft Network Utility that came with my router...


xtool reviewed v4.2 on Dec 16, 2003

StyleXP or WindowBlinds they all cost money but free to try. No matter which one you use they will always eat up your pc/ram. Want to make your desktop/os to look pretty and peachy? Then you have choices. This is Betanews. You come here, try companies/individuals' beta programs/softwares and give comments/feedbacks to help them. Don't come here to bash or dissing them.


Pdj79 reviewed v4.1 on Dec 4, 2003

I don't know where all the Stardock bashers get their info, or what types of computers they use, but it seems to me their only argument isn't that the program doesn't work, its that its way too slow. Well, on my AMD AthlonXP 2600+, this program uses just as much resources as Style XP does. Oooh, Style XP offers a no-resource quaint. But what does it mean? You basically aren't using it. Well, I always run WindowsBlinds. My theme is always on. And, its a hell of a lot more stable than Style XP. Like I give a rat's a** about the ability to "turn the program off". Perhaps if I only had 128 megs of RAM I would see this point, but I make skins, so I need hella RAM for this. Point is, this program is better than what Style XP offers, period. What you lose in resources (and I don't), you more than gain in functionality, content, and stability.


Emily reviewed v4.1 on Oct 23, 2003

WindowBlinds is much better than anything else. It's faster, uses less RAM, has more skins, more features, works on more versions of Windows.


slipkbomb reviewed v4.1 on Aug 29, 2003

Well Stye XP is such much resources need it to run..isnt thast nice..


scottct1 reviewed v4.0 on Apr 16, 2003

This program is listed to work for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/XP/2000 however it only supports WINDOWS XP at this time.


boomdboom reviewed v4.0 on Apr 16, 2003

Great program. I used to hate this program because it was a resource hog. Now it barely uses any resources and works with a lot of programs I couldn't get it to work with before.


toekneec67 reviewed v4.0 on Apr 16, 2003

You have to review version 4 as a new product. And this product kicks ass. It's faster and seems more stable. You can change things for free in XP but you don't get the advatanges of WindowBlinds. You can give themes to every program (multiply themens on the screen at the same time). The list is huge. They have spent a lot of time, money and resources to make this product, it's worth every penny.


wickedsun reviewed v4.0 on Apr 16, 2003

I'm not bashing, but you do realise that you can change your themes (on XP) for free, without the extra ram cost/slow downs.

But if you're into adding buttons to the Windows, and dont care about the speed/memory... Then I guess WindowBlinds does the job.


Tylenol reviewed v4.0 on Apr 15, 2003


Before the Stardock bashers get in here, I beat them to it. Best WB version yet by far. It's amazging how far this program has come.

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