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The best Windows 11 themes

As the beta version of Windows 11 continues ahead of the official release roll-out beginning on October 5, Windows Insiders are finding more ways to make the new Windows OS more personalized. Part of that is easy, thanks to Microsoft bringing back widgets for the home screen and making the start menu more customizable. For this guide, we’re taking a look at another type of customization users love to experiment with — Windows themes! Below, you will find some of our current favorites for the Windows 11 OS and why we enjoy them.

Explore native Windows 11 themes first

The Windows 11 sunrise theme.
Via: Reddit/u/archimedeancrystal

Windows 11 itself represents a significant change in design, exchanging the Windows 10 look for more rounded edges, less-crowded menu screens, and a streamlined, friendly appearance. Part of this design includes new themes specifically made for Windows 11, and we suggest starting your theme search here. These themes are expertly designed, don’t require any additional downloads, and look great.

The default theme you may have seen in early Windows 11 screenshots is called Flow. Our favorites are Glow, an eclipse-like package that cycles through various hues, and Sunrise, which offers a selection of tundra-based sunrise photographs. You can find them by going to Personalization, then Themes in Windows 11. Take a look at all of them to see which ones you click with the most.

Keep in mind that Windows 11 also has a separate dark mode that you can enable if you prefer, in addition to choosing your visual theme. You can also set your own wallpapers with the Custom Theme option, which allows you to choose a background picture and customize highlight colors to match, a strong choice for those who want to put some work into a specialized theme.

MacOS Monterey SkinPack

The MacOS Monterey SkinPack for Windows.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Windows fans have already commented that Windows 11 seems to embrace some of the interface design cues from MacOS. If you really enjoy Apple’s approach to a simplified UI and wish Windows was even more like that, this SkinPack is the way to go. It’s specifically made with colors and highlights to imitate MacOS Monterey and even includes overhauls of the taskbar and icons to resemble MacOS content.

The pack may go a little too far for some Windows users, but if you enjoy the file and folder system of MacOS or you are working on switching from MacOS to a Windows operating system, there’s a lot to appreciate here.

Ubuntu Light SkinPack

The Ubuntu Light SkinPack for Windows.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

On the other hand, maybe you prefer the Linux-based looks of Ubuntu and would feel right at home if Windows 11 could look more like that open-source framework. In that case, this Ubuntu Light SkinPack is just the pick for you. The traditional menu design, left-side vertical taskbar, and classic icons are all here, letting Ubuntu users adopt Windows 11 with ease while improving navigation for those who are already speedy on Ubuntu.

Animals in Autumn theme

Microsoft's Animals in Autumn Theme for Windows.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Microsoft Store does have its own collection of themes, generally a set of themed pictures that you can use as a rotating wallpaper theme (also handy for creating a custom theme in Windows 11). They may have been made for Windows 10 but are entirely compatible with Windows 11 and allow you to pick your favorite background subjects. This Animals in Autumn set is one of our favorites to celebrate the season — even if it isn’t fall — with appropriate imagery, from elk and chipmunks to happy doggos playing in the leaves.

Polar Animals theme

Microsoft's Polar Animals Theme for Windows.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This animals-in-the-snow theme is an ideal choice for celebrating the cold and beautiful side of nature. If you’re a fan of snow leopards, polar bears, snowshoe hares, and other animals that love to live in icy biomes, you’ll instantly appreciate this well-crafted theme.

Take a Moment theme

Microsoft's Take a Moment Theme for Windows.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Take a Moment theme includes serene images of humans interacting with nature, providing a Zen-like respite for your home screen. Whether it’s a cyclist on a forest road, a hand running through a stream, or a tent perched in Patagonia, every image is designed to invoke the same kind of connection to the beauty of the world.

Windows Nostalgia Bliss

The Windows Nostalgia Bliss wallpaper.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For long-time Windows users, the famous Windows XP Bliss wallpaper may be the height of Windows themes. If you’ve never found anything to surpass that original green meadow and blue sky, you’re in luck: This wallpaper offers an updated version that’s compatible with operating systems like Windows 11. Make it part of a customized theme to tweak other highlights accordingly and enjoy the past in the present!

The Windows 3D theme

A background from the The Windows 3D Theme.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This 3D theme was a popular choice for Windows 10 and remains a solid option for Windows 11 as well, especially if you enjoy 3D modeling. While there’s nothing especially mind-blowing here — it’s a very solid set of creative images that show just what 3D editing is capable of without being too intrusive on your Windows 11 experience.

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