Theme Deployment GPO

I have created a theme (basically just wallpaper) I right click and save the theme and the them e appears in %localappdata%\Microsoft\windows\themes, when I copy to another PC (as a test) the background is black, what am I missing?

I want to be able to copy the files to the correct location via GPO and then set as the default theme for new users.

Can someone help?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:

Here are some guides on how to accomplish that:


On how to set the GPO

Specify the default theme

I hope this helps.

kwatt562Author Commented:
Thanks, setting the theme doesn't seem to be the issue
I have the GPO setup to set this theme as default for new users

The issue I have is getting all the files I need, as the background is black when the theme is copied to the PC.
David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:
Did you check on this folder C:\Windows\Resources\Theme if your theme is there?

You also can configure the theme that you want, next go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Personalization right click on the them and save theme for sharing, this will create a folder with all files on the

Let us now if helped.
HTML5 and CSS3 Fundamentals

Build a website from the ground up by first learning the fundamentals of HTML5 and CSS3, the two popular programming languages used to present content online. HTML deals with fonts, colors, graphics, and hyperlinks, while CSS describes how HTML elements are to be displayed.

kwatt562Author Commented:
Tried to do that too, it creates .themepack rather than a .theme file, that doesn't work either :(
David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:
When you said you are trying to set the GPO is through a domain policies?

When you create the wallpaper, what was the file extension?


I have a bmp file that I want to set as a wallpaper.

Through GPO I enforce it to all my desktops on my domain, but in my %localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes that file doesn´t show as a wallpaper.bmp it shows as wallpaper.theme

So if you want to give it a try do the following:

1º  Create a a bmp or jpeg file for your wallpaper, then save it to a shared folder
2º  Create or edit the GPO and add the file path to the Desktop Wallpaper ( \\mysharedfolder\wallpaper.bmp), don´t forget to stretch it)

3º On the new client do a gpupdate /force and reboot it.
4º On the new client open the command line and do a gpresult /H GPreport.html
5º Open gpresult /H GPreport.html file and see if the Desktop Wallpaper is being apply

kwatt562Author Commented:
Yeah its through domain policies, when I save the theme it saves as a .theme. I do have the wallpaper as a .jpg, however I opted for theme as I am not allowed to lock down the background (have to give the user the option to change it)
David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:
Microsoft says that "The "Load a specific theme" Group Policy setting is not applied correctly on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2"

And for that you need to run this hotfix ->Hotfix

Take a look on the link and see if it´s similar to your case.
kwatt562Author Commented:
Thanks, but I don't think this is the issue, as the policy for setting the theme as default isn't the issue I'm having, the problem is that I cannot get the files to work on another PC (either by pushing via GPO or by manually adding) Can I ask is there an easier way to deploy a wallpaper to a PC that is not locked down?
David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:

then you have:

Default -> Value not set

Wallpaper -> path to where is the wallpaper file (\\something\wallpaper or

WallpaperStyle -> 2

You can also tweak the registry by GPO, for that you have to go to:
Computer Configuration - Preferences - Windows Settings - Registry - right click new item
Group Policy Managment Editor
Hope this can help you solve the problem.

kwatt562Author Commented:
as its a policy does that lock the wallpaper?
David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:
No. That policy is just do edit the registry Key for the wallpaper
kwatt562Author Commented:
thanks I tested it, it locks the wallpaper down (unable to change the picture)
David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:
That Shouldn´t happen. But if you want to change to enable Confirm if you have this:


If not create them and put the value mention above
David Paris VicenteInfrastructure DesignerCommented:
But you also can change the policy by disabling the prevent change desktop...

Like this pic ->GPO
kwatt562Author Commented:
Thanks, I created those DWORD values and keys, but the wallpaper is still locked :(
kwatt562Author Commented:
Sorry I don't think this will work, can we just go back and look at themes
The issue I have is that .themepack files don't seem to be able to be pushed via GPO

If I save my theme as a .theme, it creates the .theme file in %localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\themename.theme

the created .theme file doesn't contain the actual jpg file, a jpg is created in %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\ called TRanscoded_wallpaper.jpg

I don't understand how they link when pushed via GPO and where the files need to go, very confused!
kwatt562Author Commented:
OK figured this out
If you save as a .theme file, then open the .theme in notepad, it will show the links to files including your jpg image.

So I ended up copying the .theme file to system32 (hardcoded to locate the jpg in system32)
then copied the jpg to system32 via GPO

Then its just a case of setting the GPO to point to that .theme file and it works

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
kwatt562Author Commented:
figured out how .theme files work in terms of the files they contain and how they look for files that are part of the theme (through opening the theme in notepad)
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 7

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.