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SetSystemVisualStyle (uxtheme)

Epic Andrew is Stupid

Changes System Visual Style

C# Signature:

[DllImport("UxTheme.Dll", EntryPoint = "#65", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)]
public static extern int SetSystemVisualStyle(string pszFilename, string pszColor, string pszSize, int dwReserved);

VB Signature:

<DllImport("UxTheme.DLL", BestFitMapping:=False, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.Winapi, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, EntryPoint:="#65")> _
Shared Function SetSystemVisualStyle(ByVal pszFilename As String, ByVal pszColor As String, ByVal pszSize As String, ByVal dwReserved As Integer) As Integer
End Function

User-Defined Types:




Filename of the .msstyle file containing the VisualStyle


Name of the color scheme you want to use. It has to be valid for the visual style.


Name of the size scheme you want to use. It has to be valid in the visual style.


This is an useful functions that appeared in Windows XP SP2. You can use it for changing the curent Visual Style under Windows XP SP2.

Tips & Tricks:

This functions sets the Visual Style altmost instantaneously and in a persistant way (i.e. the visual style will still be there after a reset)

Sample Code C#:

// This will set your Visual Style to Luna
SetSystemVisualStyle(@"C:\WINDOWS\resources\Themes\Luna\Luna.msstyles", "Metallic", "NormalSize", 0);

Sample Code VB.NET:

SetSystemVisualStyle("C:\WINDOWS\resources\Themes\Luna\Luna.msstyles", "Metallic", "NormalSize", 0)

Alternative Managed API:

Do you know one? Please contribute it!

Related Managed API:

The System.Windows.Forms.VisualStyles namespace allows rendering of various Visual Style elements, which sometimes can be cumbersome if you have alot of elements to work with or just want to keep the code to a minimal (or are on the design team and not the code team). Or you can get the freeware .NET component to place VisualStyleElement parts in the IDE forms designer using the VisualStyleRenderer .NET control. You can

get it at

This is an undocumented function

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