How to make your Windows XP look like a Mac

So, am I turning into a techie? Ye Gads! No!

But I would like to add my 2 cents to all those people out there who are looking (just like I was) for a better way to convert the looks of Windows XP (SP3) so that it looks like a Mac.

The best way is to get a Mac – but the cost was too much for me, so I went around looking for the next best thing. And why, you would ask, did I embark on such a mission?

Well, of course, the main reason is because this was what I wanted. The second reason being that I was unwell – having been struck down by one thing and the other – including a heavily sprained ankle (while fully swollen it was the size of a large tomato). This blog post is the result of all that time pass.

But there is something I want to say before you begin – DO ALL THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY GOOF-UPS HAPPENING TO YOUR SYSTEM BECAUSE OF THIS. I HAVE ALSO DONE A LOT OF RnD TO GET THIS GOING AND I SUGGEST THAT YOU TOO DO THE SAME BEFORE YOU EMBARK ON THIS MISSION. THE CONSEQUENCES ARE NOT MINE. I CAN’T HELP YOU. IN FACT I AM NOT IN ANY POSITION TO HELP / GUIDE / ADVISE ANYONE REGARDING THIS. I TOO HAVE GATHERED INFO FROM HERE AND THERE ON THE NET AND AM PRESENTING THIS HERE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

So let’s get down to business shall we?

First let’s take care of the downloading bit.

Download a free software called FlyakiteOSX from
Download UX Theme Patcher for SP3 Or download the UX Theme Patcher for SP2
Download the Tiger theme for UX Theme Patcher
Download a free software called Winflip
Download a free software called Vista Virtual Desktop
Download the latest .Net Framework from Windows
Download a free software called True Transparency
Download the Leopard XP True Transparency Skin
Download RocketDock
Download Mac and Leopard Icons

Store all these downloads in relevant folders as per your desire.

Now unzip / unrar them as required.

Now follow these steps.

Right Click on your windows taskbar and uncheck the ‘Lock the Taskbar’ option. Then, drag the taskbar to the top of your desktop and then right click on the taskbar and check the ‘Lock the Taskbar’ option to lock it in place.

Now run your UX Theme Patcher exe to patch the uxtheme.dll in your Windows XP. Then reboot your computer.

Then copy the Tiger theme folder in this folder: C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

Then, on your desktop, right click and click the ‘Properties’ option and go to the ‘Appearance’ Tab. There select ‘Tiger’ under ‘Windows and Buttons’ and select the color scheme and font that you like. Click on Apply or OK. Wait and see the theme change.

OK. We are not done yet. Not by a long shot. But we are almost there! Now install RocketDock and drag and drop all your desktop shortcuts onto the dock. Make the desktop neat and clean. You can even search for something called as a ‘Stacks Docklet’ on RocketDock’s site and simply unzip / unrar the file into the Plugins folder in C:\Program Files \ Rocket Dock. Copy your Mac icons into the Icons folder in the same manner. Now Add a stacks docklet on to your dock and let it point to any folder you like. The icons will appear like the Leopard Stacks. You can even select the appearance of the icons – either they can appear as a fan or a grid. I like Rocket Dock compared to the other docks out there because – the file size is small to download and it doesn’t hog my RAM like other programs.

OK, now we have the basics set up. Now install Flyakite. It is a great program which lets you choose the things you want to install. Have a look at what all is offered and choose what you like. Make sure you don’t choose to have it install the MS Office files because once you un-install it, it screws up the look of your MS Office icons. You can choose to install the common stuff like the logon and logout screens and the common file types and ubericon and color folders bit. I like all those. Rest all are your options. Choose well.

Now install Yahoo! Widgets and link it to the Dashboard icon on the dock. Install the widgets you like – make sure you include the Stickies and the Weather widgets. There are many more on the Yahoo! Widgets site – choose what you like. Have fun!

Now, install the .Net framework because you will need that for Vista Virtual Desktop to run properly.

Now install Vista Virtual Desktop. You will see its icon in your system tray. Right click on it and choose options. This is absolutely essential – go to the Hotkeys tab and uncheck all the hotkeys. Then on the first tab uncheck the mini toolbar and check the option to show the mini preview when you move your mouse over the icon. Then tweak the rest of the options as per your desire. Also, in the appropriate tab select to run this program when Windows starts. Also in the programs tab you have to choose which programs run through all the desktops – for example I want my Yahoo! Widgets and Rocket Dock to run in all the virtual desktops I have, so I have added those programs to the list. To get the name of the exe, just click control-alt-delete to get your Task Manager up and type in the name of the program along with the .exe extension and add it. [*The reason we do all this is because the hotkey previews are very difficult to get out of and its dreadful. Doing this makes life easier.*]

Now we are close to finishing. Install Winflip. Again right click on the icon in the system tray and choose options and tweak it as per your desire.

Finally, copy the Leopard XP skin folder for True Transparency in the folder called skin where you have unzipped True Transparency. Then run the exe and right click on that icon in the system tray to select the Leopard Skin. The windows Open, Close and Minimize, Maximize buttons move to the left (just like in a Mac). [*A bit of advice here – if you have Office 2007 installed on your XP, then TT may give you some issues. So you may choose to not run it if you want. I don’t know how it behaves with Office 2003 – coz I haven’t tried. Open Office reacts ok to this software though.*]

So there you go. You are all done!

Here are a few screenshots of my desktop with all these bells and whistles. Check it out!

The Screen

The Dock

Icons in Fan Selection for Stacks

Icons in Grid Selection for Stacks

The Taskbar

Yahoo! Widgets (in Heads-Up view)

Vista Virtual Desktop

Winflip effect

True Transparency (Note how the titlebar icons move to the left like in a Mac)

Oh yes! And enjoy the new Mac look for your Windows XP desktop!

One thought on “How to make your Windows XP look like a Mac

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just download RocketDock and FlyakiteOSX and it looks good enough to me :).

    Like

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