New personalization themes are available for Windows 11 22H2, but only if you customize the Windows 11 registry file with a new key and data value.
With the rollout of Windows 11 22H2, Microsoft has added or improved numerous features in its operating system. The process of pushing 22H2 to everyone Windows 11 customers was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, but while you should have already received the update, you’re probably still missing some interesting personalization features and themes.
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Windows 11 22H2 added several new and free personalization themes and wallpapers to the available catalog for students who Windows 11 Education edition of the operating system. Despite their educational designation, these new themes are available to anyone using a Windows 11 version.
All users can access these new themes if they know how to modify the Windows 11 registry file by adding a specific new key. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to enable new personalization themes in Windows 11 22H2.
Enable hidden personalization themes in Windows 11 22H2
When you open the Windows 11 Settings app and navigate to the Personalization entry in the left navigation bar, you will see a group of default themes. Image A shows the baseline Windows 11 22H2 group of themes.
Make edits to the Windows 11 registry file
To begin with, I want to emphasize that editing the Windows registry file is a serious undertaking. A damaged Windows registry file can render your computer unusable, requiring a reinstallation of the Windows operating system and possible data loss. Before proceeding, backup the Windows registry file and create a valid restore point for additional data protection.
Let’s start. To make our edits to the Windows 11 Registry file, we’ll type “regedit” into the Windows 11 search function. From the results, choose the Regedit app, then use the left pane to navigate to this key, as shown in Figure B:
Set up new keys and values
Now it’s time to create a new key. Right-click the Device key and select New | Key from the context menu. Name the new key Education, as shown in Figure C:
Now let’s create a new value in the Education key you just created. Right-click the education test and select New | DWORD (32-bit) Value from the context menu. Name the new value EnableEduThemes, as shown in Figure D.
Finally, double-click EnableEduThemes and change the value data to “1”, which will enable the setting shown in Figures E. Click OK and then exit Registry Editor. You must restart your computer to complete the process.
How to access and use personalization themes in Windows 11
Windows 11 downloads your new themes in the background when you are connected to the internet. Depending on your connection speed, network traffic, and other factors, the process may take a few minutes, so be patient.
When the download is complete and you navigate to Settings | Personalization, you have several new personalization themes to choose from for your desktop.
On a side note, there are dozens of other free themes available in the Microsoft Store as well, as shown in Figure F:
These desktop themes allow you to personalize Windows 11 based on many different interests, including seasonal and holiday themes. Click the Browse Themes button on Personalization | Theme settings page to view the list.
If you ever want to disable education themes, just delete the education key you created.
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