Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to disable Windows 8 basic theme for older apps?

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

    How to disable Windows 8 basic theme for older apps?


    Hey all, firstly a big thanks to this forum for all it's superb tutorials for making Windows 8 usable again

    My question is how can I prevent Windows 8 from applying what looks like the Windows Vista 'Basic' theme to certain apps, namely Adobe CS2 which I've just re-installed since building my new system. The regular Windows 8 theme is applied at launch but as soon as the menu is clicked it reverts to the basic theme.

    Screenshot of the theme at launch:




    And after the menu has been clicked:



    Is this basic theme located somewhere that I could replace with the standard Windows 8 theme, or some other solution?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    Recommend CS6 and to uninstall CS2, for Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)


    I guess that is the expected reply, however I'd like to save myself $600+ on CS6 as I already invested in CS2 and it has served me well over the years.

    Is there any way to replace the basic theme as seen in the OP? Only asked here as this forum is known for it's tweaks to Windows 8 so I was hoping someone would know.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    You'll likely have problems with certain tools with CS2 also.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)


    Anyone else have advice besides upgrading...?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)


    Guess this forum isn't the best place to ask, or no one knows if this is possible.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    Hi Squirrel,

    CS2 on Win8, some have managed to install it, others didn't:
    Adobe Community: is adobe photoshop cs2 compatable with windows 8?

    The newer systems, hardware/software will silently forget about older software in time.
    CS2 isn't fully supported by Win8 but if you already got it working (not looking at basic theme colors and other glitches) that's already a good thing.

    I've seen that window too and if I may guess: the basic theme isn't very common in Win8 but it can relate to graphic acceleration, the program isn't able to use the OS resources / graphics drivers; which it's expected because CS2 is way older and doesn't know who and what the newer software/hardware exactly is. Is either Photoshop guessing the Windows Theme is Basic or is Windows giving Photoshop a hint in using something supported by the program interface.
    Running CS2 with a system and hardware that it's designed for is still the best deal.

    To still use it at the full extent, and if the basic theme still annoys you, try running the CS2 in a virtual machine with a fully compatible OS (Try this in VMWare Player or VirtualBox).

    Until someone proves the contrary, I think it's not possible to disable the 'basic' theme on CS2 sub-window on Windows 8.
    You can try Compatibility Mode for the CS2 programs, you might also test the CS2 in a AeroLite or a High Contrast Win8 Theme as well but there's not too much to expect in this case.

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Hopachi
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)


    Quote Originally Posted by Hopachi View Post
    Hi Squirrel,

    *snip*

    Until someone proves the contrary, I think it's not possible to disable the 'basic' theme on CS2 sub-window on Windows 8.
    You can try Compatibility Mode for the CS2 programs, you might also test the CS2 in a AeroLite or a High Contrast Win8 Theme as well but there's not too much to expect in this case.

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Hopachi
    Thanks for the insightful and informative post, helped to explain much of the problem. I've considered running it in a VM, although space is precious on an SSD.

    Most other apps in the suite display correctly, so the OP was essentially just Photoshop specific. Sometime I'll look to upgrading but in the meantime I'll continue to use CS2 on XP as it works flawlessly.

    Thanks again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    You're welcome, Squirrel.

    Glad I could help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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