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Prevent Themes from Changing Desktop Icons and Mouse Cursors

A theme file can contain references to custom Visual Styles, namespace icons, mouse pointers, window metrics, colors and other visual elements. If you wish to preserve the existing icons for the namespace items such as Computer, Documents, Recycle Bin, Network etc, you can change a setting so that applying a custom theme does not affect the existing desktop icons and mouse cursors.

Lock down the desktop icons during theme change

Right-click on the Desktop and choose Personalize

Click the Change desktop icons link in the left pane

Note: Alternately, you can use the following command to launch this dialog, which works in Windows 7 through Windows 10.

control desk.cpl,,0

Uncheck the following option and click OK

Allow themes to change desktop icons

Lock down the mouse pointers during theme change

Right-click on the Desktop and choose Personalize

Click the Change mouse pointers link in the left pane

Uncheck the following option and click OK

Allow themes to change mouse pointers

The above settings apply to all versions of Windows, including Windows 10.

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