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These days ‘Going Retro’ is all over the place. Fashion, home design, artwork etc. If you’re all Retro Fan, or just feeling nostalgic,  by all means read on.

If you’ve been around computers a while, you should remember the good (well not good perhaps, but) old Windows 98. Back in the days a great piece of software. For the savvy home user, Windows 98 came with a really great enhancement: Windows 98 Plus! Which (if memory serves me right) had to be bought separately.

The Plus! pack was a set of themes to edit the appearance of your windows by changing the system colors, icons and screensavers – fun fun fun.

With Windows going on 8 we are getting used to the idea of changing themes and the graphic layout of our computer, but back then… this was as high-tech as we could get. Funny thing is – these “enhancements” still works today – on your Windows 7.

So if you feel like going Retro, or simply have a stroll down memory lane…

Windows 98 Plus!

First off the credits for this should go to a guy called, AnsonSterling over at Deviant Art. He was messing about on his old Windows 98 Computer (which I’m amazed are still existing, and working) and decided to copy the Plus Theme Control Applet onto his Windows 7.

Amazingly enough they worked. How’s that for Backward compatibility, Steve? [Editors Note: Steve Jobs, Apple].

There are a few steps to get it working, but here’s how:

  1. Download the Plus! Theme Pack (Click here!)
  2. Unpack The folder to your Desktop. It is important that you keep it here.
  3. In the Plus! Folder, Right-Click the file called: Themes.exe and choose Properties.
  4. Click on the compatibility Tab and check “Run this program in compatibility mode”.
  5. Choose Windows 98, and Click Apply, then OK
  6. Double Click Themes.exe and choose your theme.

Preview before “buying”

Don’t worry It’s all free. I just had to come up with a clever headline.

The Theme Application includes a preview function on most settings available. Making it safe to flash back without messing with your setup. The only thing that Didn’t work on my computer was the ScreenSaver settings. I suspect it is because the screensavers aren’t included in the download. Other than that – you get it all, poor 16-bit icons, tacky colors and terrible sound effects – all of which was very “HIP” back then.



About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

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11 thoughts on “Going Retro, using Windows 98 Plus! Themes”

  1. Chansheung says:

    Hi Richie
    That's really HIP

  2. Just a Guest says:

    I have to confess…we have 3 home computers. My 2nd one – running win 98 plus, his old one – running Win 2000 and our new one, running windows 7. Both old computers still work perfectly, we decided to upgrade due to issues connecting to the internet with upgrades to explorer and the speed issues…plus new technology is just way cool. I had never thought about using the old 98 plus themes on the new one, lol. I just go to my dining room table and there they are on the computer that I call Bessie. Just now learning 7, but so far – loving it. What a jump in technology for us. Enjoying all of the different articles here.

  3. A_freeman says:

    I still have a boxed copy of win 98 plus.

  4. burger414 says:

    my only question is… how do you get the startup sounds to work for each theme? When I boot up the computer, and the desktop comes up, it plays the Windows 7 sound. When I uncheck it in my sound configuration, it just play anything.

  5. Thomas_mintywhite says:

    Hi Burger,
    My guess is that you have to manually change your startup sound in the Sounds Control panel.
    Type 'SOUNDS' in the Start Menu Search bar and click on “Change System sounds”. And from there locate the sound you want at boot up time.

  6. Pjacobs says:

    i can down load screen savers but they don’t come up it sows up on my favorites but not on my screen i have a hp notebook

  7. Christopher Hedge Jr. says:

    The startup sound won’t appear in the program. I willkeep it thought since you only have all the other sounds

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