Themes Service Defaults in Windows XP

Provides user experience theme management.

Default Settings

Startup type: Automatic
Display name:Themes
Service name:Themes
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Path:%SystemRoot%\System32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Themes

Default Behavior

Themes is a Win32 service. In Windows XP it is starting automatically along with the operating system. Then the Themes service is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of svchost.exe. Other services and drivers are allowed to run in the same process. If the Themes fails to start, the technical information about the error is added to the Event Log. Windows XP startup should proceed, but a message box should be displayed informing the user that the Themes service has failed to start.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Themes

1. Run the Command Prompt.

2. Copy the commands below, paste them into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config Themes start= auto
sc start Themes

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The Themes service is using the shsvcs.dll file that is located in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows XP installation media.