Windows 11's 2022 Update includes new hidden desktop themes, here's how to enable them

What you need to know

  • The Windows 11 2022 Update includes a selection of hidden desktop themes
  • The themes were designed for students running Windows 11 SE, and include planetary and abstract wallpapers.
  • They can be enabled on any version of Windows 11. Here's how! 

The latest Windows 11 2022 Update ships with a number of new features and enhancements, including things like folders in Start, tabs in File Explorer, and drag and drop on the Taskbar to name a few. In addition to all the new features we know about officially, there's always one or two new features or additions that sneak in unnoticed.

One such addition with the Windows 11 2022 update is the inclusion of a set of new desktop themes that were originally designed for students running Windows 11 SE. These themes include colorful planetary and abstract wallpapers that fit Windows 11's design and aesthetic very nicely. 

The good news is these themes can be enabled on any PC running Windows 11, whether that be Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro, or even Windows 11 Enterprise. If you'd like to enable the new themes to try them out, here's how to do it:

Enable hidden education themes in Windows 11

(Image credit: Future)
  • Press Win+R on your keyboard
  • Type "regedit" and select OK
  • Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PolicyManager\current\device"
  • Right-click the "device" folder and select New > Key
  • Name the new key "Education"
  • Inside the new Education key, right-click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
  • Name the DWORD "EnableEduThemes"
  • Double-click the DWORD and set its value to 1.
  • Restart your computer.

After following the steps above, should begin to automatically download the additional themes in the background, but you might have to wait a short while for that process to complete. One they're installed, you can apply the new themes by navigating to the Settings app and selecting Personalization > Themes.

Thanks to @PhantomOfEarth for spotting this!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads