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Is Your Windows Theme Not Syncing Properly? Here’s the Fix


Themes are a great way to customize the overall look of your operating system. It’s quite simple to set up a theme in Windows, but there may be times when you run into issues while doing so.


In Windows, users often experience problems syncing themes. Below, we’ve discussed the possible causes and solutions to this issue.


Why Can’t the Windows Theme Sync Itself?

If the Windows theme is having problems syncing, here are a few causes behind it:

  • Your Windows operating system is not configured to remember the preferences you set. This setting must be enabled in the Accounts section of the Settings app to make the changes successfully and maintain them.
  • A generic corruption error can be infecting the system, leading to minor issues like the one at hand. You can run a system scan using built-in Microsoft troubleshooting utilities to fix this issue.
  • The SettingsSyncHost.exe might not be working properly. You can simply restart this service using Task Manager to fix the problem. We have discussed the steps of doing so in detail below.
  • There might be a problem with the theme you are trying to use. It can be incompatible with your system or simply corrupt, which is why it can’t sync.

Having discussed the possible causes of the error, let’s examine the troubleshooting methods that can help you resolve the issue.

1. Check if the Theme Itself Is Causing Issues

The first thing to try is to check if the theme you are trying to sync is the root of your problem.

In some cases, the users ran into problems because their theme was either incompatible or corrupt. In order to determine whether this is the case, you should download another theme and use it. If the theme implements itself successfully, that implies that the one you were previously using was problematic.

2. Restart the SettingsSyncHost.exe Service

If the theme itself is not problematic, then the next thing you should do is restart the SettingsSyncHost.exe service using Task Manager.

This service is responsible for syncing the system settings with your devices. If the SettingsSyncHost.exe process is not working properly, you are likely to run into errors like the one at hand. However, fortunately, a simple restart can resolve the problem in most cases.

Here is how you can restart the SettingsSyncHost.exe process:

  1. Type Task Manager into Windows Search and click Open.
  2. Head to the Processes tab and locate the “Host Process for Settings Synchronization” process.
  3. Right-click on Host Process for Settings Synchronization and choose End task from the context menu.

  4. Once done, restart your PC. Upon reboot, the service will automatically restart. You can then try setting up the targeted theme again and check if the problem is resolved now.

3. Ensure the Syncing Feature Is Enable

In addition, you may be experiencing this problem because the Windows’ sync feature is disabled. If this feature is turned off, Windows will not remember your preferences, causing problems like the themes not syncing.

Here is how you can enable the feature back:

  1. Press Win + I keys together to open Windows Settings.
  2. Choose Accounts from the left pane.
  3. Click on Windows backup.

  4. Locate the Remember my preferences option and turn on the toggle for it.

Once done, you can close the Settings window and check if you are still encountering the problem at hand.

4. Enable Syncing Using the Registry Editor

You can also force-enable the sync feature using the Registry Editor, which is an administrative tool.

If you do not know already, Windows Registry is a database of information about Windows programs and processes. The information here is saved as keys and values, which can be modified to make the desired changes.

To proceed with this method, you will need administrative access to the system. In case you are using a standard user account, switch to the administrator account. We also recommend that you create a Registry backup before you proceed, just to be safe.

Once done, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + R to open Run.
  2. Type regedit in Run and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch the Registry as an administrator.
  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the location mentioned below:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/ SOFTWARE/ Microsoft/ Windows/ CurrentVersion/ Policies/ System
  4. Move to the right side of the window and right-click on an empty space.
  5. Choose the New > DWORD(32-bit) Value option.

  6. Rename this key as NoConnectedUser and double-click on it.
  7. Type 0 under Value data and click Enter.

  8. Once done, close the Registry Editor and restart your PC.

Upon reboot, check if you can now implement the theme successfully.

5. Scan the System for Corruption

As we mentioned earlier, in a few cases, the error was also caused due to corruption errors within the system that were causing the sync feature to act up.

The best way to identify and resolve corruption errors like this is by scanning the system using built-in Microsoft troubleshooting utilities. The two tools we recommend using, in this case, are the System File Checker and DISM.

You can run both utilities using Command Prompt. They will scan the system for potential errors, and resolve those identified without requiring any input from your side. To proceed, make sure you have administrative access to the system.

You can read how to perform both of these scans in our article on the differences between CHKDSK, SFC, and DISM. The scans may take a while, so hang in there till the process is completed.

Sync Your Windows Themes Successfully

Now that you know about the potential causes as well as the solutions to the problem, you can apply the themes successfully. Make sure you only download themes from trusted websites when you’re installing them online. If you do not do so, you may end up installing a corrupt theme that negatively affects your system as a whole.

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