Turn Off Windows Aero

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In case you don’t know, Windows Aero is the new interface and design that Microsoft introduced with the Windows Vista operating system. This new design is also used in Windows 7. The changes made in the Aero interface affected many elements of Windows and how it functions. The main component of Aero is Aero Glass. Aero Glass is what gives Windows its new glassy look and feel.

The Aero user interface definitely makes Windows 7 (and Vista) look better. However, it can really slow Windows 7 down, especially if your computer can barely handle running Windows. The Aero user interface really taxes your graphics card and your CPU. If you need the extra speed boost, then it is not a bad idea to turn off Windows Aero.

Turning off Windows Aero is very simple. Let’s take a look:

  • First, right Click on your Desktop and select “Personalize”. Click the Window Color Tab.
  • Uncheck the Box that says “Enable Transparency” and then click on “Open classic appearance properties for more color options”.
  • Next, a window will open up. Apply either the Standard or Basic theme from it. We would recommend the Standard Windows 7 theme.
  • Apply or Save your changes and you are all set.

At this point, Windows Aero should be disabled and hopefully you notice a small speed increase. If you want to turn on Windows Aero, you can simple follow the above steps in reverse order.

One more thing to note is that Windows 8 ditched the Aero theme for a theme they call Metro. So, the steps above only apply to Windows 7 and Vista. Unfortunately, turning off the Metro theme in Windows 8 is much more difficult than disabling Aero. You essentially have to setup your desktop with icons, force Windows to boot straight to desktop, and then create a custom shut down button. Here is an article from PCWorld that details how to do all of this.

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