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Disable Aero (permanently or temporarily) in Windows 7

Disable Aero (permanently or temporarily) in Windows 7

In Windows Vista and Windows 7, Luna's old interface has been replaced with a new default theme / interface, called Aero. Aero uses a number of features, such as translucent windows and title bars, live thumbnails and other special effects to create a more pleasant user experience.

The problem with Aero (and other compositing window managers) which is quite heavy in terms of resources. This means that computer users with low-power graphics cards, or who want to squeeze every frame of performance from their system (important for example when playing games), may want to disable Aero, temporarily if not permanently.

Fortunately, eliminating many of the resource hogging features isn't too difficult. Below you will find two ways to get rid of Aero, one that disables it completely and one that disables it based on individual applications.

Turn off Aero completely

To use Windows 7 on a daily basis without Aero, first open the Personalization control panel. To do this, right-click somewhere on the desktop, then select the option Customize, which is located at the bottom of the context menu.

Once the Personalization control panel loads, click on the option Window color blue located at the bottom of the window.

Now just make sure the box Enable Transparency is not checked.

After doing so, click the button Save Changes to make sure your changes are not lost.

You should now have opaque windows, as well as window previews and a non-transparent taskbar, as shown below. Compare with the first screenshot to see the changes.

Obviously, you don't necessarily want to disable these features all the time. Sometimes, you just want them to go out when you need the extra power for something else, like games. In this case, we will show you how to temporarily disable processor-intensive Aero effects.

Temporarily disable Aero

This is actually a little faster, since we're only adjusting the applications we want to run without Aero. Unless you make the changes shown below, your computer will operate normally. When you start a modified application with this process, however, Aero shuts down until the program closes.

The first step is to find the launcher for your program. Then right click and choose the option properties from the bottom of the menu.

When the Properties window loads, click to view the tab Compatibility .

Now click on the checkbox Turn off desktop composition . This will shut down Aero, but again, only when this particular application is launched.

Finally, click on the button apply to save the changes to your launcher.

Nothing will change when you do, but the next time you start the application, Aero will be temporarily disabled, just as you wanted it.