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How to Turn off Windows Aero: To Speed Up Windows 7

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If your computer is not performing as fast as it should be, you can do some quick fixes to speed things up a bit. One of them is turning off the Windows Aero theme.

Introduced in Windows Vista, this new experience focused on providing an elegant user experience for the Windows environment. Most modern systems can run Aero, but older systems can struggle to keep up with the graphical demands of Aero, resulting in a slower computer.

The best thing to do in such scenarios is to turn off the Windows Aero Glass theme. Doing this is very simple, just right-click your Desktop then click Personalize

Turn off Aero

Turning off Aero

This will open the Personalize Control Panel item which includes a variety of tools and options for customizing your Windows user experience.

Windows 7 Personalization Settings

Windows 7 Personalize Settings

Windows 7 includes three types of themes: Aero Glass, Basic and High Contrast themes. Aero Glass is the premier theme that includes effects such as semi-transparency of window border along with the ability to utilize desktop effects such as Aero Peek, Snaps, Taskbar Thumbnail Previews and others such as Flip 3D. Aero Glass requires that you have a GPU (graphical processing unit otherwise known as your video card) powerful enough to compose the desktop. To run Aero Glass, you need a video card that supports DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.

If you don’t meet the requirements to run Aero Glass, it doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot run Windows 7. Many older computers work just fine with the Windows Aero Basic theme which provides some of the features of Windows 7, but not the more visually stunning aspects such as the semi-transparency.

If your computer is capable of running Windows 7 Aero Glass, but performs slow, you can turn off some visual embellishments to improve the speed of the interface. To do this, click Start, type: Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows

Hit Enter on your keyboard

Adjust performance in Windows 7

Adjust performance in Windows 7

Select the Visual Effects tab

Here you will see a number of options available for you to choose from. You have Windows choose the best experience or you adjust according your hardware capabilities. You can even select the Custom option and uncheck options that can give you more speed while still enjoying the benefits of the Aero Glass user experience.

Additional Resources

Making Windows 7 Your Own: Personalization and Themes

2 Comments

  1. Make this easier to use please

    July 18, 2011 at 12:05 am

    This works great. But if I want to do the same thing a week from now, it’s hard to remember. Especially the part where I have to type “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows” in the Start Menu. That’s a long phrase to remember and keep in memory for such a simple task.

    Is there a folder or shortcut in Control Panel where there’s a direct link to this? Even better if we can drag the shortcut to the desktop or taskbar.

  2. Make this easier to use please

    July 18, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Yeah, I spoke to soon.

    After the “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows” window appears, right-click it in the taskbar and select “Pin this program to the taskbar.

    This is sooo hard!!!

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