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Turn Off Windows Aero for Performance

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Desktop Enhancement

Windows 7 is certainly pretty, and Aero makes those open desktop windows look even better. But all that pretty takes up computing resources.

If you’ve installed Windows 7 on an older machine, or if you just want your computer to run more efficiently, there are two ways that you can reduce your graphics features. If you combine these methods, you can free up your graphics card to work faster in applications or games.


To deactivate Aero on your desktop, right-click anywhere on the desktop, and then left-click Personalize in the resulting menu.


The Personalization menu contains the various graphics themes you can use on your desktop windows. The default Windows scheme uses Aero, which includes features like translucent window frames. If you want your system to run a bit more efficiently, select the Windows 7 Basic theme, or any of the Windows Classic or High Contrast themes. This will reduce the work your graphics card has to do to run your desktop.

If you want to reduce other graphics features and speed things up even more, you can edit your visual effect in the System Properties menu.


Right-click on the Computer icon and left-click Properties. This will take you to the System Properties menu.


In the task menu on the left, left-click Advanced system settings.


Under the Advanced tab of the resulting menu, find the section marked Performance. Left-click the Settings button to the right of this section.


By default, your visual effects will be set to let Windows choose the best settings. You can experiment with these settings as you wish by clicking Apply each time you change

Some of the bigger resource-hogging effects include fading out menus, animating windows and controls, and visual styles on windows and buttons. Other features, like smoothing screen fonts, are helpful enough (for your eyes especially!) that it’s a good idea to leave them on. A good custom setting may look like this:


Once you have selected the desired settings, click OK to finish. Your desktop and windows may not look as pretty anymore, but for XP users the difference is hard to notice – and your computer will definitely run faster!

~Gregory Pretti

One Response to “Turn Off Windows Aero for Performance”

  1. Robert Wurzburg says:

    Besides turning on Windows Classic, the only other setting you have to change is under ‘Visual Effects’, uncheck “Use visual styles on windows and
    buttons” then your desktop, folders and views will be just like Windows XP.
    You DO NOT have to download the XP Compatibility Pack for Windows 7 to get
    this result. You will still have all the other graphics effects Windows XP
    uses by default this way.

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