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Windows 7 - How to Turn Off Windows Aero

Windows 7 retains the popular "Aero" visual theme from Windows Vista. It requires a graphics accelerator to run since it provides various advanced visual features such as transparency. While Aero may look nice with its transparent window borders, taskbar thumbnail previews and the fancy Aero program switcher, it also takes up quite a lot of system resources. You can see exactly how much memory Aero is using by opening the Task Manager, clicking the "Processes" tab and looking in the list for "dwm.exe." While Windows 7 vastly improves on the memory usage of Aero over that of Vista, you may still want to disable it to improve performance.

Disabling the Aero theme in Windows 7 is even quicker and easier than it was in Windows Vista. Simply right-click on the desktop and click "Personalize." A list of all of the themes installed on the computer will appear, categorized in the following order: My Themes, Aero Themes, Installed Themes and Basic and High Contrast Themes. Go to the last one and click on "Windows 7 Basic." Aero will be switched off, along with all of its related features as soon as you click the theme preview thumbnail. You'll have the default desktop background and a very basic visual theme. You can always turn Aero on by selecting the "Windows 7" theme in the "Aero Themes" section of the Personalization control panel.


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