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First time this happened to me it was on my personal x64 PC at home. Now it's my work laptop:

When I remote access into my PC, it disables Windows Aero. That's fine, I have no issue there. However, when I end the remote access, it should (and typically does) return me back to my advanced features. However, on these two occasions it decided not to give me back my glass transparency. I restart to no avail. I run the "Find and fix problems with transparency and other visual effects" where I find that I have a process running in the background that I must kill first. However, I've closed out LogMeIn, TeamViewer and Input Director (just for good measure) and it still says something is running. I've checked processes but I see nothing immediately prominent that would indicate said process. Services tab, LogMeIn is stopped, but TeamViewer is still active but I am also unable to stop this, provided this is the issue.

I recall going into safe mode last time this happened but I was still unable to resolve it (not include the fact that safe mode doesn't support Aero to begin with). The only way I've discovered how to solve this is to do a system restore to a previous date, but that can be a pain. Is there a simple registry switch I can change to fix this? Thanks!

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migrated from Nov 5 '11 at 9:26

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

There are multiple places where you can try to enable Aero again:

  • Enable Aero Theme (Desktop -> Personalize -> Window Color and Appearance -> Select "Windows Aero" -> Click "Apply")
  • Enable Desktop Composition (Run: sysdm.cpl -> Tab "Advanced" -> Performance Settings -> Check "Enable desktop composition")
  • Check that the Desktop Window Manager service is running (Control Panel -> Services)

This source also has images showing the dialogs.

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Restarting the Desktop Window Manager (UxSms) service, seems to do it for me – abstrask Aug 21 '13 at 7:15
I came here with a slightly different problem: after using Remote Desktop from home, on my work desktop the Aero window decorations (close button, etc.) often disappear, then are painted when my mouse hovers over their location, then disappear again, etc. Turning desktop composition off and on again seems to solve the problem. – gpvos Sep 9 '13 at 10:10

Windows 7 Aero is known to give lots of trouble when using RDP especially if you have several physical monitors on your remote computer. Try to solve the problem by doing

taskkill /F /IM dwm.exe

net stop uxsms

net start uxsms

Of course, if you are locked out from your remote machine, how could you do that? Try to install cygwin and, when necessary, do ssh to your remote W7 machine, do this maintenance and then RDP.

Often, you would prefer NOT to have Aero running while connecting to the machine from outside, so just do

net stop uxsms

Then, when you are back to use the actual physical monitor of your W7 machine, just do

net start uxsms

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