Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Does anyone know how to disable Aero on Windows 8 (currently Release Preview)?

Note: Contrary to what many places mention, I believe this should still be possible, because you can see it during the installation process! (That is, if you press Shift-F10 at the appropriate stage in the installation, you'll see that Aero is disabled -- the classic borders are there.) I just don't know how.

share|improve this question
    
Try searching for things to do with DWM or desktop window manager - thats the 'proper' name for the process underpinning aero. –  Journeyman Geek Jul 7 '12 at 2:54
    
@JourneymanGeek: Thanks, but I've already searched -- that's how I saw people saying "the code is removed", etc.... and hence my second paragraph. –  Mehrdad Jul 7 '12 at 3:19
    
I thought Aero was to be removed in final build & it's still present in RP? –  Sathya Jul 7 '12 at 14:38
    
@Sathya: It's still in the release preview, yes... but I don't understand how they can "remove" Aero? What will they do, go back to the old interface? Or draw windows without borders? That just doesn't make sense to me... –  Mehrdad Jul 8 '12 at 5:24
    
@Mehrdad Flat borders, much like how you see in Office 2010 / SharepPoint I believe winsupersite.com/content/content/143133/… –  Sathya Jul 8 '12 at 6:29
show 3 more comments

5 Answers

Navigate to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced system settings

Then click Performance -> Settings... Under Visual Effects, select "Adjust for best performance', then click Apply.

This will disable all visual effects associated with the old Aero theme.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Windows 8 isn't supposed to be supporting the aero interface.

http://www.winsupersite.com/article/windows8/windows-8-release-preview-rip-aero-20032012-143133

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227318/Microsoft_dumps_Aero_UI_in_Windows_8_Metro_izes_desktop

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-8-Metro-Aero-Jensen-Harris-Vista,15708.html

share|improve this answer
1  
I can't believe my eyes. Did they just throw corporate customers out the window? How can you do anything productive (Office? Visual Studio? etc.) with Metro? –  Mehrdad Jul 7 '12 at 3:17
1  
Only the Aero theme is ditched, the underlying Desktop Window Manager is still there to provide GPU accelerated rendering. –  Phil Jul 7 '12 at 3:55
    
Microsoft might have merged DWM with another service during refactoring though. –  Phil Jul 7 '12 at 4:01
    
I don't believe you will be restricted to Metro only, but the interface would be minus the transparency effects that make the aero glass theme (so like XP's themes). –  Kevin Scharnhorst Jul 8 '12 at 0:07
    
@Mehrdad - "Metro" isn't meant for corporate customers. The traditional desktop is still present in Windows 8. –  ChrisF Sep 27 '12 at 21:45
show 1 more comment

Another answer is to use this program: http://bertrand.deo.free.fr/TEMP/w8classic.zip

It will disable Aero and restore the classic theme.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
I'm a little scared of actually running this. Is there no way to recover the system if it fails? Could you describe what the code is doing? –  Mehrdad 2 days ago
    
@Mehrdad I would refer you to this thread: forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=113024 Run the program second time to uninstall it. –  Anixx 2 days ago
    
Thanks for the link. Do you know why the program makes registry permission modifications? Are they really necessary, or are they only because the program doesn't have permissions to modify those keys? I'm asking because if it's only for modification permissions, using RegCreateKeyEx would allow us to use REG_OPTION_BACKUP_RESTORE to gain the required permissions without modifying anything. –  Mehrdad 2 days ago
    
@Mehrdad the program writes itself as the shell instead of explorer.exe so that the explorer be run after the classic theme is restored. –  Anixx 2 days ago
    
Yeah, but why does that require changing the key permissions? –  Mehrdad 2 days ago
show 1 more comment

If you're talking about the Windows Classic theme as well as the transparent borders/glass effect of Aero themes, that's gone in Windows 8. Other than that, the 'Aero'/DWM GPU accelerated visuals still remain (and cannot be disabled AFAIK).

Release Preview:

enter image description here

RTM:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
add comment

I am referring you to this post:

http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1300248

In short, it is possible to disable aero in Win8 (just rename "C:\Windows\Resource" folder) but the explorer requires it. So you would need to use another shell.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.