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.

  • 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. – user541686 Jul 7 '12 at 3:19
  • I thought Aero was to be removed in final build & it's still present in RP? – Sathyajith Bhat 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... – user541686 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/… – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 8 '12 at 6:29

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.


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




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    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? – user541686 Jul 7 '12 at 3:17
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    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

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:

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