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, 2012 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, 2012 at 3:19
  • I thought Aero was to be removed in final build & it's still present in RP?
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Jul 7, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 6:29

3 Answers 3


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.




  • 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?
    – user541686
    Jul 7, 2012 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, 2012 at 3:55
  • Microsoft might have merged DWM with another service during refactoring though.
    – Phil
    Jul 7, 2012 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). Jul 8, 2012 at 0:07
  • @Mehrdad - "Metro" isn't meant for corporate customers. The traditional desktop is still present in Windows 8.
    – ChrisF
    Sep 27, 2012 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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