Windows 7 must have thought I wanted to disable Aero to speed up me alt-tabbing in and out of Titanfall, and now it won't give it back to me in a nice easy manner. What I invariably seem to have to do is reselect one of the "blessed" Aero themes then restore my background, Aero tint color, sounds, screensaver, etc. If I click on an Aero theme to preview it, it does work (transparent window borders, Aero peek, improved Alt-Tab, etc.), so it's not that the window session manager service (UxSms) is broken

Personalization window in the Control Panel

How can I replace just the "Windows 7 Basic" color theme with Aero instead of going about it in a circuitous route? Was I supposed to save my theme so I could restore it when Windows chokes on me?

The obvious answer, click the "Windows 7 Basic" option, gives me the useless prompt to customize fonts, colors, etc within the Windows Basic Theme.

Windows Color and Appearance dialog

The "Find and fix problems with transparency and other visual effects" task/job/whatever in the control panel also does nothing:

Also, the technique that fixes Aero after the window manager outright crashes (net stop uxsms, net start uxsms) doesn't work.


1 Answer 1


Try opening cmd as admin and type "net start uxsms" then press "Enter", it should start aero.

  • While that's worked when Windows outright crashes the Aero Window Manager (I ran out of memory once and had to do that), in this case it doesn't work. The Window manager seems to be running, it just seems to think that I want to use the basic color scheme. If I click on one of the "Aero" themes, it does reenable Aero, but all my personalizations are gone.
    – Nick T
    May 5, 2014 at 0:46
  • What if you first disable it with "net stop uxsms" then start it.
    – Martin
    May 5, 2014 at 0:48
  • Nope. I edited question accordingly.
    – Nick T
    May 5, 2014 at 0:49

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