How to enable Aero in Vista ?

Guest Author
If you have a

Windows Vista Capable PC
and would like to experience

Windows Aero
(translucent windows, windows flip, windows flip 3d and smooth
window performance) on Vista Ultimate, then:

  • Go to Control Panel

  • Select Personalization

  • Select Window Color and Appearance

  • Choose Windows Aero in Color scheme.

Read more about the

4 tiers of user interface in Vista

If you have

Vista Premium Ready PC
and you install Vista, then Aero will be
automatically configured on your machine. Here are the requirements for such a

  • a 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

  • 1 gigabyte of system memory

  • a DirectX 9 compatible graphics processor, with a Windows Display Driver

    Model (WDDM) driver, and a minimum of 64 MB of Video RAM

  • 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free space

  • DVD-ROM Drive

  • audio output and Internet access

aero glass


Join the discussion

Comments ( 55 )
  • Charbel Saad Wednesday, May 2, 2007
    Well I have a Sony VAIO VGN-BX561B Notebook, and it is a Vista Capable PC, but I can't find the Windows Aero option in the Control Panel. Any ideas?
    System Information:
    Motherboard: VGN-BX561B
    Basic I/O System(BIOS): Ver 1.00PARTTBLx
    Central Processing Unit(CPU): Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.73GHz
    Physical Memory: 512MB
    Hard Disk X 3
    TOSHIBA MK4032GSX ATA Device (37GB)
    Video Card X 2
    Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Chipset Family (Microsoft Corporation - XDDM)
    Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Chipset Family (Microsoft Corporation - XDDM)
    Monitor X 2
    Generic PnP Monitor
    Generic PnP Monitor
    Audio Device: Realtek High Definition Audio
    Network Adapter
    Local Area Connection - Marvell Yukon 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Media disconnected)
    Wireless Network Connection - Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection (Connected)
    Modem: HDAUDIO SoftV92 Data Fax Modem with SmartCP
    Keyboard: Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
    Mouse: Alps Pointing-device for VAIO
  • Arun Gupta Wednesday, May 2, 2007
    I updated the entry, one step was missing. Control Panel -> Personalization -> Window Color & Appearance -> Windows Aero.
    Can you look at it and see if it works this time ?
  • Charbel Saad Saturday, May 5, 2007
    I looked in the Appearance Settings, all that I can see is:
    - Windows Vista Basic
    - Windows Standard
    - Windows Classic
    - High Contrast White
    - High Contrast Black
    - High Contrast #2
    - High Contrast #1
    No Windows Aero.
    ( I have recently reinstalled Windows Vista Ultimate and the problem is still the same )
    Thanks for your help.
  • Karthik Sunday, May 6, 2007
    You cannot have aero experience with a 915/910 chipset. These are XPDM and Aero tech. needs WDDM.... see intel site for details.
  • Charbel Saad Monday, May 7, 2007
    Well thank you for taking some time to answer my question, but I'm a bit ignorant about a notebook hardware. So, if you can just tell me what should I do to run Aero on my VAIO Notebook. If it includes upgrades or whatever, just if you can give me all the details. And thank you again.
  • mbdtech Thursday, June 28, 2007
    you cannot run the aero theme on the 915 chipset, which a lot of laptops upgrading from xp to vista are using. you can't upgrade the hardware either. my toshiba is the 915 chip as well and pretty much you're stuck unless you want a new laptop.
  • gareth Sunday, July 29, 2007
    hi i have a intel pentium d 3.0 ghz ,x1550 radeon pci graphics card and 2.0 ghz ov memory i did have aero on my pc but now it seems to have gone lol i look on my personilization window but all it says is basic it seems to have disappeared any ideas of how i can bring it bck with out a full reinstall.
    thx gareth.
  • digital_sc4rz Monday, July 30, 2007
    My aero dissppeared aswell so i removed the graphics driver from device manager and then rebooted and reinstalled the driver again - All is working :)
    Regards digital_sc4rz
  • Sim Friday, August 3, 2007
    Hi,iv been having a problem with my aero ,As i'am using an Asus A7VT;previously i had to format my PC due to a nasty Jeffo virus.I formatted my PC and upgraded from xp to Vista Home Premium.When i did i lost many thing such as sound and graphics device.I re-installed my Soundcard! But i did find a Graphic device but it didn't support Aero i have been looking all over for a graphic device which can be compatible with my PC and Vista Home Premium.
    My Asus A7VT
    Terminator 1 A7VT

    AMD Duron & Athlon XP 3000+ (Thoroughbred / Barton)
    AMD Sempron (FSB333 only)
    333/266/200 MHz FSB

    North Bridge: VIA KM266 Pro
    South Bridge: VT8235CE

    2 x DIMM
    Support max. 2GB
    Expansion Slots

    1 x PCI
    1 x AGP 4X

    VIA UniChrome Graphics Integrated

    2 x ATA 100


    10/100 Mbps

    ADI AD 1888
    6 Channel Codec
    Dimension (mm) W x H x D

    181 x 275 x 300
    Drive Bays

    2 x 3.5"
    1 x 5.25"
    Front Panel

    2 x USB 2.0
    1 x Microphone
    1 x Headphone
    Rear Panel

    2 x USB2.0
    1 x Line-in/Line-out/Mic-in
    1 x PS/2 Keyboard
    1 x PS/2 Mouse
    1 x Parallel Port
    1 x D-sub (VGA Out)
    1 x Game / MIDI
    1 x RJ45 LAN
    1 x Serial Port
    Power Supply

    165 W (PFC/none PFC)
    O/S Support

    Window 2000/XP
    Key Features

    TriOptix Form Factor
    Swivel Design
  • nix Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    hey when i first bought the notebook i had that start + tab option which enables the 3d flip, somehow i think i played with the settings and i no longer have the flip thingy, someone help me please, i very used to my previous keyboard which position is now currently in the position of my start and tab.

  • Claire Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Please Help!

    Ive updated my PC to Vista ultimate but I still cant get the glass effect.

    When the update was running all windows had the effect, but now i just dont have them.

    Please help! I have no idea what im doing and Im sooooo not up on technical issues and jargon

  • darshan Friday, November 9, 2007

    hi everybody,

    i have faced the same problem.

    to have AERO feature requires heavy graphics card with minimm 128Mb RAM(in the graphics card). also some motherboards support vista but unable to support AERO.If the hardware requirement are macthing then download the latest driver from its respective website. before installing this driver make sure that all the previous video drivers are removed and disable antivirus. then you should insall the driver.

    Am sure this should work ! ! !

  • bob Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    hey guys, ive got the hp pavillion dv6000 and when i first bought it ..i had those little window previews...i dont have them anymore though...and i tried to enable aero by going personalize->window colour & appearance ->windows aero.. can anyone help me to get the cute previews back :P ?

  • charlie Saturday, December 8, 2007

    Im having the same problem as guy above. I just got a HP Pavillion. It started with it (which seemed to be great). I did a full system update, and its gone. It's not anywhere to be found. Even did a whole sysyem scan.

    Any help?

  • Wayne Monday, December 10, 2007

    In Device Manager, I can see that i have a WDDM chipset. However I seen to have the similar problem of getting the old style display properties when i click "Window Color and Appearance". Windows Aero is not in the list and I get Windows Vista Basic, Windows Standard, High Contrast...etc. Anyone else have this problem or a solution? Thanks

  • PCO-IRAQ.NET guy... Monday, January 7, 2008


    If you have the right hardware go to Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, then select Services.

    Now make sure that the following are set to Automatic Startup:

    Desktop Window Manager Session Manager


    And then try the instructions involving the Window Color and Appearance module.


    Systems Engineer

    Contractor - TKC Communications

    GRD G6 .NET Operations - Baghdad, Iraq

  • sanj Monday, January 14, 2008

    "PCO-IRAQ.NET guy" great....I have been searching for the answer on the web for sometime. Your tip really worked!! Somehow my "Theme" service was set to Manual due to which, Windows Vista's Aero interface was disabled. Starting the Theme services fixed the problem.

  • Brock Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    My Compaq came with Windows Vista Home Premium and with that I had Windows Aero. I accidentally turned Aero off by selecting a different appearance for my desktop and now cannot turn it back on. I have tried everything mentioned on this site as well as messing with the registry and nothing is working. If anyone can help with my problem that would be great!

  • funkmasterkiss Thursday, February 28, 2008

    If all of the above does not work for you then make sure that you have 32-bit color selected in display properties.

  • Mark's Windows Server Blog Tuesday, March 18, 2008
    [Trackback] It took me months to convince my manager that I need a new laptop. Then it took me a few more to convince
  • Syainal Sunday, March 23, 2008

    i have vga>nvidia geforce 2mx>64 MB

    i have installed vista on my pc, but aero theme no active,,

    i try to update my driver of vga, but windows tell me that my driver is older than driver on package vista,,

    can you tell me how to enable aero the on my pc?

    or maybe you know about driver that must i install?

  • guest Tuesday, April 1, 2008


  • Jack Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Wayne, you're a lifesaver. It was more of an annoyance than anything with it not working, but your instructions solved everything after a week of searching for solutions.

    Thanks so much.

  • bsebear Friday, June 27, 2008

    hey all,

    i had the same problem with my compaq 6510b and i have now figured out that somehow aero seems to have a problem with an external monitor... as soon as i disabled "extend my monitor blabla" i was able to select the aero style again... don't know if this is a general external monitor problem or if vista has problems with external monitors having a higher screen resolution than the notebook (which mine has)

  • Maverick Thursday, July 17, 2008

    Hi I have an Intel E6600 2.4 Ghz Core2 Duo processor on an Intel 965RY mother board with nVidia 8600 256MB graphic card and 4 GB Corsair 667 Mhz RAM but still i am not able to enable the Aero experience.

    is there any problem with my config?

    Can anyone please help

  • kishan Thursday, July 31, 2008

    right clcik on my computer click amage and then expand display drivers rightclick update driver that what i did and it worked!

  • tanmaya Saturday, August 2, 2008

    hi i have the vista basic OS, and i cannot open the control panel at all... whats the problem???

  • Richard Friday, August 22, 2008

    My son has jiggered with my pc and i have tried the above ie

    Go to Control Panel

    Select Personalization

    Select Window Color and Appearance

    Choose Windows Aero in Color scheme.

    the theme is not there my pc was running it fine but my son tells me he downloaded an eygipt theme wich installed over aero i tried asystem restore it never came back can you help or any else ..do you know any links that i can go to and download the aero agian i can not reformat i got too much to loose ..or do you know of a program that will restore windows back to default ive tried uniblue and several other programs none of them have worked ..my pc by the way can handle vista..evrything is ultimate compattable ....

  • Greg Sleigh Saturday, August 30, 2008

    This Has Really Annoyed Me Okaii I Was Updating My Windows Vista And After all My New Updates Where Installed It Automatically Changed itself To Windows Vista Classic And Then When I Went To The Personalization And Display setting or wateva It Doesnt Have Windows Aero There anymore

    Why Is This?

    All I Want To Do Is Put Windows Vista Aero Back On But I Cant restart My computer Clean Again I Have Too Many Important Files That Took Me Ages To Get

    Plzz tell me how I Can Get It back

  • Maverick Sunday, September 14, 2008


    I had the same problem that my Aero theme was not there in Personalization And Display setting.

    what i did was reinstall my display drivers and after that it was there.

    try reinstalling ur display drivers and see if it works for u as well

  • ANANTH Friday, October 10, 2008


  • vishwa Thursday, October 16, 2008

    @PCO-IRAQ.NET guy.. Awesome!! That was exactly my problem!! Solved now :) Thanks a lot..

  • Maria Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Hi I have a windows vista enabled pc but having problems with the 3D function.

    I can use the 3D function if I click the shortcut on my desktop but cannot use it using the keyboard shortcuts not sure what that is.

    If anyone could help I would be more than grateful.

  • Duc Nguyen Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Hi pros. My HP 520 laptop is using Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family

    but cant display the Aero theme.

    I'm using window vista home premium.

    Thanks for ur helping.

  • Erika Weavers` Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    I fixed mine by checking the display settings and changing the colors from 16 bit to 32 bit. To everyone who is having this problem, try and check your color.

  • william Friday, November 21, 2008

    tengo un vaio VGN-FJ250P pero con vista no tengo posivilidad de aero tengo 2 de ram procesador intel centrino de 1.73 100 de disco duro tarjeta de video familia mobile intel(r)915gm/gms/910gml express chipset(microsoft corporation xddm) de 128 mb no soy muy experto en el tema digame porfavor que tengo que hacer gracias

  • BATTERY Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    hey when i first bought the notebook i had that start + tab option which enables the 3d flip, somehow i think i played with the settings and i no longer have the flip thingy, someone help me please, i very used to my previous keyboard which position is now currently in the position of my start and tab.

  • Liam Moron Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    okay.. i went through everything on this page and every thing on all microsoft help formus... nothing at all worked... just a lot of running around.... BUT... i figured out what casued my aero ( that had been running for months, but i turned off to not be able to be turned on again)

    allacation of RAM... i have 4 gigram.. but wanted games to run faster so i allicated priority to suit that... BUT in doing that i now didnt meet the basic requierments to run windows aero.. soon as i changed it back the aero option was back in color scheme... also i should add, any one using a program called "tweakVista" thats most likely your problem, try and change all settings you changed through that program back to what there supposed to be.

  • guest Saturday, November 29, 2008

    "PCO-IRAQ.NET guy" great....I have been searching for the answer on the web for sometime. Your tip really worked!!

    Thank you

  • david Monday, December 8, 2008

    pco-iraq's advice works. If the Themes service is already on Automatic (like mine was), restart it. That's what did it for me. Also, the quickest way to get to Services is to type services.msc in the Run box. And thanks, pco-iraq for serving our country in a very dangerous place.

  • Kashif Sunday, January 4, 2009

    @Erika Weavers

    @PCO-IRAQ.NET guy

    The original writer of this post and above 2 guys solve my problem. Thank you. :)

  • pkaras1 Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    for some laptops (small inch) the display color depth is set to 16 bit after some updates, so some had it working when they first bought the laptop and now they dont. so check the color depth in display settings and change it to 32 bit, works like a charm, a lot of thanks to BROCK, thanks man

  • rick Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    you need to go to control panel admin tools then services enable themes make suits ticked then go to themes and enable aero all the crap above is wrong ...after much searching this worked for me ...

  • Rick Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    you need to go to control panel admin tools then services enable themes make sure that themes is ticked then go to themes and enable aero all the crap above is wrong ...after much searching this worked for me ...to get to themes right click on desktop select personilse then theme

  • Malak from KSU Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    thanxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx alot

  • FINALLY! Saturday, April 4, 2009

    PCO-IRAQ is a genius!

  • MIKE MELVYN Monday, April 20, 2009

    i own a Emachine T3604 machine

    that ran Windows Vista Home Premium

    it included Intel R Graphics 845 graphic card

    and it would crash the system

    because I used Aero Theme

    now I own a Compaq Presario SR5601 PC

    AMD Athlon Processor PC

    and it has Windows Vista Home Premium

    and it runs good because it has one gig of memory

  • guest Friday, May 1, 2009


  • Nanette Monday, June 22, 2009

    Go to Control Panel>Personalization>try either mouse or colorization, because the aero is usually under mouse as it is the mouse that is using the aero. Also watch your DPI if playing games and make sure that you don't have any background when you play or install a game, makes a mess of everything.

    Hope it helps. Vista is a very easy program to use, and I find I don't make as many mistakes as I did with XP's jargon. Vista is pretty straight forward. You want to turn your DPI down if you want to play games. I have my mouse on aero right now, nifty little colouration so I can find the darned thing LOL :)


  • kelly Monday, July 6, 2009

    hi i have a problem with aero i dont no how 2 switch it on or where to find it the computer i have is windows vista home basic could some one please help me to get it turned on plz step by step thanks

  • nitesh Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    hey thanx..i fixed mine problem..thanx alot

  • hey Tuesday, July 7, 2009


    right click desktop.

    click personalize.

    click Windows Color and Appearance.

    There should be a box next to 'enable transparency'. If it isnt checked, check it.

    Hope this helps =D

  • Rushil Friday, August 7, 2009

    Hey all. When i bought my Toshiba, i played around with a few settings and got Aero running. Yesterday i formatted my laptop and now it's gone. I don't remember what settings i had done, could someone please help me?? SPECS > 1.9 Dual, 1GB RAM, 250MB video card. In my windows experience index, the rating says 1.0 due to gaming and graphics, how may i change that?? Please reply me on my email if possible rushil_s_shah@hotmail.com .


  • raksmey cambodia Friday, September 11, 2009

    hi i have a problame i'm using vista ultimate

    my machine have cpu PM 1.8GHz RAM 3GB and vga 128 but it not earo i try so many trick but it not work

  • relieved Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Thank you! simple... Changed display to 32 bit and then went to appearance and Windows Aero was there! Working again

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