Speed Up Windows 7 and Vista by Turning Off Glass Transparency

The transparent glass look of Aero Glass in Windows 7 and Vista may look nice, but it also may slow down computers that don’t have powerful video adapters. If the performance of your computer is being adversely affected by the Aero Glass feature, you can speed up Windows and still benefit from the Aero features, such as Flip 3D and Taskbar thumbnails. The glass transparency can be disabled.

This article shows you how to do this in Windows 7 and Vista. The procedure is slightly different in each system.

Windows 7

The following Windows Explorer window shows the Aero Glass transparency effect in Windows 7. You’ll notice that you can see the Windows logo on the desktop through the window’s border.

Aero Glass transparency on a window in Windows 7

To disable the Aero Glass transparency in Windows 7, right-click on an empty area of the desktop and select Personalize from the popup menu.

Selecting Personalize in Windows 7

The Personalization screen on the Control Panel displays. Click the Window Color link below the themes.

Clicking Window Color on Personalization window in Windows 7

On the Window Color and Appearance screen, select the Enable transparency check box so there is NO check mark in the box.

Disabling transparency in Windows 7

Click Save changes to save the setting and close the Window Color and Appearance screen.

Saving changes to Window Color and Appearance in Windows 7

To close the Control Panel, click the X button in the upper, right corner of the window.

Closing Personalization window in Windows 7

Now the borders on windows are not transparent.

Window with Aero Glass transparency off in Windows 7

Windows Vista

Here’s an example of a Windows Explorer window in Windows Vista with the Aero Glass transparency enabled.

Aero Glass transparency on a window in Vista

To disable the Aero Glass transparency in Windows Vista, right-click on an empty area of the desktop and select Personalize from the popup menu.

Selecting Personalize in Vista

The Personalization screen on the Control Panel displays. Click the Window Color and Appearance link.

Clicking Window Color and Appearance in Vista

On the Window Color and Appearance screen, select the Enable transparency check box so there is NO check mark in the box.

Disabling transparency in Vista

Click OK to close the Window Color and Appearance screen.

Closing Window Color and Appearance window in Vista

To close the Control Panel, click the X button in the upper, right corner of the window.

Closing Personalization window in Vista

The borders on windows are no longer transparent.

Window with Aero Glass transparency off in Vista

If you don’t mind giving up some of the fancy look of the Aero Glass feature, you can gain a little more performance out of your system. As we mentioned earlier, you still have access to the functional Aero features.

by Lori Kaufman

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