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How To Fix No Aero Transparency in Windows 7

The Aero feature in Vista and Windows 7 is an awesome new enhancement, but sometimes it doesn’t display correctly and there is no transparency effect. Here are some quick steps you can take to repair it.

No Transparency Effect

You may have run into this problem, where Aero is enabled but transparency isn’t working (As shown in the examples below). It seems I’ve found this happening after running games, watching video, or updating a video card driver.

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Troubleshoot and Fix No Transparency

To get everything working again, right-click an empty area on the the desktop and select Personalize.

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Now in the Personalization window underneath the Aero Themes, click on the link Troubleshoot problems with transparency and other Aero effects.

Note: This link is only present where there is a problem going on with Aero. We also show how to get to the troubleshooting tool at any time below.

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In the next window click the Advances link and make sure and check the box next to Apply repairs automatically.

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If you don’t select to Apply repairs automatically, after the troubleshooting process has completed you will get a report showing what needs to be fixed. I’ve found it’s just faster to have it repair issues automatically.

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Windows begins looking for what is causing the problem with the display.

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Here you can see the transparency was fixed automatically and now shows what the problem was.

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Click the link View detailed information to pull up a report of what tests were ran and their results that you can print out if needed.

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Alternate Fix Method for no Transparency

You can also fix the no transparency issue by going by stopping and restarting the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service. We found this method to be easiest in Vista. To do it, type services.msc into the search box on the Start menu.

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Scroll down until you see Desktop Window Manager Session Manager and right-click and choose Stop…after it stops, right-click and restart it. After it restarts, transparency should be back and then close out of Services.

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Check for Aero Problems Anytime

The steps above are meant for troubleshooting no transparency specifically. You can troubleshoot or check for other Aero problems by typing troubleshooting into the search box in the Start menu and hit Enter.

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Then in the following screen click on Display Aero desktop effects under Appearance and Personalization.

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Give it a moment to come up, then follow through the wizard as shown above.

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That is all there is too it. The next time Aero isn’t running correctly on your Windows 7 machine, these tips should help you get it back to how it was.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/24/09

Comments (20)

  1. akash

    You can adjust the appearance of the windows and component animation within Windows by running “systempropertiesadvanced.exe” and adjusting the Performance settings. For example, I’ve disabled min/max animation.

  2. John Paul Mays

    Geek… but if you don’t have a “Troubleshoot problems with transparency and other Aero effects” link where you specified in the article? I’m running Windows 7 Pro, and I don’t see any link in that area.

    Does it only displayed when there’s a problem with the transparency and/or other Aero effects? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Thanks.

  3. Mysticgeek

    @John Paul Mays: The only time I have seen that link is when a problem with Aero has been detected. I added a not to the article and also show how to go in and run the troubleshooting process at anytime. Thanks for the observation!

  4. Victor

    It happened to me too, but I just re-applied the theme and automatically the Aero Glass was translucent again.

  5. DELFIN

    HELLO!!! I DONT HAVE PERSONALIZE IN WINDOWS 7, SAY “Aero effects not supported on this Windows edition” IT IS WHY? HELP ME HOW TO FIX. WIRTE ME. THANKS

  6. Terri C

    I was running just fine and transparency stopped working … still have no idea why. When I run the above solutions, it keeps telling me it’s because of Radmin (remote access software) which is really odd, since it’s been loaded since day one. I’ve had no issues at all, loaded no new software or updates, nada, zilch. It’s just randomly quit working. Sad panda that there is no fix listed here that works (though this is the best source I’ve seen for options and step by step for dummies like me. Nicely done. Wish it worked for me. )=

  7. JHEN

    I followed the steps. but when I click the next after the apply repairs automatically, it shows into this
    ” The current video card may support Aero with a driver that is compliant with the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). Contact the manufacturer of your computer or video card for a WDDM-compatible driver ” , anyone ? HELP. :((

  8. Chad

    I’m having the same issue with JHEN. When I upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate, all the Aero features are working just fine. However, when I reformatted my pc and reinstall Windows 7 Ultimate, the Aero Peek, preview, and transparency didn’t work.

    I’m having this error:
    “The current video card may support Aero with a driver that is compliant with the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). Contact the manufacturer of your computer or video card for a WDDM-compatible driver”.

  9. Robin

    I’m having the same issue, and the troubleshooter tells it can’t identify the problem. Sometimes it comes up when I start the computer up, but just as I get started into my session with Windows, the translucent effects go right back off. I’m running Windows 7 Pro also.

  10. William

    After trying your fix nothnig is still working.
    Everytime i try to install anything higher than 258.96 nvidia drivers. I can not access homegroupe or
    aero effects.
    windows 7 64 HP
    MSI GTX465
    6gb of ram ocz gold 1600
    creative labs extrme 5.1 gamer
    g15 key boared ratz 7 mouse
    28 inch lcd i-inc monitor
    2x 7 inch lilliput usb monitors
    I have tried everything in the book known to install drivers higher than 258.96 and same errors allways.
    short of reformate and reinstalling win 7 64.

  11. William

    P6T Asus x58 chipset, intell quad4 i7920

  12. vicky

    I’m having this error:
    “The current video card may support Aero with a driver that is compliant with the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). Contact the manufacturer of your computer or video card for a WDDM-compatible driver”.

  13. brooksters

    this probably won’t help anyone here but frequently when I do clean installs on clients computers and update the drivers I have to ALSO refresh the windows experience index before aero will function properly

  14. Tamar

    Please i need help it doesn’t work on my PC ::HELP::

  15. jevans

    Thank you! The services.msc bit did it for me. The troubleshooters weren’t finding anything.

  16. Craig

    I had a problem where Aero didn’t even exist. NEVER UPGRADE DIRECTLY TO WINDOWS 7 FROM XP! IT COMES BACK AND BITES YOU IF YOU DON’T HAVE INTERNET! I now can’t log on thanks to an upgrade! I am getting a new computer soon.

  17. Atul Baba

    It Didnt Work……….
    Please Help…
    I had installed Stardock theme manager…..
    Its not working since then……

  18. Bob Hopes

    I had this problem and the suggestions did not work for me but Microsoft have a tool that fixed it.

    http://support.microsoft.com/mats/aero_effects_not_working/en-us

    hope this helps you guys out as it worked for me.

  19. Faiz alam

    i try this thing so much but my aero still it is not working go to hell

  20. Bojke

    I did that, but it shows:
    “To allow Aero effects to be displayed, close any programs that use mirror drivers (a type of a display driver), such as Windows Remote Assistance and Live mesh”
    Anyone knows how to fix this? Please help…

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