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Make Aero Enabled Windows Run More Smoothly in Vista and Windows 7

One of the more annoying actions with the Windows Aero interface is how it opens and closes new windows. They show the contents when minimizing and maximizing which seems unnecessary and is just a sort of “wow” factor. Here we show you how to easily turn the features off and make the UI run snappier.

First type advanced system settings into the Search box in the Start menu and hit Enter.

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The System Properties window opens and from here click on the Settings button under Performance.

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In the Visual Effects tab select Custom and uncheck the box next to Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing and Show window contents while dragging then click Ok and close out of the System Properties window.

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Now you’ll notice windows opening quicker and just an outline of a window while dragging it around on the screen.

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Of course if you want to entirely disable Aero it will make the entire interface run more quickly, but isn’t as cool looking. Disabling these two features allows you to run through the interface smoothly while still enjoying the the nice look of Aero goodness. When I’m setting up or using a new Windows 7 or Vista machine, these are one of the first settings I disable.

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 01/19/10

Comments (8)

  1. Ian

    Thank you for the tip.

  2. Terry

    I have been reading about windows 7 before I install it. It is good to see that some of the things I don’t like about XP can still be disabled in windows 7. I also get rid of all the “slide/fade” stuff which makes things faster/”snappier”. While the search string (advanced system settings) to get to the “systems properties” window is fine, I would appreciate the menu path as well. You are talking about windows after all not Unix, or Linux command line world. That is always part of the learning curve with a new OS/application, finding where they moved things.

  3. JackCrow

    There since Windows XP.

    Amazing, you guys keep getting better.

    OMG

    How stupid do you think “geeks” are?

  4. The Geek

    @JackCrow

    This article is tagged as “Mini How-To”, which means that it’s not necessarily meant for everybody. We try to cover beginner topics as well as more advanced stuff.

  5. glenn f

    ihave windows7prem and ie8, one day i had to keep typing my password to login to homepage bing when before all i had to do was click on sign in box i did all the uncheck boxes in internet options reset password manage add ons system restore even a box came up that said to save my password for only so many days nothing worked until i updated messenger with add ons now i can click on sign in box again just thought someone might need this thanks for all the helpful input

  6. SquareWheel

    I think most geeks already know about these settings, but none-the-less, you wrote a proper guide.

  7. nestor

    ive been having issues with my audio when i installed windows 7, it has a static sound on it. can you give me an advice on how i can fix it? i tried updating the driver for my audio which is realtek high definition audio and still did not work.. thanks in advance

  8. Irmie

    Thank you so much for this article! I was trying to describe to my husband that I wanted the windows to ‘open faster’ and the snappier term you used makes perfect sense. I’m pleased to see that I can have things open up quickly again – the slow opening was so frustrating. Thank you again for this help.

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