Create a Shortcut to Enable/Disable Aero Transparency in 7 / Vista

By Lowell Heddings on January 13th, 2008

In the interests of exposing all of the secrets in Windows Vista, I’ve decided to explain how to create a shortcut that turns on or off the transparency in Windows Vista. I don’t find this especially useful, but I’m sure it will be relevant to at least one of the readers.

Update: This same tip works identically in Windows 7.

This tip is nothing new, and seems to have been featured on dozens of sites recently, but there seems to be a misunderstanding… this mechanism will not turn off Aero or the compositing engine, it simply disables the transparency.

Manually Enable/Disable Aero Transparency

You can achieve the same result by right-clicking on the Desktop and choosing Personalize and then “Window Color and Appearance”

image

You should see the “Enable transparency” checkbox in this screen, which works immediately.

Create Aero Transparency Shortcut

Right-click anywhere and choose New \ Shortcut, and then enter in one of the following into the Location box to create the new shortcut.

image

Turn Aero Transparency Off

rundll32.exe dwmApi #104

Turn Aero Transparency On

rundll32.exe dwmApi #102

For purposes of illustration, I’ve got the same screenshot with Aero transparency turned on and off… but I really am just trying to show off the fun Mario wallpaper.

With Aero Transparency On:

image

And with Aero Transparency Off:

image

Enjoy!

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 01/13/08
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