How-To Geek

Enable Slow-Motion Aero Animations in Windows Vista

This tip really isn’t very useful, but it’s an interesting hack to show your friends. You can enable a “Slow Motion” animation that will only activate if you are holding down the Shift key while you minimize/restore/close/open a window.

To start with, you should note that this will only work if you are already able to run Windows Aero glass theme.

To activate this hack, you’ll need to first download and unzip this registry file, and then double-click it to add to the regisry. It will add two new values to the registry.

Now you can reboot to see the effect…

…or you could just open an administrator mode command prompt by typing cmd into the start menu search box, and then using the Ctrl+Shift+Enter shortcut to launch it in administrative mode. We’ll want to restart the Desktop Window Manager with these two commands:

net stop uxsms
net start uxsms

Now you can see the slow motion animations by holding down the Shift key while minimizing or restoring a window. It’s a pity there’s no way to configure the speed of the animation.

I wish I had a picture or video to show here, but I don’t have the right setup yet to do that. I’ll probably update this article once I do.

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 02/17/07

Comments (23)

  1. Luke Coombes

    Man, that is pretty freakin sweet, interesting to see what the aero animation actually looks like in slow-mo

  2. matthew

    Very cool. Thank you :)

  3. JoeMasta

    Just like the other 95% of Vista, this is just another feature stolen from osX…..

  4. Rob

    “Just like the other 95% of Vista, this is just another feature stolen from osX…..”

    Seriously, man, is that all Mac Apple users seem to complain about these days… Well, apparently so anyway; but since Vista was released, all Mac Apple users just have a FAT BITCH at Vista! and majority of them say something along the lines of ” big deal, we had all these features and programmes ages ago, well before Vista came out and besides Microsoft are just god damn greedy bastards who have stolen everything from us Mac users” – Well, that’s just about the most complelling argument I have EVER heard! oh… wait… hang on… No, NO! that’s the most stupidest and most ridiculous argument EVER to be used by ANYONE and should NEVER EVER be used in any shape or form whatsoever. That’s like me saying ” well, you suck 111lol omg, we get to play games and you don’t, BHAAWAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAH!” and its also like saying ” they design and created something simliar to our idea, hey that’s it they stole it, and therefore should not be allowed to used it or sell it and so their asses should be sue, despite them have in production at the same time and having the idea before us”

    I’m sorry but, do you have any common knowledge behind the concept of business and how it works? It happens all the time, not much you can do about it, unless there is proceedings in the law to prosecute under Copyright infringement, but apart from that things are design and stolen or used in business all the time, that’s where and how they get money from; and funnily enough that draws to the simple logical conclusion: That’s how business works, despite in my best efforts, not to make it sound like a cliché.

    So, STOP you complaining! Besides why do you care? It’s frickin’ AWEsome!

  5. Josh

    The worst part being that they Apple stole the features from Windows Vista before it was even in beta. *cough* Longhorn 4074 *choke*

  6. Patrick

    Jeez. I would have to actually say that mac stole some of aeros stuff. Mac has an AQUA interface! based on water! The menu bar is glass like, a feature that is property of Microsoft. Aero glass interface is based on glass. I hate how mac users cry about vista looking cooler than macs do. It’s pitiful. besides did Windows users throw a fit when Apple stole the idea of making the close button an “X”? or the idea of minimizing?

  7. Doug

    Wait, correct me if I’m wrong… Mac came out in 2000, right? So if Mac came out in 2000, how the hell did Microsoft make a glass interface their property when Mac came out before Longhorn beta was even started?

    I’m also pretty sure that Mac came out with their interface when Mac OS X came out for the first time.


    The new Windows Vista feature: TIME TRAVEL. You can go ANYWHERE in le time stream!

    Seriously, everyone needs to quit bitching about life. If you don’t like Mac THEN DON’T LOOK AT IT, THINK ABOUT IT, OR TALK ABOUT IT, same with you guys who don’t like Vista, DON’T LOOK AT IT, THINK ABOUT IT, OR TALK ABOUT IT.

    Problem solved. But I do know many Windows user who do tell me from day to day “Dude get Vista, Mac sucks.”
    Although I do here Mac users saying “Why the hell do you have Vista? Get a Mac!”

    Both of you guys need to just be quiet and ignore each-other.

  8. Chris

    Lest we all forget….In the beginning there was Xerox who invented the base structure of what MAC and Windows became. Remember Steve and Bill were college buddies. They went to a computer convention in the 70’s and saw the xerox computer that was the first gui based machine. It had File, Edit and Help. You could use this gigantic mouse to click on the menu items. It freaked most people out -so much so- that Xerox considered it a failure. Like many other Xerox prototypes, this one got dropped with out a patent.
    Bill and Steve both fell in love with it, and started making future plans. Bill wanted to make it for all hardware and Steve wanted to use targeted hardware. They went there separate ways. And there you go ….The history of the modern gui of MAC and Windows can be traced back to one origin. Both systems do things well and both have annoyances. Even though people are passionate about which is better, remember that when Bill was still CEO of Microsoft, he had many long phone conversations with Steve up until when Bill left. Bill and Steve both admit to this publicly in interviews. So where does this hatred come from???

  9. grocerygod9801

    Seriously, this isnt worth whining, most geeks know that all these effects were stolen from Linux. And linux still has all you guys cornered, I would love to see windows or mac TRY the things linux can do.

  10. The Geek

    All operating systems have their good and bad points. Personally I have one of each… I couldn’t live without being able to use _both_ Windows and Linux at the same time, connected by synergy.

  11. John S

    Does it really matter who came up with it? Your living in the dark if you think Apple and Windows both don’t take ideals from each other. In fact it’s unusual for companies to attract employees from their competitor to take advantage of this. The one thing I think is very wrong about Apple is that they are extremely secretive about their technology and like to keep tight reins on the hardware and software.
    The Apple fan base certainly is blind to this, but Apple is deffinately more unfriendly to third party vender’s then Microsoft. Apple could have a much bigger user base then it’s 10% if it would license it’s OS10 to run on some other hardware. I like my MacBook but I do not like the way Apple does business.

  12. Comment

    Let’s be real. Vista sucks. And Leopard isn’t much better. I’m not a fan of Open Source Software, but I think Ubuntu is better than both of them.

  13. Arthur

    How do you undo it?

  14. Tomas

    Cool, it works in flip 3D as well :o)
    (Hold Alt and Shift and press Tab)

  15. Tomas

    I mean, Win+Shift+Tab

  16. scorchingice

    [QUOTE] “Doug
    Wait, correct me if I’m wrong Mac came out in 2000, right? So if Mac came out in 2000, how the hell did Microsoft make a glass interface their property when Mac came out before Longhorn beta was even started?

    I’m also pretty sure that Mac came out with their interface when Mac OS X came out for the”[/QUOTE]
    Oh dear, you must be really young. I bet you think the Playstation was the first video game console to be made? For your information Macintosh came out in 1984. It was based off the Tandy Model III computers in the way the computer, monitor, and all drives etc were in one unit, not able to detach from one another. The First Macintosh did not have a Hard Drive, it worked off Floppy Disks, and its Number one selling video game was King’s Quest.

    Macintosh came out in 2000? Wow, um Just Wow.

    Link to the info on the first Macintosh Below.

  17. JHubbard92

    Hai, this is sooooo cool :)

    Just a little question Geek… where is it stored in the regestry just incase i need to delete it?



  18. raoul

    is this possible in win 7 rc

  19. Valio

    Thanks to HowToGeek for that.

  20. Alex

    Guys, shut the hell up. Guess who Mac stole EVERYTHING from?
    Linux. The free one. The one that its almost illegal to sell in any form, including Mac itself. So, STFU. Windows didn’t steal all of it’s source code, so you have nothing to complain about.

  21. Squawking Majestic

    None of you are invited to my birthday party.

  22. Yonathan

    I’ve just disabled Windows Aero on Windows 7 and I love it, especially with my FF3.6 customization. Here, take a look:


  23. James

    I think windows 7 is the KING of operating systems. It’s fast, sleek and jolly well looks AMAZING. I don’t hate mac I just prefer windows.

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