How-To Geek

Trim Windows Vista’s Bloated Window Borders

Windows Vista by default has huge borders, probably to show off the new transparancy. If you’d prefer a more slimmed-down, minimal approach, you can easily configure this setting to make it more reasonable.


Here’s the normal window border, that you are probably used to. The borders look even more ridiculously large if you aren’t using Aero.

And here’s the window border after we’ve removed the padding. Much less wasted space!

To make this change, we’ll need open the classic Appearance Settings dialog. Right click on the desktop and choose Personalize. Then click on Window Color and Appearance:

If you have Aero enabled, you’ll have to click on “Open classic appearance properties for more color options?.

Click the Advanced button, and then change the dropdown to Border Padding. The default will be set to 4. I changed mine down to zero for the second screenshot above.


A setting of 1 or 2 would probably be more reasonable for your system. You’ll have to test it out and see what you like best.

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 02/10/07

Comments (24)

  1. Casey S

    thank you! I hated the huge borders, just ridiculous

  2. krabbe

    Thanks!! But I want to make them even smaller! Photoshop windows looks silly!

  3. Richard

    Thank you…while I was here I messed about with the HUGE desktop icons and spacing…much better.

  4. robert

    wow, now that is a useful piece of information, thanks

  5. tboy34

    I’m using the smaller borders myself. It looks so much better.

  6. decaff

    yeah!, i finally slimmed down my vista borders. it previously was a waste of space. just annoying

  7. jcaldw737

    FYI, set my border to zero and my machine locked up requiring a reboot.

    then set it to 1 and things seem to be fine. THANKS for this and many other tips!

  8. Jmh010

    I love how Vista looks but the one thing I could do was take off the side and bottom border, much like Mac OS X. Thanks :-D looks like this will get it pretty close.

  9. Tewan

    This works very nicely when you reduce the size of the Active and Inactive Title Bar aswell. :)

  10. Amish


  11. Jordan

    Great deal. Thx alot

  12. Joe

    Any way to get rid of a border completely? Meaning truely 0? I’m running dual screen and want it to not overlap off the side of one screen onto the other when running an application at the screens resolution.

  13. Craig Reville

    Don’t suppose anyone knows how to trim it to appear like osx where it only has the top bar?



  14. Marco

    Oh yeah!!! I’d been searching for it for weeks, I thought “Bordo della finestra attiva” (italian version) was the only chance, but now (thanks to you) I found the right one: “Riempimento bordo”, and I’m finally happy with my Windows 7. Yes, it works not only with Vista, but with Win 7 too.

  15. Dave Stewart

    Hooray!!! I don’t know how I didn’t find that myself. I was looking around that area for long enough.

    THANKS :)

  16. Mickey

    Thank you man!

  17. Someguy

    Thank god for this… Why in the world Windows 7 starts with HUGE ASS icons and HUGE ASS everything and then when you look at the obvious settings your only options are to make it even more HUGE, I was seriously dissapointed. Bill Gates should be sending you a large check for customer retention bonus!

  18. Tweaker

    Thank you!
    Short, clear and to the point, just what I was looking for.

  19. Oldarney

    I just struck gold with those options, I made everything smaller, to the point that I am almost running everything full screen.

  20. Tin

    Making the boarder and a few buttons bigger has really helped with my touch screen. Great on a asus T91MT :-)

  21. Al

    Fact is that you cannot get rid of the border completely. which is very disappointing.
    it would make windows look much nicer.

  22. Pgj1997

    Bloated? Whats that supposed to mean?

  23. Dan

    Thank you for this post! The windows look so much better now (I’m on Windows 7, and it works just as well, by the way).

  24. skylee


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