How to turn off the fancy Windows Vista Aero interface


Windows Vista has a fancy new Aero interface that makes the windows look like glass and provides very cool 3D effects. Performance tests have shown that Aero won’t slow your computer down. However, you might want to disable Aero if you prefer a simpler user interface or if you need to take screenshots.
To disable Windows Aero and return to a simpler time, follow the steps:
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

2. Click Appearance and Personalization.

3. Under Personalization, click Change the color scheme.

Click Change the Color Scheme

4. In the Appearance Settings dialog, click Windows Vista Basic, and then click OK. Or, if you prefer a Windows 2000-style interface, click Windows Standard, and then click OK.
Click Windows Vista Basic

Windows Vista will think for a bit, and then it’ll turn off all the 3D effects.

14 Responses to “How to turn off the fancy Windows Vista Aero interface”

  1. The Man says:

    An earlier article in the same series states that Aero makes NO difference to performance. Go figure.

  2. Tony says:

    Good point about Aero performance. I updated the article to reflect recent performance tests.

  3. t0r0x says:

    Running AMD Athlon 3000+ 64Bit
    1024 DDR
    GeForce 6800GT 128

    Disabeling Aero and sidebar is a must here, because running games as bf2142 and bf2 lags incredible with those two on. Disableing them gives an noticeable performance boost here.

  4. Ben Okulski says:

    Why does Microsoft make it so NON-intuitive and difficult to turn off the Aero effects? Go to Appearance and Personalization — OK, makes sense. But then go to Change the Color Scheme????

  5. Rish says:

    Thanks for your help, I was having a time trying to turn off the 3D desktop due to a driver problem. I think they can make this more strait forward like putting this setting in themes or somewhere more logical.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Running AMD Athlon 3000+ 64Bit
    1024 DDR
    GeForce 6800GT 128

    Disabeling Aero and sidebar is a must here, because running games as bf2142 and bf2 lags incredible with those two on. Disableing them gives an noticeable performance boost here.
    ——————————————————————————–

    DUH. Upgrade the system specs.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Windows already dose that on most games (mostly for compatibility reasons) will disable the areo automaticly so there tends to be no need for you to disable it for games.

  8. LsTrOfSmG says:

    Aero is absolutely pointless anyway – in fact Vista remains an over bloated OS, personally until they fix all the rubbish involved with Vista I’m going to maintain my PC dual booted with both XP and Vista.

    Aero is just another annoying example of style over substance.

  9. Hennell says:

    How do I turn it back on? The aero option has disapeared from those options?

  10. jaggu says:

    hi guys, could any one temme if windows vista home basic has ” aero ” feature in its colour sheme. if not pls temme when i could dl it…
    any help would be appreciated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @jaggu there is no aero feature available in AERO