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Turning off Aero

Windows picks an interface for you based on your computer's memory, display hardware, and video card, but you can change it manually.

To set the interface:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Window Color and Appearance > Open Classic Appearance Properties for More Color Options (refer to Figure 4.7 in the preceding section).
  2. Choose an interface (Table 4.1) in the Appearance Settings dialog box (Figure 4.8). Optionally, click Effects or Advanced to change other interface elements.

    Table 4.1. Windows Interfaces




    The top-tier display, with advanced visual effects like transparent-glass windows and Start menu; real-time thumbnails on taskbar buttons and in the Alt+Tab window switcher, Flip 3D (Windows logo key+Tab); subtle animations; dynamic reflections; drop shadows; and color gradients. This interface is available in all Vista editions except Home Basic and only with suitable display hardware.


    Like Aero but without transparency, live thumbnails, Flip 3D, and other gee-whizzery. It has the same hardware requirements as Aero. If you're using a laptop, use Standard or Basic to save battery power.


    A basic desktop with minimal hardware requirements.


    Mimics the look of Windows 98/2000. It changes only appearance, not functionality; you still get Search boxes, column controls, and so on. See also "Restoring the Old Windows Look" later in this chapter.

    High Contrast

    For people with vision problems. See also "Accommodating Disabled Users" later in this chapter.

    Figure 4.8

    Figure 4.8 Without Aero you lose only flash, not function, so you may want to change to a less-fancy interface if it makes your computer's response snappier. If your computer lacks the horsepower to run Aero, Windows won't let you switch to it.

  3. Click OK in each open dialog box.
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