Aero Glass Transparency

How to Enable or Disable Aero Glass Transparency in Vista
Glass Transparency is part of the Windows Aero color scheme that makes your window borders look like transparent glass. This will show you how to enable or disable the Windows Aero Transparency feature.
How to Enable or Disable Aero Glass Transparency in Vista

information   Information
Glass Transparency is part of the Windows Aero color scheme that makes your window borders look like transparent glass. This will show you how to enable or disable the Windows Aero Transparency feature.
Note   Note
Glass Transparency can be a resource hog on your video device. This can cause your computer to slow down on systems that are not very powerful. Using Windows Aero without Transparency does not use much resources though.
warning   Warning
You must have the Windows Aero color scheme turned on for the Glass Transparency, Taskbar Thumbnail Previews, and Flip 3D features.

See: Windows Help and Support: Troubleshoot problems with Windows Aero

NOTE: The Windows Aero color scheme is not available for the Vista Home Basic version. :(
  • 1 GHz 32 bit or 64 bit CPU processor.
  • The computer needs at least 1 GB of RAM.
  • A graphics card with support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB of memory.
  • The graphics card must support Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware.
  • The graphics card driver must support Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM)
  • The computer display color depth must be set to 32 bits per pixel.

EXAMPLE: Transparent Window

Through Window Color and Appearance

1. Right click on a empty area of your desktop.​
2. Click on Personalize. (See screenshot below)​

3. Click on the Window Color and Appearance link. (See screenshot below)​

4. To Disable Transparency
A) Uncheck Enable transparency. (See screenshot below step 7)​
B) Go to step 6.​

5. To Enable Transparency
A) Check Enable transparency.​

6. Click on a color you want to use for the windows, Start menu, and Taskbar.​
7. Adjust the Color intensity by sliding the bar to the left to decrease the intensity and to the right to increase the intensity.​
NOTE: If the Color intensity is set to far to the right, then the window borders and taskbar may be to dark to be transparent if enabled.

8. Click on OK.​
9. Close window from below step 3.​

Using a REG File Download

1. To Disable Transparency
A) Click on the Download button below to download the file below.​

B) Go to step 3.​

2. To Enable Transparency
A) Click on the Download button below to download the​

3. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.​
5. Click on Run, Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted​
6. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.​
7. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.​

Manually in Registry Editor

1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on the Continue button in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)​

5. In the right pane, right click on ColorizationOpaqueBlend and click on Modify.​

6. To Disable Transparency
A) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
B) Go to step 8.​

7. To Enable Transparency
A) Type 0 (Number Zero) and click on OK.​

8. Close regedit.​
9. Log off and log on or restart the computer to apply the changes.​
That's it,

Last edited:
Shawn Brink


I had the same problem, with the loss of transparency and those nifty thumbnails that appear when I hover over a window on the taskbar, but when I went to "color and Appearance" that menu with the "Enable Transparancy" didn't appear. Instead I get that old little box that's supposed to let you chnage the color of your active/inacitve windows, but that's not working either. Other people have said it's because of iTunes ad DivX, but I went so far as to uninstall them and nothing happened. I've been running Vista with no problems before now. Any suggestions?
Hi Skoralee,

Welcome to the forum. :party:

You will need to have the Windows Aero color scheme selected for this to work. I heard of video drivers causing this problem where you cannot select it any more. You might try reinstalling the video drivers to see if that will fix the problem. If not, you might consider doing a Repair Install. This will allow you to repair your Vista installation without loosing your files, settings, and programs. You can see how to do this in this tutorial. You may need to reinstall your drivers afterwards.

How to Perform a Repair Installation for Vista

Hi Roj888,

I would do whatever method you like and feel comfortable doing since they both do the same thing. One it Automatic and one is Manual. I prefer using the REG download to save time.

hey shawn, i just bought a new vaio with vista basic and upgraded it to vista ultimate, pretty nice stuff.
my problem is that transparency is enabled while the windows are in "down mode" but there is no transparency in "maximize" mode. how do i work about it? (using vista ultimate x86 SP1)
Hello MirjA,

You can use the latest 1.1 beta 3 version of the free program VistaGlazz to have your Maximize window transparent to. It only works in the 32 bit Vista version and not the 64 bit version. The VistaGlazz 1.0 version will not work with the Vista SP1 installed.

Downloads | CodeGazer

Hope this helps,
i installed vistaglazz and patched my aero theme as i had to to but it falls back to windows classic theme, thank god there is option of "restore original"! but as u mentioned it wont work with SP1, then is there any way i can get my maximized windows transparent??????????

Last edited:
Not that I am aware of MirjA. :)

You might also post this question in the Software forum to see if anyone else may know of a program that will let you do this.

So, I used to be able to use the nifty color mixer on Windows Vista Home Premium, but it decided to stop working last night for some reason o.o

Uhm, what do I do?

Now there is the old box from XP where you can attempt (and fail) to change the window colors and the taskbar color and whatnot...
Hi VistaEnigma,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

If you are seeing one of the screenshots below step 4 in this tutorial below instead of the one below step 3, then you do not have the color scheme Windows Aero selected. It must be selected, then click OK to close the window (step 4) and reopen it to see it (step 3) again.

Hope this helps,
Hi Brandon,

Sorry, but the unsupported ATI Radeon 9250 graphics card will not run Aero. :(

You will need at least a 9500 model or higher.

No problem Brandon. The good thing is that you can get one these days at a pretty reasonable price.

How do you enable Areo on Unsupported Graphics Cards? I dont see it listed here :confused: