Enable Windows Aero on Windows Vista Home Basic

How to Enable Windows Aero on Windows Vista Home Basic
This tutorial will show you how to enable Windows Aero on Vista home basic
How to Enable Windows Aero on Windows Vista Home Basic

information   Information
If you have bought Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic and want to use Windows Aero, So this is the tutorial for you!
warning   Warning
If your computer's Window Experience Index Scores is less then 2.8 it isn't recommended for you to enable Windows Aero
Tip   Tip
It recommended that you make a backup of the registry before starting for a case of something will mess up - If you will follow the steps nothing wrong should happen..
Note   Note
I don't know if it work's with SP1.. Please someone try and comment.
EDIT: It doesn't work with SP1 - you can try changing the steps a little, But it's NOT recommended!!

1. Type 'regedit' (No quotes) at the start menu.​
2. Goto HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM and set the key Composition to 1 by right-clicking on then click on Modify.​
NOTE: If you do not have Composition, then right click on a empty space in the right pane and click on New and DWORD (32 bit) Value. Type Composition and press Enter.​
3. Repeat step 2 just set the key Composition Policy to 2 (XD).​
4. Type at the start menu cmd and right-click it and press Run as Administrator.
5. Type there net stop uxsms enter then type net start uxsms enter.​
6. Restart your computer, and enjoy Windows Aero​
Tip   Tip
If something goes wrong, restore the registry with the back up you have made


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New Member
I have Vista Basic SP1, and in the Registry Editor there is no "Composition" key at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM
(I see the other keys, like "Composition Policy", but not just "Composition").:cry:

My Computer


Staff member
Hi Pentiuman, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I have added a note under step 2 to show you how to add the Composition value. I'm not sure if this will allow Aero to run on Vista basic, but I hope this helps.


My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD


New Member
Thanks for the quick reply, and the added note, but unfortunately, I couldn't get Aero features on Vista Basic SP1. :cry: But here's what I did do, ( newbie mistakes and all).

1. Backed up registry (Start, Run, Regedit, File, Export, named and saved).
2. Created the Composition key, giving it and the other key the values you provided above.
3. At Start, Run, cmd (classic Start Menu, running as admin already), I typed "net stop uxsms and net start uxsms". I THOUGHT THAT WAS ONE COMMAND, NOT two! I don't recall what message the command resulted in, as I didn't know what to expect.
4. I rebooted, went into Help, searched for aero, from one link, read about its features, confirmed I didn't have them. (People should use the Help and Search more often - they give direct links everytime).
5. Went back to this post, re-read your instructions, realized perhaps (duh) I should've typed the "net stop uxsms" and hit Enter, then type"net start uxsms", hit Enter. (I'm an English college major first, tech person 2nd). When you do, you get the Start / Stop "The Desktop Window Manager Session Manager Service" messages.
6. Rebooted, again read about the Aero features I still don't have, from the Help system. (Aero features shown below).
7. Went back to post this info. Typed and pasted for 30 min. Submitted my "Quick Reply". - My post didn't appear. Back not an option in Internet Explorer. Remembered lesson of copying long posts and saving to a text doc before posting on forums.
8. Rewrote everything, saved as a text document, tried to re-post as a "Quick Reply", but only my heading showed up. Re-posted by clicking a different "Submit Reply" button.

Some Aero features you rich people (Microsoft Benefactors) are enjoying:
"Windows Aero is the premium visual experience of Windows Vista. It features a translucent glass design with subtle window animations and new window colors."
"Aero’s distinctive visual style combines the appearance of lightweight, translucent windows with powerful graphic advances. With Aero, you can enjoy visually appealing effects and appearance and also benefit from better access to your programs."
"One of Aero’s more visually obvious features is glass window borders, which let you focus on the contents of your open windows. Window behavior has also been redesigned, with subtle animations accompanying the minimizing, maximizing, and repositioning of windows to appear more smooth and effortless."
"You can even fine-tune the color and appearance of windows, the Start menu, and the taskbar by tinting your translucent windows. Select one of the provided colors, or create your own custom color using the color mixer."
"Part of the Windows Aero experience is Windows Flip 3D, which is a way to arrange your open windows in a three-dimensional stack that you can quickly flip through without having to click the taskbar."
"Aero also includes taskbar previews for your open windows. When you point to a taskbar button, you'll see a thumbnail-sized preview of the window, whether the content of the window is a document, a photo, or even a running video."
"Even the method of pressing ALT+TAB for switching windows has been giving an update. Instead of simple icons, you can see live previews of the windows for each open program."

My Computer


Vista Guru
Gold Member
Thank you for taking the time to tell us that :) Its words like those which give us our satisfaction


My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Build #1
    Intel Core i7 3770K @4.4GHz
    ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
    Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB DDR3 1600MHz Low Profile (White)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 (2GB GDDR5)
    Sound Card
    Integrated on motherboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" LG LCD/LED IPS
    Screen Resolution
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO 128GB SSD
    Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200rpm
    2x500GB Seagate FreeAgent 5400rpm
    Corsair TX650W V2 (80+ Bronze)
    NZXT Phantom 410
    Corsair H100 Water Cooler, 1x140mm and 1x120mm stock fans
    Microsoft Desktop 2000 Wireless Mouse
    Microsoft Desktop 2000 Wireless Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    95 Mb/s Download 70 Mb/s Upload