HP Support







About Aero Graphical Interface (Windows 7)

This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop Computers with Windows 7.
Windows Aero features
Windows 7 provides a visual experience known as Aero. Windows Aero can be used to change window colors and make window borders transparent, like glass.
Aero is limited to Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate. If you want to use Aero but you do not have one of these versions of Windows 7, upgrade to a different version of the Windows 7 operating system.
Figure : Control Panel window with Aero border
Control Panel window with Aero border
Preview windows
Aero also has a practical side, allowing you to preview a miniature version of a full window, by moving the cursor over the icon on the taskbar. To switch to the window, simply click on it.
Figure : Preview of Help and Support
Miniature preview of Help and Support
Switching programs
To quickly switch to another open program, hold the Alt key and press Tab to cycle through the programs until you reach the program you want.
Figure : Switching programs
Switching programs using Alt and Tab
Aero Peek
Aero Peek enables you to make all of the open windows transparent and view the desktop. To use Aero Peek, move the cursor over the small rectangle on the taskbar, next to the date and time.
Figure : Show desktop
Show desktop rectangle on the taskbar
Figure : Aero Peek
Aero Peek
Aero Shake
Aero Shake enables you to minimize all open windows except the one you are using. To use Aero Shake, click and the window you want to stay open, hold the left mouse button in the down position, and shake the mouse.
Customizing Windows Aero settings
You can customize Windows Aero settings, such as the window border. Follow the steps below to customize the look and feel of your Aero environment:
  1. Right-click an open area of the desktop and select Personalize.
    The Personalization window opens.
    Figure : Personalization window
    Personalization window
  2. Select an Aero Theme.
  3. Click Window Color.
    The Window Color and Appearance window opens.
    Figure : Window Color and Appearance
    Window Color and Appearance
  4. Check or uncheck the Enable transparency box to enable or disable the Aero effect at the edges of all windows.
    If transparency is not enabled, the desktop theme looks like the classic settings from earlier versions of windows, but other features of Windows Aero still work.
  5. Select a color from the list of displayed window colors; or click the arrow next to Show color mixer to create a custom color for the window borders.
  6. Click Save changes when done.
Disabling Windows Aero
By default, Aero is enabled. While Windows Aero does offer benefits to your computing experience, it comes at a cost in system performance. If you do not want to use the Windows Aero features, follow these steps to disable Windows Aero and apply a different theme:
  1. Right-click an open area of the desktop and select Personalize.
    The Personalization window opens.
    Figure : Personalization window
    Personalization window
  2. Scroll through the Themes until you come to the Basic and High Contrast Themes. Click a theme to enable the new basic theme and disable aero.
    Figure : Basic and High Contrast Themes
    Basic and High Contrast Themes
Enabling Windows Aero
By default, Aero is enabled. If you previously changed the theme on your computer, follow these steps to enable Windows Aero:
  1. Right-click an open area of the desktop and select Personalize.
    The Personalization window opens.
    Figure : Personalization window
    Personalization window
  2. Click one of the Aero Themes to enable the theme.
Verifying display settings
Windows 7 has specific graphic display settings for using Aero. Do the following steps to verify that the display color is set to 32-bit or higher.
  1. Right-click an open area of the desktop and select Screen resolution.
    The Screen Resolution window opens.
    Figure : Screen Resolution
    Screen Resolution window
  2. Click Advanced settings.
  3. Click the Monitor tab.
    Figure : Monitor tab
    Monitor tab
  4. Select the True Color (32-bit) option from the Colors drop-down menu.
    • Windows Aero automatically turns off if a lower graphic setting is selected.
    • If high resolution graphic settings are not available, verify that the latest graphics display drivers are installed.
Updating graphics drivers
Windows 7 requires specific graphics drivers for Aero to function properly. If the 32-bit color graphics setting is not shown in the Display setting window, or if your computer was upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7, you may need to update the graphics drivers. Follow these steps to update to the latest graphics drivers:
  1. Go to the Drivers and Downloads Web site.
  2. Type the model number of the computer in the Search field, and then press the Enter key.
  3. Select the Windows 7 operating system.
  4. Under Drivers - Graphics, select the link to the most recent version of the display driver.
  5. Click Download Only.
  6. When prompted, click Run to install the driver.
  7. Once the graphics driver installation is finished, check your system to see if the Aero environment is now available.


Contact HP

Contact HP

Let HP help you find the answer or identify a service location. Contact us >

Country: United States