How To Enable And Use Windows 7 Aero Features

One of my favourite things about Windows 7 is the introduction of the new Aero features. It’s simple to learn how to use these as the gestures for them are very natural and you quickly begin using them without hesitation. But the best thing about them is that they are actually very useful and really help increase the productivity of the OS.

The reason I’ve entitled this post “ How To Enable And Use Windows 7 Aero Features “ is because when you first install windows 7 you may not have the Aero features enabled.

It turns out that by default, Windows 7 is set to automatically adjust its Aero effects based on your systems windows experience index rating. If you have just installed Windows 7 you will need to run this by going to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System and also make sure you have the drivers for your graphics card installed

Sometimes you may only have partial Aero effects. This can be because Windows may not think your machine is powerful enough to run these effects without affecting performance.

If this is happening to you, and you don’t mind about a possible slight slow down on performance you can force enable them –

1.Go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System

2.Click on advanced system settings on the left and then performance settings.

3.Under the visual effects tab you should see that the option “ Let windows choose what’s best for my computer “ is by default checked.

4.Below it you should see a list of visual effects, some of which will be unchecked if you are not experiencing the full range of Aero features.

5.Select the custom option and then select all the effects from the list below it. Hit apply and ok and you should have all the Aero effects enabled.


Now what are these Aero effects?

Aero Peek:

What this is it gives you a preview of windows in a thumbnail without actually opening them by simply hovering over the icon in the taskbar. Click on one of them and you will be taken to that window, this also works with tabs in Internet Explorer which is very handy, but unfortunately it doesn’t work in Firefox or Chrome as yet

You can also move your cursor to the lower right corner of your screen to get a preview of your desktop, click and you will be brought to your desktop

Aero Shake:


Aero Peek

If you have lots of windows open on your desktop and you only want to look at one, click and hold its window and shake it! All the other windows will minimize, simply shake the window again and all the other windows will restore.

Aero Snap:

One of the most useful features I use in Windows 7, If you click and drag a window up to the top of the screen it will automatically maximise itself. If you have two windows open, and want to view them side by side. Click and drag one to the right edge of the screen and the other to the left. They will both resize automatically to fit the screen

Aero Flip:

This Aero effect was in Windows Vista but not in XP. Activate it by pressing the windows key and tab at the same time. It will give you a 3D effect that will allow you to “Flip” between the different windows

Here is a video that I made on my own website ,  giving a walk through of the Aero features

Did anyone else have any problems with Aero effects when they first installed Windows 7?

What’s your favourite Aero feature or do you even use them?

Let us know by leaving a comment.

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27 Responses to How To Enable And Use Windows 7 Aero Features

  1. dan April 2, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    aero snap, shake has stop working what should i do?

  2. Anonymous April 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    finally got it working ………just had to know the keys for widows flip it was already active

    Thank you…….

    • Anonymous April 23, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

      can u help me too how u hav done it? actually m doing my project online auctions n my os is windows 7. will aero features create any problem while doing my project? will system get slow down?

  3. Tin_003_tan January 6, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    why is the wdm still disabled? but when i checked it, it is in automatic. i can’t find the answer. pls. help.

  4. Sebastian February 7, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    i did what it says but when i apply it the aero effects were not enabled !!

  5. Shahmeghar April 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    how to get personalization setting on right click…???

  6. Varnit13 June 4, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    I cant use aero flip on my desktop, i have a  ASUS motherboard and a graphic card installed 🙁

  7. Karkon December 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Aero peek doesn’t work with the tabs of mozilla ! Any ideas ?

  8. black7 February 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    i cant see the “enable aero peek” or any other aero options in there. Am using windows 7 home basic. can anyone please help me?.
    i would love to have those aero features.

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