Is There Any Way to Enable True Aero Glass Transparency with Blur in Windows 8?

Whenever a new user starts using Windows 8 final version (RTM), the first thing he/she notices is the removal of Aero glass transparency. When you boot into Windows 8 Desktop and open a program window, you don't get any transparency in windows. This is one of the most frequently asked question about Windows 8, "Where is the transparency in Windows 8? How can I enable transparency in Windows 8?".


In previous Windows versions such as Windows Vista and Windows 7, if your graphics card was compatible, you used to get Aero glass transparency in windows but in Windows 8 even if your graphics card supports Aero theme, you don't get the transparency. Why?

Actually Microsoft has removed Aero glass transparency feature from Windows 8 just like the removal of Start Menu, Start button and various other stuff. It was done to improve system performance and reduce battery power usage.

So the question comes, can you enable Aero glass transparency in Windows 8? The answer is NO. Microsoft has removed the complete code of Aero glass transparency from Windows 8 source code so you can't get it back.

Many websites are posting about a few tricks to enable a buggy and unstable transparency in Windows 8 which is of no use. If you can remember we have already posted a video revealing this trick long time back at our YouTube channel. This trick involves a Registry tweak to modify "ColorizationGlassAttribute" setting of DWM engine. Check out following video showing the whole method:

Same thing can also be achieved by first applying a High contrast theme and then re-applying default Windows theme. Actually its a bug in Windows 8. You are not going to get Aero glass feature or transparency using this tweak. This trick forces Windows 8 to just draw window borders and everything else remains unchanged. So the transparency which you get using the above trick is not actually a transparency. Its just a blank space which is showing the background stuff. Also its unstable. As soon as you move the program window, it gets massed up.

So there is no built-in way or Registry tweak to get Aero glass transparency back in Windows 8 but there will be many 3rd party software available in coming days which will provide Aero glass transparency in Windows 8. Similar to freeware bringing back Start Menu and Start button in Windows 8 and freeware to customize Start Screen in Windows 8.

In the meantime you can try following freeware which were created to get Windows Vista and Windows 7 style Aero glass transparency in Windows XP but these freeware might also work in Windows 8 (not tested):

So if you want to enjoy Aero glass transparency in Windows 8, just wait until we get some software to bring the good old transparency back in Windows 8...

UPDATE: Please check following tutorial:

How to Enable True Aero Glass Transparency with Blur and Reflection in Windows 8?

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Windows vista: WOW! Aero glass transparency! So cool
    Windows 7: FINALLY! The've enabled it on maximized windows!

    Microsoft's reaction:
    Let's take Aero glass transparency away

    Why? Well, because f**k logic!

  • Maybe Windowblinds for Win8 will fix it? If Windowblinds is ever made for Win8 lol

  • We All Missing Windows Transparency!!!

  • I haven't had any good experiences with Aero software on XP. I hope some better ones will be available for Windows 8. But I don't think it's necessary - call me a freak, but Windows 8 looks pretty good to me.

  • I'm still waiting windows 9...

  • Tried both alternatives for "Windows XP". Not working.

  • I want the new task manager, ribbon interface in Explorer, the ability to refresh and reinstall, Hyper- V, and the fast boot times like Windows 8 in Windows 7.

  • take risk by replacing dwm.exe file on windows 8 rtm using dwm.exe on the Release Preview. See if it works..

  • It's only a matter of time. Someone will come up with something, whether it's the Stardock crew or a private developer. Give it 6 months. Get aero back, at least the option, and it will certainly get me more interested.

  • @Kevin
    You can check out the following tutorial by VG:

    You'll get most of the features, thought obviously, not the Hyper-V & Refresh.

  • Glass2k works on Windows 8. It applies the transparency to the entire window but it works perfectly and is free, gratis, kostenlos.

  • aero Transperancy was removed due to compatablity problems
    win8 supports 16-bit apps as well

  • @Peter

    "Glass2k" is not the best opinion...

  • Nice explanation. I am waiting for software which will provide the glass. :D

  • What happens when you purchase the upgrade from the advisory tool and you go to install and it says, Something happened, Set can't determine if your PC is ready for the upgrade.

  • I bought a copy but refuse to install it until aero is available.

  • @Werner
    At least it should be possible to enable it. Not everyone has tablets and laptops :)
    Even on 6-7+ years old hardware, Win7 Aero Glass runs without any problems.
    Having a mid-performance desktop, I feel a bit robbed.

  • is there any way to disable the transparency of the taskbar in windows 8. with everything not aero it just looks out of place.

  • VG

    ^^ Please check this:

  • thanks

  • win 8, yeah! Let's use windows 8 to not be able to have a start menu! let's use it to not have aero! my question is, why use it at all? 7 has all i need, 8 doesn't give me anything more than anoyances.

  • @careca

    Yep, "Windows 8" worth attention only for fast booting and metro apps.

  • at least Microsoft could have put switching in transparency,

    #1. disabled only under some sort of high performance mode provided.
    #2. disabled only for system with low ratings, say less than 5.

    Windows 8 is faster, so I feel a bit sorry for criticizing it but its Aero-absence is aesthetically intolerable.

  • Well, transparency is possible, i found a piece of software named bLend here in which if u set it to this unstable high contrast broken aero and set all windows to be transparent with "bLend" it gives u a non buggy windows aero. No clue if the guys who made these pieces of software know that together they do this tho. anyways give it a try and tell me if it works o.o

  • VG

    ^^ Its still buggy. The transparency works properly for a few minutes or seconds but then the same glitch occurs. Also its not Aero glass transparency. ;)

  • dunno, works fine for me x: may be another prob or i explained wrong and yea its completely transparent not aero glass :/ hope someone comes out with a program to bring back aero soon, its been a few months already

  • SirNoah's idea is working perfectly for me as well although the transparency makes the window frame and taskbar text (remains black) hard to read with a dark background. No glitches though, even after a few hours.

  • i can confirm that glass2k works great! Is there any reason as to why you dont recommend it? also, this could serve as a base for aero glass effects in windows 8, if someone could modify it to only make the borders transparent...

  • Border Skin does work but with bugs for internet explorer

  • This works and is stable:

  • Looks like microsoft replaced complete code of Aero Glass Transparency with Aero auto colorization in Windows 8 and I want Aero Glass Transparency back in Windows 8.1!

  • Hey VG, try the above method on Windows 8.1 RTM, its still removed or transparency is back? Also on:

  • VG

    ^^ Nothing changed.

  • It is possible to restore Aero to Windows 8/8.1 through a couple of different means.

    1. AeroGlass will do it, although you will have to do minor registry edits because it uses hooks within the native DWM and DirectX. If you choose this option, BACKUP the registry keys BEFORE modifying them by using the EXPORT option.

    WindowBlinds 8 [Stardock, ] will allow full customization of almost every visual item within Explorer, including adding Aero back, along with the capability to create full explorer window transparency [Alpha 0), complete TaskBar transparency, fully transparent Start Menu, etc. If you choose this option, buy the ObjectDesktop subscription for $40, as it will give you over 15 additional software items for additional customization over Windows 8 and it's behavior.

    Either of these may have been mentioned above, however I don't have time to read the comments.

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