Registry Tweak to Decrease Window Border Size and Padding in Windows 8 and Later

We all know that Microsoft has released RTM version of Windows 8 and you can download a free 90-day trial version of Windows 8 RTM from here.

The biggest UI change in Windows 8 RTM is the removal of Aero Glass. Microsoft introduced Aero Glass UI in Windows Vista which was also available in Windows 7 but Microsoft has completely removed Aero Glass from Windows 8.

Since there is no glass transparency available in Windows 8, the program windows such as Windows Explorer, etc look a little bit bulky because of the thick border. It used to look nice in Windows Vista and Windows 7 because there was Aero glass transparency in it but without glass transparency window borders in Windows 8 don't look good as shown in following screenshot:

Thick_Window_Borders_Windows_8.png

The border size and padding could be customized using "Advanced appearance settings" option present in Desktop Personalization window in Windows Vista and Windows 7 but Microsoft removed this option from Windows 8 as mentioned here. So now you can't increase or decrease the size of window borders in Windows 8.

Don't worry! If you don't like the window border size in Windows 8, we are going to share a small registry tweak which will allow you to decrease border size and padding and you'll get thin borders in Windows 8 as shown in following screenshot:

Thin_Window_Borders_Windows_8.png

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

1. Press "WIN+R" key combination to launch RUN dialog box then type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor and go to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

2. In right-side pane, look for following 2 Strings:

  • BorderWidth
  • PaddedBorderWidth

These 2 strings store the border size and padding settings which you used to customize using advanced appearance settings option in previous Windows versions.

By default, BorderWidth string is set to -15 and PaddedBorderWidth is set to -60.

3. Double-click and change the values of both strings BorderWidth and PaddedBorderWidth to 0 as shown in following screenshot:

Change_Window_Border_Size_Windows_8.png

You can play around with the values to control window border size and padding.

4. That's it. Close Registry Editor and restart Windows to take effect. After reboot, you'll get thin borders in Windows 8.

PS: If you want to restore default borders, simply change both string values to the default i.e. -15 for BorderWidth and -60 for PaddedBorderWidth.

NOTE: If you don't want to modify Registry yourself, download following ready-made Registry script which will do the whole task automatically for you:

Download Registry Script to Get Thin Borders in Windows 8

After downloading, extract the ZIP file and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. ZIP file also contains another Registry script to restore default border size.

Are you using Windows 8 RTM? Do you like the default borders? Feel free to share your feedback in your comments...





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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1


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Comments

  • Omg, I tested a lot and didn't noticed, what the last Windows 8 version no longer contains "AeroGlass", which was the feature, which I loved the most. I can't use Windows with no "Full Glass" theme. e_e

  • ,Is this also will work for Windows 7?..

  • Hi Vishal. Thanks for the Tweak.

    Mike

  • It looks much better without the large window borders!

    @zh1985
    It works for Windows 7, but it can be easier to adjust by :
    Right-click desktop -> Personalize -> Window Color -> Advanced Appearance Settings...
    Then changing the 'Active Window Border' and 'Border Padding' settings.

  • Could borders be removed completely (1px, 2px)? Just like in OS X?

  • VG

    ^^ Using Registry tweak: No but may be a custom theme can do this.

    @zh1985
    As Riddle said, this Registry tweak will work in Windows Vista and Windows 7 as well but since they provide an option to customize it, there is no need to use Registry editor.

    @Mike
    Thanks for sharing. :)

  • VG, is there absolutely no way we can enable Aero Glass? Is it possible with a custom theme, or did Microsoft remove the functionality altogether?

  • Interesting... Windows 8 taskbar no longer contains blur, maybe there's a way to import some files to Windows 7, so there won't be more blur.

  • VG

    It seems Microsoft has completely removed Aero glass and blur from Windows 8. May be in coming days we'll see 3rd party themes or DLL hacks to enable Aero glass in Windows 8? ;)

  • Not only enable glass in Windows 8, but also a way to remove blur from Windows 7 taskbar.

  • It's really a bad thing that "Aero Glass" has been completely removed from Windows 8. The UI doesn't look appealing to me anymore (I thought all those RTM screenshots were taken with basic theme). Damn you Microsoft! At least you could have left an option to enable aero glass manually.

  • i have enabled aero if anyone cares it's not perfect but it works

  • What did 'u do?

  • I hated this in Win7 too, but I only ever changed PaddedBorderWidth. If changing the other has any effect in Win7/8, I don't see what it is.

  • VG

    @alex
    Do you mean something like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWt94nGwzZ4

  • Windows 8 looks terrible.

  • thanks for this... :)

  • This ^^^, all this ^^^, is what's wrong with Windows.

  • thanks for this tweak,,:)

  • What exactly is the difference between BorderWidth and PaddedBorderWidth?
    I have played around with first one the the other but cannot see a difference between the two. For example if you change only the Borderwidth to -200 and look at it then set it back to default and change the PaddedBorderWidth to -200 then I dont see a difference between the two values.
    I mean they both make the border fatter dont they?

  • Why ppl wants AeroGlass in Windows 8? I have a PC preinstalled Windows 8 and when i was going to activate AeroGlass my screen is black. I Mean i have to FORCE Restart and Refresh! Tweaks for aero isn't going to work since i tried like 5 tweaks. No Changes. And Why is everyone points at the registry editor for an AeroGlass to work? Just install an 3rd party themes like Aero 8 Glow with an software for Aero? Try searching at Google. and...This is a warning: IF YOU MODIFY A WRONG DWORD KEY AT THE REGEDIT YOUR PC MIGHT NOT RUN AGAIN!!! And, peace!

  • Oh yeah and the last tip! If u guys want AeroGlass and tweaks like this why you dont just buy a Win7 PC? Or you guys want to make Win8 good? I believe like High-End users can use Win8 with tweaks. Some tweaks make your Windows not Genuine (MAYBE!). But just pick Win7 if u dont like Win8.

  • Thank You, now looks right

  • This doesn't work on Windows 10 for me, don't know if it uses values in the theme file or what.

  • The latest Windows 8.1 update doesn't accept 0 as a value and resets it to default values for me. You have to set it to "-1" instead of "0" for it to work.

  • Thank you this works on win7

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