Windows Vista / Getting Started

The "Glass" Effects Slow Down My Laptop

One of Vista's much touted special effects, Aero Glass, may be too special to be practical. Aero Glass lets you see bits and pieces of your desktop in each window's frame. The effects also let some programs, like Vista's chess game, "float" in the air, letting you watch the game from all angles.

But the calculations required for those visual gymnastics slow down PCs that don't have high-powered graphics - and that includes many of the current crop of laptops. With Aero Glass, Windows XP's once snappy Freecell may crawl across the screen of your laptop.

Even worse, it may drain your batteries to a fraction of their battery life. If you don't like the extra burden Aero Glass dumps on your PC, turn it off by following these steps:

  1. Right-click a blank part of your desktop and choose Personalize to summon the Control Panel and then choose Window Color and Appearance. If you spot the words Open Classic Appearance Properties For More Color Options, click them. Otherwise, move to Step 2.
  2. Choose Windows Vista Basic as the Color Scheme and click OK.

If that is still too slow, try choosing Windows Standard or even Windows Classic in Step 2.

To turn Aero Glass back on for impressing your friends, follow the first step in the preceding list, but choose Windows Aero in Step 2.

If Vista's still not snappy enough, right-click Computer on the Start menu, choose Properties, and select Advanced System Settings from the task pane on the left. Click the Settings button in the Performance section, choose Adjust for Best Performance, and click OK.

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