Under the miniscule prism

Aero Glass Taskbar previews disabled

Ah, the wonder of Aero Glass for the Windows 7 Taskbar.
Capture Windows 7 Taskbar Preview Cut

The Aero Taskbar thumbnail previews are especially useful if you want to take a peek at what’s happening under your application. You may choose to view, open and close it if you hover your mouse over the thumbnails.

Your system should be compatible to support and run Aero though and not all editions of Windows 7 has Aero. For details in running Aero Glass in Windows 7:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/What-is-the-Aero-desktop-experience 

At some point and several users have experienced Aero Glass becoming disabled. It can be due to a recent hardware or update of video driver, some can be due to restrictions or permissions under your user account. The steps provided will help you enable your Taskbar preview.

A little introduction of Windows 7 Aero enablement:

1. Depending on the Edition and upon installation of Windows 7, it checks and calibrates your hardware performance to see if it can enable Aero.

W7 Checking Video Performance

2. Once Windows 7 assesses your video performance and finds it fit to run Aero, it should be automatically turned on. The tool that does this is called as the Windows System Assessment Tool which rates the overall performance of your machine’s hardware.

Capture WEI

3. Your Graphics performance must reach at least 3.0 for Aero to become enabled. Although, there are ways to allow or force Aero to turn on even if your score is at 1.0. I would not recommend forcing Aero since it may affect your system’s overall performance.

Resolving issues when Aero turns off or becomes disabled

METHOD 1

1. When you change your Video Card re-run your Windows Experience Index (WEI) score.

*NOTE: Before doing this you need to close all running applications.

2. To re-run WEI, you need to go to Start>Right Click on Computer>Choose Properties.
3. Look for “Windows Experience Index” under System.
4. Once you click on WEI, you should have a window with a “Re-run Assessment” near the lower left.
5. Let WEI finish and once its done and if you have a base score of 3.0 in Graphics you should be seeing Aero enabled.

Capture 3D WEI


METHOD 2

1. You can also run the Windows Experience Index assessment by using a Command Line.
2. Open Command Prompt in Elevated Mode. Open Start, then into Start Search type CMD.
3. Hold down CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER. This should run Command Prompt in Administrator Level.

*NOTE: If you can’t do the hotkey for elevation of CMD, you may Right Click on CMD and choose “Run as Administrator” after you see the result in Start Search.

4. On the Command prompt Window, type the command below then hit ENTER:
        WinSat Formal
5. The Assessment may take several minutes to complete so do not close the Command Prompt window.

METHOD 3

1. If your score has at least 3.0 and Aero is not running then you may need to check a Service that enables Aero to run automatically.
2. Go to Start, type Services.msc and hit ENTER.
3. Once in the Services Console window look for Desktop Window Manager Session Manager.
4. Once found, double click on this and another window should come up.
5. Check the Startup Type and make sure that it is set to “Automatic”. If not use the drop-down option to set this to “Automatic”.Capture UxSmS

6. See also the Service Status if it is started. If not, hit “Start”. Now if there are any changes that you made previously, make sure you hit “Apply”. Close the window by hitting OK.

METHOD 4

1. As an alternative to Method 3, you can use the command line to enable Aero’s dependency service.
2. Open Command Prompt in Elevated Mode. Open Start, then into Start Search type CMD.
3. Hold down CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER. This should run Command Prompt in Administrator Level.

*NOTE: If you can’t do the hotkey for elevation of CMD, you may Right Click on CMD and choose “Run as Administrator” after you see the result in Start Search.

4. On the Command prompt Window, type the command below then hit ENTER:
        SC Config UxSms Start= Auto        
        SC START UXSMS

*NOTE: There is a space between the = (Equal) sign and Auto

5. Your screen may flicker after the commands. Check now if Aero was enabled.

METHOD 5

1. Check your system’s Performance Options.
2. Open System Properties by going to Start, Start Search, type SYSDM.CPL and hit ENTER
3. In the System Properties window, look for a tab called Advanced. Under Performance, hit Settings.

Capture System Properties Advanced

4. Clicking on “Settings…” should bring up another window with Performance Options selected and “Visual Effects” under it. Look for and select to “Enable desktop Composition”. Hit Apply and then OK twice.

Capture Enable Desktop Composition

5. Check if Aero is now enabled and you have the Taskbar thumbnail preview.

 

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