How to reduce window border size in Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista

If you are not happy with the huge window frame present by default in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can easily change its thickness. In this article, we will see how it can be done.


In Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, opened windows have a 4px border out-of-the-box. This setting is part of the default Aero theme which was introduced in Windows Vista and exists even on Windows 10, but with several modifications. For the Aero theme in Windows 8, 7 or Vista, the window frame can be a minimum of 1 px, and the maximum size can be above 20px. So, if you are not happy with the default 4px window frame, you can set it to 1px and enjoy slick looking thin window frames.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can configure the appearance of the window border using the GUI. In Personalization-> Color-> Advanced appearance, there is an option called "Border Padding". You can set it to 0 and get a 1px border! Here is a picture of the default window frame size in Windows 7:Windows 7 default window border

And this is how the reduced one looks with the appropriate option set:Windows 7 thin window border

As you can see, there is nothing complex about it.

But things are different in Windows 8/Windows 8.1. Microsoft removed all of the advanced appearance options, so the user cannot reduce the window frame easily. To reduce window borders, you need to apply a Registry tweak or use a third party tool.

The Registry tweak should be done as follows.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry path:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

    Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click.

  3. You will see a string (REG_SZ) value named PaddedBorderWidth. Its value data uses the following formula:
    -15*border width in pixels

    For example, by default it is -60, which means 4px:

    -15*4 = -60

    Just set it to 0:Windows 8 reduce window border

  4. Now, sign out from your user account and log in back. Window borders will be 1px, as expected:Windows 8 thin window border

To avoid Registry editing and the sign out requirement, as well as to save your time, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It offers you the appropriate option and applies changes on-the-fly. Run Winaero Tweaker, go to Advanced Appearance -> Window Borders and adjust window frames the way you need:aero lite borders Winaero Tweaker

The changes will be applied instantly!

As for Windows 10, its default theme does not draw any border. This theme is modified by Microsoft and can't have borders at all. However, if you activate and apply the hidden Aero Lite theme, you will be able to manage borders using the Registry or by using Winaero Tweaker.windows 10 aero lite

That's it. If you have any questions or suggestions, you are welcome to comment.

8 thoughts on “How to reduce window border size in Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. William

    To get the narrowest borders the value BorderWidth should be set to 0. Winaero Tweaker leaves it at the default -15 setting.

    To apply the Registry changes the user has to restart the computer or else log out and log back in again. However, Winaero Tweaker applies the changes immediately. How does it do that? Is there a script you can share with us?

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      0 is ignored by OS. minimal value is 1, which should be -15
      To set borders, Winaero tweaker uses APIs which are in Windows since Windows 9x

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  2. William

    You are incorrect,, sir/. Windows 10 does not ignore the BorderWidth value data.

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      No, you are wrong.
      Windows 10 does not draw any border and does not respect the mentioned value with the default theme.
      Set Aero Lite and try to play with BorderWidth. You will see that minimal value is 1.
      The only parameter which can be set to 0 is PaddedBorderWidth, but even in that case it will draw 1px border with Aero Lite and no border with Default theme in case of Windows 10.

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      1. William

        Thank you for your reply. It’s possible that Windows 10 doesn’t respect a 0 setting for BorderWidth when the default theme is used. I don’t know. I’m using the Aero Lite theme. I can assure you that setting BorderWidtth to 0 and PaddedBorderWidth to 0 when the Aero Lite theme is selected will create a narrower border than leaving the BorderWidth setting at -15 or -20, which is the default Aero Lite setting.

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  3. Norvell Jackson

    With Winaero Tweaker I enabled Aero Lite. It performs as wanted; I can adjust the border width with Winaero Tweaker and the color with Windows/Personalization and Colors. However, the system time on the Taskbar is BLACK text, which I can hardly see. Is there a way to make it white as are the other system icons a the far right on the Taskbar?

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Unfortunately, I found no way to change it.

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  4. dean gaudet

    every time windows 10 reboots it seems to reset my theme back to the 4px “border padding” value… what is the trick to get this to stay across reboots?

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