Enable the hidden Aero Lite theme in Windows 10

Similar to Windows 8, the brand new Windows 10 comes with a secret hidden Aero Lite theme, which can be enabled with just a simple text file. It changes the appearance of windows, the taskbar and also the new Start menu. Here are the steps you need to perform to enable the Aero Lite theme in Windows 10.

Windows 10 aero lite
After you apply the Aero Lite theme, the taskbar will become opaque, window frames will get borders and the entire appearance of the OS will be similar to what you get with the Aero Lite theme on Windows 8. If you want to try this theme yourself, do the following:

  1. Open the following folder in File Explorer:

    aero theme of Windows 10

  2. Copy the Aero.theme file to Desktop.
  3. Rename the file to AeroLite.theme.
  4. Run Notepad and drag your AeroLite.theme into the opened Notepad window.
  5. Make the following changes:
    - in [Theme] section:

    Displayname=Aero Lite

    theme section
    - in [VisualStyles] section:


    VisualStyles section

  6. Save the file and double click it from the Desktop.

The Aero Lite theme will be applied.

Alternatively, you can use Winaero Tweaker. Go to Appearance -> Aero Lite. There are two options there.

Aero Lite default Winaero Tweaker

One activates the default Aero Lite theme with black window title text. The second one applies makes the window title text white. This feature works in Windows 8, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10.

That's it.

42 thoughts on “Enable the hidden Aero Lite theme in Windows 10

  1. Hoc

    Please fix /wp-content/uploads/2014/10/theme-section.png”> on your post!

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author


  2. anon

    The theme is called “Windows Basic”.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      no, you are wrong

  3. MDJ

    A trick for anyone who uses Aero Glass, made by bigmuscle:

    If you want to get taskbar blur without any additional program, rename your VS (for instance, “Snowy8.msstyles”) to “aerolite.msstyles”. Now edit the theme file with Notepad of the VS you‘re using (for example, “Snowy8.theme”). When you open it using Find function search for this: “[VisualStyles]”. Change the visual style‘s path which is found in Path section like you did with its name before (for example, we have this: “Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Snowy8\Snowy8.msstyles“, here “Snowy8.msstyles” need to be changed to “aerolite.msstyles”). After this save the theme file you‘ve just modified, choose default Windows theme in Personalization panel and switch back to the theme you were using before—the taskbar shall be blurred now like it was in Windows 7.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Hmm, interesting.

  4. feren

    Now you`ve seen it on Windows 10, what happens if you do it in Windows 10 9926?

  5. ElectricalBoy

    It even works on Windows 10 Insider Preview(Build 10166)! Thanks! :)

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      yep, it should work.
      you are welcome.

  6. Killian

    Great for use via RDP

    You can also customize the colour on windows 8 and then transfer or synchronise to 10.
    Because the colour selection is missing in 10 at the moment.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You can enable colors for the regular theme as well.
      See https://winaero.com/blog/get-colored-title-bars-in-windows-10/

  7. swagking

    does not work for me, i get a windows basic theme

    1. WIN7TBAR

      How, I’m desperate for a windows basic theme

  8. John

    Did not work for me either, just resorts back to default Windows 10 theme without any transparent tab bar

  9. Cheryl

    Hey thank you so much for sharing this knowlege and not asking for a fee. You are amazing and I would have lost hours of time fumbling around trying to change my Windows 10 colors

  10. Mats Svensson


    But like everything else in Win 10, that theme also looks like crap.

    Bad colors ,b ad contrast, and almost zero difference between active an non-active. windows.

    MS sucks so F bad these days.

  11. Niles

    I’m not exactly sure what I did when I followed this article, but it worked so no complaints.

    Made using Win 10 much nicer, thanks. =)

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome.

  12. Andrelo1

    How did you managed to make the task bar to look like on first two screens ? I meen the apps tumbnails. They looks bumped like in Windows 8, not flat with bottom line like they are in Windows 10. Or it was so in earlier builds ( in build 9841 ) ? I have searched for such option in Winaero Tweaker, but didn’t find anything.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      That was possible in pre-release builds of Windows 10.

  13. dadrumgod

    I have such mixed emotions about w10. I’m so new to using a pc it’s weird, I’vr been an advanced android user for years but haven’t needed a pc. My last pc had a 5 something inch floppy and ran straight MS-DOS lol thats’s bad. I got a netbook with w7 bout 6 months ago and upgraded to w10 before I knew what I was doing and after a lil time I went back and played with a w7 setup and couldv’e kicked myself for upgrading. I got a new HP Pavilion 17 a few weeks ago and dual booting w7 is a lot more difficult and Linux distros aren’t the same. I’m learning so much so fast and this was just perfect to run across, I didn’t know about all these tweaks Thanks alot Sergey Tkachenko you bumped me up another step. Also I would love to see the taskbar altered more somehow but that now will probably require something like winstep, installing heavy apps etc.. I hope MS decides to remove the chains lol.

  14. Franck


    I have a win32 application and the background color used is inactive title bar text color. By default in Windows 10 the color as Black.

    I change the color with the theme Aero Lite White, except that after a few hours my application back with a black background. I have to reapply the theme (Aero Lite White)

    Do you have any idea or could be the problem? Why after a few hours the inactive title bar text return black ?


  15. Stephen Davison

    HI I liked ainaerotweaker but just activated aero light after downloading and installing aero7 themes(wich I like)
    Now my aero7 themes all look like aero light even if I delete aero7 themes and reinstall.
    How can I get them back?

    Regards Steve

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Try the following:

      • Activate your default Windows theme.
      • Now activate your Aero7 theme.

      Also, can you tell me which exactly Aero7 you are using?

      1. Stephen Davison

        Hi again. Tried defaualt then aero but no go! eventually uninstalled aero tweaker(probably not neccessary),
        ununstalled uxstyle for windows 10, deleted all aero7 themes, rebooted and reinstalled ux styles and re copied aero7 themes to resources folder and all OK!
        am using aero7 clear from
        Website: http://sagorpirbd.deviantart.com/


        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          I guess the only step was required is to reinstall UXStyle :)

  16. John George

    This is an awesome tweak for Windows 10. My poor “dual core laptop 1.9 Ghz”. Running windows 8 or 10
    had problems when running too many webpages at once. If I had more than 3 intense graphic webpages running at once, my CPU would peak to 98% usage. I would have to kill 1 -2 pages to get cpu back down so, I could run something else. I feel like I have a new laptop.
    Hats off to you sir
    John George

  17. John

    I only need to make taskbar like in windows 7, but installing “Aero Light” using Winaero Tweaker doesn’t help me.

    It only change colors to borders to windows,

    but how i can get taskbar line in your 2nd screenshot?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It was the default theme in Windows 10 pre-release build 9841.
      Since that time, Microsoft had heavily tweaked the taskbar and you can’t get this look any more.

  18. Martin Cleaver

    This theme is now a bit broken on Anniversary edition – the clock disappears from the taskbar

  19. Martin Cleaver

    Actually it looks like the clock is now black on very dark grey. SO virtually invisible. Is this a setting or a MS bug?

    1. Bob

      I’ve experienced the same thing. I like the borders around windows and am using one of the aero lite themes. Since the anniversary update, the clock has black text on a dark taskbar. This cosmetic flaw isn’t enough to make me switch back to a standard Windows 10 theme, but it is an annoyance.

  20. Rich

    Am I missing something? What does this do that you can’t do with Control Panel/Personalization?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      By default, Aero Lite doesn’t exist in Personalizarion.
      It is just an alternative appearance.

  21. isname

    Hello, Winaero.
    Can I add rounded windows in your software functionality? The Windows 7 Explorer’s windows had rounded corners, and in Windows 10 they are gone. Please, add this functionality. I have been searching for this tweak for about 1.5 hours and no results, but the damn Microsoft forum telling me it’s impossible.
    PS Thanks for the software. I like how my windows got borders, so now I can tell them from the background windows. Windows 10’s GUI sucks; the whites make youe eyes itch, and the white borders make your screen a clutter of rubbish, and there are no lines to tell this setting ends and another begins.

  22. isname

    hello, Winaero. Can you tell if there is a way to make the corners of windows rounded? I hate the rectangular corners. Windows 10 R2 x64.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is defined by your Visual Style/Theme and DWM. In short, it is very hard to achieve.

  23. something

    This theme looks so ugly. The buttons are too large, and it’s not even transparent. Sadly this is the best we got… why Microsoft?

  24. Marc

    With Winaero Tweaker I can enable Aero Lite, but it’s not persistent. Whenever I log off and on again, it’s back to the default theme (no coloured title bars, etc.).

    I’m using Tweaker on Windows 10 Version 1703 64-bit (15063.608) Dutch language.

  25. why

    i enabled aero light but it wasnt transparent so i wanted to reset advanced options to remove it but then it loged out like i should and nothing changed but now my desktop icons are like small and setting it to the middle option in icon size was not normal, just please i want help i dont like that trhe icons are tiny i uninstalled it and same as before am i the only one that who this happened to?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Changing the theme in Windows 10 doesn’t change the icon size. Can you tell please if you have changed anything else/applied some other tweaks?

      1. why

        no if i change the theme it dosent change i did not change anything else


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