Aero Glass is a free program that, well you guessed it, restores the popular"Aero Glass-effect" in Windows 8 and Windows 10. The program uses Windows' built-in Desktop Window Manager to produce the effect.
So, let's see how it works. There are two options that are available during the installation: Windows 10 Acrylic Design and Windows 8 RP Aero Glass Design. You can also enable the "Protect Aero Glass by adjusting access permissions" option.
Once you have installed the program, you will see that application title bars will become semi-transparent with the frosted glass effect. In case they don't, open the Task Manager, right-click on Explorer and select restart. You may want to restart some programs if they don't have the Aero Glass effect. Here's what the window looks like normally.
And here's the one with the effect enabled.
Note: The program displayed a pop-up message which says that this is the free version of Aero Glass, and also shows a machine code. I didn't find any use for this, but I'm guessing it may be required as part of the activation process for the donation license. The program seems to place a watermark on the wallpaper. Apparently, that's what the donation removes.
You may get an error which says "Aero Glass for Win8.1+ Incompatibility issue - Aero Glass does not know how to hook your version of DWM (0x2010)". This isn't an actual error, if you'd read the last screen of the installation wizard, you'll know why this issue occurred. The program requires some extra files (DWM symbols) which aren't downloaded by default (unless you have a donation key).
As a workaround, you'll need to get the symbols yourself. You can do so from Microsoft's website. The files you'll need are for the dwmcore.dll and udwm.dll. Or you could do what I did, and use the open source PDB Downloader program. Props to SuperUser forums for the perfect solution.
Use the Downloader to navigate to the Windows System32 folder to select the DLLs. Don't worry, your system files aren't going to be affected in any way. They are just used for reference to get the PDB files that are required for Aero Glass to work with the DwmEnableBlurBehindWindow function.
After you have obtained the 2 files, go to the Aero Glass folder (by default, it's at C:\AeroGlass). Create a folder called Symbols and place the 2 PDB's inside it. So, they should be at C:\AeroGlass\Symbols. That's it. The error should no longer appear, and your windows should appear with a frosted glass effect.
You can customize the way the aero-effect looks like (blur, color), but for this you'll need to do edit the Windows Registry. This isn't recommended for normal users; advanced users on the other hand can refer to the official guide for more information.
As for how Aero Glass works, it works fine in most programs (Explorer, MPV, Notepad, Firefox, Skype, Irfan View, etc, but doesn't have any effect in other programs like Firefox, Word, Telegram, Steam to name a few. It's likely because the applications use their own UI elements and not the standard Windows title bar's.
I remember when I first tried Vista, it was in 2008. Our workstations were being upgraded to the latest operating system, and we were being trained about the improvements it brought over Windows XP. Windows 7 hadn't been launched yet, those were some crazy days. One of the features that I immediately liked in it was the Aero Glass effect of the Start Menu. It's a shame Microsoft removed that from Windows 10. Well, we got that now.
If you're interested in customizing Windows, I'd recommend trying FalconX to center the taskbar icons.
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