Enable Aero Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2008 R2

By default, Aero style is not available in Windows Server 2008 R2. To enable the Aero desktop experience in Windows Server 2008 R2 you will need to install the Desktop Experience feature.

After installing the Desktop Experience feature, you will have to enable the Themes service and then select an Aero theme. You might also need to update your video card driver, to run Aero. And in case your hardware does not support Aero, you can always select the Windows 7 Basic color scheme, which does not include transparency or other Aero effects.

First, install Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2008 R2:

  1. Click Start > Control Panel > Programs & Features > Turn Windows Features on or off.
  2. In the Features Summary section, click Add Features.
  3. Select the Desktop Experience check box. If you are prompted to install additional features, click Add Required Features, and then click Next.
  4. Click Install, you might have to restart your Windows computer.

Next, enable the Themes service:

  1. Click Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services.
  2. Click Themes.
  3. In the Startup type list, select Automatic and then click Apply.
  4. Under Service status, click Start and then click OK.

Finally, select an Aero theme:

  1. Right-click on the desktop & select Personalize.
  2. Click Themes.
  3. Under Aero Themes, click an Aero theme.

This will enable Aero Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2008 R2!

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Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.