How to apply Transparency Effects in Windows 10

Windows 10 has Aero Glass transparency built in by default. Still users don't get much control over the opacity and the blur effects on the open applications. Since Windows 8.1 application specific transparency has been removed and we have to rely on third party apps, in this article, we are going to take a look at various options of transparency effects in Windows 10.

Microsoft has released two Aero Glass effects in the Windows 10 release. By default taskbar blur effect is set for some versions of Windows. You can choose between the blur or the transparency effect. So let's take a look at the options that you can use to make start menu, taskbar and other windows transparent.

Make Start Menu and Taskbar Transparent

Follow the steps below to make the Start menu and Taskbar transparent.

1. Go to Settings from the Start menu.
2. Click on Personalization option.
3. Click on the tab "Colors" from left sidebar.
4. Move the button that says - "Make Start menu transparent".
5. Close Settings to save the options.

Most of the OEM installations come in with this option enabled by default. If you find this option disabled by default then follow the steps mentioned above to set the transparency.

Enable Blur Effect

Blur effect looks good on inactive windows while you're working on active window. In order to set the window for the blue effect follow the steps.

1. Go to start menu
2. Search for registry editor
3. Search for the following key : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize
4. Find the following key : Enable Blur
5. Set it to 1.

This will disable the existing transparent effect and make the Windows look blur if they are inactive.

Enable Transparency Effect

Transparency effect is enabled by default on most of the machines. However, if it is not enabled on your system then here are the steps to enable the same. Follow the steps below to set the effect.

1. Go to start menu
2. Search for registry editor
3. Search for the following key : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize
4. Find the following key : Enable Transparency
5. Set it to 1.

Note that when setting the transparency effect blur will be disabled and vice versa. You can't have two effects running at the same time.

Third Party Programs

There are many third party programs that can make your Windows transparent. Those programs also have the option to set the opacity level. And depending on how good your system resources are you can increase or decrease the transparency. After the release of Windows 8.1 the transparency effects were reduced. However most of the transparency effects can be retained if you use third party apps that bypass the limits.

1. Make Command Prompt Transparent

If you like transparent command prompt like Mac and Linux distros then here's one solution for you. Search online for "Glass - Transparent Cmd/Powershell Windows" keyword. You'll find codeplex website from where you can download this program. Once you run this program your existing instance of Command prompt and Powershell windows will turn into transparent shell.
You can set the transparency by running the program right from the command prompt itself.

2. Peek Through Transparency

This is a small utility that allows you to make any Window transparent. You can set the level of transparency on the Window as well. Program can be set to start from the startup. This makes it easy for you to just use the shortkey on the specific window and the effects applies to it. So you can make specific windows as transparent. By default the shortkey is set to Windows logo key + A. You're free to change this to some other shortcut key combination. If you have too many programs running at Startup time then it is better to disable the startup running task for this program.

3. Aero Glass

This is a third party software that helps you make the components of the Windows desktop transparent. It is donationware software and displays watermark on desktop. So in order to remove that watermark you have to pay some donation money and get the key. Though this may not be a good option for making your Windows 10 transparent but it gets the job done. And if you are not worried about some watermark then software as it is can get your Windows transparent.

4. Full Window Transparency

There are AHK scripts that can call the transparent effect for entire Window session. You can also customize them and set the transparency as per your viewing requirements. Such scripts can be a good solution where you want more customization control. I personally found such scripts useful as it allows us to set opacity level. You can find the script at the following location:


If you have enough RAM and the system resource then it makes sense to keep the Windows 10 with transparency effects. For those with limited resources should keep the Windows 10 without any transparency and blur effect by default. As adding the blur and transparency increases the load on the RAM and other system resources. For those who want to transparency and blur on their desktop the above listed solutions can help.


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