Aero Lite

This article is about the Windows Basic theme used in Windows 8 and later operating systems. For the Windows Basic theme included in Windows Vista and 7, see Windows Basic.
Aero Lite
Microsoft Windows visual style
Aero Lite in Windows 8.1 build 9600.17031
Included inWindows 8 and later
First seen inWindows Server 2012 build 7788

Aero Lite (officially referred to as Windows Basic) is a highly customizable visual style that is included in Windows 8 and later operating systems. It is used by the High Contrast themes (which make use of the various customizable elements), and acted as a replacement for the legacy Windows Classic visual style. It is the default visual style in Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, and was replaced by the Aero visual style in Windows Server 2016.[a]

The theme file is present by default in Windows 8 client builds up to 8423, and was later made exclusive to server builds in build 8432 (fbl_loc), the theme file is no longer present by default, although the final release of Windows Server 2012/Server 2012 R2 and Server 2016 builds up to 10575 still use this visual style by default. In both cases, the display name is "Windows Basic" while it uses Desktop Window Manager, unlike the actual Windows Basic introduced in Windows Vista.

The msstyles file but not the theme file is present in the %SystemRoot%\Resources\Themes\aero folder from Windows 8 onwards. To enable the theme, create a copy of the aero.theme file called aerolite.theme and redirect it to the aerolite.msstyles file and set its display name to Aero Lite. Alternatively, you can copy the basic.theme file from Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 installation to %SystemRoot%\Resources\Ease of Access Themes folder.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Windows 8[edit | edit source]

Windows 10[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The Aero Lite theme is still utilized as the default theme in Server Core deployments in Windows Server 2016 and later.