I cannot apply visual style themes in Windows 7 (Aero is disabled)

RealOctane92

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May 17, 2016
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The other day I was running some benchmarks on my PC. I stopped a few running tasks in task manager that were not necessary and where using up too much CPU and Memory (some were Nvidia graphics related). I also disabled explorer.exe and dwm.exe (I re enabled some of those processes afterward). When I was finished with my benchmarks I shut down the PC. This morning I booted it up and noticed that the classic grey theme was enabled (The Aero glass-like theme that I had was gone).

I tried several things including Advanced System Settings in My Computer, and went to Performance under the Advanced Tab, I tried switching back and forth from best appearance and best performance. But when I switch to appearance I just get the error message saying "The visual styles could not be applied" (I really wish Tom's Hardware would let me upload a screenshot)

Ive tried everything to get it back but nothing works.

Your answers would be greatly appreciated!
 

thejackal85

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Jan 18, 2016
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DWM.exe and explorer.exe are two processes Windows needs to work your operating system correctly. I would turn both of these back on if you haven't already. That and the DWM.exe process controls the Windows 7 aero themes. Turn this back on, reboot, and you're good to go.

If you want to turn things off to speed your system up, start with the basics. Open msconfig and go through the startup list.
 

thejackal85

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Jan 18, 2016
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DWM.exe and explorer.exe are two processes Windows needs to work your operating system correctly. I would turn both of these back on if you haven't already. That and the DWM.exe process controls the Windows 7 aero themes. Turn this back on, reboot, and you're good to go.

If you want to turn things off to speed your system up, start with the basics. Open msconfig and go through the startup list.
 

RealOctane92

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May 17, 2016
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Yea I restarted the PC several times and DWM.exe and explorer.exe would start up as they should but I still kept getting the Visual styles error. Its alright though, I did a system restore to a couple days back and that fixed my issue. I should have replied earlier (I figured it out several hours after posing this thread and forgot to give an update)

Thanks for the assistance though!
 

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