Enabling the Aero Glass Effect When Connecting to Windows Server 2008 R2 with Remote Desktop

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When you connect to Windows Server 2008 R2 with Remote Desktop, the window is usually displayed in a non-transparent style. This section describes how to enable Aero Glasses in Windows Server 2008 R2 even when connected via Remote Desktop.

* In this Tips, you need to purchase CAL in advance. You can try without a CAL, but it will expire.

Windows Server 2008 R2 へリモートデスクトップで接続した際に Aero グラス効果を有効にする

Operating Environment

Operation check environment

Windows Server Version Windows Server 2008 R2 DataCenter
Client OS Windows 7 Ultimate
Client Remote Connection Tool Remote Desktop Connection Ver 6.1.7600
Chipset Mobile Intel GM45 Express Chipset (Intel GMA X4500)
other Windows User CAL

System requirements required

Windows Server Version Windows Server 2008 R2
Client OS Version One of the following
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
Client Remote Connection Tool Remote Desktop Connection Ver 6.1.7600
Graphics performance A graphics board or chipset that can enable Aero Glasses (both client and server)
other Windows CAL for building RD License Server


Advance preparation

To enable Aero glasses on Remote Desktop, you must first be able to enable the server itself. Make sure the graphics board of the PC with the server supports Aero glasses (I think most PCs as of 2009 do). Also, the standard graphics driver for Windows Server 2008 R2 does not support Aero glasses, so install the driver separately.

Remote Desktop Services Installation

サーバー マネージャー

To enable Aero Glass for Remote Desktop connectivity, you must install the Remote Desktop Services role.

Click Server Manager from the taskbar to open it.


When Server Manager opens, select Roles from the tree on the left.


When the roles are displayed, click Add Role from the right.


The Add Role Wizard appears, so click Next.

リモート デスクトップ サービス

From the list of roles, check Remote Desktop Services, and then click Next.

リモート デスクトップ サービスについて

Click Next.


In the role service selection, check Remote Desktop Session Host and Remote Desktop Licensing and click Next.


Click Next.

リモート デスクトップ セッション ホストの認証方法の指定

This is where you configure network-level authentication. Please set it according to your environment. Since this tip only uses a remote desktop connection client that can authenticate, we have checked "Require Network Level Authentication".

ライセンス モードの指定

Set the type of CALs required to activate the license. Set it up to match how you want to use the CAL. If it is not decided yet, check "Configure later".

この RD セッション ホスト サーバーへのアクセスが許可されたユーザー グループの選択

Select the users or groups that have access to the Remote Desktop Session Host server. By default, only "Administrators" is specified. Add it if necessary.

クライアント エクスペリエンスの構成

To enable Aero, check Desktop Composition. The remaining two can be checked arbitrarily.

RD ライセンスの検出スコープの構成

Since you do not configure it specifically, click "Next".

インストール オプションの確認

After confirming the contents, click the "Install" button to start the installation.


Wait until the installation is complete.


When the installation is complete, click the Close button.


You will be prompted to reboot, so click "Yes" to reboot.


When the restart is complete, a wizard will be displayed, so close it with the close button.

Setting up the RD License Server

リモート デスクトップ ライセンス マネージャー

To continue using Remote Desktop Services, you must build an RD License Server. Also note that CALs are required to build a license server. However, within the validity period, it is possible to enable Aero without a license server.

To set up the license server, select Administrative Tools→ Remote Desktop Services→ Remote Desktop License Manager from the Start menu.


When RD License Manager opens, right-click your server in the tree on the left, just below All Servers. Select Activate Server from the menu that appears.


The Activate Server Wizard appears, so click Next.


Select a connection method for activation. Choose according to how you want to get your CAL or CAL.

You can change this field later.


Please enter each item. All fields are required.

You can change these fields later.


These fields are not required, so you can leave them blank.

You can change these fields later.


If you check "Start the license installation wizard", you will be transferred to the license authentication wizard as it is.

ライセンスのインストール ウィザードの開始

The License Installation Wizard starts. Review the settings for the central license server and click Next. From this point forward, the input will change depending on the connection method and the licensing program, so please follow the wizard to set it up.

If you have set the connection method by mistake, you can go through the wizard and right-click the RD License Manager server and change it from "Properties" in the display menu.

Also, if you want to install the license again, select "Install License" from the menu as well.


After activation, activation is complete if the registered CAL is displayed.

Specifying the License Server to Use with Remote Desktop Services

リモート デスクトップ セッション ホストの構成

You then specify a license server so that Remote Desktop Services can continue to be used.

From the Start menu, select Administrative Tools→ Remote Desktop Services→ and Configure Remote Desktop Session Host.

リモート デスクトップ セッション ホストの構成

When the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration window opens, select RD Session Host Configuration from the tree on the left, right-click the Licensing item in the middle, and select Properties.


A warning dialog will appear, but you can still click the Close button to close it.


When the properties dialog appears, select the Licenses tab and click the Add button on the license server.

ライセンス サーバーの追加

In the Add License Server dialog, select the server you registered earlier from "Known License Servers" and click the "Add" button. When the server is added to the Specified License Server, click the OK button to close it.

指定されたライセンス サーバー

Once the server has been added to the "Designated License Server", you are done. Press the OK button to close the dialog.


Select "License Diagnosis" and it is OK if the red frame in the right figure is a green check mark.

Enabling Aero Glasses


Finally, change the server's desktop to Aero Glass. Right-click the desktop and choose Personalize.

Aero テーマ

Selecting an Aero theme changes the window and taskbar to an Aero theme. If you are already connected with Remote Desktop, reconnect as translucency will not be enabled.

Connect with Remote Desktop

リモート デスクトップ接続

To connect to and operate from the client to the server, use Remote Desktop Connection. From the Start menu, select Accessories → Remote Desktop Connection.


When the Remote Desktop Connection screen appears, click "Options".

デスクトップ コンポジション

From the tab, click "Experience" and check "Desktop Composition" to connect. You can now use Windows Server 2008 R2 remotely in an Aero glass environment.