Changing windows settings

Another note: Here’s a gx.log file from starting the game in DX11 mode, playing for a bit, then swapping to DX12. It mentions “Disabling DWM” which might be shorthand for Desktop Window Manager, aka Windows Aero. If that’s the case this could be intentional?

6/25 18:05:08.634  LogOpen
6/25 18:05:08.811  Adapter 0: "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070" vendor:0x10de device:0x1b81 driver(0x1a0015, 0xe0c0e) dx11:true dx12:true
6/25 18:05:08.816  	Monitor 0 "\\.\DISPLAY1" (1920x1080)
6/25 18:05:08.816  	Monitor 1 "\\.\DISPLAY2" (1680x1050)
6/25 18:05:08.840  D3d11 Device Create
6/25 18:05:08.848  Taking Adapter by name:"NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070"
6/25 18:05:08.848  Detected NvAPI and checking if it's valid...
6/25 18:05:08.885  Created 11.1 Device
6/25 18:05:08.885  ConstantBufferOffsetting Support: false
6/25 18:05:08.885  SetMaximumFrameLatency set: 3
6/25 18:05:08.896  AFR detection
6/25 18:05:08.896  AFR found with 1 devices(s)
6/25 18:05:08.896  AFR Groups: 1/1
6/25 18:05:08.911  Feature Level: DX=3, MTL=0
6/25 18:05:08.939  Deferred Mode = 1
6/25 18:05:08.942  Driver Command Lists: yes
6/25 18:05:08.942  NotifyOnDeviceCreate
6/25 18:05:08.942  D3d11 Device Create Successful
6/25 18:05:08.942  <IsGPUDriverOutOfDate> No
6/25 18:05:08.969  CPU Processor Detection: 8 H/W threads
6/25 18:05:08.974  Memory Detection: 12875649024 bytes of physical memory available
6/25 18:05:08.974  Detected Graphics Defaults: 6 (CPU = 6, GPU = 6, MEM = 6)
6/25 18:05:09.113  RenderSettings::NotifyChanged
6/25 18:23:03.312  GxRestart
6/25 18:23:03.329  D3d11 Device Destroy
6/25 18:23:03.329  NotifyOnDeviceDestroy
6/25 18:23:04.494  D3d11 Device Destroyed
6/25 18:23:04.494  D3d12 Device Create
6/25 18:23:04.593  Taking Adapter 0 by name: "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070"
6/25 18:23:04.593  Choosing adapter 0
6/25 18:23:04.603  Using Direct X 12 on Windows 7 code path
6/25 18:23:05.296  Disabling DWM: succeeded
6/25 18:23:05.474  Detected NvAPI and checking if it's valid...
6/25 18:23:05.474  AFR Groups: 1/1
6/25 18:23:05.474  Feature Level: DX=6, MTL=0
6/25 18:23:05.521  NotifyOnDeviceCreate
1 Like

thats exactly the issue i had. running dx12 it would disable aero, switching back to dx 11 stopped it from happening.

As a troubleshooting step, how many of us having this issue use more than one monitor? I wonder if that’s a factor. I’ve got two monitors.

i use one currently since my 2nd went bad.

Same issue. On Windows 7 with DirectX 12, when I start WoW Windows tells me that WoW had made changes that require turning off Aero. Changing to DirectX 11 stops that message/change.

WoW disabling Aero on Windows 7 when running on Direct X 12 is an intended change.

There are several edge cases where DX12 on Win7 can get into a bad state, which are limitations of Windows 7 that Microsoft doesn’t handle in their DX12 layer (which they do handle in their DX11 layer). These edge cases include things like unplugging the monitor or launching the game from a GPU that doesn’t have a monitor plugged into it. These are only issues if you’re using the Aero theme. The basic theme doesn’t have these edge cases.

In 8.1.5, we only disabled the Aero theme if we detected cases like running on a GPU that doesn’t have a monitor plugged into it. We were getting crashes from 8.1.5 still and realized other cases, including things like unplugging the monitor were much harder to handle after the fact. To prevent crashes, we changed to always disabling Aero theme on Win 7 DX12. The motivating case for the change was if someone was playing on a laptop with an external monitor, unplugging the monitor would crash the game. It wouldn’t be hard to add a config file setting to disable disabling the Aero theme on launch, but you’d be opting into crashing in some edge cases.


Not unexpected. I would appreciate as I’m sure would others the ability to change a config setting to opt into the danger as I don’t ever unplug my monitors and as a single GPU user (I expect that’s the norm outside of users on laptops, although integrated graphics are a thing on some CPUs) I don’t think this would be an issue for me or a very large amount of users/use cases.

These days WoW crashing isn’t the end of the world either as it handles itself pretty well IMO and that’ s a credit to the devs as I haven’t experienced even addon data corruption in years now.

Thanks for the clarification.


i too wish we had the option, instead of no choice just because some outlying cases ‘might’ crash wow.


I too have this, very troublesome. Single monitor, permanently attached to my desktop computer. Windows 7. Direct X 12 option.

Side comment if you go into the Services.msc and restart the Desktop Window Manager after launching the game it will restore the aero desktop scheme. Until next time you launch the game of course.

WoW and my system were running absolutely fine previously so YES please to a configuration option to disable this intended change, ASAP!

In an upcoming hotfix build, we’ll have a way to disable WoW disabling the Aero them on Windows 7. I’ll update here with details on how to use it once that build is deployed.


We just released 8.2.0 build 30948 which has the new ForceAllowAero feature.

To turn this on, open your file in a text editor such as notepad. The default path is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\World of Warcraft\_retail_\WTF\

In that file, add a new line containing exactly:

SET ForceAllowAero "1"

Launching the client with this set will skip the code WoW runs to switch to the Basic theme while WoW is running.

Note when using this mode and running on DX12, the client may crash on launch if you don’t have a monitor plugged into the GPU the game tries to use. It will also likely crash if you unplug the monitor while WoW is running.

All of the above only applies to Windows 7.


Oh man, thank you guys for this. For some reason I was getting awful screen tearing with aero turned off, so enabling this cvar has things running just like they did in 8.1.5 for me. I really appreciate how much work you guys have put into this even with Windows 7 being as old as it is.


Thank you so much for the config tweak. It works, and is much appreciated!
Windows 7 lives on still! =D

1 Like

Thank You )

1 Like

thank you very much this completely fixes my screen tearing issues.


1 Like

Thanks much for the config option, lets those who want opt in.

1 Like

Thank you.


I had the same issue, Win 7 but directx 11, this fix worked for me anyway

Thanks, working great!

The SET ForceAllowAero is not in my WTF folder. Has this changed?