Q. How can I prevent VMware Workstation Unity Mode from disabling Windows Aero?

A. If you haven't toyed around with Unity mode in VMware Workstation, it's a pretty slick feature. Unity effectively hides the fact that a virtual machine (VM) is running on your system. As a result, an application in the VM can be displayed on the host desktop as just that application.

Unity has been around since VMware Workstation v6.5, so it has a little history. However, one behavior of Unity that has caused some consternation has to do with its impact on the Windows Aero interface.

Aero can be an expensive processor consumer, so VMware Workstation disables the Aero interface when Unity is enabled. This is done by default to improve the user experience while in Unity mode. Workstation then turns Aero back on once you exit Unity mode.

If you have plenty of processing power and love Aero, you can turn off this behavior by editing your VM's .VMX file. Add the line


to keep Aero around even when you've got Unity up and running.

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