Overview – Disable Visual Effects in Windows 11
Windows has always been evolving with time. One of the most recent changes in Windows is the new UI enhancements. One of these UI enhancements is visual effects and animations. It provides an eye-catching view on your desktop and makes your desktop feel more alive with animations, graphics, and videos.
The visual effects mainly include the drop shadows, smooth edges, transparency effects (also called Glassmorphism UI effect), smoother transitions, animations, etc.
It appears you want to disable visual effects to boost the performance of your device, or you are finding the new User Interface of Windows 11 too overwhelming.
By the end of this article, you will be able to understand and perform the following functions:
Disable Visual Effects in Windows 11
Step #1: Go to Windows Settings App from the Start Menu.
Step #2: Select the “System” option from the left sidebar/navigation pane, then scroll and select the “About” option.
Step #3: Select the “Advanced System Settings” option.
Step #4: The “System Properties” panel will appear in form of a popup. Now, select the “Settings” option in the Performance section.
Step #5: The “Performance Options” panel will appear in form of a popup. Now, select the “Adjust for best performance” option or manually uncheck the checkbox to disable visual effects.
Note: Depending on your preferences, you can adjust the visual effects in Windows. The uses of different visual effects and animations are listed below to help you understand what each effect performs, so, it would be easier for you to configure the settings.
Visual Effects in Windows 11 and their uses
- Animate Controls and elements inside Windows – These are the animations inside the file or folder, which includes fade effect, pulsating effect, taskbar animations, start menu slide-up animation.
- Animate Windows when minimizing and maximizing – When you press the restore button on the top-right side of the Window pane, you will notice some animation taking place while window is being minimized or maximize.
- Animations in taskbar – These are micro-animations and micro-interactions taking place inside the taskbar while hovering and pressing the icons.
- Enable Peek – This feature allows you to get a preview of the windows on your taskbar, making it easier to filter through the numerous windows you use on a regular basis.
- Fade or Slide Menus into view – This includes that fading and sliding effects taking place inside the whole Windows.
- Fade or slide ToolTips into view – When you hover your cursor over a file, folder, or app in Windows, the name of the object appears and a tiny sliding effect appears to reveal the file name.
- Fade out menu items after clicking – It’s pretty self-explanatory, when you click the menu items, you will notice a fade out effect.
- Save Taskbar Thumbnail Previews – When you hover over an icon on taskbar of opened items, it will show an instant thumbnail preview of opened tab.
- Show Shadows under Mouse Pointer – These are the shadows visible under the cursor.
- Show Shadows under Windows – These involve the shadows under an opened in-view window.
- Show Thumbnails instead of icons – When you look at a image in Windows, you’ll see a thumbnail instead of the Image File App.
- Show Translucent selection rectangle – It’s the box that appears when you press and hold the left mouse button, then move it over items to choose them when you let go of the button.
- Show window contents while dragging – When you drag the Window, you’ll see that the content is also dragged. If this option is disabled, you will see an outline being moved..
- Slide open combo boxes – The combo box is similar to drop down box on Windows. When you click the down-arrow in address bar, you will notice a sliding animation.
- Smooth edges of screen fonts – When this feature is enabled, you will see smoother edges of Fonts, by default, Microsoft Windows uses Segoe UI Variable font.
- Smooth-scroll list boxes – When smooth scrolling is turned on, a row is scrolled completely and partial scrolling, if turned off.
- Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop – Under the Icon Label (that is the text below an icon), you will observe shadows behind the text.
Pros of Disabling Visual Effects
The Visual Effects in Windows make use of graphic card and CPU to render the graphics including shadows, transparency effects (also called Glassmorphism effect), smooth edges, etc. So disabling the visuals will reduce the CPU usage and increase the device’s performance.
But, in Microsoft’s QnA session, they stated that enabling or disabling Visual Effects in Windows 11 will not impact performance. As per Microsoft, Mica transparency (which is a part of the Microsoft Fluent Design System) was specifically designed for better performance as compared to the old Acrylic design. Also, the effects such as rounded corners are optimized for rendering performance.
It’s a bit contradictory statement by Microsoft because the “Adjust for best performance” option is still available when we access the performance options panel. If visuals don’t affect performance, then there should be no need for this option.
Reduced Cognitive Load
Some users might feel cognitive overload and distractions due to excessive visual effects in Windows 11. There can be plenty of reasons for cognitive overload in Windows (varying from person to person) including Too many options provided to the user (Hick’s Law), Ambiguous UI, and Complex navigation, etc.
We’ve covered how to disable visual effects in Windows 11.
Visual Effects should be off if you prioritize speed and performance on your Windows 11. You should not disable it if you are concerned about appearance. Finally, it’s entirely up to your preferences.
Further, increase your PC performance by following the related articles below.
Improve your computer’s internet speed by configuring the DNS server in Windows depending on your location.
If you are facing performance issues with particular apps, try to allocate more RAM for a specific program to increase performance.
The DirectX version plays a major role in the computer’s performance. Check whether or not your device possesses the latest DirectX version.