How to Disable the Fluent Design Transparency Effects on Windows 10/11?

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In the Windows XP era, users enjoyed the Blue Luna theme and used third-party software for visual effects. Later Windows versions incorporated effects like blur, shadows, and reflections natively.

In Windows 10/11, for example, the company has added transparency and other eye-catching effects into the OS. Now, the new builds of Windows 10/11 come with the Fluent Design features.

What Is Fluent Design?

Whether it is the reveal or acrylic effect, Fluent Design is meant to refine how Windows 10/11 looks and operates. The latest design language comprises five fundamental building blocks, including depth, light, material, motion, and scale. These elements help in the design of the visual effects you see in the Windows 10/11 user interface.

Microsoft first released the Fluent Design System in 2017, and over the past two years, the company has pushed out some significant updates that improved the user interface. You can now get the visual effects in the Start menu, Settings, Action Center, Taskbar, and many other areas, such as UAW apps.

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Microsoft has put a lot of attention to the visual effects of Fluent Design. The tech giant introduced a good lot of improvements in its latest design invention. So, it is only natural for the developer to hope that many users would stick with Fluent Design. With that said, the company still wants to give you powers to customize the user interface according to your preference.

Issues with Fluent Design

While the Fluent Design transparency effects in Windows 10/11 may give the built-in apps a revamped look, they can also be a source of distraction. Sometimes, the new design invention could also trigger performance issues, especially if you are using a low-end PC. Fortunately, you can easily disable the Fluent Design transparency effects on Windows 10/11, whenever you want.

Depending on your preference, you can decide on the appearance of your system by either enabling or disabling the Fluent Design transparency effects. So, if you are not a fan of them, follow the instructions provided in the next section.

How to Disable the Fluent Design Effects in Windows 10/11?

There are two main ways to disable the Fluent Design effects in Windows 10/11. Let’s explore them in detail.

Option 1: Through the Settings App

While there is no option specifically designed to disable the fluent design effects in Windows 10/11, the Settings app usually does the job. Please follow the steps below to disable the Fluent Design transparency effects via the Settings app:

  1. Press the Windows + I shortcut to launch the Settings app.
  2. Now, navigate to Personalization > Colors.
  3. Next, choose the Transparency effects option, and then toggle it to Off. That’s it.
  4. In the newer Windows 10 versions, you will find the option to turn off transparency effects within the Ease of Access Center. So, after opening the Settings app, click on the Ease of Access option, and then go to the section with the heading: Simplify and personalize Windows. To complete the process, select the ‘Show transparency in Windows’ option and toggle it to Off.

Caveat: Disabling this option will not only turn off the Fluent Design transparency effects in apps, but also across the OS. The changes will take effect almost immediately. You will probably notice a change within the Settings app; its sidebar will lose transparency.

Should you wish to enable the feature at a later date, go back to the Ease of Access settings page and toggle the ‘Show transparency in Windows’ option to On. When you look at it from the big picture perspective, the whole thing comes down to just a simple toggle.

Option 2: Through Advanced System Properties

Unlike the above, this option is less straightforward. Nevertheless, it is efficient in resolving the issue. Here is how to do it:

  1. Click on the search box and type ‘sysdm.cpl’ into it.
  2. Next, select the name of the command from the list of results.
  3. Wait for the System Properties dialog box to pop up, then navigate to the Advanced tab.
  4. Navigate to the Performance section and tap on the Settings button.
  5. The screen that appears next will allow you to optimize Windows 10/11 for the best appearance. By default, Windows is set to choose what is best for your PC.
  6. To disable the visual effects, choose the Adjust for best performance option. Doing this will uncheck all options associated with visual effects. You may want to re-enable options that are not linked to visual effects.
  7. After that, click Apply, and then OK to disable the Fluent Design transparency effects.

Closing Remarks

Technically speaking, if you find no value in the Fluent Design transparency effects, disable them and switch to the best performance. In any case, the visual effects aren’t necessary for your OS to run well. In fact, they can be a potential performance issue.

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Meanwhile, the Fluent Design System will continue to evolve in Windows 10/11. Already, we have seen Microsoft bringing more visual updates into more components of the OS. For instance, the October 2018 Update expanded the facelift to new applications, such as Microsoft Edge. If the trend continues, Fluent Design will most likely change the way Windows 10/11 looks. Hopefully, Microsoft will make it easier for users to disable some parts of the emerging interface.

Share your thoughts on the value of Fluent Design System (or lack of it) to Windows 10/11 look and usability.

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