Show or Hide Window Contents While Dragging in Windows 10

You can configure the Windows 10 operating system to show an outline border of a window you are dragging instead of the contents of the window. This change improves the OS performance a bit, as the OS shouldn't redraw the full window image. Here are two methods you can use to change the dragging behavior.

The change affects both Desktop apps and Store apps.

By default, Windows 10 has many effects enabled for eye candy. You can see animations on the Start screen, Taskbar, opening and closing apps, drop shadow effects, combo boxes sliding open and so on, to make the user interface appear more fluid. Disabling these will improve the responsiveness of the OS. You will notice that the Start menu will open much faster.

See the following screenshots:

The Show window contents while dragging option is enabled.

Show Contents While Dragging

The Show window contents while dragging is disabled.

Hide Contents While Dragging

Here's how to show or hide the window contents while dragging in Windows 10.

To Show or Hide Window Contents While Dragging in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Press Win + R hotkeys on the keyboard. The Run dialog will appear on the screen. Type the following into the text box and press Enter:
    SystemPropertiesAdvanced

    System Properties Advanced In The Run Dialog

  2. Advanced System Properties will open. Press the Settings button in the Performance section on the Advanced tab. Windows 10 Advanced System Properties
  3. The following dialog will be opened: Windows 10 Performance Options Dialog There are a number of presets available at the top of the window.
    • Let Windows choose what's best for my computer - the operating system will automatically enable and disable some visual effects that it determines will run fine on your hardware.
    • Adjust for best appearance - This will enable all available visual effects.
    • Adjust for best performance - All visual effects will be disabled.
    • Custom - This will allow you to enable or disable visual effects manually. Once you change the check boxes in the list below, this option will be selected by default.
  4. Turn off (uncheck) the option named Show window contents while dragging.

To re-enable the feature, open the same dialog and turn on (check) the Show window contents while dragging option.

Tip: You can open the System Performance dialog even faster by entering  SystemPropertiesPerformance.exe into the Run box.

Alternatively, you can apply a Registry tweak.

Show or Hide Window Contents While Dragging with Registry Tweak

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. On the right, modify or create a new string (REG_SZ) value DragFullWindows.
    Set its value to 1 to enable "Show window contents". A value data of 0 will disable it.
  4. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in to your user account. Alternatively, you can restart the Explorer shell.

To save you time, you can download these ready-to-use Registry files.

Download Registry Files

That's it.

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