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Disable Fluent Design Visual Effects in Windows 10

With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft introduced its vision for the future of user interface design. The company started to add more and more Fluent Design elements to its own first-party apps, including the Start menu, Calculator, Maps, Store and Groove Music. If you are not happy with this revamped look of apps, here is how you can get it of it.

Fluent Design is Windows 10's upcoming UI, previously known by its code name "Project NEON". It is a new design language which is focused on simplicity and consistency along with cool animations. It also adds Windows 7’s Aero Glass-like effects to the Universal app frame and controls.

Key aspects of the Microsoft Fluent Design System are as follows.

Material: A graphical solution which emulates the "sensory and invigorating" feel of the materials that things around us are made of.

Motion: A set of animations which give an idea on how to interact with new UI elements like an app menu opening or drawing the user's attention to controls and flyouts which appear on the screen.

Light: Soft highlights of important buttons and features to draw the user's attention.

Depth: Transition animations which make an impression of opening the next level or layer of data presented by the app.

The following example shows Fluent Design elements in Settings.

Another example is the modern File Explorer app.

More examples are Groove Music and Windows Store.

These effects rely on transparency and blur effects in Windows 10. If you disable them, you will effectively disable the Fluent Design.

To Disable Fluent Design Visual Effects in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Personalization -> Colors.
  3. On the right, turn off the option Transparency effects.

This will disable the Fluent design bits instantly.

Alternatively, you can use the classic System Properties applet to do the same. Let's review this method.

Disable Fluent Design Visual Effects in Advanced System Properties

    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:

    2. Advanced System Properties will open. Press the Settings button in the Performance section on the Advanced tab.
    3. The following dialog will be opened: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. To disable Fluent Design in Windows 10, tick the Adjust for best performance option. It will remove the check mark from all options which enable visual effects. Keep the following options enabled because they are not related to animations:
      • Show thumbnails instead of icons
      • Show translucent selection rectangle
      • Show window contents while dragging
      • Smooth edges of screen fonts
      • Use drop shadows for icon labels of the desktop

      Press 'Apply', then 'OK' and close all open windows.

Now the Fluent Design elements will become disabled along with other unnecessary visual effects. The user interface of the OS will be more responsive.

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