How to Adjust Visual Effects of Menus in Windows 10

Microsoft has done a splendid job of ensuring that Windows 10 remains a fast and snappy operating system no matter what you are using it for.

Each new version further optimizes things, even with the Fluent Design System piling up the polish across the various areas of the OS. Even outside this new design language, Microsoft has a bucketful of effects going on that provide a smooth experience while navigating the system.

These cool animations provide a very nice feeling, and are all good if you prefer style over speed. But they may make things feel a little sluggish for power users. If you prefer faster navigation then you can shorten the duration of these animations, even disable them completely.

We are going to show you how to do that easily.

  • Adjust animation duration of Windows menus
  • Disable Windows menu animations

Should you Change Visual Animations?

Windows 10 has all sorts of fancy visual effects enabled by default, like windows and taskbar animations, aero peek, shadows around the mouse pointer and boxes. They add a little eye candy to the user interface and help give Windows its now signature style and feel.

However, they still do monopolize a part of the system resources, and cause your device to run slower and drain more battery. This is especially true on older hardware and machines where performance and battery life are important.

Appearance vs Speed

If you have a computer with capable hardware that is recommended to run Windows 10, then by all means take full advantage of your available resources and go full sail with visual effects. If not, then the operating system makes it possible to adjust a few performance operations to speed up navigation and usage, which we’ll take a look at below.

Following the steps, not only will your Windows 10 device feel faster, but your computer will also have additional system resources to allocate for other tasks.

While this guide focuses on Windows 10 first and foremost, these visual effects have been around for years in Windows. Meaning, you can change these settings on previous flavors of the OS too, including Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Adjust animation duration of Windows menus

To adjust the duration of Windows menu animations, we will need to make a trip to the Windows Registry to fine tune some numbers. The process is simple, and should not be a problem for most users that have modified registry values before.

That said, if this is the first time you are toying with the registry keys, it is recommend to back up the registry in case something goes wrong.

  1. Press the Win + R keys to bring up the Run
  2. Type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
    regedit
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop location in the registry.
  4. Here, look for the entry MenuShowDelay in the right panel and double-click to open it.
    Menu Shadow Delay
  5. This is the menu animation entry, and has the default value of 400, which in this case denotes milliseconds. Simply change the value to a lower number to shorten the duration.
  6. A value of 200 should be fine here, but you can further reduce it if you want.
    Menu Animation Milliseconds
  7. Click OK.

When you are done editing, you will have to restart your PC to see the effects. Log back in after the reboot to find much quicker menus animations.

Disable Windows menu animations

If you can do without the fancy bells and whistles, you might want to completely disable menu animations. The good thing is that you don’t even need registry hacks to accomplish this. Microsoft provides an easy way to turn animations off entirely. If you are a more of curious person, refer to Windows 10 hacks.

    1. Search for and open Control Panel from Start.
    2. Go to System.
    3. In the left panel here, click on Advanced system settings.
      Advanced System Settings
    4. Now, go to Settings under the Performance heading.
      performance settings
    5. You will see a whole bunch of performance tweaks that you can make here.

 

  • To get rid of menu animations you will want to uncheck the Animate controls and elements inside windows to disable animations inside a particular window.

change windows-10 animations

 

  1. Also uncheck the Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing option to disable the effect you see when you minimize or maximize a window.
  2. Click OK when you are done.

And this is how you can turn off Windows menu animations to get that instant navigation feeling.

Disabling these options will sacrifice the visual appearance of the Windows UI for a performance boost. You don’t want to disable all these options in the panel, though, as you will end up with a look from the Windows 98 days.

Conclusion

Depending on how you use your computer, you may prefer the feeling of a snappy usage experience in Windows 10. Start with the registry tweak above first to see whether dialing down the millisecond value is to your taste. Decreasing the duration is a good balance to get that snappier feel while still enjoying menu animations.

Otherwise, turn animations off altogether from that dedicated panel and enjoy instant navigation.

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