How to disable transparency effects on Windows 11

Windows 11 disable Transparency
Windows 11 disable Transparency (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 11, the desktop elements like the Taskbar and Start menu, and some apps like the Settings app, use a new transparent base layer that uses the Mica material part of the Microsoft Fluent Design language. The new material lets the background shine through using a blur technique without affecting performance or battery life and falls back to a solid color when the app is not in focus.

Although the new transparency makes Windows 11 look fresh and modern, it is not a feature that everyone wants. If this describes you, there are thankfully at least three ways to disable the effect and use a solid background color using the Settings app and Registry.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to enable and disable the transparency effects.

How to disable system transparency on Windows 11

On the Settings app, you can disable the transparency effects in two ways using the Colors and Visual Effects settings.

Disable effect using Colors settings

To disable transparency via the Colors settings page, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Personalization.
  3. Click the Colors page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn off the Transparency effects toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Disable effect using Accessibility settings

To disable transparency via the Accessibility settings page, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Visual effects page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn off the Transparency effects toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the Taskbar, Notification Center, Quick Settings, the Settings app, the Start menu, and other elements will no longer appear with the blur effect.

How to enable system transparency on Windows 11

You also enable the visual effects through the "Colors" and "Visual effects" settings.

Enable effect using Colors settings

To enable transparency on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Personalization.
  3. Click the Colors page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn on the Transparency effects toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Enable effect using Accessibility settings

To enable transparency effects with the Accessibility settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Visual effects page on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Turn on the Transparency effects toggle switch.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the transparency effect will enable across the desktop.

If the visual effects are not available, even after turning on the settings, the video driver could be a problem. In this case, it's recommended you update the video driver to the latest version or reinstall the current version of the driver.

How to disable system transparency using Registry

To disable the blur effect of desktop elements on Windows 11 with the Registry, use these steps:

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky and can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. Before proceeding, it's recommended to make a full backup of your PC.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize
  4. Double-click the EnableTransparency key and change its value from 0 to 1 to disable the feature.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Restart the computer (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, the Mica transparency effect will be disabled on the system.

How to enable system transparency using Registry

To enable visual transparency effects with the Registry, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize
  4. Double-click the EnableTransparency key and change its value from 1 to 0 to enable the feature.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Restart the computer (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, elements on the desktop should now show the transparent visual effect.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.