As many of you already know, Windows 8 follows Microsoft’s “Modern UI” design language, which emphasizes “content” over “chrome”, with heavy use of typography and empty space. Now, the use of elaborate animations throughout the user interface are one of its biggest, most distinctive features, and these are most prevalent in Windows 8’s Start screen, logon screen and “Modern” apps that can be downloaded from the Windows Store.
Animations can really liven up the user interface, but some people are of the opinion that they waste system resources and precious milliseconds of the user’s time. If you happen to be amongst these people and are using Windows 8, then you should know there is a very simple way of turning almost all of fluffy animations completely off. This even works for some animations in Windows 7 and Vista.
The general procedure for this guide is simple: you access “Performance Options” and disable multiple animations. Now, let’s get started!
Press the Windows + R button to launch the Windows Run dialog. Type “sysdm.cpl” into the textbox as shown below and click OK.
Alternatively, you may launch File Explorer, right-click on Computer, Properties and then the ‘Change Settings’ option beside ‘Computer name’.
The system will present you with a window titled ‘System Properties’. Click the Advanced tab on the top and then, under Performance, click on ’Settings…’.
You will now see a ‘Performance Options’ window. From here, you can adjust visual effects, resource distribution for running programs vs. background services and even change the size of the virtual memory (which is used in case you run out of RAM).
In the ‘Performance Options’ window, click the ‘Custom’ radio button, and remove the checkmark to the left of ‘Animate controls and elements inside windows’. This will eliminate the Start screen launch animation. Additionally, you can disable ‘Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing’ and ‘Animations in the taskbar’. Of course, you can remove the rest of them, but in my opinion that would be a bit of an overkill.
After you’ve disabled the options of your choice, simply click on ‘Apply’, and then OK. Animations will now be disabled, making your user interface just a wee bit faster. I only disabled animations for controls and elements inside windows, so the difference was quite minimal. You may have a different experience.
There are lots of other smaller tweaks you can apply to make Windows 8 better. We’ve mentioned 20 of our favorite Windows 8 tweaks, hacks and tips in an earlier article, and have discussed two useful registry hacks – for MenuShowDelay and MouseHoverTime properties – that make Windows 8 feel faster.