Optimising Windows 8.1 Visual Effects

By | April 10, 2015

Optimisation Type [explain] : user experience (↓↑) / resource optimisation (↑) / functionality (-) / administration (-)

I have just been involved with a View deployment where the customer wants to use the latest and greatest Windows 8.1. It gave me a good opportunity to figure out the registry settings to optimise the Visual Effects for Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 Visual EffectsThe method to apply this is identical to how we would do it for Windows 7, and I have written about it here. So this post will just focus on what you need for Windows 8.1.

Comparing with Windows 7, there are a few more options in Windows 8.1, and one setting gone. If haven’t noticed, the task bar is different in Windows 8.1. The setting to “use visual styles on windows and buttons” is no longer available, as such we can turn everything off.

Initially, I tried to just “Adjust for best performance”, the settings would not take effect. I can see that the settings dialog box was reflecting the two registry changes, but the actual behavior did not change. Instead, I just went straight to set it as “Custom” and un-check all the boxes via the registry. Below is the full list of settings that I applied via GPO.

I’ve also noted this time that the DWORD values have to be set as Hexadecimal, and some of the values are of different type.

(REG_DWORD;Hexadecimal) VisualFXSetting = 0x00000003

(REG_DWORD;Hexadecimal) IconsOnly = 0x00000001
(REG_DWORD;Hexadecimal) TaskbarAnimations = 0x00000000
(REG_DWORD;Hexadecimal) ListviewAlphaSelect = 0x00000000
(REG_DWORD;Hexadecimal) ListviewShadow = 0x00000000

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
(REG_BINARY) UserPreferencesMask = 9012038010000000
(REG_SZ) DragFullWindows = 0
(REG_SZ) FontSmoothing = 0

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowsMetrics]
(REG_String) MinAnimate = 0

(REG_DWORD;Hexadecimal) EnableAeroPeek = 0x0000000
(REG_DWORD;Hexadecimal) AlwaysHibernateThumbnails = 0x0000000



One thought on “Optimising Windows 8.1 Visual Effects

  1. Pingback: Enforcing Windows Visual Effects Settings for Windows 7

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