Home windows 11 22H2 is bringing Mica/Acrylic design to extra Win32 desktop apps


Home windows 11’s native apps like File Explorer and different shell apps use rounded corners and Fluent Design components like Acrylic by default. Along with rounded corners, one other essential design characteristic of Home windows 11 is supplies like Mica which aligns the background color of apps with the desktop.

Mica is much like Acrylic, however it works in a barely totally different method. As Microsoft describes, Home windows Mica materials creates a “color hierarchy” by aligning the background with the appliance, in a bid to tell apart between a number of open situations of the app like File Explorer, and so on.

Mica is basically an opaque impact that’s utilized to pick out areas of apps, akin to home windows and title bars. It’s a flowery translucent impact, however Mica will not be about transparency. As a substitute, samples the desktop wallpaper solely to create a translucent impact that applies to title bars or home windows.

Windows 11 Mica

Since Mica samples the desktop wallpaper solely as soon as and isn’t a transparency impact, it doesn’t have an effect on the efficiency of the system.

In the mean time, builders can’t allow this new materials of their Win32 apps. Nonetheless, that is set to alter quickly. Beginning with Home windows 11 model 22H2, builders can simply allow Mica or Acrylic within the container/window of their conventional Win32 apps i.e desktop applications.

This has been confirmed in a brand new doc revealed by the corporate.

Mica lives contained in the Desktop Window Supervisor (DWM) and a brand new Home windows 11 variable referred to as “DWM_SYSTEMBACKDROP_TYPE” will enable builders to specify Mica or Acrylic materials of their desktop apps.

Windows 11 Mica effect

“Flags for specifying the system-drawn backdrop materials of a window, together with behind the non-client space,” the assist doc reads. As per Microsoft, there are 4 constants that builders can select from:

  • DWMSBT_AUTO: That is the default behaviour. On this fixed, Desktop Window Supervisor (DWM) will robotically resolve the system-drawn backdrop materials for the app’s window.
  • DWMSBT_NONE: Builders can skip Mica or Acrylic in the event that they’ve their customized design for the app window. For instance, Spotify comes with its personal header. When this worth is about, Microsoft gained’t don’t draw any system backdrop.
  • DWMSBT_MAINWINDOW: Applies the backdrop materials impact comparable to a long-lived window.
  • DWMSBT_TRANSIENTWINDOW: Applies the backdrop materials impact comparable to a transient window.
  • DWMSBT_TABBEDWINDOW: Applies the backdrop materials impact comparable to a window with a tabbed title bar.

As talked about, Mica is part of the Desktop Window Supervisor (DWM), which makes it obtainable to a variety of apps. Actually, there’s a third-party open-source software referred to as “Mica for Everybody” which makes use of DwmSetWindowAttribute and different strategies to pressure allow Mica in any app.

Mica material
Mica in a legacy software

Whereas this replace seems like a chunk of fine information for everybody, there’s a catch. Microsoft says the brand new variable is unique to Home windows 11 22H2 (Construct 22621). In different phrases, if builders are focusing on prior variations of the OS, they’re caught with the outdated design.



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