Windows 11

Microsoft Edge’s new Windows 11 design released – here’s how to enable it

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The latest update means Windows 11 will benefit from a little more visual brilliance as Microsoft Edge 102 apparently brings the experimental ‘Mica’ effect to more areas of the web browser. While Mica or Fluent Design is nowhere to be seen in Chrome, Microsoft Edge continues to take advantage of it.

For the uninitiated, Windows 11’s Mica theme is an opaque effect applied to windows or title bars. You can see the desktop wallpaper through an app that uses Mica and it looks really nice when implemented correctly. It’s a nice translucent effect, but the difference is subtle and the impact on performance is minimal.

If you are using Windows 11, you can open File Explorer and use a clear desktop background to enjoy the opaque Mica effect. Microsoft Edge also supports Mica and Fluent Design, but that is not noticeable in most cases. From Edge 102 it is possible to enable a better version of Mica and integration with rounded corners in the browser.

Microsoft Edge rounded corners

As you can see in the screenshot above, Mica is now visible in the title bar, the tab bar, and even the bookmark/favorite bar. In addition, Microsoft Edge tabs now also have rounded edges. The Mica integration means less of a performance hit compared to Acrylic, and the general idea is to add some shine to the browser.

To try out Windows 11’s new visual effects in Edge, follow these steps:

  • Open Microsoft Edge > Settings.
  • Go to the Appearance tab.
  • Enable two experimental flags “Show Windows 11 visual effects in title bar and toolbar (Preview)” and “Rounded corners for browser tabs (Preview)”.
    Microsoft Edge Mica
  • Restart the browser.

Once enabled, Edge automatically adds the Mica effect to the title bar and toolbar backgrounds. It is visible when you use the default theme, but it also depends on your device and Windows settings.

For example, if your device lacks the necessary GPU drivers, you will not be able to use this functionality. Microsoft says it is still working on the Windows 11 design update for Chromium Edge and you may experience performance issues.

It’s also worth noting that Windows 11 version 22H2 will bring Mica and Acrylic to all desktop apps (Win32).

Developers can choose between Mica, Acrylic and a custom design for the title bar of their desktop apps. Previously, this feature was exclusive to UWP apps and desktop apps developed by Microsoft itself.

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