If you prefer to play certain games in a window, rather than full screen on your PC, then you might want to check out the latest Windows 11 Insider update.
The Windows Insider Dev update of build 22545 and above – which allows you to sign up to features in testing that are not ready for a final release – is showcasing a feature called 'Optimizations for windowed games'. Enabling this in Settings will allegedly improve latency, and showcase Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) for the games that support these two features.
There are some games that should be played in full-screen mode, especially if you've bought an expensive monitor to showcase God of War or Sonic Adventure. But windowed games make it easier to multitask between emails, social media, and watching video side-by-side.
Improvements to this only prove further that Microsoft is looking at all aspects of Windows 11 in this upcoming feature update to make this OS its best yet. Seeing Microsoft focus on something like windowed gaming would have been completely unimaginable back in the days of Windows Vista.
Analysis: windowed gaming gets its due
If you're running build 22545 and above, you can go to Settings > System > Display > Graphics > Default Graphics Settings to turn this feature on.
But you can also enable this for certain games by going to Settings > System > Display > Graphics and selecting which games you want to benefit from this feature.
It's another welcome move by Microsoft to look at aspects of the operating system that's been left by the wayside. There are plenty of users out there with one monitor, where they like to easily switch between a game and a web browser, or have them side by side.
Especially for games that work well for a keyboard and not a controller, you can seamlessly switch windows using Alt+Tab to jump back and forth between the game and whatever else you have open.
However, this also looks to be laying the groundwork for better compatibility for games that you can buy on a storefront, such as Steam, Epic Games, and Microsoft's own Xbox app. Having better ways to play a game in windowed mode is only a positive move by the company, and if this display type is getting attention, it makes us wonder what else Microsoft is focusing on for Windows 11 in the coming months and years.
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