One of the key parts of the modern Windows 10 experience is called Fluent Design and it includes new visual improvements available across both the operating system and apps.
Early Windows 10 adopters certainly know that Fluent Design has gradually evolved in Windows 10, and every new feature update brought more tweaks, including acrylic on the sign-in screen.
Acrylic is an essential part of Fluent Design, as it generates the blur effect in the background both in Windows 10 and apps, but it typically comes alongside other visual effects like reveal.
The acrylic implementation on the sign-in screen became available with the release of Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update) and will be offered in all OS feature updates from this point on, including the upcoming version 1903, also referred to as 19H1.
The most recent preview build, namely Windows 10 build 18312, introduces a new option that allows you to disable acrylic on the sign-in screen.
In case you’re wondering why anyone would want to do such a thing, it’s all because IT admins may want to keep things simple, while others aren’t quite big fans of this modern visual overhaul. Plus, some may see a system performance slowdown due to acrylic, especially on old hardware configurations, so turning off as many features as possible is a must.
Fortunately, beginning with this preview build for insiders and with Windows 10 version 1903 for all users, it’s possible to disable acrylic on the sign-in screen using a dedicated policy in the Group Policy Editor.
First and foremost, you need to launch this app. To do so, click the Start menu, type gpedit.msc, and then navigate to the following path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Logon
In the right side of the screen, there are all the available policies related to the logon process, and the one that we’re going to use is called:
Show clear logon background
Keep in mind that this option is exclusive to Windows 10 version 1903, and it is only available beginning with preview build 18312.
The purpose of the policy is to enable or disable acrylic effect on the sign-in screen. As the description published in the Group Policy Editor explains:
“If you enable this policy, the logon background image shows without blur. If you disable or do not configure this policy, the logon background image adopts the acrylic blur effect.”
By default, the policy is set to Not Configured, so you’ll have to enable it in order to disable the blur effect. To do this, simply double-click the policy and switch to Enabled.
The policy setting should come into effect without the need for a system reboot, but you’ll obviously see the changes when signing out.
The Group Policy Editor method only works on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise.
Windows 10 version 1903 (19H1) is projected to be finalized in the spring, and as per Microsoft’s typical roadmap, the RTM should be ready in March. This means we’re only two months away from the moment the final build is signed off.
Bug bashes will begin in early February, and the closer we get to the RTM signoff date, the more Microsoft would become focused on refining the performance of the OS. This means no new features would be developed, and all insiders will get preview builds that include bugfixes ahead of the public launch.
As it happens every year, Windows 10 version 1903 will become available for production devices in April, with the rollout to take place in stages to devices across the world.