By Delia / Last update February 21, 2022

Windows 11 classic apps are getting Mica title bars.

In the recently updated Windows 11 preview build, we saw a number of new features, as well as a lot of small tweaks. One of the things that caught our eye was the window title bar that got a Mica material refresh. Even the Run dialog, which is brought up by the Win + R shortcut, is more modern and more consistent with the overall feel of Windows 11.

Windows 11 run window mica

Similar to Microsoft's Fluent Design's Acrylic, Mica is a dynamic, opaque material that can be used in applications, including drawing backgrounds or title bars with desktop themes, and Windows 11's Mica effect and Acrylic can coexist, as exemplified by Microsoft Edge.

Applications like Settings and Microsoft To-Do already use the Mica effect on their title bars and even on their backgrounds. Microsoft now extends it to classic tools/apps like Run or Winver. In Windows 11 Build 22557 preview, Mica material is introduced in the title bar of almost any traditional dialog or application.

The use of the Mica effect is an improvement in the viewing angle and because it is known to perform better than other Fluent Design materials such as Acrylic. For some reason, however, the Mica effect currently implemented on traditional dialogs doesn't really blur out the content behind the application and feels more subtle looking than the Mica effect on UWP applications.

It's worth noting that in the YouTube teaser video Microsoft released last month, the title bar of Windows Run comes with a more transparent and attractive Aero / Acrylic-like hair glass effect. This is obviously different from the title bar included in the latest preview. This may also indicate that Microsoft itself is exploring different design options.

run windows acrylic

Microsoft is exploring a variety of design options

Microsoft is developing a new "tab" version of the Mica material, with a glass-like effect and a blurred wallpaper. Likewise, we also spotted a simple experimental Flag logo called "MicaBackdropInApplicationFrameHostTitlebar" in the preview version, which seems to indicate that Microsoft may be willing to continue working on a Mica effect.

At this point, we don't know if Microsoft has finalized the Mica rather than Acrylic or other material design for the traditional title bar. The general idea is to bring a modern touch to the traditional area and enable dark mode for more applications, including Windows running.

In addition, the Windows 11 Build 22557 compilation introduces new transition animations for users capturing windows, and you will observe smoother transition animations when capturing certain windows with Snap Assist and switching to another screenshot option.

windows 11 build 22557

Meanwhile, File Explorer now shows a preview of the files in a folder, and the charging indicator icon has been changed from a power cord to a lightning bolt marker so that you can see the low battery charge status at a glance through the system tray.

It's not exactly a radical visual change, but it's the little details that add up to a steady improvement in the Windows 11 operating system.

All of these changes are currently limited to the Insider testing channel, but if all goes well, it's expected to be officially pushed out to Windows 11 users starting in the second half of 2022.