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Windows 7: Visual Effects Settings After Restart

14 Mar 2018   #1

Win7+10, Home+Pro, 32+64
Visual Effects Settings After Restart

After using the same work domain Windows 7 PC with the same Visual Effects settings for over a year, last week it started to forget the settings after restart.

I have all settings disabled except:
  • Enable desktop composition
  • Show shadows under mouse pointer
  • Show shadows under windows
  • Show thumbnails instead of icons
  • Smooth edges of screen fonts
  • Use visual styles on windows and buttons

These is the settings I use for all of my Windows 7/10 PCs.

Last week, I noticed typed text seems to fade/bleed smoothly onto screen as I typed, and scrolling seemed smooth instead of my preferred crisp/precise.

I open SystemPropertiesPerformance, and my settings appear to still be correct. I toggle "Smooth-scroll list boxes" on/off and click OK, and typings & scrolling are back to normal until I restart.

I restart this PC every morning, and every morning I have to toggle/reapply my Visual Effects settings to get rid of the smooth animation.

I haven't installed any new software in the past 2 weeks. The only thing I can think of causing it may be a change in my office domain's Group Policy. But I'm baffled as to why my Visual Effects settings appear to be correct, but are not applied unless I toggle one of the checkboxes and reapply.

Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2018   #2

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

Group policy would be my best guess. Or perhaps there is a hardware problem with the computer.

Since this is your work computer, you need to check with your IT dept. about this. There isn't much you will be able to do, or will be allowed to do, to try to fix this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2018   #3

Win7+10, Home+Pro, 32+64

Thanks, mrjimphelps.

Unfortunately, I am my office's IT dept. I have not made any changes to our GPO. None of our domain's other W7 machines are experiencing this.

I hoped this was a known W7 quirk with a known fix. If not, I'll look into making some reg edits to force my settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Mar 2018   #4

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

If you haven't made any changes to your group policy, then there probably haven't been any changes made.

I suggest you start with making some appropriate changes to the group policy. That will likely fix things for you, and it is a safe way to do things.

If Group Policy doesn't fix things:

Since this is happening on only one computer, maybe there is a problem with the user profile for the user you log in as on that computer. Try creating another user account on the affected PC, to see if the problem happens for that user as well.

If the problem persists for the new user account, then the problem could be with Windows on that computer; or there could be a hardware problem on that computer. Try booting into Linux Live, to see if the problem is in Linux as well. If it is not, then you may have some Windows driver issues, or perhaps a problematic Windows update. If the problem shows up in Linux as well, then you probably have a hardware issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2018   #5

Win7+10, Home+Pro, 32+64

Mystery solved!

Also ... UGH!!!

I also suspected there may have been some sort of conflict with another user account on the machine. I spend an hour experimenting with all accounts, no joy.

Right as I was about to give up and accept defeat, I recalled a different (but equally baffling) problem I had last year on another machine that was caused by an Office 2016 update.

BEHOLD, the culprit(s):
One of the last 2 updates broke the persistence of certain Visual Effects in Windows 7, namely "Animate controls and elements inside windows" and possibly "Smooth-scroll list boxes" & "Enable transparent glass" by prioritizing Office 2016's built-in animations over Window 7's Visual Effects settings after restart.

The solution:
  • Is it possible to disable smooth movement of the cursor in Office 2013/windows 10? - Super User

    1. Press "WIN+R" key combination to launch RUN dialog box then type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor and go to following key:

    For Office 2013:

    For Office 2016:

    2. Right-click on Common key and select New -> Key option. It'll create a new key, set its name as Graphics

    3. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD DisableAnimations and set its value to 1 as shown in following screenshot:


    4. Close Registry Editor and open any Office 2013 application. Changes are instant and you'll no longer see any animations and effects in Office 2013.

    5. If you want to restore default animations, change value of DisableAnimations to 0 or simply delete the DWORD.

Note the above solutions were originally posted in 2015 as a solution for Office 2013. I have been using Office 2016 for over a year, and 2013 before that without any issue affecting my Visual Effects settings.
This leads me to believe something in the last two Office updates (Build 9029.2167 or 9029.2253) broke something between the relationship of Office 2016 and Windows 7 OS.

Mystery solved!

Also ... UGH!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Visual Effects Settings After Restart

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