Windows 11’s Mica Effect may come to Chrome soon.


A chrome logo with a frosted glass effect

Mica and Mica Alt are user favorite design changes Windows 11 brought in late 2021. These fancy effects use your existing wallpaper to create a highly personalized experience in your applications, provide visual hierarchy, and clarify which window is in focus. Unlike Windows Aero in the early days of Windows Vista, Mica and its variants do not stress your hardware because they only sample the desktop wallpaper once. Microsoft has already added the effect to many of its apps (coming soon to Edge in an enhanced variant), and now the company wants Chrome to get the same eye candy.

A new changelog from Microsoft on Chromium Gart (through) suggests a “minimal set of code changes” to equip Chromium with an opaque tab bar (or title bar) on systems running Windows 11 version 22H2:

This shows a minimal set of code changes to enable CL Mica.
Alt title bar content in Chromium using the new Windows 11 22H2
DWMWA_SYSTEMBACKDROP_TYPE DWM attribute. should be started with
–disable-windows10-custom-titlebar CLI argument to show effect.

This CL is for demonstration purposes only. It assumes Windows 11 22H2.
or later, dark mode, and the default chromium color scheme is in use,
And that there are no title bars with high contrast mode and accent colors.

Here’s what Chrome looks like with the Mica Alt effect applied to its tab bar:

A screenshot of Chromium with the Mica effect applied to its title bar.
Chromium with Mica Alt (dark) effect.
A screenshot of Chromium with the Mica effect applied to its title bar.
Chromium with mica (light) effect.

It may take some time to see Chrome on Windows 11 offering a better looking user interface. Still, it’s great to see Microsoft contributing to Chromium with user-favorite design changes. Meanwhile, developers can learn how to use Mica in apps. Official documents And code samples from the recently updated WinUI Gallery app.


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