The refresh rate of your screen is the number of times per second an image is refreshed on display. Windows 11 introduced a new Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) feature that saves your battery life while still providing a more fluid display and an enhanced Windows inking experience.
As more manufacturers intend to phase out 60Hz displays, we expect displays with higher refresh rates to become the norm. This would mean smoother scrolling and better gaming, but it comes at the expense of shortening your system’s battery life. However, Dynamic Refresh Rate on Windows 11 is a sleek feature that can significantly impact your experience. Read on as we discuss everything you need to know.
What’s the Big Deal With Windows 11’s Dynamic Refresh Rate?
Microsoft announced plenty of new features in Windows 11; a new Start menu, a revamped Settings app, and an all-new Widgets panel, to name a few. And amongst those features, Dynamic Refresh Rate changes the way we experience Windows.
DRR sets your device’s refresh rate dynamically based on what you’re doing. On a compatible system, it will switch between a 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rate to balance power and performance.
Your Windows 11 PC will use a 60Hz refresh rate to conserve battery life for your everyday tasks, such as word processing or streaming video content. Windows 11 will switch the display rate to 120Hz on compatible apps that require inking and scrolling, giving you a responsive and fluid display experience.
On Windows 10, users with a compatible display had the option to run the performance-enhancing 120Hz (or higher) refresh rate or the 60Hz battery-saving option. But with DRR, you can have the best of both.
Currently, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, and a handful of Microsoft apps such as Office, Edge, Whiteboard, and Snip & Sketch support DRR. The list of supported apps is expected to increase gradually. Unfortunately, DRR does not yet support games.
How to Enable Dynamic Refresh Rate on Windows 11
Enabling Dynamic Refresh Rate on Windows 11 is relatively easy, but you need to ensure that your device is compatible. We’ll discuss the compatibility requirements in the next section.
To set up Dynamic Refresh Rate on Windows 11:
- Launch the Start menu, search for Settings and click on the Best match.
- From the sidebar, click on System and then navigate to Display > Advanced display.
- In the Choose a refresh rate dropdown box, select the Dynamic refresh rate.
You should now be able to experience Dynamic Refresh Rate on compatible apps immediately. To disable DRR, head to Settings > System > Display > Advanced display and then select the required refresh rate.
Dynamic Refresh Rate Compatibility Requirements
If you want to use Dynamic Refresh Rate on Windows 11, you will need a laptop with a refresh rate of at least 120Hz, and it should support Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). DRR also requires you to have installed a WDDM 3.0 graphics driver, and you can install this through Windows Update.
You can check the display adapter driver specs in the following manner:
- Launch the Start menu, search for dxdiag, and select the Best match.
- In the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, click on the Display tab and check the Driver Model and Version in the Drivers box.
If your device does check the above requirements and you still don’t see the DRR option, then try updating your graphics driver; if that still does not work, you will have to wait a tad longer until your display manufacturer rolls out support for Dynamic Refresh Rate.
A New Display Experience That Improves Battery Life
A high display refresh rate can improve your display experience, but it comes at the cost of depleting your battery life. On Windows 11, Dynamic Refresh Rate provides you with a smoother and more natural fluid display when you need it while also improving your battery life.
When you own a big monitor, you need to make display tweaks to keep everything looking crisp.
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