Adjusting display or resolution setting is the first thing Windows users will do when the fonts are looking pixelated. If you are going crazy with blurry pixelated text display in Windows PC, enabling font smoothing will probably fix your problem. This will help to ease the font edges and make the text appealing to your eyes especially on large monitor screen. In this article, you can find how to enable or disable font smoothing in Windows 11 PC.
Fonts With and Without Smoothing
Font smoothing affects all system text display and the content you type on apps like Word. I use Windows 11 Virtual Machine on iMac’s 21-inch retina monitor and below is how the fonts look without smoothing in Word and File Explorer. When you look at carefully, each letter is having pixelated edges causing little blurriness thus affecting your eyes (it will be more clear on your system than in this image as it is compressed).
And below is how the display changes after enabling font smoothing with anti-aliasing.
Enable Font Smoothing in Windows 11
By default, Windows enables font smoothing unless you have customized the setup and disabled it for best system performance. Follow the below steps to enable it back:
- Right-click on Start icon on the taskbar and select “Settings” from the list of menu items that appears.
- The Settings app will open with “System” section by default. Scroll down on the right-pane and click “About” section showing at the bottom.
- Expand “Device specifications” section and click “Advanced system settings” showing in “Related links” section.
- This will open “System Properties” dialog box and go to “Advanced” tab.
- Click the “Settings” button showing in “Performance” section.
- This will open “Performance Options” dialog and go to “Visual Effects” tab.
- Select “Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer” radio button which will automatically select “Smooth edges of screen fonts” option.
- If the “Custom” radio button is selected, then you can manually check “Smooth edges of screen fonts” item and click “Apply” button to save the changes.
- Click “OK” to close all open dialog boxes and you will see all text content appear smoothened instantly.
Disable Font Smoothing in Windows 11
You can follow the same steps mentioned above to disable that option. However, there is also an easy way to open “System Properties” in Windows 11.
- Click Start icon or Search in taskbar and type “advanced system” in the search box.
- Open “View advanced system settings” Control Panel item from the search results.
- This will open “System Properties” and click “Settings” button under “Performance” section of “Advanced” tab.
- Now, you can disable “Smooth edges of screen fonts” option.
- Click “Apply” and then “OK” buttons to save your changes and close open dialog boxes.
Does Font Smoothing Affect System Performance?
As you can see “Visual Effects” section has four options in Windows 11.
- Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer
- Adjust for best appearance
- Adjust of best performance
You can enable font smoothing when using all three options except the performance one. When you select “Adjust for performance” radio button, Windows will disable all visual effects settings including font smoothing option.
This essentially means font smoothing will affect your system’s performance. This is the only reason you may want to disable it on your PC. However, you may not feel any big improvement just by enabling or disabling font smoothing option.
Font Smoothing in Browsers
Do not confuse font smoothing in Windows 11 with the display of content in browsers. Web browsers like Edge, Chrome and Firefox will NOT follow the settings in Windows. It follows the value of CSS font-smooth property defined in the website’s source HTML code by the website owner. You can learn more about CSS font smoothing in this MDN Web Docs page.