Windows 11’s Dynamic Refresh Rate feature saves laptop battery life

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming from a solid background in PC... Read more
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  • Microsoft continues to constantly improve everything that Windows 11 stands for, with a lot of helpful features.
  • The latest addition to Windows 11 is a feature called Dynamic Refresh Rate, a feature that helps conserve battery life for laptops.
  • All your existing games will continue to run and perform like they always have, as DRR does not apply to games.
  • There are of course some requirements for the feature to work, which you will find in this article.
Windows 11 Dynamic Refresh Rate

Its time to discuss one of the new features that Microsoft brings to the table with their brand new operating system. This one is dedicated to users that use laptops for their everyday needs.

So, for the first time ever, Microsoft is introducing a new Dynamic Refresh Rate feature, designed to save laptop battery life and also boost refresh rates when this is really needed.

From what we’ve seen and heard so far, it seems that the Redmon-based tech company is really trying to send us far into the future, performance-wise, with Windows 11.

Microsoft tries to improve battery life with Windows 11

Firstly, you should know that Dynamic Refresh Rate is different than the Variable Refresh Rate, which has been a part of Windows 10 for quite a while, a feature that focuses on gaming, to prevent screen-tearing.

Some of the new generation laptops are now equipped with 120Hz displays, which make the OS feel a lot smoother while scrolling, enhances animations, but also eat up a lot of power.

Know that the Dynamic refresh rate feature can now be found in Windows Insider builds, on the Dev channel, available for all supported devices, as Microsoft’s Ana Martha explains.

As the name suggests, DRR lets your device set the refresh rate dynamically. This means that Windows 11 will seamlessly switch between a lower refresh rate and a higher refresh rate based on what you’re doing on your PC. This helps to balance performance and power consumption. For example, with a Dynamic (60 Hz or 120 Hz) mode, your display will refresh at 60 Hz for everyday productivity tasks, such as email, writing a document, and so forth to conserve battery life. It will then seamlessly switch to 120 Hz for tasks such as inking and scrolling, to provide a smoother and more responsive experience.

What you should also keep in mind is the fact that all your existing games will continue to run and perform like they always have because DRR does not apply to games.

What Microsoft promises to deliver via this new and interesting feature is:

  • Smoother inking: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Whiteboard, Microsoft Photos, Snip & Sketch, Drawboard PDF, Microsoft Sticky Notes, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft To-Do, Inkodo
  • Smoother scrolling: Microsoft Office

How do I use Dynamic Refresh Rate?

First, and most importantly, you’ll need a laptop that supports DRR and 120Hz or above refresh rates.

Also, note that this feature will make tasks such as writing emails or documents run at 60Hz, at which point DRR will kick in and boost the screen to 120Hz for inking and scrolling.

Another factor worth taking into consideration is that Apps will need to support DRR, and during the Windows 11 preview, DRR is limited to just Office, as far as the scrolling boost goes.

Apps such as Office, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Whiteboard, Microsoft Photos, Snip & Sketch, Drawboard PDF, Microsoft Sticky Notes, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft To-Do, and Inkodo will all support DRR for inking as well.

All in all, this seems like a pretty solid and much needed feature, which will likely make a lot of Windows users happy.

Everything that can improve performance for the hardware needed to run this demanding software, is a welcome upgrade.

What is your opinion on this new feature that Microsoft is introducing with Windows 11? Let us know in the comments section below.

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