What is Dynamic Refresh Rate in Windows 11 and How to Turn it On

Now that Windows 11 is here, and is rolling out to more and more PCs and laptops over time, chances are you’re exploring all the new features available in the new OS. Though there are a lot of new features in Windows 11, one of the most refreshing (pun intended) change is the addition of ‘Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR)’. So, if you have just upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11, and you’re wondering what is DRR on Windows 11, here’s everything you need to know about Dynamic Refresh Rate, and how to enable DRR on Windows 11.

This guide explains and covers all the questions that could come to your mind about DRR in Windows 11. Use the table below to skip to your specific question or read the whole thing for more information.

Before we begin explaining what is DRR, it is important to understand what is Refresh Rate itself. Put simply, Refresh Rate is the speed at which a display constantly refreshes to create a sense of motion. Refresh rates are measured in Hertz (Hz) which is the number of times the display refreshes every second. A higher refresh rate means that more frames will appear in one second and the motion will be smoother.

As you can clearly see, the phone with 120 Hz feels much smoother and fluid to the eye. Displays come in various refresh rates and gaming monitors expressly offer higher refresh rates as a feature. Moreover, technologies like Nvidia DLSS are based on providing higher frame rates.

Dynamic Refresh Rate is a new feature in Windows 11 that is catered toward higher refresh rate displays. The DRR feature gives the control of refresh rate to Windows and lets it set it dynamically. What this means is that Windows 11 will switch back and forth between a lower and higher refresh rate depending on what you’re doing. The Dynamic Refresh Rate feature has been included in Windows 11 to optimize power consumption and prolong battery life.

For instance – If you have a display with a 120Hz refresh rate, DRR will monitor your use cases and adjust the refresh rate accordingly. For everyday tasks like email, documents that don’t require a lot of smooth motion, the refresh rate will be 60Hz to save battery life. However, when it comes to scrolling through and inking which needs smoother motion, Dynamic Refresh Rate will be set to 120Hz to be more responsive. However, keep in mind that DRR is only available for laptop displays and nothing else.

With most newer mid-range laptops coming with high refresh rate displays, it’s only natural to want to use that power. However, the higher the refresh rate, the more battery percentage it uses up. Furthermore, systems with higher refresh rates run on it all the time. You need to manually set it down to 60Hz when needed. Doing that every five minutes for apps is just not feasible.

Using Dynamic Refresh Rate in Windows 11 takes away the work from your end. Since DRR is system-dependent the entire process is automated and the user won’t have to lift a finger. This will ensure you get that fine balance between fluidity and battery life all the time. DRR is only avaiable for a select few apps of Adobe and Microsoft for now on Windows 11. However, the feature is expected to be rolled out for more apps in time.

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