Microsoft is testing a native RGB-lighting controller in Windows 11


Posts: 8,784   +110
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Something to look forward to: Whatever your opinion of RGB-covered accessories, their popularity can't be denied. Selecting the myriad of colors and patterns they display usually means installing third-party software such as iCue for Corsair products or Razer Synapse, but it appears that Microsoft is working on a native universal controller within Windows 11 for all RGB accessories.

Twitter user Albacore (via The Verge) spotted new options for device lighting in the latest Windows 11 preview build from the Dev Channel (25295), located within in the Personalization section.

Screenshots show the feature includes a list of all supported RGB hardware, such as headsets, mice, and, in this case, Elgato's Stream Deck. Each device's lights can be customized by brightness, lighting effects, effect speed, and color. There's also a toggle for matching accessories' colors with Windows' accent color.

The list only consists of peripherals, so we don't know if Windows 11 will also allow owners to customize RGB lighting on hardware like motherboards, graphics cards, and RAM, but this functionality could be added before the final version arrives.

Third-party RGB-hub software can be a pain to use, intrusive, and a resource hog. There are some excellent all-in-one apps like SignalRGB that can control lighting on devices from multiple manufacturers and offer a host of bells and whistles, of course, but universal settings within Windows 11 would likely be a welcome addition for those who want a quick and easy way of customizing their devices and don't require the extensive options found in dedicated apps.

Microsoft has not made any public announcements regarding the RGB-lighting control panel in Windows 11 yet. Features that show up in preview builds don't always make it into the consumer versions of the OS, so there's no guarantee this one will. However, the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

Microsoft is set to roll out an updated File Explorer that includes increased integration with OneDrive, email, and Microsoft 365 before the end of the year. It could be the centerpiece of a Moment update or Windows 11's 23H2 update, which might also include the RGB-lighting feature.

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Todd Sauve

Posts: 82   +101
Personally, I don't like my PC lighting up like a Christmas tree. If I can, I do not allow any of this nonsense to light up. With all this fanatical green and environmental business, I wonder why they haven't gone after all the electricity wasted on these useless lights?


Posts: 4,824   +2,769
If this can get rid of Synapse for lighting my mouse I'll be very pleased. It's the only device I have that doesn't save lighting profile internally.

Fingers crossed it comes to W11 Beta channel soon so I can try it.


Posts: 36   +27
Yeah? Well I'm working on removing every single blinking light on my system. The only lights I want is my monitor and a very dim backlit keyboard. Everything else can hide behind a black hole as far as I'm concerned. (P.S: Does anybody know if there is a way to disable the network activity lights on a RJ45 port?)


Posts: 1,327   +1,602
All this LED lighting is complete pointless IMO unless you're carting your computer around and want to make some sort of statement at events. I prefer a blackhole for my PC! Like others, I turn all lighting off or use the least bright colors if I can't. The ONLY LED's I need are power and HDD activity - the rest are worthless to me.


Posts: 1,577   +1,135
You only need back lighting for the screen, to keep eyes healthy, the rest is utter nonsense.

I agree - however Philips TV owners seem to really like the Ambilight that the TVs have - also backlighting can make a good screen seem same as excellent one in some areas - ie near blacks will seem true black - blooming will seem less on subtitles ( apparently changing them to light gray is a solution ) - all this assumes a dark room


Posts: 4,212   +4,962
I wonder how compatible is it going to be. I can handle RGB if it's done in good taste. My keyboard has a white backlight which is useful and not flashy or hard on the eyes.


Posts: 937   +949
I wish MS would do more stuff like this and less Paint3D.
Maybe they should buy/license OpenRGB (I think that's the name) would give them a great startpoint?