Why do so many people like "Borderless fullscreen" more than normal "Fullscreen"?

Is there a performance advantage?

It’s faster and easier to alt-tab back and forth to other things when using borderless. For me, anyway.

Borederless works well with multi-monitor setups. Alt tabbing seems more stable as well usually.

No. Performance (in FPS) for borderless is almost always worse than true full screen. But folks seem to increasingly prefer borderless because it’s faster to switch and doesn’t force the monitor to readjust.

‘Fullscreen Exclusive’ generally gives better performance.

On Windows 10 and up, this will use a similar borderless window anyway - so you still get the benefits of nice alt-tabbing but the game gets full control, versus using ‘borderless window’ mode where the Desktop Window Manager has priority.

This is what the ‘Fullscreen Optimizations’ setting does. You have to disable that to get the old ‘true’ fullscreen. MS says their tests show negligable performance difference for ‘most people’ when disabling it.

I use it because Discord generally doesn’t seem to be able to identify programs in regular fullscreen to screen share with my girlfriend.

If a loading screen longer than ten seconds, I’m alt-tabbing out.

Windows 11 22h2 has a setting in the graphics options that basically makes windowed games as fast as full-screen

Thanks for all the feedback. That makes a lot of sense. I’m still on Win10 so will stick with full-screen for now unless I’m in a game that hates alt-tabbing and I need to do that.

Something more on this is the fact that for Windows/Microsoft “Fullscreen” is considered a Legacy Feature. It’s kept around for Compatibility reasons but generally use of “Fullscreen” is discouraged and they don’t offer support on it.

During Planetfall it caused several issues so we ended up renaming Windowed settings to “Exclusive Fullscreen” “Fullscreen” and “Windowed”. We even popped a warning if players would switch to Exclusive.

I haven’t used Fullscreen in ages, not since I started using a second display.

Yes, for DX12 it doesn’t matter. Windowed games and borderless windowed run as fast as exclusive fullscreen used to run.

Exclusive fullscreen can cause problems when task-switching. And even if it works, it still takes a few seconds for the system to switch modes. Whereas borderless windowed games let you instantly alt-tab.

Here’s the MS blog discussing how the new optimizations for older games work.

DX12 doesn’t even support exclusive fullscreen so it’s no longer an issue, really.

Isn’t it monitor dependent too? Some are faster at switching than others

Almost certainly, but that switch flicker is still annoying, and if you don’t run at native resolution and have multiple monitors it messes up your other monitors too.

Fascinating. I had no idea.

Is Windows 11 safe to switch to now? I’d been holding off due to game performance concerns.

Yeah, it’s fine if you don’t mind the UI regressions.