Disable the New Window Animation in Mac OS X
The latest versions of Mac OS X bring a subtle new window animation, it’s so subtle that many people probably won’t even notice it, but it displays any time a new window is created. It’s better seen than described (the attached screenshot only captures so much), but basically the new window grows to full sized version out of a microscopic version of itself, seemingly appearing out of nowhere.
It all happens very quickly, but like everything else that gets changed with a new version of an OS, some people don’t like it, and other users are noting that it makes OS X feel slower than prior versions of the OS – considering it lasts only a millisecond I disagree for new Macs, but with older Mac models it can make things appear sluggish and thus we can understand both concerns, and we’ll go ahead and show you how to disable the animations yourself.
Disabling the New Window Animation in OS X
You’ll need to use the Terminal and a defaults write command to disable this. Launch the app and then enter the following command:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO
You’ll have to relaunch any currently running apps to have the changes take effect. That includes the Finder, so you may want to run the DIY utility to quit all applications and follow it up with a ‘killall Finder’ command to relaunch the OS X Finder as well.
Re-Enable Window Animations in OS X
If you want the new window animation back again, which is default setting after all, that’s equally as easy to do, you simply need to go back to Terminal and then enter a variation on the same defaults write command:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool YES
Again, you will want to relaunch all applications and the Finder for the change to go back to normal.
I want to emphasize that this change is very subtle and many users won’t even notice it, so don’t be surprised if you find this tip relatively uneventful for any new Mac model that is already quite speedy. The biggest changes really come with older Macs or those with constrained resources, where disabling as much eye-candy as possible can have a positive performance impact. The animation was introduced in OS X Lion, but has stuck around ever since and thus continues to applicable to the newest versions of the Mac operating system.
Thanks to Thomas for providing the tip!