Vibrant-dark-ui translucent background changes to opaque when switching to another application

Bug report

The vibrant-dark-ui theme has a translucent feature that I really like! I noticed when I switch to another application, InkDrop reverts to a non-translucent state. I may be mistaken if this is a bug or if it is desired behavior though it seems odd.


  • Platform: Windows
  • Platform version: 10.0.19044
  • App Version: 5.5.3

How to reproduce

  1. Install the vibrant-dark-ui theme
  2. Enable the “Acrylic translucent background”
  3. Close InkDrop
  4. Reboot Windows
  5. Open InkDrop and another application (does not matter what application)
  6. Switch between InkDrop and the other application and take note of InkDrop’s transparency


I don’t see the same issue in my environment though, the acrylic window support on Windows is quite unstable.
It relies on the following module but it hasn’t been updated these days:

Maybe I should drop the feature for Windows if it is broken.

I can provide a video capture of it though I’m not sure how helpful that will actually be.

I’ll try it on my other windows machine and see if the “issue” exists there as well.

Honestly, I wouldn’t drop the feature (I really do love the way it makes the application look and feel while using it). I can deal with it switching between translucent and opaque although its undesirable.

It might depend on the system configuration because it uses the Windows API and not at the application level as you can see in the source code, but I’m not sure what actually causes that at the moment.

After doing some detective work, it looks like it’s on the Windows API side so there isn’t a way around it unless the maintainers of electron decide to perform the acrylic effect some other way. So indeed, on Windows 10, that is the defined behavior, though sadly I don’t think Microsoft thought that one through all the way.
Acrylic turns off when Window is Inactive · Issue #593 · microsoft/terminal · GitHub
Acrylic material - Windows apps | Microsoft Learn

1 Like

Also, looks like Microsoft is aware that users dislike the way Windows handles the Acrylic material. There are two open, related, issues on their github repo. Maybe it will be resolved in the coming year.

Investigate: AcrylicBlur always on in an inactive window · Issue #7158 · microsoft/terminal · GitHub
Add support for Acrylic and Opacity in “Unfocused Appearance” · Issue #11092 · microsoft/terminal · GitHub

Were you using a Windows VM to test? I’ve seen on the repo page, someone noted that on Windows VMs the acrylic material is always active, though Microsoft devs replied saying it’s not supposed to do that.

Thanks for the investigation! Yeah, that sounds annoying and may be not possible to fix on the application level.
I’m testing it on a real Windows machine via Remote Desktop from my mac. So, it might work differently, like VMs.