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(SOLVED!) Lag and freeze when wallpaper is changing (W10-1908)

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Ryan Blakeslee
2 discussion posts
Solved, See next post.

I noticed the thread from last year with 1809 and it seems to be the exact same behavior, but none of the suggested workarounds fix it.

I have it loading images from reddit for wallpaper changes every 30 minutes, each time, mouse cursor lag, freezing and typing doesn't work, instead it buffers all the text I'm typing, mouse movements and clicks, and then dumps them all at once when the wallpaper changes.

The transitions suggestions doesn't change anything, I though it might have been Aero color changes, but that doesn't effect it, and the real rub is that this happens on ANY computer that I've had DisplayFusion on, I don't recall which version of windows or of DF when it started.

I mostly ignored it until I had time to search around or post this request.
Also tried disabling application hooks, and trying the different aero color change modes, but none of those solved the problem.

Are there any new suggestions that I can look into? So far I've only used three different laptops in the last 8 months moving from one to the other with completely clean, debloated installs of windows before installing DF.
I don't have any other software that does anything with the wallpaper, theming, or window management installed.

Only thing I can think of is hardware variations, all of the laptops have been intel/nvidia with optimus auto switching. Happens on battery or plugged in. There were some posts in the official microsoft forums about even he windows slideshow causing the same issue, but their responses as usual were worthless. I'm pretty sure the MS forum is setup to automatically cut and paste the "why don't you reinstall windows?" answer on every single question.

Any ideas?
Sep 18, 2019 (modified Sep 18, 2019)  • #1
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Ryan Blakeslee
2 discussion posts
Ok, Looks like I solved it. Writing that post gave me a few lightbulb moments to try after realizing that it is definitely an issue with nVidia Optimus.

Hopefully this can be marked as solved and stay here for anyone else who is having the problem with Optimus.

How: Open up Settings, Go to Graphic Settings (search for it) click the drop down and choose classic app, click add, add DisplayFusion.exe, once added, click on displayfusion.exe in the list again and click on options and choose "Power Saving" as the method.

Why: The lag is the firmware switching over to the discrete GPU every time anything graphic related (like changing wallpaper, with or without transitions, or themeing) and since the Intel UHD is MORE than sufficient for that task, switching the app (DF in this case) that is changing the wallpaper to the default video method will stop this lag. This whole "Graphics Settings" hijack occurred at the end of 1803 where windows assumed controls over Optimus and the nVidia control panel no longer was doing the job. This is depsite the NV control panel doing a MUCH better job of switching.

Double Edged Sword: If you run your laptop in high performance mode with discrete GPU turned on all the time , this fix won't work. You'll still get lag, even if you change displayfusion.exe to use the High Performance option.

I don't know if this has anything to do with DF itself, perhaps it favors display adapter 0? Is this something that maybe can be added as a setting, if that is the case?

Update I had to add all of the DF executables to the Graphics Settings and put them to Power saving mode, because depending on where I made the wallpaper change, there would still be a much tinier lag spike like if done from the DF settings page instead. Also, Everything was great until I turned the Aero color change back on. With Aero color change (to match current wallapaper) turned on, there are 3 separate, tinier lag spikes with smooth sailing inbetween.
This is going to drive me to drink... more.
Sep 18, 2019 (modified Sep 18, 2019)  • #2
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on
Good find, thanks for sharing that info!

DisplayFusion doesn't have any code to choose or prefer a specific display adapter. My guess is that when the wallpaper changes with transitions enabled, DWM is forcing it to use the discrete card. If you disable the "Use transitions when changing" option in the DisplayFusion Wallpaper > Wallpaper Settings window, does that make any difference?

The Aero Colour thing is an issue with Chrome and Aero Colour Changes causing the hooks to get flooded with repaint messages. It's on our list to see if we can fix up from our end, but leaving Aero Colour Changes disabled for now is definitely the best way to go there.
Sep 19, 2019  • #3
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Douglas Hoogland
2 discussion posts
Disabling auto color based resolved this for me.

This started for me after upgrading to Windows 10 1903.

Disabling transitions made no difference.
Sep 26, 2019  • #4
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9 discussion posts
This is happening to me as well (1903 release version). It's a Windows bug when changing the color of the elements at all. Even if I manually do it, I experience these three, distinct lag spikes. Looks like I'm turning the feature completely off for now, but I don't think it has anything to do with wallpapers.

Hopefully the November Windows 10 patches will address this issue.
Oct 23, 2019  • #5
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Richard Steel98902
1 discussion post
Guys. i have a multi setup. total geek. not coder or anything but enthusiast. 5 screems 2. onps networked. 4 VR. you get the point. 4 days. . if trying to figure out this $5000 setup is lagging.....

color background change. 100%. hope it works as seemlesly as it did for me. i tried to post but found this OP. tha k you guys. love the community
Mar 29, 2020  • #6
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Ryan Gibson27410
1 discussion post
Oh thank heavens, finally a solution.

I was going crazy trying to fix this. Thank you!
May 11, 2020  • #7
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Carlos Lopez Infante516004
3 discussion posts
Thank you!

Same problem, excelent solution :)
Sep 11, 2020  • #8
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Curtis Hoeppner42822
1 discussion post
It was the auto color change for me, thanks guys!
Sep 16, 2020  • #9
Michael A. Wilder816371's profile on
Hi. I just built new pc, not a week old, and this is my first time using W10. I see this issue was solved and I am having it, so can anyone tell me where I go to fix it? How do I disable the color changer?


[U]Update.[/U] I think I found it. I was looking in the DF setting. It was in my personlize setting. If that's incorrect, please let me know. If I don't hear from anyone, I know I'm good.
Sep 20, 2020 (modified Sep 20, 2020)  • #10
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Kirk Jones
1 discussion post
THANK YOU ALL! I don't know exactly when this started happening but I actually re-imaged my computer for this and then it started happening again. Then I just quit using DF for a while. I never made the connection to wallpaper changes because they are rarely actually visible. Disabling the automatic accent color in Windows Personalization (Right click Desktop -> Personalize -> Colors -> uncheck "Automatically pick an accent color from my background") seems to have fixed this. With that on I could reproduce the issue by just loading next wallpaper.

Display Fusion: There are several options to not change wallpaper when:
Could we get an option maybe to change the wallpaper every time the screensaver / monitor blanking is activated instead of on a timer? I wouldn't care about the windows lag if the screen was blanked anyway. Maybe a couple minutes after so a tap to wake the screen wouldn't lag? Just ideas! I know it's a workaround to Microsoft's issues, not yours.

I'm glad to have DF back!
Nov 20, 2020  • #11
Carey Sundberg's profile on
It was the auto color change for me, thanks guys!

Same for me, Thanks All!

Win10 v20H2
Aug 10, 2021  • #12
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Richard Yancy
1 discussion post
Just adding a note for something I found. Unselecting the "Automatically pick an accent color from my background" worked for me.
Looking further into the issue I found that it seemed related to some kind of conflict with all the NVIDIA graphics software, which seems to be way behind in updates. I uninstalled all the NVIDIA software except the drivers. I am running Windows 10 on a 6-display system with NVIDIA graphics cards. Windows seems to do a good job without the NVIDIA software. I am not a gamer but I do a lot of trading. So far the computer runs well without the NVIDIA software.
I tried enabling the automatic accent color and that seems to work too. Wallpapers now change without the freezing in between. However, the computer seems to work faster without that enabling that option.
Oct 27, 2021 (modified Oct 27, 2021)  • #13
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1 discussion post
Hello there, I just created an account because I had the same issue with the native Windows 11 background slideshow and wanted to share experience.
I noticed that every time the image changes, anything openned on my computer freezes for a few seconds.
I noticed because I saw the color change in the task bar.
I have none of those softwares this website provides installed on my computer.
But disabling Aero Colour Changes totally fixed that issue.
So thank you very much :)
Jan 28, 2022  • #14
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