Microsoft will release Windows 11 in the second half of this year. Windows Insiders have access to it already. The new operating system includes many visual and design improvements, as well as new features and applications. This is the most significant visual overhaul Windows has seen since Windows 10 was launched. There’s plenty to learn. We can help you if you have any questions about Windows 11.
Our guide will help you learn everything new in Windows 11. Every major and minor change is listed. To learn more, you can read more about windows 11.
Some changes will become apparent if you have Windows 10 or another version. The taskbar icons will now be located on the right side of the box. The Settings app-> Personalization-> Taskbar can be used to change the taskbar’s alignment. This option is located under Taskbar behavior. A new icon will be added for Windows. There are also a few icons that go next to it.
Search is one of these icons, which you may already know from Windows 10. You can search your computer and the internet for almost anything by using this icon. Task View is the icon with a black square and white dots. It allows you to see all your open applications. To see your desktops you can hover over the icon. We’ll talk more about this later.
We’ll talk about another icon for widgets later. All buttons, except Start, can be removed by right-clicking and clicking Unpin Taskbar.
You’ll find several things in the lower right corner of your taskbar. The invisible button at the end of the taskbar lets you view the desktop. You can place your mouse on it to see a small, black line. This will let you know if you are in the right spot.
The notification counter is located right next to the button. It also includes the date and time. Click this area to see the calendar that displays all events added to your Outlook calendar. Although the calendar displays a month, you can also collapse it using the arrow at the top. This will show only for two weeks. You will see the notifications listed above the calendar. Websites and apps can send notifications to you about messages, events, or other information. If you don’t get them immediately, they are stored here.
Next, you’ll see a trio of icons: Network, sound, and battery. This will open the Quick Settings panel. You’ll find sliders to adjust the system volume and display brightness as well as a variety of quick actions. These are default settings:
- WiFi – Turn Wi-Fi connections on and off. You can see all available networks by clicking the arrow.
- Bluetooth: This allows you to turn Bluetooth on and off so that you can connect Bluetooth headsets and other peripherals.
- Airplane Mode – This disables all wireless connectivity to not interfere with aircraft communications.
- Battery Saver – This allows you to enable or disable the battery saver mode for your laptop. Although this will prolong the battery’s life, certain background tasks and notifications may take longer to arrive. When your laptop is plugged into an outlet, this setting cannot be altered.
- Focus Assist is the Windows equivalent to do not disturb. Priority-only mode allows you to receive notifications from specific apps that you select. To do this, right-click the icon and choose Go to Settings. Alarm-only mode means that you will only be disturbed by alarms.
- Accessibility This allows you to quickly access various accessibility tools. These include Magnifier, Color filters, and Narrator. Mono audio is also available. Sticky keys are also available.
These Quick Settings can be customized by clicking the gear icon at bottom of the panel. You can add or remove items as you like. You’ll also see playback controls above the Quick Settings panel if you are playing media on your computer.
The overflow menu is the final option. It will be visible by the OneDrive icon (cloud), which should appear by default. The arrow to expand this list will also show it. These icons are for specific apps and serve as shortcuts to these apps. The apps that you install will determine what you see. OneDrive is preinstalled in Windows 11. The icon allows you to quickly see information about your sync status.
Windows 11 Start Menu
Windows 11 brings a lot of changes to the Start menu. Clicking the Start button brings you to this view.
You can see that many things are different. Instead of living tiles, you will see a grid with pinned apps at its top. To see a complete list of your installed apps, click on the All Apps button. To pin or unpin an app from the Start menu, right-click it. To re-arrange your pinged apps, click or touch the app and drag it around.
A Recommended section at the bottom shows your recent files and apps. To see all recommended items, you can click on the More link. You can choose to remove an item from the list by right-clicking it.
The Start menu’s bottom bar contains the user menu and the power menus. You can change your account settings by clicking your user name, and the power button allows you to shut down or restart your computer. You can also set shortcuts that will appear in this bar. Go to the Settings app, then go to Personalization-> Start.
Windows 11 also features a new widgets panel. You can access it by clicking on the icon in the taskbar. It displays quick information about apps and services. You’ll find widgets for weather, OneDrive, and Microsoft To-Do at the top.
To resize or remove a card, click on the ellipsis icon in the corner. Or you can use the Add widgets link to create new widgets. There are only a few Microsoft widgets available right now. We hope to see more widgets in the future.
Below the widgets, you will see news stories about topics that interest you. You can change the topics that interest you by clicking your profile picture at the top right corner. Click Manage news and interests at the bottom of this pop-up. You will be able to modify your interests by opening a web browser window.
Microsoft Edge is the web browser
Microsoft Edge is the web browser for Windows 10 or Windows 11. Although it has been around since 2015 it is still very popular. It is based on Google Chrome’s same foundation, so it should work across all web pages.
It will sync data using your Microsoft account, not a Google account. This is a big difference. Edge can also be used on smartphones, so it is easier to sync data between different devices.
If you have any modern browser, it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out the basics. You will find the address bar at the top along with all the navigation buttons. The menu in the upper right corner will take you to all the other information.
To access all of the main options, click the ellipsis symbol. All your history, downloads, favorites, and bookmarks are available. If you don’t want the buttons to appear next to the address bar, you can click Show In Toolbar.
Edge, which is built on Chrome, can install extensions for Chrome. This includes themes. You should be able to install any extension that you find on the Chrome Web Store. You can still use any browser that you like, even Google Chrome. You might not be as motivated to change now.
Windows 11 Apps Installation
Two main methods are available to install apps in Windows 11. There are two main ways to install apps in Windows 11. You can either use the Microsoft Store where apps have been verified by Microsoft or you can download them from a browser. Microsoft has introduced a new store in Windows 11 that features a completely different design.
The spotlight section takes up most of the space. It highlights recent or popular additions to the Store. The side menu will show you different categories for movies, apps, and games. To find any apps that you have installed previously, you can also access your library.
You can search the top for the apps you are looking for, or browse the store until the app you’re looking for is found. The majority of the changes made to the Microsoft Store in Windows 11 take place behind the scenes. Microsoft is making it easier to allow developers to upload their apps to the store. You may soon see more apps there. You can search the internet for apps if you don’t find the app you are looking for in the store.
The Settings app
The Settings app can be used to make changes to your Windows 11 computer. You can find the most important settings that you may want to modify here. The app also has a new design in Windows 11. You can access all main sections of the app from the side menu, which includes the following:
- System – Setup settings for display, sound and notifications, power, recovery, and more.
- Bluetooth & devices – Manage settings for connected devices, including Bluetooth. Here you can change the settings for your printer and webcam.
- Network and INternet. Configure your network connections, including Wi-Fi and Cellular, along with DNS and IP settings, data usage limits, and more.
- Personalization: Change the appearance and feel of your computer. This can include themes, backgrounds, and colors, as well as the position of your taskbar.
- Apps: Change settings for apps and other optional features. This includes setting apps as default for certain actions.
- Accounts: Change settings for accounts that you have added to your computer. This includes backing up all your settings and apps.
- Language – Setups related to your preferred language and region.
- Gaming: Manage settings for Xbox Game Bar. This includes video recording settings and game mode enable/disable.
- Accessibility Tools for people with special accessibility requirements. You can alter the text size and visual effects, color filters, captions, etc.
- Privacy and security – See which apps have access to specific information about you and how your data is used. You can also find settings related to security.
- WindowsUpdate – Get updates for your computer or sign up for the Windows Insider program.
Windows 11 includes included apps
Windows 11 includes a variety of apps to help you get the job done. These apps provide all the functionality that you would expect from a computer. These apps come pre-installed.
- Alarms & Clock – See clocks for various regions, set alarms and timers, and use a stopwatch.
- Calculator: This calculator includes standard, scientific, graphing, and mathematical modes. It also allows you to calculate the difference between two dates. It can also convert units for things such as volume, length, and weight, temperature, energy, or currency.
- Calendar– View a calendar and events that have been synced with your Microsoft account. To sync these events, you can also add accounts like Google. It is part of the Mail & Calendar App.
- Camera– Use the camera on your device to take pictures or record video.
- Cortana is Microsoft’s digital voice assistant. It can search the internet and locate files on your computer. It also has additional capabilities for business users.
- Feedback Hub– A mobile app that allows users to send feedback about Windows to Microsoft.
- File Explorer: Navigate files on your local drive and OneDrive.
- Get Help Find support for common Windows 11 issues
- Get Started Set up OneDrive backups and change your default browser from Edge to Edge. You can also link your Android smartphone.
- Groove music – This is a standard music player that plays files from your OneDrive or PC.
- Mail allows you to send and receive emails from your Microsoft account, as well as other accounts that you wish to add to this app. This app is part of the Mail & Calendar app. Accounts you add here will also appear in the Calendar.
- Maps is a standard mapping app that allows you to get directions, turn-by-turn navigation, and a satellite view. Some cities might also offer 3D aerial views.
- Microsoft Edge is Microsoft’s latest web browser. It shares the same foundation as Google Chrome so it has the same basic capabilities.
- Microsoft News Gets the latest news from topics you are interested in and select sources.
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection– A collection of card games that you can play yourself.
- Microsoft Store You can visit this page to download and install TikTok apps. You can also find sections for movies and games.
- Microsoft To-Do Create to-do lists that can be shared with others. The lists are stored in sync with your Microsoft account and can be accessed from any device with the app installed.
- Movies and TV – A basic video player that allows you to watch movies on your computer as well as shows and movies purchased from the Microsoft Store.
- Notepad is a basic text editor that allows you to take quick notes.
- Office: Shortcuts to the web versions of all major Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. OneDrive stores files and is easily accessible from the homepage.
- OneDrive lets you manage your OneDrive files and sync them with your computer. You can either sync all of OneDrive or download only the files you need.
- Paint is a basic app for image and drawing editing.
- Photos is a photo and video viewer that offers basic editing capabilities. You can crop, rotate and adjust photos as well as for trim or create video projects from your files.
- Settings: Change the settings of your computer, including sound, power, and Bluetooth.
- Sketch – Take screenshots of one window or a particular area of your screen and then edit them as necessary. You can also launch the screenshot by pressing Windows + Shift +S.
- Snipping Tool – An older version of Snip & Sketch with similar functionality but a more modern design.
- Sticky notes – Keep your notes visible on your desktop so you can take them with you when you need them. Sticky notes can be different in color and sync across devices. With the OneNote app and Microsoft Launcher, you can view them on your smartphone.
- Tips– Provides tips on how to use different parts of Windows 11.
- Video editor – A part of the Photos app. You can create video projects with photos and videos from your phone, add music and text, and other effects.
- Voice Recorder – Record voice clips using your microphone
- Weather Access detailed weather information for your current place or in other cities.
- Windows Security Security tools such as Windows Firewall or other protection settings. Includes Microsoft Defender virus protection.
- Windows Terminal is a command-line tool that combines Command prompt with Windows PowerShell within one app.
- Windows Tool – This set of tools allows advanced users to manage their devices. This includes the Character Map, Power Automate, and older Windows apps.
- Xbox Buy games and manages your gaming library, including Xbox Game Pass.
- Xbox Game Bar – This overlay can be used in all games to access Xbox chat, start screen recordings, and more. It also includes widgets that provide performance insights, Spotify integration and allow you to listen to your favorite music.
- Your phone – Use the app to connect to your Android phone and view notifications, messages, photos, and other information. The app can be used to make calls and project your screen onto your computer with certain phones. This requires that you have the Your Phone Companion/Link to Windows application installed on your phone.
Windows 11 Multitasking
Windows 11 offers many multitasking features. Some of these tools are brand new, even if you have used Windows 10. Windows 11 is great for multitasking because of a few key features.
Windows 10 introduced virtual desktops, which Microsoft now calls desktops. You can create different spaces for different types of apps with desktops. You might have one desktop for your gaming apps and another for your work applications. Windows 11 allows you to rename desktops and arrange them however you like.
Click the Task View button to access your virtual desktops. Or press Windows key + Tab. Windows 11 also features a hovering feature that allows you to see all of your desktops and create new ones. This way you don’t need to open the entire task switcher interface.
Snap layouts and groupings
Windows 11 allows you to snap apps together easily. To snap windows in a particular position, you can drag them to the sides of Windows 10. Snap layout is a new feature. You can automatically snap apps to your screen by hovering your mouse over the maximize/restore button. You can even see three apps side by side. Windows will help you finish the layout by guiding you after you have snapped the first app.
You can quickly return to a Snap layout once you have it set up, even if another app is open. Click on any taskbar icon for your Snap layout to see the entire Snap group. You’ll return to the original layout by clicking it.
Using dual monitors
To increase productivity, many people prefer to use multiple monitors. You can adjust the relative arrangement of the two displays in the Settings app. Windows 11 offers some new features that make it easier to use multiple monitors.
When you unplug a screen, it minimizes the display, and then when you plug it back into the monitor, all windows will be restored to their original positions. Multitasking is much easier with this feature.
Windows 11 touchscreen use
There are additional things that you might want to know if you own a tablet running Windows 11. You’d expect the basics. Tapping on something is like clicking with the left mouse, and tapping and holding it is like clicking with the right mouse. This is similar to using a modern smartphone. To make the most out of your experience, you may want to be familiar with some gestures.
To start, swiping in from the left will open the Widgets panel. In Windows 10, however, it opens the Task View. Swiping in from your right will bring up your notifications but you’ll now see Quick Settings instead. Tap the Quick Settings group, which includes the sound and battery icons, to access your Quick settings.
Windows 11 also introduces multi-finger gestures. These gestures look similar to what you would find on laptops equipped with a Precision touchpad. To switch between your most recent app and the next, swipe up with three fingers. You can also swipe down to minimize all windows. Three fingers are required to swipe up to open Task View. However, if you swipe down after scrolling down, it will restore any windows that were minimized. To switch between virtual desktops, swipe left or right using four fingers.
That should cover most of the basics of how to use Windows 11. Whether you’re a complete newbie to Windows or you’ve used a previous version, there’s a bit of a learning curve. However, once you get the hang of it, it should feel just like Windows 10, and everything should work as expected.