Microsoft Windows 11’s best new features

Windows 11 was formally launched on October fifth and, throwing warning to the wind, I put in it on my important work pc that morning.

Most consultants advise that you just again up all of your stuff first and do a clear set up (i.e. ranging from scratch), which decreases your odds of changing into some bizarre corner-case sufferer of an undiscovered improve bug. However I prefer to stay dangerously. That, and I’m a lazy, lazy man.

Anyhow. I’m blissful to report that not solely did my improve succeed with no hitch; I’m additionally very a lot having fun with Windows 11. I’m undecided how else to explain it apart from to say that it’s a nice working system. And although I’ve a fairly new and quick pc, it truly feels noticeably snappier than Windows 10–which didn’t really feel gradual within the first place.

So: all in all, golf clap for Redmond. If you happen to’re on the fence about making the film, and your pc can deal with it, I consider it to be well worth the improve. It’s free, which is my second favourite factor after laziness.


There are some new and notable features as effectively. Right here’s a handful to check out when you’re up and working.

The taskbar and Begin menu

Clutch your pearls in case you like, as a result of some of the earth-shattering adjustments has been the relocation of the Taskbar to the center of the display screen as a substitute of the left-hand facet.

It takes about 30 seconds to get used to, however throughout these 30 seconds I needed to aggressively combat the urge to maneuver it again. If you happen to can’t resist the temptation, you possibly can put it again by right-clicking on an open space of the Taskbar, choosing “Taskbar settings,” after which underneath the “Taskbar behaviors” menu, altering the “Taskbar alignment” setting to from Heart to Left.

Give it an opportunity, although: it’s sort of good within the center.

Now the Begin menu, then again, is simply flat-out higher: I’ve zero urge to return to the outdated one. The massive stay tiles that no one utilized in Windows 10 are gone; of their place, are oft-used apps and recently-accessed recordsdata. There’s a outstanding search bar to seek out one thing rapidly, or you possibly can simply click on the “All apps” button for an alphabetical record of your applications.

New themes and sounds

The themes and packed in with Windows 11 have loads to do with the entire pleasantness factor I touched on earlier. There are six to select from (I’m a Dawn man, myself), with extra accessible within the Microsoft Retailer.


Proper-click on the Desktop, select Personalize, after which take a look at the Colours menu, which helps you to select an accent colour or set it to robotically match the colours in your background picture. That’s a pleasant contact. Then within the Themes menu, you possibly can change between the accessible themes or obtain new ones.

The sounds, too–the sounds! They’re very un-computer like. As a substitute of harsh dings, bleeps, and buzzers, most every thing now sounds prefer it’s being performed by a well mannered harpist. You may set customized sounds in case you like by trying to find “sounds” from the Personalization menu and selecting “Change system sounds” from the outcome.


After I first heard of the Windows 11 Widgets characteristic, I pictured the stay-on-the-desktop fashion widgets from the Windows Vista days. This isn’t what that was.

As a substitute, clicking the Widgets icon–a half-white, half-blue sq.–within the Taskbar to get an at-a-glance dashboard of climate, information, and pictures.

You’ll doubtless wish to personalize this a bit, which you are able to do by clicking the “Add widgets” button above your information feed after which clicking the “personalize your pursuits” hyperlink on the backside of the window.

From right here, an internet web page will open up and you’ll rapidly add broad pursuits. Nice. However there’s one other setting value exploring: the “Tune your feed” hyperlink on the backside of the left-hand menu.

This lets you choose your favourite information publishers in order that information surfaces from them extra usually than different sources. There are about 70 choices, starting from big-name information organizations to in style blogs.

If you happen to don’t really feel like placing on this a lot work, you possibly can depart your feed as-is and click on the three-dot icon within the lower-right of every information card to dam any sources you don’t wish to hear from.

Snap layouts and teams

By far my favourite Windows 11 characteristic, the Snap layouts would possibly go unnoticed in case you’re normally fast to maximise and decrease home windows.

As a substitute, hover your mouse cursor above the field within the upper-right nook of a window and after a second or so, you’ll get a pop-up grid choice that allows you to place the present window completely in a portion of the display screen.

After your first window is positioned, you’ll see previews of your different open home windows beside it and can have the ability to choose which of them to fill out the opposite parts of the display screen.


When you’ve acquired every thing the way you prefer it, hovering over one of many snapped window icons within the taskbar will now present it as a part of a Snap group.

Proper-click on the grouping, and also you’ll have a number of choices to select from, essentially the most precious being “Reduce group,” which minimizes all of the home windows directly to unlock some desktop actual property.

If you’re able to open the grouping again up, simply hover over one of many group’s icons within the taskbar and click on the group to place all of its home windows again in place directly.

Voice typing

It’s getting late. You’ve been pounding away on the keyboard all day. Simply three extra emails to return, however your wrists are giving out on you. Howdy, voice typing–one other current however much-improved characteristic.

Cick wherever in a textual content enter field whether or not it’s a search bar, an internet kind, or an electronic mail message – and press the Windows key and H in your keyboard. That’ll pop open a little bit dictation overlay, at which level you can begin speaking as a substitute of typing. Accuracy is fairly good proper out of the field, and you’ll submit your voice samples to enhance the overarching speech expertise by clicking the gear icon.

Snipping software

I used Windows’ outdated Snipping software to seize screenshots on a regular basis. It was easy and fast. The new one is easy, fast, and far more helpful.

It’s present in your apps record, or simply click on the magnifying glass within the Taskbar to seek for it.

As soon as open, you possibly can seize a choice of your display screen, an energetic window, or your entire display screen similar to earlier than, but it surely’s what occurs subsequent that’s far more helpful. You now have still-simple however just-plain-better choices for annotating captured photos, together with a really useful cropping software that wasn’t there earlier than.

And my favourite half: in case you neglect to annotate one thing or blur one thing out, now you can open up earlier captures and preserve modifying them. No extra needing to open them up in a flowery picture modifying app simply to make a fast repair. Simply open up the Snipping software and choose the three-dot menu on the suitable to open up a picture file for modifying.

Dig deeper with the Suggestions app

We’ve simply scratched the floor immediately, associates. Like Windows 10, Windows 11 has a useful Suggestions app, which will be present in your apps menu or by looking the Begin menu.

At current, you’ve acquired entry to suggestions for getting across the interface, widgets, keyboard shortcuts, personalization, and safety, however preserve an eye fixed out for extra suggestions as they get added.