Windows 11: easy guide to get the most out of it

Windows 11: easy guide to get the most out of it

Windows 11

The arrival of Windows 11 brings a nice breath of fresh air to the operating system made by Microsoft. In fact, there are numerous innovations designed specifically to modernize both the graphical interface and the Windows functions. This is therefore an important update, which undoubtedly marks a new beginning for Microsoft in the field of personal computers. Following its presentation we have described in detail every change introduced in Windows 11. Having tried it for several weeks, we were able to deepen the new functions such as the management of the Start menu, the renewed multitasking and customization through themes and widgets.

We are therefore ready to answer the most frequent questions and doubts about the new Microsoft operating system. So you want to find out how to best use Windows 11? Here's our complete guide on everything you need to know.

What is Windows 11?

The new Windows 11 logo and background Windows 11 is the new Microsoft operating system for PCs, tablets and convertibles. It is the successor to Windows 10 and will be distributed as a free update starting October 5, 2021. Just as happened with the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10, even in this case Microsoft will not charge its users for the new operating system. . This means that if you have Windows 7, 8 or 10 on your computer, you can perform a simple update to install Windows 11 and get access to all the news introduced by Microsoft. All the details on the procedure, minimum requirements and other information will be described later in the other paragraphs.

What changes compared to Windows 10?

Switching from Windows 10 to Windows 11 The new version of Windows broadly maintains the philosophy adopted by Microsoft with Windows 10. However, some fundamental elements change in the user experience starting from the graphic interface. The UI has been completely redesigned to have a fresher and more modern look. This new graphic design extends across the entire operating system, from the desktop to the new Start menu, without neglecting the Edge web browser, the Office suite and the new Microsoft Store. To further improve the interface there are also widgets and fully customizable themes to give a unique touch to your computer. There is also no lack of accessibility functions and changes to the user interface based on use with mouse and keyboard, trackpad or touchscreen. The new multitasking system allows better management of windows and a more orderly organization of workspaces. Tile one window to another or configure several custom desktops has never been so simple, intuitive and fast. A real revolution for those who want to take productivity on Windows 11 to another level.

The news related to the world of video games could not be missing either, especially designed to extend and expand the Xbox ecosystem. In fact, the APIs designed for Microsoft consoles arrive on Windows 11, such as those of DirectStorage or the Auto HDR function, capable of significantly improving the gaming experience on PC. Obviously the central focus of gaming on Windows 11 is still linked to the Game Pass subscription, both in the "traditional" version with the download and playback of games, and with the new cloud version of the service for those who do not have a sufficiently powerful PC.

There is also a completely redesigned Microsoft Store designed to host the best software for Windows 11. Soon numerous Android applications will also arrive directly on Windows in order to expand the available software library. Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, has been integrated directly into the operating system to be able to follow conferences, meetings or simply to be able to video call anyone without having to install other programs.

You can find an in-depth study on the innovations introduced by Microsoft in Windows 11 at this address.

How does the Start Menu work in Windows 11?

New Start menu in Windows 11 Within Windows 11 the Start menu has been moved to the center along with the fixed applications and some new functions. For those wishing to return to the classic position on the left, just change the appropriate option in the control panel. By clicking on the Windows 11 Start icon, a practical window will open in which we will find:

a search bar (which can also be reached from the special magnifying glass in the menu) a list of your favorite applications (with the possibility of also view all installed programs) some recommended files based on the machine learning algorithm and our recent use access to our user profile with Microsoft credentials

It is therefore a practical method to quickly obtain access to recent programs and files to immediately get to work on Windows 11.

Next to the Start icon we find the magnifying glass to immediately start the search within the operating system, the icon dedicated to multitasking, that of widgets, quick access to Zoom, Explorer, Edge, the Microsoft Store and possibly other programs that we decide to fix in this bar.

How to manage windows using Multitasking in Windows 11?

Applications and side-by-side programs in Windows 11 To make the most of the space on your screen, Windows 11 has introduced new features dedicated to multitasking. Thanks to them you can rearrange the windows to your liking, placing them side by side, or creating new workspaces for maximum efficiency and productivity. Arranging applications side-by-side is really simple, just drag a window to the left or right edge of the screen to activate this multitasking function. In the other half of the screen, a convenient selection screen will appear, which will allow us to choose which program to place alongside the one in the foreground.

So far we have not seen anything new, in fact this function was already present in Windows 10. Microsoft, however, has worked on another efficient method to manage multitasking in the new version of the operating system, called Snap Layouts. By simply pressing the appropriate icon in the lower menu, you can access this practical tool that will allow you to arrange the windows in different practical layouts. As you can see from the screenshot below, there are various models available, and once you have chosen the ideal one for your use, all you have to do is select the windows to be associated with each portion of the display. The layout just configured will remain present in the lower menu and you can access it with a simple click to make different programs appear directly on the screen in the chosen layout. Connecting an external monitor Windows 11 will remember the chosen layouts and resize them according to the diagonal length of the screen used.

Snap Layouts in Windows 11 Windows 11 allows you to create multiple desktops depending on the use of the PC. For example, we can create a desktop for work, one for home use and one for our video games. This is a very practical function to differentiate the various workspaces and the Snap Layouts created for each of them. To switch from one desktop to another, just click on the appropriate icon in the lower menu.

How to use widgets in Windows 11?

The semi-transparent widget panel in Windows 11 In Windows 11 Microsoft has decided to remove the widgets from the Start menu to move them directly to a dedicated window, accessible via the Win + W keyboard shortcut. This semi-transparent panel will be shown in relief compared to the other windows already open on your desktop to allow you to give a quick look at your widgets. The screen is clearly completely customizable with a simple movement of the widgets, which will be arranged in a practical grid. We can choose to view the weather, calendar, mail, maps, news, photos, stock and numerous other widgets that will be added as support extends to other third-party applications as well.

The widget panel can also be extended to full screen if you need to see all the information collected in a practical screen. In fact, just drag the panel to the right to extend it and show us a greater number of widgets. At the top we will always have access to a handy bar for searching the web and the exact time.

How to customize Windows 11 with themes, colors and dark mode?

Dark theme in Windows 11 Windows 11 will be fully customizable with the use of themes integrated directly into the operating system. Windows 11 will have six predefined themes at launch, but more will likely be added later directly from Microsoft, and users will be given the option to create their own themes. Those available differ in the choice of colors and shades, to adapt your operating system to your preferences. The darker shades allow you to use a sort of Dark Mode, also being able to choose different colors for greater customization of the individual windows.

To access the Windows 11 theme and color editing screen, you must go to Settings> Personalization where you will find all the dedicated options.

How to use tablet mode in Windows 11?

Simplified touch controls in Windows 11 Windows 11 does not have a real tablet mode. In fact, this is directly part of the operating system and is activated as soon as the device recognizes the touchscreen as an input system. Windows 11 has been optimized for use with our fingers. For example, windows can be resized and repositioned very easily, without having to be very precise with the pointing of our finger. The operating system recognizes the type of gesture we want to make and executes it perfectly.

Even in multitasking the management with the touchscreen is really very practical and simple. Just drag and drop windows to tile or resize them in handy side-by-side viewing. By rotating the device 90 ° instead, Windows 11 will directly change the arrangement of applications and programs, placing them one on top of the other for a better view of the contents.

There are also several touch gestures that replace keyboard shortcuts. For example, by dragging two fingers on the screen from left to right, we recall the last application used. Instead, starting from top to bottom we will remove each window from the display to view the desktop.

Obviously part of the touch experience is handled by the software keyboard. This can be recalled by simply pressing the key located in the menu at the bottom right. Depending on our preferences we can make it appear both in the full version for better typing, and in the miniaturized version similar to the one we use on smartphones. The latter is particularly convenient for one-handed character entry, when you just want to type a few words.

How to use the new keyboard shortcuts?

Quick settings in Windows 11 Keyboard shortcuts undoubtedly represent a practical and quick way to access various functions of the operating system. Microsoft has introduced some new shortcuts in Windows 11 to better optimize the management of settings, widgets, multitasking and notifications. Let's take a quick look at four new keyboard shortcuts present in Windows 11:

Windows + A: opens the quick settings menu in the lower right corner to be able to adjust the speaker volume, activate Bluetooth, the airplane and other customizable settings Windows + N: opens the notification center at the top right, where all our recent notifications will be displayed Windows + W: opens the widget panel we talked about in the previous paragraphs Windows + Z: opens the menu Snap Layouts to configure one on the fly

Is my PC compatible with Windows 11?

Windows 11 on a laptop After the presentation of Windows 11 there was a bit of confusion regarding the minimum requirements required by the new operating system. Subsequently Microsoft wanted to clarify this aspect, releasing a detailed list of technical specifications to be met in order to install Windows 11. These could undergo further changes in the coming weeks, as the update reaches several computers. If you are not familiar with the following specifications, we recommend that you use the PC Health Check program, which automatically detects the compatibility of your system with Windows 11.

CPU: 64-bit CPU or SoC, 1 GHz, 2 or more GPU cores: DirectX 12 / WDDM 2.0 / Shader 6.0 Memory: 4 GB of RAM Storage: 64 GB Screen: 9-inch 720p and up System features: TPM 2.0, Secure Storage, UEFI firmware, internet connection for the configuration

Clean installation or upgrade to Windows 11?

Upgrade to Windows 11 via Windows Update As we have already mentioned, the installation of Windows 11 takes the form of a free update. If you have a desktop, laptop, convertible or tablet computer that meets the minimum requirements listed in the previous paragraph and you have a license of Windows 7, 8 or 10, then you can proceed with the free installation of Windows 11. The update is performed directly from Windows Update from the control panel within your operating system.

Obviously, the Windows 11 license can also be purchased separately, for those who want to assemble a new PC, for example. In this case, just download the ISO with the operating system and proceed with the installation.

In the same way it is also possible to do a clean installation of Windows 11, going to format the computer to obtain an operating system equal to the new one. However, we do not have information about this method yet, as we do not know how to keep the license of the previous version of Windows installed on our computer.

How to install Windows 11

Start Menu with the dark theme The update of Windows 11 is carried out quickly and easily, by following simple instructions on the screen via Windows Update. Similarly, the clean installation is not complicated at all, but in this case we need an external media on which to load the ISO. All the details on the download and installation of Windows 11 can be found directly in our dedicated guide, where all the operations necessary to do the job perfectly are explained step by step.

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