Microsoft is touting Windows 11 as the beginning of a new era for PCs, and there’s plenty to love in this major upgrade. From subtle user experience changes to brand new apps, there is something new for every person with this major release.
Apps now feel more modern with their rounded corners and clear context menus, while Task View UI now prioritizes open apps and virtual desktops.
The Start Menu
Start Menu is an essential feature of a Windows computer and its malfunction can be especially irritating. Luckily, there are various solutions available to resolve the issue.
One of the key changes with Windows 11 is that its Start Menu now resides at the center of its taskbar instead of being on its left side, featuring a grid of your most commonly-used applications and featuring draggable icon cards that represent them. You can move these around as desired to modify their arrangement or right click an icon with your mouse to reveal additional options such as pinning/unpinning and uninstalling an application altogether.
In addition to your pinned apps, the menu now includes a ‘Recommended’ section that suggests new applications or files you might like. Clicking ‘More categories’ helps narrow your search further. There are two buttons at the top – one allows you to shut down or sleep your PC; and another lets you switch accounts so you can continue working from where you left off without losing data.
If the Start Menu continues to refuse to launch, try performing a complete system scan with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This may help identify corrupted or missing system files which are contributing to your Start Menu issues; after the scan has completed, restore them back onto your computer in an effort to reinstate its functionality and hopefully resolve your Start Menu problems. If this doesn’t do the trick however, seek professional advice as there may be deeper underlying problems which require professional intervention.
Windows 11 brings with it an innovative feature called Snap Layouts that allows you to organize multiple window apps on your screen for greater productivity. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at how Snap Layouts function both with mouse/keyboard input as well as touch input.
Snap Layouts can easily be accessed by hovering your mouse over a window’s maximize button or using the Win + Z shortcut key. Once activated, four different snap options based on monitor size and orientation will be presented as flyout menus.
As soon as you move your mouse over an option, the selected window will be placed and sized on-screen according to your specifications; Snap Assist will then fill any remaining gaps by offering alternative open app windows (if any are available).
To adjust the size of a snap layout, move your mouse pointer between app panes until they display thick gray bars and your cursor changes to a double-pointed arrow. From there, you can drag either of these arrows in either direction to change their sizes until your snap layout fits exactly how you need it to.
Windows 11 allows you to set a snap layout once, and it will remember it every time you launch a new session. This is great if you use multiple applications for various projects and want to save time by not manually snapping them back in place again and again.
If you don’t wish to manually apply snap layouts, Windows settings allow you to turn this feature off. To do so, navigate to Control Panel > System and Security and locate the “Personalization” section; from here click “Windows Features,” “Personalization,” then “Snap Layouts,” before finally selecting “Turn off Snap Layouts.” Additionally, add a DWORD value called WindowArrangementActive in Registry in order to do the same thing.
Windows 11’s Quick Settings feature makes it easier for users to manage PC settings like brightness, volume, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Airplane Mode with one click. Furthermore, this feature also allows you to personalize its layout to suit your own preference – simply open up by clicking either WiFi, volume or battery icon present in the system tray of your taskbar or press Windows + A key and begin browsing!
Add new buttons to the Quick Settings menu by clicking on the pencil icon in the lower section. Alternatively, select any of the existing buttons and drag it wherever you like on screen – once done you can pin them permanently either to page 1 or an individual location within panel.
With the Quick Settings Menu, you can rearrange its icons by long-pressing any of them and dragging to their preferred positions in the panel. Furthermore, new buttons can be created by pressing “+” and selecting an option you would like to activate.
Quick Settings has been designed to look and function much like Chrome OS’ Action Center, giving users access by either swiping down from the right side of their desktop Taskbar, or by pressing WIN+A on a keyboard. Within, there are various system icons – one to connect to Wi-Fi networks, another reducing blue light levels in order to improve sleep, toggle options with arrow keys while space bar triggers your selections.
File Explorer is your main way of accessing files and folders on Windows devices. It displays them hierarchically on the left window sidebar, starting with Quick Access items you’ve pinned for quick access and moving through local and network drives to where they can be moved easily by moving or copying. From here you can copy or move files as needed.
Windows 11’s File Explorer toolbar has been simplified, featuring a straightforward menu and three-dot icon allowing for overflow from main window for actions such as mapping drives or opening options. This change helps make File Explorer windows smaller and more manageable.
Windows 11 includes another useful feature to help users easily manage multiple File Explorer instances simultaneously: snap groups. This feature can come in handy if you use File Explorer frequently and want multiple windows open at the same time; hovering your mouse over each File Explorer instance’s maximize button will convert it to one of four grids to make managing multiple instances simpler.
Windows 11 makes searching for files easy with its context menu and keyboard shortcuts, while also offering users the capability to search specific parts of a file’s name. Furthermore, notifications alert users if an application is currently using an already open file; additionally, File Explorer shows a “File in Use” dialog which enables them to close down or switch applications while maintaining access to another file.
Power users have many ways they can customize the File Explorer to meet their individual needs, from setting specific folder paths to finding settings that best suit you and your system. Experimentation will likely reveal which options work for you best.
Installing Windows updates often happens automatically and invisibly for most users, whether it’s Patch Tuesday security updates or unexpected zero-day fixes; typically you won’t even need to do anything special in order to get these important upgrades installed.
However, feature updates require more involvement on your part. Microsoft typically releases major upgrades annually in spring and fall; Home and Pro editions receive 24 months of support while Enterprise and Education versions receive 36.
As soon as a feature upgrade is ready to install, a notification will appear in your system tray and you’ll also be able to check for updates by going into Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows update and looking at “Installed updates.” Windows will inform you about an available upgrade with a link for downloading and installing it.
Control how feature and quality updates are delivered to your PC by changing its Windows Update settings. Selecting “Check for updates automatically” and choosing a time of day when Windows will download and install updates without disturbing you will enable this control.
Cumulative updates (also called quality updates) combine various patches, hotfixes, critical and non-critical updates into one simple package that makes deployment easy, bringing your device up-to-date quickly. They may be deployed automatically but you can also manually download and install them if you prefer.
Optional updates typically contain drivers for hardware devices and other products, such as printers or cameras. To install one, simply access Windows Update and search for its knowledge base number – such as “KB5015814.”