6 ways to simplify using Windows 11
Windows 11 launched last October as a free upgrade to eligible users, and the rollout will continue through this year. People with newer machines had the right of way, but there were ways to get ahead in line. The transition from Windows 10 to 11 hasn’t exactly been seamless, from hardware requirements to various bugs.
Recently, laptop users who have upgraded their operating system to Windows 11 have encountered a driver issue that causes a particular process to use way more memory than it needs. Tap or click here to view our report and some possible solutions.
Previous Windows users may also experience issues with features they were used to. Some things work differently with the new OS. We’re here to help you make the adjustment.
1. Where have all my right click options gone?
Right-clicking in most apps and files in earlier versions of Windows gives you contextual options depending on where you click. You can get options for cut, copy, paste, pin to Start, shortcut, undo, emoji, send to and more.
Things can get a little messy with this style of menu. Windows 11 swapped in a shortened context menu. While it may be easier to navigate, you may be missing some options that you would normally see, especially with third-party apps.
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For the full list of options, click Show more options at the bottom of the menu or press Shift + F10.
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2. Bring back action center (sort of)
In Windows 10, the Action Center can be found by clicking the Action Center icon in the taskbar, which looks like a dialog box. Here you can view notifications and take the necessary actions if something goes wrong with your hardware or software. You will also get security and maintenance messages here.
Windows 11 has moved the Action Center to a quick settings panel. This gives you easy access to frequently used settings and apps. You can add or remove quick settings as desired.
To access Quick Settings, select the battery, network, or volume icon to open the Quick Settings panel. You can also press the Windows logo key + R. Select the Edit Quick Settings icon, which looks like a pencil, to add or remove a quick setting.
3. Changing default apps used to be so much easier
In Windows 10, you can easily change default apps by going to Start > Settings > Apps > Default apps. You can then click to change the default apps used for email, maps, music, videos, and photos, among other options.
It’s a bit more complicated in Windows 11. Here’s how:
Go to Settings > Apps > Default apps. To set a default for a file type or link type, type it in the search bar and then select it from the list of results. You can choose which app can open that file or link type. To set a default for an application, select the app to see what file types or link types it can open. To change anything, select the file or link type, then choose your preferred app.
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4. I didn’t need widgets back then…
Widgets allow you to see updates and information from your apps, websites, and devices at a glance, so you don’t have to keep opening and switching between them. You can add or subtract widgets and even resize them as you like. While useful, the widgets panel can be intrusive.
If you are not a fan of Windows 11 widgets and you want to remove the widgets button from your taskbar, right click on the widgets button and select Hide from taskbar.
Do you want to disable widgets? You can also do that:
Go to Settings and choose Personalization or right click on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings. Under Taskbar Items, set Widgets to Off. Note: Widgets still run in the background.
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5. The Start Button Isn’t Where I Left It
We’ve been used to having the Start menu at the bottom left of the screen for a while now. Windows 11 centers the Start button and taskbar icons. This takes some getting used to, but in a few steps you can put it back in the familiar place:
Go to Settings and choose Personalization or right click on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings. Click Taskbar Behavior to expand the menu. Select Left from the Taskbar Alignment drop-down menu.
6. These icons may disappear
As with widgets, you can delete icons that you don’t want to keep in the taskbar. The steps are the same:
Go to Settings and choose Personalization or right click on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings. Under Taskbar Items, disable Search, Task View, Widgets, and Chat as desired. You can also disable the icons that appear on the right side of your taskbar: Pen Menu, Touch Keyboard, and Virtual Touchpad.
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