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11 Tips for Windows 11

11 Tips for Windows 11

Microsoft has included many practical tools in Windows 11 for more pleasant and productive use.


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Microsoft's new Windows 11 operating system is now gradually landing on all suitable PCs. The new system has a large number of setting options and many practical tools. However, some of them are well hidden.

futurezone gives tips on how to use the new operating system better. Not all functions are new, many were already available in previous versions, but have now been improved or can be found elsewhere. All settings can also be found by entering them into the search bar in the Start menu.

Customize Startmenu

Anyone switching to Windows 11 will probably first notice the new Start menu, which now sits in the center of the taskbar. Here, "Recommended Files" (recently used) and "Pinned Apps" are displayed.

To put the Start menu on the left side, as you are used to from Windows 10, you open the "Taskbar settings" by right-clicking on the taskbar. Under "Taskbar behavior", select "Left" for "Taskbar orientation".

Focus Wizard

Quite inconspicuous and a bit hidden is a focus help. If you open the "Clock" app, you can start "focus sessions". The principle follows classic focus aids like the TomatoTimer. You set a certain time, e.g. work for 30 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes. After the timer expires, you hear a tone, take a break, and then the process repeats. This is a proven method to increase concentration.

This can be combined with schedules and tasks from other Windows apps like to-do lists. You can also add music to the current session - unfortunately, this is only offered for Spotify users so far.

You can also find the "Notification Wizard" under "Settings". Notifications can be disabled for a certain time. Later, they can be grouped together. This is quite practical when you want to concentrate, since notifications keep popping up on the right edge of the screen with emails and messaging messages, which can tear your concentration away.

Multitasking

Many new functions have been developed for better and distraction-free work. For example, you can activate the "Shake window title bar" function under "Settings" > "System" > "Multitasking".

If you have many applications and windows open, you can quickly close everything except the active window. To do this, hold the title bar (top) of the respective window with the mouse and quickly move it back and forth ("shake"). This immediately minimizes all other open programs.

Snap Window

Multitasking also includes the possibility to organize several windows quickly and neatly next to each other. The key combination "Windows + Z" or placing the mouse pointer over the window icon opens a menu with various layout options in the active window. So you can choose how two, three or four different windows should be arranged.

Darkmode, Night Mode and Accessibility

Those who have already used this with Windows 10 will also immediately use the dark mode when switching to the new version. Windows also automatically adjusts all settings to the preferred display.

Right-clicking on the desktop opens the "Personalization" setting. Here you can select different color schemes and accent colors in addition to the background images. Under "Colors" you can also choose whether you want to activate the dark mode for all applications or only for Windows applications.

The night mode, which filters out the blue tones, can be set under "System" > "Display" > "Night mode". Here you can set the strength and the active time period.

Under the "Contrast designs" item, you can also select different modes that are adapted to individual visual impairments.

Screenshots and Videos

Windows 11 has 2 applications built in that allow you to quickly and easily capture screenshots. The first one is the well-known Snipping tool, which allows you to quickly capture the whole desktop, individual windows or a free area, even with several seconds delay.

The Game Center, which opens via "Windows + G", also allows you to record videos. To do so, select the camera icon in the newly opened bar at the top and then you can either quickly take a screenshot or start a recording. Only the active window is recorded; the desktop or file explorer cannot be recorded.

Widgets

By default, the weather display is located on the left side of the taskbar. If you move the mouse over it, the widgets open. Currently, you can display the weather, to-do lists or messages.

If you click on the profile picture in the upper right corner, a menu opens. Here you can edit the widgets. Clicking on "Personalize your interests" opens a website. Here you can select the topics for which you want to see news.

Multiple Desktops

This function is placed more prominently in Windows 11 than in the predecessor. With the keyboard shortcut "Windows + TAB" or the "Active Applications" icon on the taskbar, you can not only choose which open window you want to navigate to, but you can create a whole new desktop.

The dropped icons are still visible, but the open programs change. For example, you can quickly switch between private and work desktop. For example, on one only spreadsheets and documents are open, on the other the browser for surfing in the break. This can also help with better focusing. You can create as many desktops as you like.

Manage Quick Settings

Clicking the speaker icon on the lower right opens the quick settings. For example, you can quickly activate the night mode or the flight mode. However, not all functions are needed - if you have a stationary PC, you will probably never need the flight mode. With a click on the little pencil, you can create this menu with all the quick settings that you actually need.

Clipboard History

This seems like a small thing, but it's handy if you frequently copy information from A to B. Instead of always saving the last thing you copied to the clipboard with "Ctrl + V", you can access the entire copy history with this feature.

The settings for this can be found under "System" > "Clipboard". You can call the function with the key combination "Windows + V". Here you can also pin content that you always need (such as an address or phone number), so that you can always access it immediately.

Improve Sound

Microsoft has hidden a function a bit, which is simply called "Improve Audio". It can be found under "System" > "Sound" > "All audio devices".

If you activate it, the system automatically adjusts settings like bass or virtual surround sound - depending on which output device you use. You can also make your own settings by clicking on "Advanced", for example, you can set the volume for the left and right channel individually.

Bonus: Game Mode

Windows 11 has its own function for gamers that can improve performance. You can activate the "Game mode" under "Settings" > "Play". This stops background processes like notifications or updates.

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