The Top Windows 11 Features (and How to Install Them)

Microsoft Is formally rolling out Windows 11, the subsequent main model of its working system (after announcing it again in June). It provides a revamped Start Menu, higher multi-monitor and touchscreen assist, tighter integration with Xbox Game Pass, and a renewed push for the Windows Store. We’ll go over all the brand new options, however first, here is how to obtain Windows 11 to your gadget.

Is Your Computer Compatible With Windows 11?

Microsoft is making some substantial (and at times controversial) modifications to compatibility necessities for Windows 11. Upgrading is free when you’re operating Windows 10, however solely CPUs from Intel’s eighth era and AMD’s Ryzen 2000 line and newer are formally eligible (with a few exceptions). If your {hardware} is eligible, the replace will routinely roll out by mid-2022.

Unofficially, nevertheless, many extra machines with older CPUs will work with the brand new OS model, however you will have to set up Windows 11 manually by creating an upgrade tool from the Windows 11 software program obtain web page and putting in it your self. When you do, you would possibly get a warning that your {hardware} is not formally supported, and it might not be entitled to receive future updates

You can use Microsoft’s lately up to date PC Health Check app to discover out in case your pc is formally eligible. This may also enable you discover out if in case you have or want to allow the Trusted Platform Module 2.0, which is an official eligibility requirement and could be the one factor holding up some machines from being eligible. Your pc might have already got it, nevertheless it could be disabled, and you’ll flip it on in your system’s BIOS. You may bypass the TPM test utilizing a tweak to your registry that Microsoft outlines (and advises in opposition to for most individuals) (*11*).

If this all appears sophisticated, it is as a result of it’s. The quick model is, if in case you have a brand new pc made after round 2017 or so, there is a good likelihood that you will obtain a Windows 11 replace notification ultimately. However, when you constructed your individual machine or have an older pc, you would possibly want to analysis and do some tinkering to set up Windows 11.

How to Install Windows 11

As said above, if in case you have formally eligible {hardware}, putting in Windows 11 is simple. You can await the free replace to roll out to your machine, similar to some other replace, and set up it once you get a notification that it is prepared. Alternatively, you may test for the replace manually by heading to Settings > Windows Update and clicking “Check for updates.”

If your {hardware} is not eligible, nevertheless, you will want to download Windows 11 and create an improve device. You can use this file to create your individual bootable USB drive. Make certain you have got an empty USB stick to a minimum of 8 GB of house after which comply with Microsoft’s information to creating a bootable drive. As we stated above, doing this on {hardware} that is not formally eligible would possibly end in not qualifying for future updates.

Windows 11 Is Similar to Previous Versions

You’d be forgiven if the brand new options in Windows 11 sound acquainted. Microsoft has added widgets, translucent windows, and window snapping. All of those options have been round for some time, however the method right here seems higher. In reality, a lot of the new options are designed round a theme of incremental enchancment relatively than wholesale overhaul (which is nice, as a result of all of us bear in mind Windows 8.)

With the exception of 1 minor change that could be fairly polarizing …

The Start Menu Is within the Middle Now

The largest visible distinction in Windows 11 is how the Start button on the taskbar is centered as opposed to being on the far left of the display screen. There is an choice to transfer it again to the nook when you’re not prepared to retrain your muscle reminiscence, however Microsoft is eager to mimic the MacOS and Chrome OS look.

The new Start Menu has been reworked to take away Live Tiles (solely marginally helpful previously). Instead, there are a set of pinned apps and up to date paperwork. A search interface on the high of the menu, very like the Start Menu at the moment, will intelligently seek for the paperwork, apps, or settings you’re making an attempt to discover.

A More Cohesive Interface

For years, Windows has been a little bit of a fractured mess, with newer, smooth consumer interface parts mixing with previous. Windows 11 lastly updates many options which have regarded misplaced previously, and meaning you will see new designs extra ceaselessly. 

Two of the most important locations you will discover a change are in File Explorer, and any time you right-click to get a context menu. In the latter case, frequent actions like minimize, copy, paste, and rename have been moved to a smaller, accessible bar subsequent to the mouse with simply an icon, whereas different options like Properties or “Open in new window” are nonetheless listed out with an icon and label such as you’re used to. It’s cleaner, however it could take some getting used to. 

Widgets Are Back (Again)

Microsoft tried to make widgets occur for years earlier than abandoning them, however this would possibly (would possibly) be the model that sticks. A brand new button within the taskbar will open a widget panel with a to-do checklist, climate, site visitors, calendar, and different fundamental widgets. This isn’t too completely different from how widgets work in MacOS, obtainable once you need to take a look however disappearing once you don’t want them. Eventually, the function will probably be open to builders, so count on to see extra third-party widgets down the street.

Improved Multi-Monitor Support

Laptop customers that dock their pc right into a separate monitor are all too accustomed to the trouble that comes from managing all their home windows. Once you disconnect the monitor, any home windows on that monitor get resized and shuffled round, creating a large number in your desktop. Windows 11 places an finish to that. When you unplug your laptop computer from a second monitor, any open home windows on that display screen will decrease however bear in mind their place. When you plug the display screen again in, they’ll pop proper again to the place they have been earlier than.

Multiple Desktops on a Single Monitor 

Windows 11 additionally makes digital desktops (launched in Windows 10 in restricted kind) far more highly effective and helpful. There’s a brand new desktop menu within the taskbar, however there’s additionally good keyboard assist. Out of the field, urgent Alt-Win on the keyboard will transfer by means of your digital desktops very like alt-tab strikes between functions.

Snap Groups Make Reorganizing Windows More Intuitive

Windows’ present snapping function is helpful in order for you to put two home windows facet by facet, however you have got to do some other arranging your self. Windows 11 modifications that. Now, once you hover over the Maximize button on a window, you’ll see a small association selector, displaying you completely different layouts you may snap home windows to, together with three- or four-window layouts. You can then choose which home windows to fill in the remainder of the format and get to work faster.

Translucent Windows Are in Fashion Again

Another within the class of options that Microsoft discontinued solely to convey again, Windows 11 as soon as once more introduces a translucent window design. Apps and window borders—together with the Start Menu and widget menu—will probably be semi-see-through, like a frosted-glass window. It’s a pleasant look and possibly received’t have the same performance issues on lower-end {hardware} the final time Microsoft tried this trick.

Easier Touchscreen Interactions

While Microsoft’s {hardware} group makes some great convertible laptops and tablets, the software program hasn’t fairly saved up. Windows 11 hopes to repair a few of the most annoying issues by including bigger contact targets for resizing home windows. There’s additionally a smaller touch-typing keyboard that may sit within the nook of the display screen for one-handed typing, not in contrast to the way you would possibly sort in your telephone. 

If you utilize a stylus, the OS may also assist haptic suggestions, which could make writing really feel extra responsive. It stays to be seen if these modifications are sufficient to make Windows a pure touchscreen expertise on a pill, however it could’t be worse than switching fully right into a Tablet Mode like Windows 10 does now.

Deeper Microsoft Teams Integration

Like Zoom, Microsoft Teams noticed a massive uptick in usage since March 2020, for apparent causes. So it is smart that Microsoft is tying Teams extra tightly into its latest working system. The Chat icon within the taskbar launches a listing of your latest contacts the place you may decide up a dialog the place you left off, or begin a brand new one. When you obtain a message, you will even find a way to reply directly to the notification itself. The draw back is that Microsoft Teams is enabled by default in Windows 11, so when you do not use it, you may want to flip it off.

PC Gaming Gets Some of the Xbox’s Best Features

With Microsoft proudly owning two of the most important gaming platforms on the planet—Windows for PC gaming and the Xbox—you’d assume that combining the 2 can be the next precedence. Well, Windows 11 is lastly making this a actuality by bringing some Xbox options to PC. 

First, there’s the DirectStorage API, which lets video games load information instantly into your graphics card’s reminiscence, drastically slicing down on load instances. The course of is a little more complicated than that transient description makes it sound, however if in case you have the {hardware} and video games that assist it, you’ll be spending lots much less time ready to play.

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