Windows 11 – Should You Upgrade, New Features, Tips And Tricks

In this exciting new post we shall see the latest launched Windows 11 – Should You Upgrade, New Features, Tips And Tricks and much more. Let’s roll.

windows 11
Source: Windows Blog

Table Of Contents

How To Upgrade To Windows 11

Windows 11 New Features

Windows 11 Tips And Tricks

Windows 11 Launch Date

4th October 2021 was the announcement date. And as on 5th October 2021 as per time zone availability of your country, it was launched. This was through a free upgrade on eligible Windows 10 machines and on new machines pre-installed with Windows 11 as per Microsoft’s Windows Blog.

3 Ways To Check If Your PC Is Fit For The Windows 11 Upgrade Or Not?

Option 1 – Using Microsoft’s PC Health Check App to see if your rig can run Windows 11

  • Download Microsoft’s PC Health Check Application.
    Open the downloaded file -> Agree to the TOS -> Click Install.
    Tick ‘Open PC Health Check’ checkbox -> Click Finish.
  • On the Home Page named ‘PC health at a glance’, at the top, there will be a box that says ‘Introducing Windows 11’ Click Check now.
  • After checking for some time if your rig is not compatible, then you will get a message saying, ‘This PC doesn’t currently meet Windows 11 system requirements’. Click on the details.

Note: Microsoft is planning this update as a staggered rollout. Hence many devices will not see this new upgrade until 2022.

Option 2 – Windows 11 System Requirements List From Below Microsoft

SpecificationsRequirements
Processor1GHz+ with 2+ cores 64-bit processor
RAM4GB+
Storage64GB+
System firmwareSecure Boot capable UEFI
TPMTrusted Platform Module 2.0
Graphics cardDirectX 12 compatible or later, WDDM 2.0 driver
DisplayHD (720p) display 9+ inches and 8-bits per color channel
Internet connection + Microsoft accountInternet connectivity and a Microsoft account
Windows 11 System Requirements

Option 3 – Using The WhyNotWin11 App For Checking Windows 11 Compatibility

There is an open source application called WhyNotWin11. It is basically a detection script which helps to identify why your PC is not yet ready.

It is a good alternative to the PC Health Check app mentioned in point number 1 above. It has a less friendly interface, but still is useful about various compatibility issues. Be sure to check it out.

How Can You Upgrade Your Windows To Windows 11 For Free

If you want windows 11 upgrade from windows 10 free then try the following steps

1. Using Windows Update

windows update
Source: Windows Blog
  • Many users can download Windows 11 as you did for new version of Windows.
  • Just go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update 
  • Click Check for Updates.
  • If it is available, you’ll be able to see Feature update to Windows 11.
  • Click Download and install

2. Using Windows 11 Update Assistant

If the upgrade isn’t available to yet, but still you wish to proceed with the upgrade then you have a few options. The most simple and best option would be to use a Windows 11 Upgrade Tool.

  • Download the Windows 11 Installation Assistant.
  • Choose Run after you download it to make sure your hardware is compatible.
  • Then Accept and Install to terms.
  • When the program finishes installing, restart your computer after it prompts you.
  • Your machine might restart many times during this process.

Windows 11 ISO Download

You can download the ISO at the Microsoft Download Site. Scroll to the section as shown below

windows 11 iso download
Source: Windows Blog

Other Ways To Get Windows 11

You can get it by

  • Purchasing a new PC which is pre-installed with win 11 by visiting Windows.com or from your local retailer store
  • Purchasing a Windows 10 PC that is eligible for the free upgrade by visiting Windows.com or your local retailer store
  • Using the PC Health Check app to check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade

Windows 11 Latest Features

Lets us take a deep dive into the latest features.

It Is Made For Gaming

gaming
Source: Windows Blog

You can play on day one titles like Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Age of Empires IV as Xbox Game Pass gives you day one access to the subscription which is sold separately.

It’s is made for gaming. It does this with innovative new features like Auto HDR and DirectStorage.

If your PC has any HDR capable display, Auto HDR will upgrade many DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games to a high dynamic range. This will render a much wider range of brightness and colors. It also includes the ability to turn Auto HDR on or off on a game to game basis.

There is further support for DirectStorage. This is a new feature introduced on Xbox Series X and Series S gaming consoles.

When paired with an NVMe solid state drive and any DirectX 12 compatible GPU, any game that implement DirectStorage can get an advantage of reduced load times and render more progressive expansive and detailed game worlds, maps and animations.

Windows 11 Insider Preview – Windows Store

There are a whole new range of desktop apps that users can try on the Windows 11 Insider Preview as of today. Below is an overall list of a few of them.

  • Desktop productivity applications – Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, TeamViewer, LibreOffice, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio Community and Microsoft PowerToys
  • High-quality Progressive Web Apps (PWA) – TikTok, Wikipedia, Reddit, Tumblr, Quizlet and Lyft
  • Creativity Focused Tools – VLC Music Maker and Luminar AI
  • Communication Platforms – Zoom Cloud Meetings, KakaoTalk and Discord

The Start Menu – It Is At The Centre Of The Screen Now

windows 11 start menu
Source: Windows Blog

There is an all new Start menu and the Taskbar. This is to bring a more fresh and modern experience to the users. The Start is now at the screen center and it is powered by cloud and Microsoft 365. A recent files list on which users worked will also be seen. This will be regardless of which device that the users used, whether it was an Android or iOS device.

Introducing Click Or Swipe Widgets – Your Personalized AI Powered Feed

windows 11 widgets
Source: Windows Blog

To bring your most wanted content closer, Widgets are introduced. They are a new generation of AI powered personalized feed. You can open your personalized feed with a click or a swipe from the left.

Whether it’s your Outlook calendar, your weather forecast, To-Do tasks, latest web news or viewing your most epic OneDrive photos, Widgets will bring everything most wanted by you at the tips of your fingers.

Microsoft Teams Chat – Join Via SMS Text Messaging

microsoft teams chat
Source: Windows Blog

A simple click and you can use your personal account to chat, voice or video call with your near and dear contacts without knowing on which device or platform they’re on whether it be Mac, iOS, Android or Windows. Your contacts can join you via SMS text messages.

Individual Desktops, Snap Layouts And Groups

windows 11 snaps and groups
Source: Windows Blog

There is a powerful way to optimize your visual treat which is clean too. It is called Snap Layouts and Groups. With a new three-column layout for larger screens now. It is now easier to have all the content you need at your fingertips in a neatly arranged fashion.

You can now also create Individual Desktops. These display a different sets of apps just like you make separate spaces in your home. You can also customize each Desktop having its own wallpaper and name.

Accessibility

Source: Windows Blog

As per Windows Blog,  Windows 11 is the most uniquely designed release of Windows. It is built for and with the contribution of specially-abled people.

It also offers assistive technologies like Magnifier, Windows Speech Recognition, Closed Captions and Narrator to name a few. These unique accessibility tools help support specially-abled people with their computing requirements.

Tips And Tricks

Below are some common tips and tricks for Windows 11

How To Move Windows 11 Taskbar To The Left?

Win 11 doesn’t allow you to move the Windows 11 taskbar to the left, right, or top positions. The taskbar will stay at the bottom. Also all app icons sit in the center by default.

You might wonder whether you can customize this. What if case you want to position the icons just like Windows 10? The answer is yes, you can move the app icons and align them left as they used to be in Windows 10 by using the Taskbar settings.

1. Right click Taskbar -> Taskbar Settings (Opens the taskbar settings and allows you to change taskbar settings)

Move Win 11 Taskbar To Left Step 1
Source: Microsoft Docs

Taskbar options ->

  • You can show / hide buttons that appear on the taskbar
  • You can show / hide icons that appear on the corners
  • You can change color overflow icons
  • You change taskbar behaviors

2. Click on Taskbar behaviors -> Taskbar Alignment. There are two options, Center and Left.

Move Win 11 Taskbar To Left Step 2
Source: Microsoft Docs

3. Select Left from the drop down menu. Now the taskbar icons will get aligned from the left as they used to be in Windows 10.

Move Win 11 Taskbar To Left Step 3
Source: Microsoft Docs

How To Change The Font Size In Windows 11?

If you are one of those who do not like the default font size used in Windows 11 including the font size of Windows Explorer, there is help at hand.

The default font can sometimes appear thin. This makes it difficult to read if you are on a hi-res screen.

But you can change the font size a little. This way the text in Windows Explorer will look much more clear and will be readable.

See below steps if you need to increase the font size.
Note These settings will change the default font of Windows 11 altogether

1. Right click Task Bar -> Taskbar Settings -> From Left menu -> Select Accessibility

Win 11 Change Font Size Step 1
Source: Microsoft Docs

2. From Right -> Select Text Size

Win 11 Change Font Size Step 2
Source: Microsoft Docs

3. Adjust the font size to the desired font size. Many users have reported that increasing to 110% – 120% was perfect for them.

Win 11 Change Font Size Step 3
Source: Microsoft Docs

5. Click Apply once you are ok with the settings

Summary

To fully experience the magic of this new offering from Microsoft you must get it in your sights. The great graphics, animations and sounds of Windows 11 along with the innovative hardware like Surface provides an unreal experience.

If you happen to upgrade, purchase or get your hands on this new OS, then kindly share your experience with us in the comments section below.

I hope you also liked my last post on What’s New In .NET 6 APIs? Do check it out in case you haven’t.

Hitesh Boricha

I have a little over a decade experience in the IT industry. Having worked in various roles in this industry, I am passionate about technology.

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