Windows Eleven, Microsoft’s newest operating system is packed full of enhancements and features that are quite useful. So coming up to help you get the most out of using Windows Eleven, I’ll show you tips, tricks and features you’ll want to use to improve your overall experience using the operating system. Let’s get started.
When you first launch Windows Eleven, you’ll notice the Start menu and taskbar icons are center aligned instead of being located on the left. Personally, I think this looks a lot better and makes it more convenient to access your Start menu and pin programs with less movement of your mouse. But if you’re someone that prefers the old layout with the Start menu and Pin programs aligned to the left, right-click on an empty space in your Taskbar and select Taskbar Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click Taskbar Behaviors. Let’s scroll down some more.
For Taskbar alignment, click the drop-down. You have two choices click on Left. You’ll now notice that the Start menu and Pin programs have been moved to the left. As I said, I now prefer the center alignment, so I’ll switch it back.
A feature available in previous versions of Windows was the ability to minimize all windows except the one that is currently active by clicking the Title bar and shaking your mouse. It used to be called Arrow Shake, but in Windows Eleven, they now call it the title bar windows shake. It’s now turned off by default. To turn it on, let’s open the Settings app. Without using a keyboard shortcut, click on Start here in the Taskbar, and by default, you should see it in your pinned apps.
Otherwise, to open it, you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows key. Plus I scroll down and select multitasking. For title. Bar windows shake. If turned off, click the Toggle to turn it on.
Microsoft has made a change in Windows Eleven that has annoyed quite a few people. When you right-click on a file, it will now only show you what Microsoft deems to be the most important items in the menu. Now if you want to print or access other choices, you must take the extra step of clicking on Show more Options, and what shows up looks like the old right-click menu. Some people have also been unhappy that Microsoft has removed the ability to pin selected folders to the Start menu. While you can still add folders to Start, but only those that are system folders.
To add system folders. To start, open the settings app. In the left pane, select Personalization. If you need to scroll down to Start and select it, then click on Folders for those of you that want to see folders. When you open the Start menu toggle the switch on for each, you have many to choose from.
I’ll turn on documents, downloads, music, pictures, and videos. When you’re done, close out the Settings app. Now when you go to Start, you’ll see those folders you turned on to the left of the Power button, following the subject of the Start menu. You’ll notice apps pinned by default by Microsoft that you might want to get rid of. To unpin any app, right-click on it and select unpinned from Start.
On the flip side, if you’d like to pin any app to the Start menu, click on All Apps. Find it in the list after most used to list it in alphabetical order, and click on the header for each numbered lettered entry to quickly jump through the list. When you find the app that you’d like to pin, right-click on it and select Pin. To start. Click on the back.
If you don’t see it listed, scroll down and you can easily move any pinned app by left-clicking on it and dragging it to where you want it.
A new feature shown in another one of our videos is the ability to arrange any open windows on your screen. To snap any window on your screen, hover your cursor over the Resize Maximize button. In the upper right, you’ll see various snapping templates. Select the zone within one of the layouts listed, then select the other windows you want to snap to the layout. This especially comes in handy if you’re on a laptop or any PC with only one monitor, just like previous iterations of Windows.
Windows Eleven also has a secondary Start menu, sometimes referred to as the secret Start menu. To open it right click the Start menu icon. Or you could use the keyboard shortcut Windows key plus x. Here you can access your power options device Manager, Windows Terminal, Task Manager, and a whole lot more. On the right side of the taskbar, where you see the Internet and speaker icons when you left, click on it.
It’ll. Bring up your Quick Settings panel. This is where you can quickly access some of the settings that you use most often, like your WiFi, Bluetooth, Nightlight, and others. To customize this panel, click the Edit icon. To unpin any settings buttons, click the unpinned icon for those that you want to remove otherwise, to add new Quick Settings buttons to the panel here at the bottom, click on Add.
Of the limited choices right now, select the ones that you’d like to add to the panel. Afterward. Click on Done. Microsoft really wants you to use its new features. Two examples are Widgets and Chat.
You’ll find them pinned to your taskbar. Unlike programs, you pinned to your taskbar that can also be unpinned. Widgets and Chat can’t be unpinned the same way you right-click on them does nothing to remove these from your taskbar. Let’s open settings here. On the left, choose Personalization, scroll down and select Taskbar.
In addition to Search and Task View, clicking the switches for Widgets and Chat will remove them from the taskbar. Widgets are actually kind of useful, so I’ll turn that one back on. If you want absolute control of the volume for each program you have opened. You can now access the Volume Mixer from your taskbar by right clicking the speaker icon and selecting Open Volume Mixer. You now see sliders for each program you have opened.
Speaker 1 (06:23)
Moving these left or right will adjust the volume accordingly to reduce distractions. The much improved Focus Assist will help your productivity while working, playing games, or some other activity. To use it, open the Settings app in System and go to Focus Assist. If turned off, you’ll get notifications from all your apps. Or you can set it to Priority Only, and the setting that will give you the least distractions is Alarms Only.
This will hide all notifications except for the alarms you have set. But when we scroll down, the automatic rule section is where Focus Assist truly shines based on the activity listed. If enabled, you can set the appropriate Focus Assist level that suits you the best. For example, selecting When I’m playing a game, it’ll let you choose the Focus level for that activity currently set to Priority Only. I’ll click the drop-down and select Alarms Only.
By default, Microsoft will hide the file extensions for file types like JPEG, PNG, MP3, and other popular formats. If you’d like the file extension types to be visible, click Search in the Taskbar and type File Explorer Options.
Click on it, and select the View tab. In Advanced Settings, uncheck the box next to Hide extensions for known file types, click Apply, and OK to exit. Many people don’t realize this. Clicking apply is not necessary. You can just click on OK to save your changes.
Now, when looking at your files, you’ll see the file extension types at the end of your file names. Let’s go back to the Taskbar widgets panel we were discussing earlier. I’m still not a huge fan, but it’s growing on me. It lets you quickly check out the weather, sports, stock prices, the news, and a whole lot more. You can add additional widgets by selecting Add Widgets, but we won’t go there right now.
It’s easy enough that you can all figure it out on your own. To customize your existing widgets, click the three-dot menu icon in the upper right of the widget. You can select the size to see more or less information. Right now, it’s currently on Small, there’s Medium, and here’s Large. Thank goodness for the Staff and ended up winning the championship.
Selecting a customized widget will let you add additional variables to that widget. For example, in this Sports widget, typing NFL and clicking the plus will add additional information regarding that topic to this widget. If you want to move any of the widgets, just hover your cursor over the widget and left-click and drag it wherever you want it. And I’ll take this one and drag it to the left side.
If you’re using a PC with a touch screen, you can change the look and theme of the touch keyboard. On a side note, while tempting, don’t ever buy a desktop all-in-one PC. Those things are hoarded. You’ll find the icon for the touch keyboard in the lower right. If you don’t see the icon, right-click the taskbar and select Taskbar Settings.
If the switch for the touch keyboard is off, click to enable the touch keyboard. Let’s close this out touch or click the Touch keyboard icon to make it visible. In the upper left of the keyboard, click or touch the Settings icon, then select Theme and Resize. I’ll close the keyboard here. Select the theme you want.