5 Must-Have Tips to Get the Most Out of Windows 11

edited August 2023 in PC Tech

With the long-awaited release of the latest version of Microsoft’s popular OS  

(operating system), Windows 11, many people are looking forward to experiencing the new features on offer. Consumers may quickly discover the redesigned Start Menu, a customizable widget panel to improve user experience, and an updated File Explorer with a command bar and file management utilities. To get the most out of Windows 11, users will want to become familiar with unique new features, including bloatware analyzation, Focus Assist to prevent outside disturbances during work, and instantly launching Voice Typing whenever you would prefer to give your hands a rest. You should also be aware of some hidden features and tools to get the most out of your user experience. Learn more about the five must-have tips to ensure that your Windows 11 experience is ideally suited to your needs.  

1. Create Customizable Keyboard Shortcuts for Your Favorite Pinned Apps 

If you have a decent amount of experience in using the Windows 10 OS, you are likely familiar with the ability to “pin” your most used and favorite apps to your Taskbar for easy access. This is already a very convenient alternative to manually searching for the apps in the Start Menu or selecting the icon from your home screen. One of the best new features of Windows 11 is the ability to take programs, documents, and other items already pinned to your Taskbar and open them with a simple pair of keystrokes. 

Depending on the order of your pins, you can press Windows key + [Number key] to instantly open whatever you have arranged on your Taskbar. For example, suppose that you have your favorite web browser set as the first pin – in that case, you would have to press Windows key + 1 to open the program. By being aware of this new feature, you can save time and energy by not having to remove your fingers from the keyboard to access apps and files. 

2. Instantly Minimize All Open Windows Except the One You Are Using 

 While busy working, we have all found ourselves with far too many windows open in the PC’s background. While this condition is generally harmless to your computer’s health and well-being, failing to close or minimize non-active windows can cause significant and unnecessary exertion on your CPU (central processing unit). It can also be confusing and hamper your ability to find the information you need quickly. 

Windows 11 provides a simple solution to this problem that anyone who can use a computer mouse can achieve. Simply click and hold your mouse arrow on the title bar of an active window and give it a few vigorous shakes. As a result, all open windows will be minimized instantly, leaving you free to concentrate on the task at hand while reducing the strain on your CPU. 

3. Easily Determine How Much Space Apps Are Using and Trim the Fat 

Between apps, files, photos, downloads, and everything else you end up stuffing onto your PC’s hard drive, there is only so much space available, and more space filled on your hard drive can translate into increasingly poor performance. Temporary files alone can represent a surprising chunk of file storage space along with downloaded documents, so don’t let bloatware catch you by surprise.  

Users of Windows 11 can simply navigate to Settings > System > Storage, then select Show more categories to review the entire breakdown of how your storage is being used. You can also take advantage of an analysis of which programs and files could be safely deleted by selecting Cleanup Recommendations. If you haven’t used a particular program in over a year, there’s a decent chance you won’t miss it, and your PC would run much faster without it. 

4. Help Prevent Outside Interference by Using Focus Assist 

 Whether you are keeping your nose to the grindstone and assiduously working on an important project or are at a critical juncture in your marathon gaming session, the last thing you need is a sudden, noisy message to pop up and disturb your concentration. To access the Focus Assist menu, simply navigate to Settings > System > Focus Assist. 

There are three setting levels to manage the type and number of notifications you receive, including Off (completely prevent messages from popping up), Alarms Only (allows alarm notifications through but nothing else), and Priority Only (notifications from your pre-approved priority list). By having the ability to customize which notifications get through and which don’t, you can minimize interruptions and ensure that you receive only the most essential information.  

5. Learn Which Apps Drain Your Battery and Shut Them Down  

It is always frustrating when the advertised battery life of a particular device proves to be inaccurate, especially when the device in question is your PC. Worst of all, by operating silently in the background of your computer, apps can drain your battery reserves while also eating into your data plan. Having a computer that dies unexpectedly can be devastating and unexpected overages on your mobile data plan can have significant financial ramifications.  

One incredibly useful tip to get the most out of your battery is to make use of the new Windows 11 feature known as Battery Saver. This program will allow you to adjust settings to reduce the background power requirements of your PC. Simply navigate to Settings > System > Power & Battery, then select Battery Saver to begin understanding which apps are not pulling their weight for the power they require. 


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