Have you recently upgraded to Windows 11 from Windows 10? Cool. Welcome to the same old OS with some minor cosmetic changes and UI enhancements. Hope your experience was smooth. Now that you are here, allow us to brief you on what to expect from Windows 11 and things you need to take care of before using your computer for work/play — in no particular order.
Windows 11 Checklist
We will discuss the Taskbar and how you can move it back to the left corner if you want, themes and wallpapers that come with Windows 11, set up the new weather and news widgets or disable them completely, and much much more.
1. Windows 11 Wallpaper and Themes
The default Windows wallpapers are never good enough. Some users do like them but for most, they are meh. Fortuntely, there are plenty of ources on the web where you can find and download wallpapers and skin packs. All of these resources are free to use.
- Pixabay – for finding stock free wallpapers
- Canva – for designing your own wallpapers
- SkinPacks – to find quality theme-based skin packs like Star Trek, Windows 11, etc.
These should be enough to get you started.
2. Align Taskbar to Left
Taking a leaf out of the macOS, Windows now has the Taskbar positioned at the center. Not a fan? Move it back to where it belongs. We have a detailed guide that shows how to align Taskbar to the left, get Windows 10 Start menu, and enable fullscreen Start menu on Windows 11. The steps are easy to follow and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time.
Also Read: How to Customize Start Menu in Windows 11
3. Setup or Disable Widgets
Windows 11 has introduced widgets or shall we say, reintroduced them. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Microsoft used to offer Gadgets in Windows 7. They were popular too until they were not.
Windows 11 revisits the old days with a dedicated widget button on the Taskbar. Click on it once and you can view weather, stocks, news, photos, email, and to-do lists among other. Needless to say, third-party apps are not supported yet but Microsoft promises they will be.
As far as news and weather is concerned, it is easy to customize them on the MSN site. You can enable or disable individual widgets from the Widgets panel itself.
And to disable widgets completely, go to Settings (Windows key+I) > Personalization > Taskbar and toggle the Widgets switch.
4. Disable Micirosoft Teams Chat in Taskbar
Microsoft Teams is a good app for video calling and conferencing as well as chatting and managing projects. But not everyone uses it. Some people like the simplicity and ease of use that Zoom and Google Meet offers. Unfortunately, Meet’s Chat app is enabled by default and runs in the background at all times. Fortunately, you can turn Chat off from the Settings.
5. Set Up Action Center
The Action Center has been redesigned a little with Windows 11. More or less, it still remains the same though. It’s more compact now and consumes less screen space when you launch it.You can open the Action Center (Windows key+A) and click on the Settings icon or go to Windows Settings (Windows key+I) > System > Notifications.
Choose whether you want to receivve notifications or not and if yes, from which apps. You can also set up Focus Assist here which will help create a priority list where you set your working hours. During this time period, Windows won’t notify you of new notifications accept from those apps that are whitelisted in the Priority list.
There are three options to choose from.
- Off – you will receive all notifications from apps and people that you have enabled in the primary Notifications menu
- Priority only – you will only receive notifications from apps that have been whitelisted in priority list
- Alarms only – you won’t receive any notifications but active alarms will make a sound
Finally, you can choose to enable whether or not you want to receive a summary of all the notifications at the end of the Focus Assist period. Some other smart options include turning off notifications when playing games, for example. Just scroll a little to find them.
6. Try Snap Layouts But Check PowerToys
PowerToys is an open-source app from Microsoft that offers a bunch of utility tools. One of them is called FancyZones. This was the precursor to the Snap Layouts that has been integrated in Windows 11. But what are they?
Open your browser window and hover the mouse over the Maximize button. See those four options? You can now resize the current windows in one of the layouts allowing you to have more than one window visible simultaneously. This helps in multitasking.
While Snap Layouts offers only 4 layout options, PowerToys allows you have more and even design your own layout as seen in the above screenshot.
7. Checkout Multiple Desktops
Windows 11 comes with another utility tool called multiple desktops. As the name suggests, you can now have more than one desktops. For example, one desktop for each project or one desktop for personal and other for professional life. Each desktop can have its own wallpaper, set of open apps, and settings. While the feature was available on Windows 10 too, it has received an upgrade making it more useful and accessible. There is a shortcut icon for the same in the Taskbar to create and switch between desktops quickly.
Wrap Up: What to do After Upgrading to Windows 11
Well, these are some of the things that you can and should do after upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10. Setting up your computer may take some time but will go a long way in helping you get the most out of it. Along with this, you must also check the integrity of the data. While most users store their files in the cloud these days and upgrading OS doesn’t have any impact on your existing files, it’s always a good idea to check it once.