9 tricks that'll change the way you use your Windows 11 computer

Windows 11, Microsoft’s latest operating system, began a staggered distribution to eligible devices in October, while Windows 10 received its update earlier this month. So yet, just a few people have been encouraged to update to the newer of the two operating systems. Many others are debating whether they should download Windows 11 at all. However, if you install Windows 11, you’ll discover a plethora of tips, tricks, and secret features that are simple to master and can make working on your laptop more enjoyable.

Whether you use your computer for work or pleasure now is an excellent time to learn how to use some of Windows’ productivity features. These built-in hacks may help you accomplish everything from creating Taskbar shortcuts to conserving battery power and making the most of your system. Microsoft normally does not promote its secret features in the same manner that, say, Apple does. This can make it more challenging to understand how to take full use of everything Windows has to offer. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

So, regardless of whether you have a Microsoft, Dell, HP, or other Windows-compatible machines, these creative suggestions will help you stay organized and get more done. In addition, here’s everything you need to know about Windows 11, including how to avoid the wait and download the operating system right now, the top features in Windows 11, and how it compares to Windows 10.

  1. Minimize all except the current window.

If your desktop screen has become overloaded with open windows, minimize all but the one in which you are now working. In Windows 11, you must enable this by going to Settings, System, Multitasking, and selecting Title bar window shaking.

To pick a window, simply click the title bar of the window you wish to keep open. Then, while holding down the mouse button, shake the window by rapidly moving it back and forth. All other open windows will be minimized after a few fast shakes, leaving only the one you’ve shaken open. Isn’t it fantastic?

  1. Navigate to the secret Start menu.

You already know that to get the Start menu, you press the Windows symbol at the bottom of the screen, to the left, or on your keyboard. However, Windows 11 contains a lesser-known second Start menu that makes it much simpler to reach critical tools like the Command Prompt, Control Panel, and Task Manager. You may get to it in two ways: by hitting the Windows key + X or by right-clicking the Windows icon/Start button.

  1. Using Windows 11, take a screenshot.

I know, it’s a basic one, but it’s surprising how quickly you can forget how to capture a screenshot on your laptop or desktop if you don’t do it frequently.

In Windows, there are at least eight different ways to take a screenshot. To capture and save a screenshot of the entire screen, just click the Windows key + Print Screen. Pictures > Screenshots will be where the screenshot will be saved.

Press Windows + Shift + S to launch Snip & Sketch. This software allows you to create a snapshot that is saved to your Clipboard by clicking and dragging.

  1. To open pinned Taskbar items, use keyboard shortcuts.

To make a shortcut, you don’t have to click the icons to start programs that you’ve pinned to your Taskbar at the bottom of your screen. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + [Number key], where the number key corresponds to the pinned program’s location in the Taskbar. For example, pressing Windows key + 2 on the keyboard will bring up the second pinned item in the Taskbar.

This is particularly helpful if you’re typing quickly and don’t want to take your hands off the keyboard. Reaching for the Windows key may feel more natural.

  1. Figure out how much space applications consume.

As computers become more space-constrained, they begin to slow down. Get rid of programs that use up more space than they should. Especially if you don’t use them regularly, to speed them up.

Navigate to Settings > System > Storage to check how much space programs, temporary files, and documents are using up. To display the whole list, choose Show more categories.

To obtain an idea of what to get rid of, hit Cleanup recommendations to see what Windows 11 recommends. You’re not going to get rid of your browser, but you could discover that a game you haven’t played in years is some decent dead weight to get rid of.

  1. Turn off background apps to conserve battery life using Windows 11.

Apps that run in the background may get information, send notifications, and keep up to date even while you’re not using them. It can be handy but can also drain your power and data.

Go to Settings > System > Power & battery to manage which applications are operating in the background and save some battery power and data. To limit some alerts and background activities, tap Battery saver and then adjust when it turns on.

  1. For numerous windows, use background scrolling.

You can scroll up and down in any window in Windows 11, even if it’s not the one you’re currently working in. When you have several windows open that you want to look at at the same time — for example, if you want to open new sub-menu options in different windows to save time going back and forth on the same page — this is a helpful tool.

Open two applications, such as a browser and a notepad or Word document. Arrange them on the screen so that some of the text is visible on each. Navigate to the second window by hovering your mouse or using the touchpad while remaining in the first. You should be able to browse up and down the website even if you aren’t in that window.

The feature should be turned on by default, but if it isn’t, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Mouse and turn it on. I turn on dormant windows by hovering over them. Then, with your cursor on a background window, use the scroll wheel to navigate.

  1. In File Explorer, show file extensions

By default, Microsoft conceals file extensions, making it difficult for those who need to find certain sorts of files, such as JPEGs and JPGs. Follow these steps to show file extensions in File Explorer:

  1. Type File Explorer Options into the task bar’s Search box, then click it. (There are other options, such as utilizing the Start menu’s search function, but this one works great.)
  2. In the pop-up box, select the View tab.
  3. Uncheck the item that says Hide extensions for recognized file types if it’s ticked. Click OK after applying the changes. In File Explorer, you should now see file extensions for all files.

You may also opt to reveal empty drives, hidden files and folders, and more from the File Explorer Options menu.

  1. Use Focus Assist on Windows 11 to reduce distractions.

It’s difficult to concentrate on work when you’re constantly disturbed by alerts. With Focus help, you may choose how many you want.

Go to Settings > System > Focus Assist to set it up. Off (receive all notifications from your applications and contacts), Priority only (see only chosen messages from a prioritized list that you specify, and send the rest to your action center), and Alarms only (get just alarms from your apps and contacts) (hide all notifications, except for alarms).

You may also arrange this feature to turn on automatically at specific times, such as when you’re playing a game or using a full-screen app.

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