15 Windows 11 features worth trying, plus tips and tricks for power users
This page was translated using AI and machine learning.
(Pocket-lint) – Windows 11 is loaded with different features, some of which are hidden or nested in such a way that they are not immediately obvious.
We introduce you to some of the features that are worth using as well as some tips and tricks to help you improve your machine’s performance or your own productivity.
With Windows 11, Microsoft has improved the way Windows hook works, so it’s easier not only to put windows side by side, but also to organize them the way you want.
Drag open windows to the side of the screen and you’ll see them snap into place, but it’s also now possible to rearrange them more easily and in different shapes and sizes.
Once you have hung windows (like a browser for example) to the side, you can easily use your mouse to drag and resize or change the shape.
Use Windows key + directional arrows and you can also easily reposition and resize windows in a variety of positions and sizes. It makes productivity much easier. Even more with the addition of Snap Groups.
Once you have positioned several windows in a particular layout, you will see that they are then automatically grouped together in the taskbar.
Hover over one of the apps and you will see the option for the group in the list. Click on this group and it will bring all the grouped apps to the foreground the same way you had them positioned before.
This is great because it means that if your attention is distracted by other things, you can easily get back to what you were doing with just a few clicks.
If hooking up Windows side-by-side doesn’t make you productive enough. So multiple offices could be the solution.
Press the Windows key and tab and then you can see at the bottom of the screen that there is an option to create multiple desktops. You can then have different apps on different desktops and easily switch between them. Even more regrouping, even more productivity opportunities.
Windows 11 makes a number of changes to menus and item layout. But if you’re switching from Windows 10 and feeling frustrated with these layout changes, there is a solution.
For example, if you right-click on the desktop and find that you can’t easily see something you’d expect (like Nvidia display settings), there’s a button at the bottom to “show more options”. You can click on it or press Shift + F10 to access the old menus.
How to reset your start menu to the left
With Windows 11, Microsoft moved the Start menu to the center of the screen. This is to make it more naturally usable, but if you’re not a fan of the change, don’t worry as it’s easy to move it to the left.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Click the Windows key on your keyboard to start the search and type “taskbar settings”
- In the menu that appears, scroll down and click on “Taskbar Behavior”
- Then click on the alignment drop-down menu on the taskbar and select “left.”
Easy access settings
Did you know that there is a faster way to access some of the essential settings and buttons – even simple things like turning off your machine.
Right click on the Start button and you’ll see a menu open with access to task managers, settings, search, power options, and more. Much easier than digging through multiple menus.
Activate dark mode
There are a number of different settings that can be changed in Windows 11, including turning transparency on and off, adjusting colors, and even selecting dark mode in all apps.
To do this, right-click on the desktop and click customize, then click colors. From there, you can then change a number of settings, including going to dark mode.
Take it easy on your eyes
Having trouble sleeping after a long day on your PC? No problem, Windows 11 has a “sleep mode” which takes some of the hardness off your screen and takes the strain off your eyes.
Click the Windows key and search for “Nightlight”, then you can apply it immediately or set a time when you prefer it to be on.
Shake to minimize
If you have too many windows open, this setting can help you focus or get rid of distractions.
This setting has been in Windows for some time, it is disabled by default in Windows 11 but easy to enable.
Press the Windows key and type in “Multitasking” from there you will find a winder where there is an option to “shake the title bar window”. Turn that on. Then when you grab a window from above and shake it, Windows 11 will minimize everything else. When you’re done, you can repeat the shaking process and you’ll bring all the other windows back into view.
Compact backrest view
The Windows 11 design overhaul means there are subtle changes to the layout and design of things. This includes a little extra space between folders and files in Explorer.
If you’re not a fan, you can go back to the Windows 10 style by clicking View and then selecting “Compact View” from the drop-down menu.
Another handy feature of Windows 11 is once again aimed at productivity. The Focus Assistant turns off notifications so you can keep working hard on the task at hand without being disturbed.
To turn it on, go to System Settings or press the Windows key and search for Focus Assist, then turn it on or set it to turn on at specific times to maximize your productivity.
How to take a screenshot easily in Windows 11
To streamline your productivity, it’s possible to change a setting in Windows so that you can press the print button on the screen and launch Microsoft’s handy Snip & Sketch tool.
Go to Windows Settings and Accessibility or locate the setting by pressing the Windows key and typing “Use print screen key to start screenshot”, then clicking that setting.
When you do this, every time you press the button on your keyboard, you launch the tool and can easily select the area, window or display you want to capture.
Windows 11 is optimized for gamers just like Windows 10, which means that you can access certain settings to get the most out of your gaming session.
Press Windows Key + G, for example, to launch the Xbox Game Bar. From there, you can do all kinds of things from monitoring system performance to chatting with Xbox friends on the Xbox console, mobile, and PC.
The highlight for us, however, is how the Xbox Game Bar makes it very easy to capture gameplay footage and screenshots in an instant.
There are various settings that gamers can activate to further boost Windows power for better gaming experience.
One is the game mode.
Hit the Windows key and find Game Mode, then just turn it on and you can easily get a boost. Other highlights include hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling and high-performance power settings that can be activated with just a few clicks.
Activate clipboard history
If you’re like us, constantly copying and pasting text and other stuff from one place to another, you’ll love this setting.
Just press Windows Key + V to open Clipboard History and access whatever you’ve recently copied. History stores up to 25 items, so it’s worth keeping this in mind for security reasons. If you copy passwords or other sensitive data, you may want to clear this history regularly.
You can also find emojis and gifs in this part of the clipboard which you can use when chatting with friends or colleagues.
Written by Adrian Willings. Originally published on .