8 New Features of Windows 11
March 27, 2023
The biggest change in the new Windows 11 Start menu is that it is no longer on the left side of the taskbar. Instead, it is in the middle and, when you open it, it also displays the contents at the bottom center of the screen. So, in this version, the Start menu is completely in focus.
The upside of this design decision is that all the taskbar elements are centralized. So it’s aesthetically quite elegant and more like what we’ve seen in some of the major GNU/Linux and macOS distributions over the years. On the other hand, if you are one of those who have never customized Windows, you will find this unpleasant. As the first few week’s inertias will make you look for the button in the lower-left corner of the screen, and it will take some time to get used to.
The content of the start menu has also changed completely. For one thing, there are no longer app tiles as there were in Windows 8 and Windows10, and instead, we have a series of apps that you’re going to be able to pin or unpin, but where there is only one icon. This allows the start menu to be somewhat smaller and not occupy the entire screen.
Approved and recent applications in Windows 11
The first thing you will notice is that the new Start menu has changed its appearance. Now we find two big blocks of icons. In the upper area, the most used applications (or those we want to pin), and in the lower area, the Windows recommendations, or the last used applications. In addition, we have a search bar at the top and a shutdown button at the bottom right.
It is often impractical to either remove recommendations or recent data from the Start menu. Open it, tap Settings > Personalization > Home and you will see a menu with three options.
- Show recently added applications
- Show most used applications
- Show recently opened items
If you delete all three, nothing will appear in the comments section, but it’s important to note that this space doesn’t disappear, it remains empty, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide what to do with it.
The Pinned section displays all the applications you use most frequently. The dashboard is organized and places your most recent applications at the top. You can then keep them or remove them to confirm new applications. The Start menu of Windows 11 includes this function, which facilitates the navigation between different programs and facilitates the navigation to the most used programs. Only 18 icons are displayed on the Start screen, but you can pin more than 18 applications. And to access them, you must scroll down and then select the one you want. Alternatively, you can also use the navigation buttons on the right to pin the programs you want.
Pin the application to the Start menu and release it.
To remove an application from the Start menu, click the application you want to remove and select Remove from Start. If you want to pin an application, right-click on the program and select the Pin to Start option.
Side Panel Removed
All these settings are completely removed. The start menu panel has only the power option and the computer account. The remaining options are removed. However, you have the option to go to the Settings menu and choose whether to add or remove programs from the Start menu based on the frequency of use.
This accessibility feature can help anyone, including the hearing impaired, to better understand spoken content. These are transcripts that are automatically generated and displayed in a top, bottom, or floating window on the screen. We can activate this function with the WIN Ctrl L key. However, it is currently only available in English.
Improvements in the Explorer of files
Before this update, Windows 11 only allowed you to pin folders to the Explorer sidebar. Microsoft has expanded this feature and now we can also attach files. We just must drag and drop any type of file into the Quick Access section. On the other hand, OneDrive now also shows the available storage in the upper right corner of the windows.
Changes in window adjustment
An interesting addition for those who work on large screens with many windows was the ability to adjust windows to different preset sizes that can be configured with the zoom button. Now we have a new way to use it. We just need to drag the windows to the top of the screen and that’s it.
New touch gestures
Windows 11 now supports the following gestures: swipe up to open the Start menu (swipe down to hide), swipe left for all apps and swipe right for pinned apps, swipe from the bottom right to open settings, swipe in to open the notification center on the right side of the screen (and swipe on the opposite side to hide).
New sustainability settings
This was the era of experimental features that were outdated and discovered by some users. Finally, a new “Sustainability” section will officially appear in Settings. This is the section that aims to improve energy consumption and provides tips for reducing carbon emissions.
It also receives an “Efficiency Mode”, which identifies applications that are consuming a lot of power and provides the ability to limit their consumption to prioritize other applications. This “will lead to faster foreground responsiveness and better energy efficiency”. There are also other minor improvements and corrections “under the hood” that we have not mentioned.
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