Five New Windows 11 Features

Category: Windows-11

Have you made the move from Windows 10 to Windows 11? If you've already upgraded, here are some tips for getting the most out of the Windows 11 experience. If you're holding off, and your PC has the required hardware, check out these five new features that await you when Windows 11 arrives on your screen.

Windows 11 - Customize and Maximize Your Experience

Moving to a new version of an operating system can present a learning curve. The Windows 11 interface is redesigned, and some things work a little differently. There are also some new features you may find useful. Read on for some tips on customizing your Windows 11 PC, and the scoop on how to use the features that are new to you.

Customizing the Windows 11 Taskbar

The Windows 11 Start Menu is centered on the bottom of the screen. (Hmmm, very similar to the Mac OS X interface.) If you find that annoying or hard to get used to, you can move it back to the left, where it belongs! To do so, right-click anywhere on the taskbar, select Taskbar Settings, then scroll down to "Taskbar behaviors" and click to expand the menu. Select "Left" in the "Taskbar alignment" dropdown. If desired, you can use the option here to automatically hide the taskbar, or remove any unwanted taskbar icons.

One thing you can't do, which was possible in previous Windows versions, is drag the taskbar to the top of the screen, or position it vertically on the left or right side. (There is a Registry tweak which allows moving the taskbar to the top, but it's unsupported and a bit buggy.)

Windows 11 Dark Mode

Lots of desktop programs and mobile apps are adding a Dark Mode, which effectively flips the black/white color balance on your screen. The background of your screen will be black, with white text. In addition to extending battery life on mobile devices, some say dark mode boosts productivity and is gentler on the eyes because it reduces glare and blue light exposure. Some sources say it's NOT good for the eyes because it's harder to read long chunks of text with a light-on-dark theme. One article I found quoted an ophthalmologist saying dark mode does not affect eye health in any way, but the author wondered if it might lead to depression.

Make of that what you will. Windows 11 has a Dark Mode option that you can turn on and see for yourself. Click Settings / Personalization / Colors, then use the Choose your mode" toggle to switch between Dark and Light modes.

windows 11 desktop

Android Apps on Windows 11

Windows 11 now supports Android apps, at least some of the popular ones you might have on your Android smartphone. The selection is limited to apps in the Amazon Appstore, as opposed to the much larger catalog of apps available from Google Play. You'll need a US-based Amazon account, the latest version of Windows 11 and Windows Store, 8GB of RAM, and a Solid-state Drive (SSD), and a CPU that supports the Virtual Machine Platform feature on Windows 11 for this to work. Setting up your PC to run Android apps is a bit tricky. See this article on Windows Central to get started with Windows Subsystem for Android.

Multiple Desktops on Windows 11

The Multiple Desktop feature first appeared in Windows 10, but has been improved in Windows 11. You can add a second (or third) desktop to keep related programs organized in a way that works for you. Having a desktop for home and another for work is one idea. Select the Task view icon on your taskbar, select New desktop, and place the apps and icons you want to use on that desktop. You can press Alt-Win on the keyboard to cycle through your virtual desktops similar to the way Alt-Tab moves between open programs.

Microsoft Teams on Windows 11

Microsoft Teams is now built into Windows 11 so you can instantly chat and video call, right from your desktop. Click the Teams icon on the taskbar to select a contact and begin a chat or a Zoom-style video call. Note that this feature is a "slim" version of the Teams app that uses your personal Microsoft account. If you use Microsoft Teams for work or school, you will need to use the version of the Teams app that is labeled (work or school) and uses the icon with a blue tile with a white letter “T”.

What features of Windows 11 do you find useful (or annoying)? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Five New Windows 11 Features"

(See all 22 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Ryan James
21 Apr 2022

Neither my desktop nor my laptop support Windows 11. None of these five options would entice me to upgrade if I could.

Posted by:

21 Apr 2022

In many way I regard Windows as simply a launcher to host the progams I install and run. I also find that a new OS introduces change for change sake and creates an unnecessary learning curve, particularly for less confident users. I fail to see any real benefits to Windows 11 and the only reason I've upgraded is to extend the support lifecycle!

Posted by:

21 Apr 2022

Regarding "Customizing the Windows 11 Taskbar" ...

There is a free applicationcalled "ExplorerPatcher" which will allow the user to use either the Windows 11 Taskbar or the former Windows 10 Taskbar. It is easy to use with lots of options and will allow the Windows 10 Taskbar to do everything it did in Windows 10, including moving the taskbar to the top or sides of the screen, allows the taskbar to be expanded by adding rows, allows as many shortcuts to be placed on it as the user wishes, etc. It can be found at

I am, in no way, affiliated with the author of this software and am receiving nothing for this comment. I use the software on 8 computers and like it very much. I wish that Microsoft had placed similar software into Windows 11.

Posted by:

21 Apr 2022

None of the changes would be useful for me. Some people probably would find one or two useful. But the new "features" should be optional, and not break compatibility with W10 that requires relearning - unless absolutely necessary.

Posted by:

21 Apr 2022

my computer does not support, and i will switch to Linux OS with mint.

Posted by:

Jay B
21 Apr 2022

Microsoft has a long history of changing the look and feel (the user interface) of software without making any substantive changes to the internals. Windows 11 appears to be just a continuation of that tradition. With, perhaps, the exception of the requirement for the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 hardware to be present I do not see anything in the list of added features that could not have just as easily been implemented in a Windows 10 feature update; furthermore there are several "enhancements" that arguably the users of Windows could just as easily have lived without.
The changing of the UI is frequently just an illusion that progress is being made.

Posted by:

21 Apr 2022

A bit over a year ago I had Windows 10 on four computers, either as the sole OS or part of a dual-boot system. Exactly none could upgrade to Windows 11. Due to the age of my computers, various technical/physical problems, and so on, I now have Windows 10 on a grand total of one computer. I run four different Linux distros on those computers, and they're doing fine. As a loyal Windows user since Win 95, it's sad, but I've moved on.

Posted by:

Ernest N. Wilcox Jr.
21 Apr 2022

I've been using Windows 11 for a while now, and for the most part I like it O.K., although I have been reading that Microsoft may be increasing the number of locations where they put advertising on my computer. if they take the advertising thing too far for my liking, I may become a GNU/Linux only user (I currently dual-boot LMDE with Windows 11).

As I do with every update/upgrade/new_version_of_Windows, after 'upgrading' to Windows 11, I went through the list of 'all apps' in the Stat menu, uninstalling everything I have no use for. After removing what I consider the 'bloat', I download and install the apps I consider necessary/desirable. For the most part, they consist of LibreOffice, Core-Temp, WiFi Guard (the paid for version here), and the free version of the Sumo updater (I prefer to get/install updates manually, but I like being notified when an update is available).

There is one issue I have noticed in Windows 11 recently. I get notifications that there is an issue with my Microsoft account. When I click on it, I am taken to Settings > Apps > Apps $ Features, but nothing there is highlighted (or anything to indicate what the problem may be). I have one setting that differs from the 'recommended' configuration. It is 'choose where to get apps'. I have it set to 'Anywhere but let me know if there is a comparable app in the Microsoft store'. The recommended setting is 'The Microsoft store only (recommended)' The recommended setting may be fine for kids or users who are not very tech savvy, but I know how to evaluate the safety and security of software for myself. If this setting is what I am being 'warned' about, after I choose my preferences, Microsoft should keep their council to themselves. I do not need to be harassed with 'notifications' about account issues. If the issue is something different, Microsoft should provide a more useful notification, perhaps with a 'details' option to help me identify what they are concerned about.

My overall impression is that Microsoft has pushed Windows 11 out the door before it's really ready/finished/complete. Everything seems to work O.K., but a lot seems to be missing or unfinished. I often have to go searching to find some setting I need/want to change. Moreover, the settings app seems to be thrown together in a fairly haphazard manner (did the developers/designers rush it out the door?). The organization of the settings app is poorly defined to start with, making it difficult to find the setting I need to adjust. Control panel may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but at least a user can find the desired setting either in the Category view, or by switching to the icon view (something is did/do when I'm unsure where to look). If it was my place to provide guidance to the settings design group, I would tell them to start with the same organization found in Control panel, then add any appropriate new functionality to each section/page as they come to it. Finally, they should keep the organizational tree structure of the Settings app shallow, no more than two or three level deep, so users can find what they need without so much level clicking.

Essentially, I like Windows 11 a lot. The things I don't like can easily be fixed if they pay attention to the basics first and worry about new features only after they have a well-organized/functioning OS to work with.



Posted by:

22 Apr 2022

Jay B: It's worse than that. *All* the special requirements of Windows 11 can be by-passed with a registry key. I've installed 11 on a 10-year old laptop, it ran about as well as 10 did on that laptop.

Change for change's sake is about right. Oh ... and false requirements to get people to buy new PCs.

I have a new PC with 11, my old laptop died. It's ok, I can take most changes except the new start menu. It looks like an iPhone - I guess to match the Mac-like taskbar. I fixed that with StarDock's Start11 menu replacement.

Posted by:

David Baker
22 Apr 2022

I started using my Chromebook more because it sync's with my phone and tablets. It boots up fast and updates fast too. I haven't used my Windows 10 desktop for over a year. I could careless about Windows 11. I'm in my happy place with Android/Chrome.
Bye Mr. Gates...

Posted by:

22 Apr 2022

it seems to me that when windows10 came out, that it was to be, the last version to ever come out, it was just going to be updated for ever! maybe 11 is 10 with a plus 1 added to 10?

Posted by:

22 Apr 2022

You know what Windows 11 reminds me of more than anything? Nothing more than a giant Service Pack for Windows 10.

BTW, there’s a simple solution out there to upgrade your existing PC to 11 if it failed the Health Check app, but I wouldn’t do it if it’s real old.

My 2 cents

Posted by:

22 Apr 2022

I dislike Windows 11. It's followed the pattern where every other version is terrible. Now that Chrome OS is available for beta testing, I'm going to install it on an old laptop and see how it runs. I'll probably experiment with Linux again. I will be hanging onto Windows 10 until the last minute.

Posted by:

22 Apr 2022

I cannot understand why MS took the tool bar off of windows explorer. It took me 3 hours to find out how to simply "select all". Then I found the work around to take explorer back to Win10 with tool bar.

Posted by:

Brian B
22 Apr 2022

There are two comments above from bb and Dennis regarding running Windows 11 on a computer that fails the upgrade test. Could you please expand or post a URL with the information required. there is no way I can afford to shell out $3,000 or so just to run Windows 11, not while they are already working on Windows 12.

Posted by:

22 Apr 2022

Dennis Reporting back in:

I normally don't publicly post things like this, but the following link worked for me:

It's not a "wordy" page, but makes it clear how to do this. It worked the first time I tried it.

Posted by:

22 Apr 2022

"Windows 11 now supports Android apps . . . limited to apps in the Amazon Appstore . . . [using a] Virtual Machine Platform feature . . ."

You can already run Android apps in a virtual machine on Windows, you just need third-party software to do it. And it works for all apps, not just Amazon ones.

Posted by:

23 Apr 2022

I upgraded to win 11 and lost the ability to see cursor icons in the browse section of the pointers tab in the mouse control panel, main.cpl. all but three icons are an icon for notepad.

Posted by:

Brian B
23 Apr 2022

@Dennis. Thank you for that. I'll give that a try.

Posted by:

25 Apr 2022

I distinctly remember Microsquish stating, when windows 10 came out, that win 10 would be the LAST iteration of their naming system and that they would supply security updates "forever". No further user changes necessary.

So now they come out with windows 11 and I am told I need to buy a newer computer for it. They have been doing this same planned obsolescence for 25 years. I had thought about going to Linux instead of win10 but caved on that one. Now, this may be the time. I am sick of ms and their ongoing BS.

How many more crapola "bells and whistles" does the public need? Adding 1 iota of "improvement" in exchange for buying an entire new computer system is insanity.

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