9 methods that’ll transform the way you use your Windows 11 laptop or computer

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These Windows 11 suggestions and tips can help you save you time and work.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft’s most recent operating procedure, Windows 11, began its phased rollout to suitable gadgets in October, and Windows 10 got its very own update previously this month. So considerably only some men and women have been prompted to update to the newer OS of the two, and numerous others ponder if they really should download Home windows 11 anyway. But if you put in Windows 11, you’ll uncover there are tons of suggestions, tricks and hidden features that are easy to study and can make functioning on your laptop smoother. 

No matter if you are using your laptop or computer for get the job done or your private life, it is a great time to grasp some of Windows’ productivity options. These designed-in methods can assist you do anything from set up Taskbar shortcuts to help you save battery power and get the most out of your machine. Microsoft would not normally publicize its concealed characteristics in the similar way that, say, Apple does. This can make it extra hard to know how to get gain of all that Home windows has to supply. But we have obtained you covered. 

Read much more: Want a productiveness boost? Give these Windows 11 multitasking attributes a test

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So no matter which Microsoft, Dell, HP or other Windows compatible rig you have, these clever tips will help you stay organized and get more done. Plus, here’s everything you need to know about Windows 11, how to skip the wait and download the OS now, the best features in Windows 11 and how it compares to Windows 10

1. Minimize every window except the active one

If your desktop screen has gotten too crowded with open windows, you can quickly minimize them all except the one you are currently working in. You’ll need to turn this on in Windows 11 by heading to Settings, then System, then Multitasking and turning on Title bar window shake

Just click the title bar of the window you want to remain open to select it. Then, hold the mouse down and move the window back and forth quickly — shaking it, essentially. After a couple of quick shakes, all other open windows will minimize, leaving only the one you’ve shaken open. Neat, huh?

2. Open the ‘secret’ Start menu

You know that to get to the Start menu, you hit the Windows icon at the bottom over on the left of the screen or on your keyboard. But Windows 11 includes a lesser-known second Start menu that makes accessing important features like the Command Prompt, the Control Panel and the Task Manager much easier. You can access it two different ways, either by pressing the Windows key + X, or right click the Windows icon/Start button. 


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3. Take a screenshot on Windows 11

I know, it’s a basic one — but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget how to take a screenshot on your laptop or desktop when you don’t do it often. 

There are at least eight different ways you can take a screenshot with Windows. If you want to capture and save a picture of your entire screen, the easiest way is to hit the Windows key + Print Screen key, and that picture will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder. 

To capture just one part of your screen, hit the Windows key + Shift + S to open a tool called Snip & Sketch, which allows you to click and drag to create a screenshot, which is saved to your Clipboard.

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4. Open pinned items from your Taskbar with keyboard shortcuts

If you’ve pinned programs to your Taskbar at the bottom of your screen to create a shortcut, you don’t have to click the icons to open them. Instead, use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + [Number key], with the number key corresponding to the position of the pinned program on the Taskbar. For example, Windows key + 2 will open the second pinned item on the Taskbar. 

This is especially useful if you’re typing furiously and don’t want to lift your fingers from the keyboard. It may feel more natural to reach for the Windows key.

5. Learn how much space apps are taking up

Computers start running slower as they grow short on space. One quick way to speed them up may be to get rid of apps that take up more space than they should, especially if you don’t regularly use them.

To see how much space apps, temporary files and documents are taking up, navigate to Settings> Technique > Storage. Tap Demonstrate more groups to see a entire record.

To get an strategy of what to toss, faucet Cleanup suggestions to see what Windows 11 implies. You almost certainly will never get rid of your browser, but you may find that a game you haven’t played in a long time is some fantastic lifeless weight to fall. 

6. Shut down background applications to save battery

Applications that run in the track record can acquire facts, mail notifications, and stay updated, even when you aren’t working with them — which can be practical, but can also suck your battery and your info. 

To handle which apps are managing in the history and conserve some battery power and info, go to Configurations > Method > Electrical power & battery. Tap Battery saver and then modify when battery saver turns on to limit some notifications and qualifications exercise. 

7. Use track record scrolling for a number of windows

With Home windows 11, you can scroll up and down on any window — even if it’s not the 1 you happen to be immediately working in. This is a practical device when you have a whole lot of windows open up that you want to glimpse by way of at the same time — for instance, if you want to open up new sub-menu possibilities in new home windows to save you time clicking again and ahead on the exact same page. 

Attempt opening two systems — say, an net browser page and a notepad or Term doc. Organize equally on the display so you can see at minimum some of the textual content on just about every. While you are in a single window, hover your mouse or use the touchpad to go to the 2nd window, and scroll. Even while you aren’t energetic in that window, it need to let you to move up and down the web page. 

The attribute really should be on by default, but if it is not, go to Options > Bluetooth & equipment > Mouse, and toggle Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them to On. Then you can place your mouse in excess of a window that’s in the history and use the scroll wheel to scroll. 

8. Exhibit file extensions in File Explorer

Microsoft hides file extensions by default, which makes daily life tricky for individuals who will need to search for precise styles of data files, like JPEGs and JPGs. To see file extensions in File Explorer, do the adhering to: 

1. Making use of Lookup in the undertaking bar, and style File Explorer Selections, and click on it. (There are other methods to get listed here way too, these as making use of search in the Get started menu, but this system will work good.)

2. In the window that pops up, click the Watch tab. 

3. If it truly is checked, uncheck the box that claims Conceal extensions for regarded file sorts. Click Apply, and Okay. You should really now see file extensions for all data files in the File Explorer. 

You can also use the File Explorer Choices menu to decide on to show vacant drives, concealed files and folders, and extra. 

9. Lower distractions with Concentration guide

It can be annoying to attempt and get operate performed when you preserve acquiring interrupted with notifications. You can decide how a lot of you get with Focus assist.

Set it up by likely to Configurations > Program > Aim help. Choose from 3 possibilities: Off (get all notifications from your applications and contacts), Priority only (see only chosen notifications from a priority checklist that you customize, and send the rest to your motion middle), and Alarms only (cover all notifications, apart from for alarms). 

You can also pick out to routinely flip this function on for the duration of particular hrs, when you might be actively playing a recreation or when you might be employing an application in comprehensive-screen manner, for case in point. 

For extra Windows 11 notebook tips and methods, verify out how to deal with a sluggish Personal computer you

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