In the realm of operating systems, Windows has been a dominant player for decades. With each new release, Microsoft aims to enhance the user experience and introduce innovative features. Windows 11, the latest instalment in the Windows family, has generated significant buzz among tech enthusiasts and users alike.
In this article, we will delve into the key differences between Windows 11 hidden features and the difference with its predecessor, Windows 10, and help you to determine which operating system suits your needs.
Windows 11 Overview
Windows 11 features major changes to the Windows shell influenced by the cancelled Windows 10X, including a redesigned Start menu, the replacement of its “live tiles” with a separate “Widgets” panel on the taskbar, the ability to create tiled sets of windows that can be minimized and restored from the taskbar as a group
The new gaming technologies inherited from Xbox Series X and Series S, such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage on compatible hardware. Internet Explorer (IE) has been replaced by the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge as the default web browser, like its predecessor, Windows 10, and Microsoft Teams is integrated into the Windows shell.
Microsoft also announced plans to allow more flexibility in software that can be distributed via the Microsoft Store and to support Android apps on Windows 11 (including a partnership with Amazon to make its app store available for the function).
Which Operating System Is Right for You?
Windows 11 brings significant improvements and a fresh user interface to the Windows operating system. However, Windows 10 remains a viable option for those with older hardware or specific compatibility requirements. Ultimately, the choice between Windows 10 and 11 depends on individual needs and preferences.
Windows 10 vs 11
- User Interface: One of the most apparent changes in Windows 11 is its redesigned user interface (UI). The Start button and taskbar have been moved to the centre of the screen, giving it a more modern and streamlined look. Windows 10, on the other hand, follows a more traditional UI layout with the Start button in the bottom left corner. The new UI in Windows 11 provides a fresh and visually appealing experience.
- Performance and Speed: Windows 11 brings improvements in terms of performance and speed compared to Windows 10. It introduces a more efficient and optimized codebase, resulting in faster boot times, improved responsiveness, and smoother multitasking. The enhanced performance of Windows 11 is particularly noticeable on newer hardware configurations, taking advantage of modern processors and technologies.
- Gaming Experience: Gamers will be pleased to know that Windows 11 offers several gaming-focused enhancements. The new operating system includes DirectStorage, which allows games to load faster by directly accessing the SSD. Additionally, Windows 11 introduces Auto HDR, which enhances the visual quality of supported games. These improvements can provide a more immersive gaming experience compared to Windows 10.
- Compatibility and System Requirements: Compatibility is crucial when upgrading an operating system. Windows 11 has stricter hardware requirements compared to Windows 10. It requires a compatible 64-bit processor, a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. While many modern PCs meet these requirements, older hardware might need help to run Windows 11. Windows 10, on the other hand, has more lenient system requirements, making it a viable option for older devices.
- Productivity Features: Windows 11 introduces several productivity-focused features that enhance workflow and multitasking. Snap Layouts and Snap Groups allow users to organize and manage multiple windows more effectively, improving productivity. The new operating system also includes virtual desktops, allowing users to create separate workspaces for different tasks. These features can be particularly useful for professionals and individuals who rely heavily on multitasking.
- App Store and Microsoft Store: Windows 11 brings a redesigned and more curated Microsoft Store, offering a better selection of apps and an improved overall experience. The new store supports a broader range of applications, including popular ones like Adobe Creative Cloud and Android. This expanded compatibility opens up new user possibilities and provides a more comprehensive app ecosystem than Windows 10.
- Security and Privacy: With the increasing importance of cybersecurity, operating system security is a critical consideration. The new Windows introduces several security enhancements, including secure boot, hardware-based isolation, and improved Windows Hello facial recognition. These features aim to provide a more secure computing environment and protect users' data and privacy. Windows 10 also receives regular security updates but lacks some of the advanced security features in Windows 11.
Windows 11 Hidden Features
Let's explore some concealed and captivating attributes in Windows 11 that you might not have known. Microsoft continuously introduces novel functionalities every month through new updates and patches. The latest operating system boasts numerous enhancements and fresh features such as Snap Layouts, a revamped Microsoft Store, a redesigned Start menu and a taskbar.
While you may have already observed and utilized many of these features according to your needs in Windows 11, certain features may have yet to be noticed. Some of these functionalities existed in previous versions of Windows as well, but they have now been refined. These features can genuinely contribute to enhancing your overall Windows experience.
Let us explore this compilation of covert features.
Voice-to-text technology has existed for a while, but were you aware that Windows 11 incorporates its version? It exhibits general accuracy and functions wherever typing is allowed, although an internet connection is necessary.
To initiate the process, simply use the Windows Key + H shortcut and select the microphone icon if the recording doesn't commence automatically. Stop at any time by clicking the microphone icon again. This sentence was transcribed using voice typing, and no revisions were needed.
Like most smartphones and tablets, Windows 11 includes a built-in Night Light feature that adjusts your display to warmer tones, aiding in a restful sleep.
To activate it, navigate to Settings > System > Display > Night Light and click ‘Turn on now.' Alternatively, you may prefer to set a schedule specifying certain hours or from sunset to sunrise (if location services are enabled). From the same screen, you'll also find the option to adjust the intensity of the Night Light.
Microsoft has integrated its screen recording tool into Windows 11, although locating it may prove challenging. It is embedded within the Xbox Game Bar and offers all the expected functionalities. To start utilizing it, navigate to the desired app or page you wish to record, then use the Windows Key + G shortcut.
Click the ‘Capture' icon (resembling a small webcam) to initiate recording, and click the microphone icon at any point to begin speaking. All files are saved within File Explorer > Videos > Captures by default, which can be modified via Settings > Gaming > Captures.
Shake to Minimize
If you find yourself with numerous open windows, shaking the title bar of one can be employed to minimize all others. However, this feature is not enabled by default. To activate it, go to Settings > System > Multitasking and enable the toggle next to ‘Title bar window shake.'
Taskbar Keyboard Shortcuts
You may have already pinned apps to the taskbar for easy access. Why not expedite the process even further?
For any open windows, pressing Windows Key + 1 will open the first one; Windows Key + 2 will open the second, and so on. If you have no windows, these shortcuts will open pinned apps in the corresponding order from left to right.
Please note that this only applies to apps that you have manually pinned. It does not open the Widgets panel, Start menu, search bar, Task View, or Microsoft Teams chat.
Introduced in Windows 8, File History enables automatic backups of specific files and folders, provided a USB storage device is consistently connected. Although the option has been removed from the Settings app in Windows 11, it is still accessible:
- Search for ‘Control Panel' and select the corresponding app to open it.
- Under ‘System and Security,' click ‘Save backup copies of your files with File History.'
- Choose your preferred backup location, then click ‘Turn on.'
Since the introduction of Windows 11 OS, there has been much discussion about its improved built-in security requirements, including secured core PCs and TPM. Windows 11 offers various useful privacy and security settings that assist in safeguarding your PC.
These features include secure sign-in options, Smart App Control, Device Security features, built-in security tools and features, data encryption, app launch tracking function, the ability to log out when you're away, and more. These options ensure a fantastic Windows 11 experience without compromising security.
Windows 10 Features Denounced in Windows 11
Windows 11 has deprecated or removed several features, such as
- Windows Timeline
- Quick Status in Lock Screen
- Tablet Mode
- Math Input Panel
- Numerous Taskbar Features, among others.
Is Windows 10 Better than Windows 11?
It ultimately depends on individual preferences regarding the new Windows 11. It undergoes a complete overhaul with a fresh UI design. While some individuals adore Windows 11, many users prefer the familiar Windows 10. Windows 11 introduces new features and undoubtedly enhances security.
Nevertheless, some users need to catch up on the features they love in Windows 10. For those who still favour Windows 10, it will remain available until 2025, allowing continued usage.
Windows 11, the latest iteration of the Windows operating system, brings a range of improvements and innovative features to enhance the user experience. With a redesigned user interface, improved performance, gaming enhancements, and enhanced productivity features, Windows 11 offers a new and visually appealing operating system.
However, Windows 10 remains a viable option for those with older hardware or specific compatibility requirements. Ultimately, the choice between Windows 11 and 10 depends on individual needs and preferences.
What are the key differences between Windows 11 and Windows 10?
Windows 11 introduces a redesigned user interface with a centred Start button and taskbar, improved performance and speed, gaming-focused enhancements like DirectStorage and Auto HDR, productivity features such as Snap Layouts and virtual desktops, a redesigned Microsoft Store, and advanced security and privacy features.
What are some hidden features of Windows 11?
Some hidden features in Windows 11 include Voice Typing, Night Light for better sleep, integrated screen recording, the ability to shake the title bar to minimize windows, taskbar keyboard shortcuts for quick access, and the File History feature for automatic backups.
Can I still use Windows 10 instead of upgrading to Windows 11?
Yes, Windows 10 remains available until 2025, allowing continued usage. Windows 10 is suitable for those with older hardware or specific compatibility requirements. The choice between Windows 11 and 10 depends on individual needs and preferences.
Is Windows 10 better than Windows 11?
The preference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 varies among users. Windows 11 introduces new features, a fresh UI design, and enhanced security. However, some users may prefer the familiarity of Windows 10 and the features they love. Both operating systems have strengths, and the choice depends on individual preferences and requirements.
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