10 Windows 11 Tips And Tricks We Use To Customize Our PCs

10 Windows 11 Tips And Tricks We Use To Customize Our PCs

The best Windows 11 tips are the ones you use to become more efficient, improve productivity, and customize your PC the way you want.

But to complement the advice, you have to try. So here's what we want you to do: take a quick look at each of these tips, see if they work for you, and if they do, great! We want to take what helps us and use it to help you.

The list below includes both legacy feature proposals and new feature proposals. Anyway, enjoy!

Optimize your apps for launch

Everyone goes to the gym to start the year. So why not use the time to lighten up your computer? There can be dozens of programs that can automatically load as soon as your computer starts up, slowing down your computer's boot time and using up memory when you're done.

Take a look at your startup programs in the Windows 11 settings menu ( Settings > Applications > Startup) and consider disabling programs you don't need right now, especially those marked as "high impact." All of this will force you to download it if you want to use it, which really isn't bad. Just don't disable antivirus background processes or anything related to Windows (Edge will). If you have utilities associated with your computer manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.), it's a good idea to leave them alone.

Set up your computer for multiple displays

Hopefully you use multiple displays with your desktop and/or laptop and can find some great monitors on sale right now. They're super productive, and if you're worried about desk space, go vertical instead.

With Windows 11, you need to do two things: "layout" your screens in Windows and make sure your "primary" screen is selected.

In Settings > System > Display , you can arrange your monitors so that the cursor moves naturally and smoothly from one screen to another. Drag screens side by side if you want: If you use one screen to the right of the other, place them side by side in Windows so you can move the mouse from one to the other. Also, choose which screen should be your primary screen – this is the screen you can tap on for volume and notification icons.

If you have a laptop, make sure the option to keep display layout is selected ("Remember window placement based on monitor connection"), especially if you have a Thunderbolt dock. So everything remains the same whether you unplug the laptop or not.

Understand how to resize text and icons

We are all getting older and even though your eyesight is good, we still look at screens more than we should. Under Settings > System > Display you can adjust the scale of each screen. Increasing the value makes everything in Windows bigger: icons, text, window size, etc. But Settings > Accessibility > Text Size just scales the text size up and down – whatever you're reading.

Why choose one over the other? Because you instinctively know which symbol matches whether you wear glasses or not. However, adjusting the text size can help you avoid paying for bifocals while using Windows effectively.

Get the Windows 11 taskbar the way you want it

The Windows 11 taskbar is still bad, though the excellent $4.99 Start11 tool fixes that by letting you expand and move it. But if you don't want to pay, make sure you get the most out of Windows 11. Under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, you can ensure that the taskbar is shown (or hidden) on all your screens, including icons. to indicate that it is available for email.

You can hide various system tray icons by disabling programs you never use. (Hello chat.)

To be honest, the best way to use the Start menu is not to use it; Just press the Windows key and type the name of the program (eg Win , then "word" to open Microsoft Word). It's faster than searching with your mouse and clicking through various submenus to find what you're looking for.

If you want a faster method, type Win plus the tray icon number to launch this program. The first program opened in the taskbar is Win+1 , the second Win+ 2 , and so on. Be careful though, as Microsoft seems to have changed the way symbols are calculated. On my computer, the "first" icon is File Explorer, not Start, Search, or the virtual desktop icon on the left.

How we use the Start menu does not mean how you will use the Start menu. The Start menu isn't ideal for locating programs, but it's surprisingly useful for picking up where you left off in a particular document.

To customize the Start menu to your liking, go to Settings > Personalization > Start . Choose the layout you like: "More Pins" shows more apps and "More Recommendations" shows the most recent documents. If you want to turn off recent documents, uncheck "Show recently opened items at startup…" below. (Microsoft does a poor job of naming.) The next time you open it, your changes will appear in the Start layout.

You can do more here, such as adding icons to appear next to the power button ( Personalization > Home > Folders) , but it's not as efficient as using File Explorer.

New tabs in File Explorer are the best way to copy files

It's no fun using a single File Explorer window to highlight, cut, or copy a file, then trawling through the entire tree of drives, files, and folders to find the destination. If you've installed the Windows 11 2022 Update and then the optional October Update, File Explorer will be enhanced with new and browser-like tab options. Just open the File Explorer window, click the "+" button to open another tab, and then move files around as you like.

Use the File Explorer preview window

Sometimes filenames aren't enough to find the file you're looking for. There are two solutions: File Explorer's built-in search is one. Another preview window that "opens" the file for viewing. It actually works with text files, images, PDFs and a surprising number of file types. Just make sure the preview pane is enabled (click View at the top, then View , then Preview Pane ) and make sure the window is large enough to comfortably view the document in question.

Activate game mode

Windows 11 Game Mode prevents Windows from updating while you play and disables background processes to give your PC the full performance it's capable of. Seems obvious right? Go to Settings > Games > Game Mode to enable it. It is triggered when you play, but not otherwise. Please note that this may cause stuttering in YouTube videos played in a browser on a second monitor

Create a space for yourself with Do Not Disturb.

Windows Focus Mode turns off notifications and can schedule a Spotify playlist so you can stay focused without outside distractions. But if you have multiple monitors open to view email, and the app icon has a tray icon to alert you… do you really need notifications? In Settings > System > Notifications , you can simply turn on Do Not Disturb, which will accumulate notifications in the Notifications section of the Action Center, but won't bother you.

You can schedule notifications to go off at specific times using the accompanying Do Not Disturb control. Your personal time should be yours…especially on vacation.

want more? My colleague Michael Kreider has listed his favorite "hidden" tips for Windows 11. We'll have more tips for Windows in the future!

#windows11 || #windows10 ||10 Windows 11 tips and tricks we use to customize our PCs

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