Salient Windows 11 Features You Must Know

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The present era has quickly become dependent on AI-based quick-access and accomplishment. Modern Operating Systems are competing hard to embrace it. Windows is no difference and it strives to stand out from its competitors.

Windows 11, introduced by Microsoft on October 5, 2021, represents the latest evolution of the Windows operating system. This new version builds on the foundation of Windows 10 (2015), introducing a host of new features and a re-designed more friendly user interface, aimed at enhancing productivity and user experience. The launch of Windows 11 marks a significant milestone in Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to innovation and user-centric design, providing a more streamlined, aesthetically pleasing, and alluring experience to both personal and professional users.

The primary objective of Windows 11 is to create a more intuitive user experience, bridging the gap between functionality and aesthetics. One of the most noticeable differences from older versions, particularly Windows 10, is the revamped user interface. Windows 11 features a centered Start Menu and Taskbar, replacement of its “live tiles” with a separate Widgets panel on the taskbar, rounded window corners, and new animations, giving it a more organized and polished look.

The operating system also introduces new features like Snap Layouts and Snap Groups, which make multitasking and window management more efficient. Additionally, Windows 11 improves on performance and security, with faster wake times, enhanced battery life, and integrated support for DirectStorage and Auto HDR, which are particularly beneficial for gaming.

The internet is already flooded with resources to familiarize you with the philosophy, feature-set and other things about Windows 11. But here we’re going to elaborate some salient features of Windows 11 which are a must to know to help you leverage the real power of Windows 11.


Feature 1 – Voice Typing

Speech recognition feature of Window 11. You just talk and it’ll type. That will save you lots of time say while during traveling where you do not have a comfort and time of typing long text content. Also specifically useful for quick email and chat replies.

Shortcut: press Windows+H key combination to start speech recognition feature.


Feature 2 – Dynamic Locking

Normally when you’re going away from your computer or laptop for a while, you have to press Widows + L to lock your computer. But through the feature of Dynamic locking Windows 11 locks your computer automatically as soon as you move a few meters away from your computer. How does it happen?

  • Goto Settings -> Accounts -> Sign in Options
  • Under Dynamic Lock check “Allow Windows for automatically lock your device when you’re away” checkbox
  • This will pair your smartphone with your computer through Bluetooth and as soon as you go away with your smartphone, the Bluetooth pairing will get disconnected and Windows 11 will automatically lock your computer in 15 seconds. Pretty cool… isn’t it?


Feature 3 – Snap and Resize Windows

Windows 11 introduces enhanced features for managing windows and multitasking, notably the Snap and Resize functionalities, designed to improve productivity and user experience. Keyboard shortcut for this feature is Windows+Z.

Snap Layouts are predefined window layouts that allow users to quickly organize multiple open windows on their screen. When you hover over the maximize button of a window, Snap Layouts appear, offering several configurations to choose from. These configurations might include side-by-side windows, quadrants, or a combination of different sizes and positions. This feature makes it easy to place windows in an organized manner without manually resizing and arranging them.

Snap Groups are the collection of windows that you have snapped together. Windows 11 remembers these groups, so if you switch to another task and then return, you can quickly restore your Snap Group. This functionality is particularly useful for users who frequently switch between different sets of tasks and need to maintain a consistent workspace layout. Eventually this helps boost efficiency and productivity of the user by saving them lots of time.

Resizing windows in Windows 11 is made easier and more intuitive. You can click and drag the edges or corners of any window to resize it to your desired dimensions.

Windows 11 also supports snapping resized windows into Snap Layouts, making further easier to create an efficient and organized workspace with minimal effort.


Feature 4 – Battery Sense

Battery Sense feature of Windows 11 is one of the most useful feature. This features enables you to visualize your battery usage and which applications are battery-hungry and how to conserve your battery power.

  • Goto System -> Settings -> Power & Battery
  • Here at the top you can see Battery Usage tab. Here you can see some statistics of your battery usage in terms of hours and days, how many apps have used how much battery power. This helps you utilize your battery in a better and more efficient manner in order to increase the battery life.


Feature 5 – Filer Explorer – Old Feature With New Capabilities

Before Windows 11 you have to open separate windows for separate directories. But in Windows 11 you can open multiple tabs under the same explorer window, just like you see in a browser application. This helps you easily navigate the related directories and perform operations like copy/paste in a more efficient manner. For instance if you want to compare two or more directories from the local computer, from the network or from any cloud-synced directory. You can easily navigate files to compare, copy/paste or delete in a quick manner. This is a useful feature indeed.


Feature 6 – Multiple Desktops

Before Windows 11, users were accustomed to having a single desktop, primarily used for creating shortcuts to frequently needed applications like browsers, FTP clients, MS Office apps, Control Panel, and other installed programs. Many users also kept recent data files on their desktop for quick access. However, with the advent of Windows 11, you can now create multiple desktops, each tailored to specific purposes, revolutionizing how you organize your workspace.

Imagine having a dedicated desktop for your professional tasks, complete with shortcuts to all the necessary apps, utilities, and browsers. Then, when it’s time to relax, you can switch to another desktop filled with shortcuts for YouTube, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Facebook, games, and other leisure activities. Additionally, you could have yet another desktop specifically for system administration, containing shortcuts to the Control Panel, Event Viewer, Settings, System Information, System Registry, and other essential tools.

Switching between these desktops is incredibly intuitive, done simply by clicking an icon on the taskbar. It’s akin to the Alt+Tab feature for switching between open applications but offers a broader scope for organizing your entire digital workspace. This feature makes managing your tasks and maintaining focus on different aspects of your digital work easier and more efficient than ever before.


Feature 7 – Storage Sense

In the previous Windows versions you had to manually clean your temporary files, cache and other unwanted files from various directories. For this purpose you had to run system utilities or any third party software but Windows 11 provides this feature natively by enabling you to activate Storage Sense feature and then it will automatically cleans your system from time to time – removing garbage and restoring space.

In order to enable this feature, from Settings Click System -> Storage and enable Storage Sense and that’s it, leave the rest to Windows 11.


Feature 8 – Customize Start Menu

Windows’ Start menu is great. It provides hell of things on your finger tips and you feel you’re used to of it in opening apps and utilities, settings, power options, and many more things upon just two or three mouse clicks or a very little typing. In case of Windows 11, it gets more exciting when it enables you to customize the Start Menu. Windows 11 gave it more versatility by letting the user to customize it. The user now can add and remove app icons to match their requirements and interests.

In order to customize Start menu

Goto Settgins -> Personalization -> Start -> Folder

Under this, the you’re presented with the a great many folders like Settings, File Explorer, Documents, Downloads, Network etc. You can enable and disable them as per your choosing.

You can also add your favorite apps on the Start Menu. This facility is not available in the previous Windows versions. To view your desired application in the Start menu

  • Open Start Menu -> Click All Apps
  • From the Apps Icons locate your desired app and hover over it and right-click to open context menu
  • From the context menu click Pin to Start, and here you go. This app icon will be visible whenever you open the Start menu.


Feature 9 – Widgets

Widgets in Windows 11 offer a variety of features crafted to provide quick access to personalized content at your finger-tips. By utilizing these widgets, Windows 11 can help you stay informed, organized, and entertained with quick, at-a-glance pieces of information directly from your desktop.

Here are some salient widgets provided by Windows 11:

Personalized News Feed
Widgets display a tailored news feed based on your interests and preferences, keeping you updated with the latest headlines and stories.

Weather Updates
A weather widget shows real-time weather conditions, forecasts, and alerts for your selected location.

Calendar and Events
The calendar widget integrates with your Microsoft Calendar, displaying upcoming events, appointments, and reminders.

Traffic Updates
A traffic widget provides real-time traffic information, commute times, and alternative routes, helping you plan your travel efficiently.

Stock Market Information
Widgets can display stock market updates, tracking your favorite stocks and providing real-time market data.

Sports Updates and News:
Using Sports widget keep track of the latest scores, news, and updates from your favorite sports and teams.

Task Management
The To-Do widget integrates with Microsoft To-Do, allowing you to manage your tasks and checklists directly from the widgets panel.

Widgets can provide updates on the latest movies, TV shows, and entertainment news based on your preferences.

The photos widget displays a rotating selection of images from your OneDrive account, giving you a personalized touch.

News and Interests
Access to a broad range of interests like politics, technology, lifestyle, grocery, and more, tailored to your specific tastes and browsing behavior.

How to Use: Click on the Widgets icon on the taskbar or press Win + W to open the Widgets panel. You can customize the widgets by clicking on the three-dot menu on each widget and selecting “Customize widget.”


Feature 10 – Improved Touch Support

Enhanced Gestures
Windows 11 introduces new touch gestures that are more intuitive and fluid, making navigation easier. For example, you can swipe with three fingers to switch between running apps or swipe down with three fingers to minimize all windows. Scrolling through content is smoother and more responsive, giving a more natural feel when navigating through documents, web pages, and apps.

Larger Touch Targets
Touch targets (such as buttons, icons, and menus) have been made larger and spaced more appropriately, reducing the chance of accidental touches and making it easier to interact with the screen.

Improved Touch Keyboard
The touch keyboard can be resized and re-positioned according to user preference. It also supports themes and personalized settings. You can use swiping gestures to type, which can be faster and more intuitive than tapping each key individually. Moreover, the touch keyboard includes a built-in emoji and GIF panel, making it easier to express yourself in messages.

Improved Pen Experience

For devices that support haptic feedback like Tablets, touch-sensitive LEDs, the digital pen provides a tactile response that simulates the feel of writing on paper, enhancing the writing and drawing experience. The handwriting recognition has been significantly improved, making it easier and more accurate to convert handwritten notes into text. The last but not the least, the system can predict and auto-correct handwriting more effectively, offering suggestions and improving accuracy as you write. The pen can be customized with shortcuts to frequently used functions and apps, accessible via a radial menu or other quick-access methods.

Improved Voice Inputs

Voice typing in Windows 11 supports auto-punctuation, so you don’t have to manually insert commas, periods, or question marks. The system intelligently places punctuation based on the natural pauses in your speech. The voice recognition engine has been improved to better understand and transcribe spoken words with higher precision.

Perhaps one of the best features which is likely to be prevalent in future, you can use voice commands to navigate the operating system, open apps, and execute commands, providing a hands-free experience.

Enhanced voice input makes the system more accessible to users with disabilities, allowing them to interact with their device more easily.

Dictation in apps like Word and OneNote has been improved, allowing for more natural and fluid input. The system better understands context and can adapt to the user’s speaking style.

These above mentioned features in Windows 11 are aimed at making Windows 11 a more versatile and user-friendly operating system. Windows 11 is committed to provide a seamless, easy to use and manageable environment to its users so that they can enhance their efficiency and productivity no matter what purpose they have in mind while using it.

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