Windows 11: All best features in Microsoft’s new OS and how to use them


Home windows 11 brings a bunch of recent options. Here is the best way to use them.


Windows 11 began rolling out to eligible units on Oct. 5, full with a fresh new design and a bunch of recent options aimed toward streamlining your PC and serving to you be extra productive. Whether or not you are utilizing your system at residence or within the workplace, these new options will make your life simpler. 

Be mindful, although, that Microsoft is releasing Home windows 11 in phases, so not everybody can have entry to it at first. The older your system, the longer you may need to attend to be prompted with the improve.

Learn extra: Windows 11 review: Familiar but fresh

Listed below are the perfect new Home windows 11 options we have seen introduced to date and the way you may use them, primarily based on what Microsoft has demonstrated. (And make sure you take a look at how to tell if your PC will be compatible with Windows 11 and how to download Windows 11 free.)

Our favourite options in Home windows 11 and the best way to use them

Android apps


You can obtain Android apps on Home windows 11.


What it’s: Android apps will be built into Windows 11 natively by means of the new Microsoft Store — a change Home windows customers have been ready on for years. Know, nonetheless, that support for Android apps is not part of the first shipping version of Windows 11: It should include one other launch within the coming months.

Although you would entry Android apps in your Home windows 10 PC in sure circumstances (like if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone), Home windows 11 will mark the primary time everybody will be capable of obtain them immediately onto your PC. (Here is everything to know about Android apps on Windows 11.) 

How you may use it: As soon as Home windows 11 can deal with them, Android apps can be within the new Microsoft Retailer by way of Amazon’s Appstore. Meaning you may must obtain the Amazon Appstore to entry the almost 500,000 apps obtainable there, together with Disney Plus, TikTok, Netflix, Pinterest and Uber. Nonetheless, you will not be capable of entry each Android app discovered within the Google Play Retailer.

When it is time, you may must obtain the Amazon Appstore and signal into or create an Amazon account. Then you’ll seek for free or paid apps as you’d on every other platform. Android apps can be built-in into the Begin bar and also will seem on the Taskbar with their very own home windows. 


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Widgets on Home windows 11 gives you customizable, at-a-glance info.


What it’s: Home windows 11 adds Widgets to the interface — an AI-powered customizable feed that slides out to point out you such information as information, climate, a glimpse at your calendar and to-do listing and your current photographs. Widgets are much like a function referred to as news and interests present in a current Home windows 10 replace. 

How you may use it: On the newly redesigned taskbar, you may discover a button for Widgets. Whenever you click on or faucet it, a panel will slide out from the left aspect of your display screen with a sequence of widgets that provide the at-a-glance info you are in search of. You too can increase it to be full display screen. 

Microsoft Groups


Carry up the Microsoft Groups Chat bar immediately from the taskbar in Home windows 11 for simpler entry to your contacts.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

What it’s: Home windows 11 builds Microsoft’s video chat platform Teams immediately into the working system, making it simpler to entry for every day use. You may join with others on Groups throughout Home windows, Android, Mac or iOS. 

How you may use it: You might even see Groups seem within the taskbar. If not, you’ll be able to seek for it. Click on the Groups icon to launch a Chat instrument, letting you select if you wish to message, textual content, voice or video name one in all your contacts. Click on Meet or Chat, and select who you need to contact. Or, open the total model of Microsoft groups by clicking the field on the backside of the Chat display screen. (Here is extra about how to use the new and improved Microsoft Teams in Windows 11.)



Simply toggle between completely different desktops in Home windows 11.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

What it’s: Home windows 11 permits you to extra simply create separate virtual desktops for every a part of your life, and customise them with completely different wallpapers, so you’ll be able to create a desktop for private use, work, faculty, gaming or the rest, and simply toggle between them. That is much like the MacOS digital desktop function. 

How you may use it: Faucet the desktop button on the taskbar to pop up a panel together with your present desktop. Faucet the plus button within the New desktop space to create a brand new desktop. Faucet the X button to take away it. Then faucet a desktop to modify to it. 

Snap Layouts

What it’s: Whenever you’re working in a bunch of open home windows, Home windows 11 will allow you to prepare them in numerous layouts on the display screen, and can save all of these home windows in that association. 

How you may use it: Whenever you open a window, you may see a button that appears like a sq. within the prime proper nook, in between the X and the decrease button. Hover over that to see completely different structure choices for that window, and choose the structure and the place throughout the structure that you just need to place that window. 


Carry collectively teams of apps and home windows with Snap Layouts, and simply maximize and decrease the complete bunch with Snap Teams in Home windows 11. 


Snap Teams 

What it’s: Snap Teams are the set of open home windows that you just saved in Snap Layouts, discovered within the taskbar for simple entry to name up as soon as once more, so you’ll be able to decrease or maximize them as a bunch.

How you may use it: Hover over your browser within the taskbar (it is unclear if you must be utilizing Microsoft Edge to take action, as Microsoft did in its demo). You may see the completely different teams of websites and apps you created pop up. Click on the one you need to open the entire group once more. (Here is extra about using Snap Layouts and Snap Groups.)

For extra, take a look at extra about how Windows 11’s desktop widgets and layouts work and how to change your Windows 11 wallpaper.


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