For those who match the conditions, Windows 11 is now available as an update. To make the most of this next transformation, you need to have a game plan in place.
Microsoft will be updating Windows 10 users to Windows 11 in the near future if their computer hardware and software meet certain qualifying requirements. While you may be able to obstruct the transition, this upgrade is not optional—it will occur as part of a routine, scheduled update.
Given that the update to Windows 11 is virtually certain, it is critical to be prepared for the transition when it occurs. While the majority of the Windows 11 upgrade will entail behind-the-scenes security improvements, at least 11 user interface, configuration, and application changes will require immediate user response and quality of life adjustment.
When Windows 11 is released, here are 11 things you should do with it.
1. Modify the Xbox App’s settings to prevent it from running upon login.
When Windows 11 started, the first thing I noticed was a giant advertising screen urging me to sign up for a Game Pass via the Xbox app. Perhaps your situation is different, but I never, ever want the Xbox app to operate on my laptop. Regrettably, Microsoft determined that the Xbox software should immediately launch for all Windows 11 users.
To resolve this issue, right-click the Xbox app icon on the taskbar and choose Settings from the context menu. Uncheck the necessary boxes (Figure A) under the General tab to prevent this app from loading during the log-in process.
2. Remove superfluous app stubs
Microsoft appears to have struck multiple deals with third-party suppliers to put stubs for applications on the new, revised Windows 11 Start Menu. There are icons for a variety of applications, including Picsart Pro, WhatsApp Line, and Adobe Lightroom. By clicking one of these icons, the corresponding app will be downloaded and installed.
While some Windows 11 users may like to check out one or more of these programmes, for the majority of users, these icons will only add to the clutter on their Start Menu. They may be removed by right-clicking the icon and selecting Uninstall from the context menu.
3. Eliminate unneeded Taskbar clutter, such as widgets.
Along with trimming unnecessary applications and stubs from the Start Menu, you should also prune the taskbar. As illustrated in Figure B, a typical Windows 11 installation for a user with Microsoft 365 includes over a dozen distinct taskbar icons.
Not every icon on the taskbar needs to be pinned. Widgets, for example, is a fully optional taskbar application. Depending on your PC’s configuration, you might be able to say the same thing about Messenger. To disable those two applications, right-click on an empty section of the taskbar, select settings, and slide the respective buttons to the Off position.
4. Keep an eye out for updates
Whenever Microsoft sends a significant update, you should take the extra step of checking for any additional updates. There is always a chance that the corporation has released a follow-up to the update. All that is required is a fast check from the Update & Security settings screen.
5. Include any useful applications that are missing
Microsoft chose to remove a prominent application from the Start Menu during the installation of Windows 11 that power users would immediately notice—PowerShell. The option to quickly switch from the conventional Windows Terminal to PowerShell from the Start Menu context list appears to have been removed as well.
To add PowerShell and other applications such as Windows Media Player to the Windows 11 Start Menu, type the application’s name into the search box and then pin it to the menu or taskbar. This technique adds the application icons to the end of the Start Menu (Figure D), where they can be repositioned for greater prominence if desired.
6. Verify your privacy settings
While the privacy settings you established in Windows 10 should have been carried over to Windows 11, it is prudent to double-check them to ensure they accurately reflect your goals. Windows Settings contains these setup settings.
While some users are fine with sharing their search histories and behavioural statistics with Microsoft and others who may have access to the information, others are not.
7. Verify the state of activation
Another status option that should have remained untouched during the transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11 was the operating system’s activation status. However, it is prudent to verify this via the Windows 11 System Settings page’s Activation tab.
8. Customize the graphical user interface
This is a question of personal opinion, but not everyone will appreciate some of Windows 11’s new UI principles. Although the myriad customisation options in Windows 11 are much too numerous to discuss here, there is one UI design decision that I immediately modified.
Additionally, personalization encompasses aspects such as background photos, colours, themes, and fonts. Perhaps it’s time to update your user interface in conjunction with the switch to Windows 11?
9. Verify the availability of peripheral devices.
As with each Windows operating system upgrade, it is conceivable that access to one of your peripherals was lost during the transfer. Perhaps you require new drivers, or perhaps you simply need to reconnect to the wireless network; you won’t know unless you check.
Users may check the status of their peripherals by visiting the Windows 11 Settings app’s Bluetooth and Devices section.
10. Verify the application’s compatibility
Not only may you lose access to peripherals during the Windows 10 to Windows 11 upgrade, but you could also lose compatibility with critical programmes. All important programmes should be tested following the update to verify correct operation.
For instance, during the boot process, I utilise Windows 10 PowerToys to remap my keyboard. I am pleased to inform you that the Keyboard Manager application functions perfectly well under Windows 11.
11. Examine your energy alternatives
As previously described in a Windows 10 performance tip, I had configured my Windows 10 laptop to run on the Ultimate Power Plan. The Ultimate Power Plan is no longer available with the Windows 11 release. As a result, the system reset my Power Plan to Balanced.
Because I use my laptop largely when it is plugged in, I want it to work optimally. To achieve the most consistent performance in Windows 11, visit the System Settings app’s Power & Battery section and adjust the Power mode setting to Best Performance.