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Windows 11 has an attractive new look and some of the niftiest features ever seen in previous iterations of the operating system. These include the new placement of the Start button, improved security, Microsoft Teams’ Chat integration into the taskbar, a more personalized Widgets feed, and much more. Some users, however, would have liked to see certain Windows 10 features and capabilities brought over to the latest OS.

Customizable taskbar

In Windows 10, users can move the taskbar from its default horizontal position to the right or left edge or the top of the screen. In Windows 11, the taskbar stays at the bottom and there’s no option to customize its dimensions. Although the taskbar is commonly kept at the bottom of the screen, some users may want to change its position for different reasons.

Additionally, there’s no longer an option to move the Date and Time on the taskbar. In Windows 10, users can move Date and Time, which is placed in the right-hand corner of the taskbar’s System Tray area, by toggling off Clock in Settings. Some users may be perfectly fine with the default taskbar settings, but others might prefer greater customizability.

Drag and drop

Also absent in Windows 11 is the ability to drag and drop a file on your desktop into a program on the taskbar. In Windows 10 and earlier versions, you can drag, say, an Excel document saved on your desktop onto the Excel icon on the taskbar, and it will open. You can’t do this anymore on Windows 11. Users can also no longer drag and drop/save a file or any program onto the taskbar.

Live Tiles

The Start Menu in Windows 11 comes with new features, mainly a refurbished design, the “Pinned” icons, and a “Recommended” section. But gone are Live Tiles, previously available in earlier Windows versions, beginning with Windows 10. Those who’ve updated to Windows 11 will get the new “Widgets” features in place of the Live Tiles, but the latter serves an entirely different function.

Easier activation

To activate Windows 11 Home, users must have a Microsoft account, a 64-bit processor, and an internet connection. These are part of Microsoft’s minimum system requirements to activate the OS — on top of the need for a device with at least 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage.

On one hand, this can be useful. For one, business users signing into Windows with their Microsoft account automatically backs up their files through the company’s OneDrive storage device. However, for many users who don’t have a Microsoft account yet, it would be a lot easier not to have to connect a Microsoft account (or create one) when activating Windows 11.

Cortana integration

Cortana is a much less popular counterpart to the more established voice assistants of Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google (Google Assistant). But people who’ve gotten used to Windows’ very own assistant, which is integrated into Windows 10, might feel let down that Cortana is no longer part of the system setup nor can it be found within the Start Menu. Note, however, that the Cortana application is still available. You can find and enable it in Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Cortana.

Internet Explorer support

To a lesser extent, some Windows 11 users will be disappointed by the absence of Internet Explorer, which will cease to receive support from June 15, 2022 onwards.

Faster shutdown

The slow shutdown of PCs running on Windows 10 is commonly attributed to Windows system files or corrupted drivers. Users would have liked to see faster shutdowns in Windows 11, but alas, that is not the case. Wake-from-sleep and restart times also remain unenhanced.

Windows 11 is not going to please everyone, but its other new functions will nevertheless please others. If you want to maximize all that the new OS has to offer, give our team a call. Our IT professionals would be more than happy to make your new system work for you.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Most tech companies, such as Microsoft, collect certain information about their users so they can provide better, more personalized experiences. However, these companies also often use the data they gather for advertising purposes. The good thing is that as a Microsoft user, you have a fair amount of control over your own privacy. In fact, you can disable Windows 10’s intrusive privacy settings — here’s how.

Turn personalized advertising off

Windows 10 assigns each user an “advertising ID” that is used for ad personalization based on your recent browsing history. If you’d rather see generic ads targeted to you based on demographics rather than your ID, we recommend turning this feature off. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the search box at the bottom left of your screen. If your search bar is hidden, right-click the taskbar and select Search > Show search box.
  2. Next, type in “Privacy,” then click on Privacy Settings and select General.
  3. Turn off the option that states “Let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app activity.”
  4. Lastly, open your web browser and go to this link. Once there, turn off the “Personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account” and “Personalized ads in this browser” options.

Following these steps resets your ad ID, letting you surf the web without targeted advertisements.

Disable Cortana

Voice-controlled digital assistants have become big business. Microsoft aims to capitalize on this market with Cortana, an incredibly resourceful built-in assistant that allows you to quickly set reminders, schedule events, and send emails, among many other intuitive features. However, the way it uses the information it collects can become overbearing at times. Here’s how to disable Cortana:

  1. Type “Task Manager” in the search box, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. In Task Manager, click the Startup tab and find Cortana in the list of programs.
  3. Right-click the row and click Disable.
  4. Open the Start menu, then find Cortana under All Apps.
  5. Right-click on Cortana, select More, and click on App settings.
  6. Toggle the switch under “Runs at log-in.”

Once disabled, the Cortana option disappears and you’re now left with just a search bar, which you can use to search for things online or on your desktop.

Stop peer-to-peer file sharing

With peer-to-peer or P2P file sharing enabled, Windows 10 shares downloaded updates to your PC with other Windows 10 users in the same network by default. This helps other users update their systems faster and speeds up your upgrade downloads. However, if you are unhappy with your files being used by other users, you can turn P2P sharing off.

  1. Click the Windows icon and head over to Settings.
  2. Click on Update and Security then choose Delivery Optimization from the sidebar.
  3. Under “Allow downloads from other PCs,” switch the toggle to “Off.”

If you want to share your files with PCs on your in-house network only, leave this option on and select the option that says “PCs on my local network.” For more detailed instructions on how to stop P2P updates, click here.

Blunt Microsoft’s Edge

Microsoft Edge is chock-full of features — such as Cortana Integration and typing prediction — that send data back to Microsoft. To turn off these intrusive functionalities, open Edge and click on the three dots in the far right corner.

Then, click on Settings > Cookies and site permissions. There you have the option to disable a bunch of settings, such as those related to ads, automatic downloads, and location sharing.

These simple security tips will stop Microsoft from tracking your online activities for good. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for all matters security-related.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE