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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

5 things you need to do after updating to Windows 11

Setting up a new Windows 11 system is pretty easy; all you need to do is click through the different dialogs and tweak a few things. While the whole process seems simple, you need to modify a few things to make sure it’s ready for use.

Keep in mind that Microsoft’s default settings aren’t exactly created for you, especially as they come with a lot of stuff you don’t need. The experience will not be personalized if you do not adjust its settings. That’s why you need to do these things after updating to Windows 11.

1. Don’t forget to use a Microsoft account

Sign in with your Microsoft account
Sign in with your Microsoft account

With the latest versions of Windows, you have two options for setting up a primary user account: a local account or a Microsoft account. If you’ve been using Windows for a while, you may prefer to use a local account since it’s the one you’re used to. But unfortunately, it is no longer safe.

If you care about the security of your computer, you are better off using a Microsoft account, especially given the advantages it can give you. First, Windows Hello lets you sign in easily with fingerprint or face recognition. It also lets you set up two-factor authentication, which is perfect if you’re always traveling in places where there’s a risk of losing your laptop.

You can also encrypt your drive without using any third-party applications, even if you are using Windows 11 Edition. Microsoft accounts also allow you to recover data if you forget your password. Finally, if you have any existing Microsoft 365 subscriptions, you can access Office apps and cloud storage on your computer.

One last thing, you don’t need a Microsoft email address to create a Microsoft account. You can use any email address. If you don’t want to use any of your personal email addresses, you can create a Microsoft email in just a few steps.

2. Bloatware Removal

In addition to selling software, Windows also makes money by adding different applications to the Start menu with each new installation. That’s why you may see third-party programs installed on your system, even if you haven’t added them yourself.

On Windows 10, you can see Candy Crush and other games installed, but on Windows 11, streaming apps like Spotify and social networking apps like Instagram and TikTok have replaced games.

This can be frustrating, especially for new users who are unaware that there is bloatware already installed on their PC. But the good news is that they are not installed by default and do not take up much of your memory. You can also delete them in just a few clicks, so things don’t get too complicated.

Uninstall apps
Uninstall apps

All you have to do is right-click on the unwanted application and select Uninstall. Then confirm your choice and repeat the steps for all programs.

3. Create shortcut for folder

Compared to Windows 10’s Start menu, Windows 11 is much simpler. You also have control to pin icons to the top and create shortcuts to apps and document lists you’ve opened recently. You can also see your profile picture and the power button on it. The entire interface is very simple. However, many Windows 10 users disagree.

Although the Start menu looks very different from the previous version, you can easily customize it for efficiency. For example, you can add folders you frequently use to them, so you won’t have to click multiple locations to search.

Create shortcut for folder
Create shortcut for folder

All you have to do is go to Settings > Personalization > Start > Folder. On this page, you will find an option that allows you to add shortcuts at the bottom of the Start menu. This option is equivalent to the shortcuts you can find on the right side of the Windows 10 Start menu.

4. Free up the Windows taskbar

Microsoft is “famous” for always finding new ways to clutter the taskbar in every new version. Thankfully, you can delete them and create a cleaner interface. Windows 11’s default taskbar has a few things that can make it look cluttered.

First, it has a search button that includes an unnecessary search box. It also has a Task View button that you don’t need because you can open it by pressing Win + Tab. There are also unnecessary utilities and finally a chat button that forces users to use Microsoft Teams.

Windows taskbar settings
Windows taskbar settings

If you don’t find these annoying, that’s fine. No problem. But if you’re like most of the other users, you can easily make them all go away. Just go to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar and turn off all the options in the items on the Taskbar, for a cleaner taskbar.

Customize Taskbar Settings
Customize Taskbar Settings

This Settings page also has other options that can personalize your taskbar experience. For example, you can expand the Taskbar corner overflow settings to change which icons appear on the right side of the taskbar.

Expand the Taskbar corner overflow settings
Expand the Taskbar corner overflow settings

If you’re using multiple monitors, you can change how the taskbar behaves on the second monitor by clicking the Taskbar behaviors option.

5. Set up OneDrive

When you sign in with a Microsoft account, you get 5GB of free cloud storage in Microsoft OneDrive. If you haven’t used it before, the configuration can be a bit confusing, but don’t worry. You can quickly get used to it.

If you open the application, Windows opens a window that looks exactly like a regular File Explorer with Desktop, Documents, Downloads, and Pictures folders in it. This is the part that makes it confusing, but these folders are part of the OneDrive app and anything you save in them will be backed up in your account. However, if you have spare storage available, disable this feature.

Set up OneDrive
Set up OneDrive

To change OneDrive settings, open OneDrive from the notification area and click Help & Settings > Settings > Backup > Manage OneDrive backup. This will direct you to the OneDrive backup settings.

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