Windows 11 is a last generation operating system that has brought important changes, and these go beyond the interface and design of it. Microsoft has introduced other improvements affecting both the functions and the performance, stability and security of the operating system, although this has required a significant increase in the minimum requirements.
The arrival of Windows 11 took place in October last year, so it is likely that many of our readers have been using it for some time now, have become familiar with it and know most of its features, but did you know that Windows 11 has some “secret” features that are not so obvious? Well, they are, and yet they can be very useful.
In this new guide we are going to share with you eleven of these “secret” functions that are “hidden” in Windows 11, and that will make your life a little easier. As always, if you have any questions after reading this article, you can leave them in the comments and we will help you solve them. Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
1.-Windows 11 introduces new keyboard shortcuts
Those new keyboard shortcuts introduced by Windows 11 are quite usefulespecially if we work with several windows or with several instances of our favorite browser, although there are also others that allow us to directly access important things such as settings, widgets or notifications.
Here are six new keyboard shortcuts present in Windows 11:
- Windows key + Alt + Up arrow: the active window moves to the upper half of the screen.
- Windows key + Alt + Down direction arrow: the active window moves to the lower half of the screen.
- Windows key + A: takes us directly to the quick system settings.
- Windows key + W: with this shortcut we open the widgets menu.
- Windows key + N: this is a shortcut to view the notification history.
- Windows Key + C: allows us to open the Microsoft Teams chat application.
2.-Right click mouse right click full
One of the changes that generated more controversy with the arrival of Windows 11 was the modification of the context menu when right-clicking with the mouse, as it showed fewer options than the right-click in Windows 10, and was a bit of a headache for users.
If we want to access all of the classic right-click mouse functions in Windows 11 we have to choose “more options”located at the bottom, but we can bring it back and make it apply directly. Do you want to know how? Well, it’s very easy, follow these steps:
- Left click on the icon or folder you want to select.
- Now, instead of right-clicking, press Â “left arrow + F10Â” on your keyboard.
- It will open, directly, the classic context menu that you would get when right-clicking in Windows 10.
- It is also possible to bring back the traditional right click by tinkering with the registry, but considering what this implies, and how easy it is to access it with that shortcut, I prefer to share with you this solution, as it is more suitable for all user profiles.
3.-Access to the “secret” start menu of Windows 11
With Windows 11, Microsoft also modified the start menu, a change that will was not entirely well received and that, even today, continues to generate some discomfort among users. Iâ¤?ve made the leap to this operating system on my laptop, and the truth is that Iâ¤?m still not used to it.
However, I have some good news to give you, and it is that we can access a “secret” start menu that will make our life a little easier. We can open it in two different ways:
- Press the Windows key and the X key simultaneously.
- Right-click on the icon in the start menu.
Personally, I have become accustomed to using the keyboard shortcut Â “Windows + XÂ”and this is the combination I always use.
4.-Minimize all windows at once, except the one you are using
Working with many windows open can help us to be more productive, but it can also end up being chaotic. If you need to reduce the number of windows that are on screen to focus on one of them, but you find it tedious to have to do it manually and individualized do not worry, Windows 11 counts on a “secret” function that will make your life easier.
With this function you will be able to minimize all the windows that are open on your computer, and leave only the one that is active. So, for example, if you have several web pages open with information that you needed for a job, and now you want to focus on writing it without anything distracting you, you can hide all these advantages at once. To use this feature you only have to resort to the shortcut “Windows key + Start (Home key)”.
There is another way to enable this feature through the Windows 11 setup menu, but is so unnecessarily complicated that it is not even worth taking into account, since we can do it with that simple keyboard shortcut we have just seen.
5.-You can return the start menu, and the taskbar, to the left
The change of both elements to a central position was another of Microsoft’s decisions that did not end up pleasing users. If you are one of those who do not agree with this change, do not worry, you can move them to the left without any problemand in a very simple way. This is what you have to do:
- Press the Windows + I to open the configuration menu.
- Enter Â “Customization > Taskbar BehaviorÂ”.
- Click on the option Â “leftÂ” to determine its alignment.
- Done, the taskbar and the start menu will return to the same position they both had in Windows 10.
You can revert this change at any time by repeating the steps we have given you, but unchecking the aliasing option on the left of the taskbar.
6.-Disable widgets and chat in Windows 11
Although both are two key features within Windows 11, the truth is that, for many users, they do not provide a really interesting value, and may end up consuming resources very valuable. If you are not going to use these features, and you want to take advantage of them to free up resources and improve Windows 11 performance a bit, just disable them by following these steps:
- Press the key of Windows + I to open the configuration menu.
- Enter Â “Customization > TaskbarÂ”.
- Look for the option to toggle widgets and chat on and off. You will only need to disable both.
As above, you can reverse this by repeating the process and checking the option to enable these two functions. In my case, I keep both disabled since I don’t need them at all.
7.-Windows 11 can use your voice to type
Voice typing has been around for a long time one of the most interesting features within a multitude of modern applications and operating systems, including, for example, iOS and Android.
Over time, its performance has improved markedlyand although it is not perfect, the truth is that the voice typing tool that integrates Windows 11 works better than I imagined, and it is very easy to use. To access it we only have to press the keys Windows + H in a word processor application (Word, for example).
We may have to activate speech recognition online, and we can also customize different options for voice typing, such as the automatic input of punctuation marks based on the intelligent detection of our intonation and the rhythm of our pronunciation.
8.-Automatically reduces background applications to save battery life
This is a very useful option if we are using a laptop. As our regular readers will remember, closing background applications can help us improve the performance of Windows 11, but it can also have a positive impact on battery life, since these applications can help us to improve the performance of Windows 11, but it can also have a positive impact on battery life are consuming power even if they are in the background.
We can control the applications that are in the background just follow these steps:
- We enter in Â “Configuration > System > Power and BatteryÂ”.
- We go to Â “Battery SaverÂ”.
- Now all we have to do is choose when we want it to be activated the battery saver to limit background applications, and also notifications.
9.-Improved multitasking, and personalized
Multitasking is essential to be more productive. If we have a powerful PC, we can have several windows and tabs open and interact with them instantly, and even overlap them or spread them with different sizes across our desktop to be able to view them at the same time.
Many users, including myself, start from the classic distribution in stripes from left to right. In my case I usually have, normally, two or three browsers open and distributed from left to right, and in each of them I also have some additional tabs open so I can switch to them when I need to in a quick and direct way.
With Windows 11, Microsoft has improved multitasking by introducing templates that allow us to distribute, in the most convenient way for us, those applications or browser instances that we have open simultaneously. Thus, for example, we can divide them in two vertical blocks, in a vertical block and two horizontal blocks or in four horizontal blocks.
To use this function, just hold the mouse pointer over the maximize icon of the active window. We will see the different templates that are available and we can choose the one we want. We can also activate it directly with the shortcut Â “Windows key + ZÂ” If this feature does not work for you, you may not have it enabled. Just go to “Settings > System > Multitasking” to activate it.
10.-Customize the volume of each application
This is a very useful function, especially when we have to work at the same time with several applications or windows that play sounds, but we don’t want them all to sound with the same intensity. So, for example, you might be on a video call and want to have some light music playing in the background, or you might be playing a game and also want to have music playing to create more ambience.
With Windows 11, you can adjust and customize the volume of each application individually, and in a very simple way:
- Press the Windows key and type Â “Sound SettingsÂ”.
- Enter the first result and click on Â “Volume MixerÂ”.
- Once there, in the applications section, you will find the volume bar which will allow you to customize different applications.
11.-Minimize distractions and focus on what’s important
Interruptions can end up being frustratingespecially when we are trying our best to concentrate on an important task but find that, in the end, something always happens that interrupts us and makes us lose the thread.
To improve concentration and minimize interruptions, i always keep notifications from chats and applications turned offincluding WhatsApp, and I have also gotten out of the habit of checking email frequently, but without going to extremes. I usually set specific times when I look, with a minimum margin of between 30 and 45 minutes.
With Windows 11, we can use a concentration assistant that will help us to reduce, precisely, the amount of distractions that will affect us in our day to day using the PC. To use this function, just follow the path:
- Configuration > System > Concentration Assistant.
- Once there, we can choose to disable all notifications, leave only some notifications active, and hide all notifications but leave alarms active.
We can also set to be activated only at certain timesor when we are doing something specific. This way, for example, we will avoid being assaulted by notifications when we are working, or when we are enjoying our favorite games or multimedia content. As in the previous cases, we can revert all the changes we make at any time by following the same route, so do not worry.