Requirements for Windows 11
Windows 11 is a free upgrade and doesn’t require additional licensing. However, your machine must meet the minimal specification requirement (as outlined below) to be supported after the update.
If your machine doesn’t meet the above spec, and you were to install the update, Microsoft won’t be able to update your machine with the relevant bug fixes/patches. To check if your machine does meet the minimum specification, please navigate to the below link, and install the Windows 11 Health Check Tool (WindowsPCHealthCheckSetup.exe), and click ‘Run Now’.
Installation of Windows 11
To upgrade your machine manually, head to https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/get-windows-11 , and use the ‘check for compatibility’ option. Here it will check whether your machine is compatible, and then ask you to upgrade. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes onwards to complete the installation. Once complete, you should be back at your logon screen, with the text/font looking slightly bold, suggesting this has been completed…
Another way of upgrading is through your Windows 10 update function. This however may take time for your machine to have this ability, due to Windows 11 not being pushed on users immediately.
Finally, if your machine is brand new, near to the end of the Out of Box (OOB) setup, it will ask you to upgrade, you can choose ‘Yes’, or simply ‘skip for now’ if you would like to proceed with Windows 10.
Welcome to Windows 11
Once you’ve logged into your machine, the taskbar will be aligned centrally, and will include some pinned items which you may not recognise/have used before. These pinned items are explained in more depth below…
This icon gives you the ability to have multiple ‘desktops’. Here, this gives you the ability to have different apps open on different sessions. As an example, you can have one desktop for work, and one desktop for personal browsing/streaming etc… The keyboard shortcut for quickly going between is Ctrl + Windows Key + Right Or left.
This is Microsoft Teams built in. However, it only offers personal accounts to be signed in, and not work or school. To disable this, go back into ‘Taskbar Settings’, and then turn off ‘Chat’. For more info, please see the below page on this…
Widgets allow you to customise slides of information, such as the news/weather/pictures etc. This can be used with work accounts as well as personal, provided that you add the account within settings (Settings > Accounts > Access work or school > ‘Connect’).
To remove any of the above items your taskbar, right click the taskbar, and choose its settings. Once loaded, simply toggle ‘off’ the apps you require to be removed.
Windows 10 to 11 Preference Changes
The taskbar has now been centrally aligned, almost giving the new OS a ‘Mac/Macbook’ look. To amend this, right click ‘Task bar’, and choose ‘Taskbar Settings’. Scroll down, and choose ‘Taskbar behaviors’. Change ‘Taskbar Alignment’ from center to left.
A registry change is available that allows the taskbar to be set to the top of the screen on single or multiple displays, this still doesn’t work for the left or right of the screen however. For more information on the registry change, please use the below link to access more information.
Here, the icons yet again have changed slightly, giving it a more user-friendly look, and the ability to easily toggle on/off options as windows 10 had previously. You can add more options here by clicking the pencil and choosing from the below options.
Copying files using Right Click:
Context menus have been modified through Windows 11. Many users who aren’t tech-savvy and use right-click to copy may end up hitting ‘copy path’ instead. The options to copy, cut, rename or delete are now present as icons in a bar as shown in the image below. You can also see the old Windows 10 menu options by selecting the ‘Show more options’ at the end.
By default, Windows 11 adds some extra spacing between different files in a folder, probably for a better touch experience. If you prefer the old Windows 10 spacing, you can switch to ‘Compact view’. You will find the option in the top bar listed under the ‘View’ menu.