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7 Quick Ways To Make Windows 11 Better

Enhance the search experience in Windows 11 with Power Toys

Those who have been offered the upgrade are likely getting used to Windows 11 now that the new operating system has been out for a few weeks.

Windows 11 can be enhanced in several ways, however. Most of them could be activated in just a few minutes. Here are seven quick tips that will help you make the most out of Windows 11!

Switch off passwords

The password is no longer needed to log in to Windows. Despite not needing to for a while, Windows 11 now has the ability to block the user from signing in with a password, which makes it more difficult for thieves to gain access to your machine if they manage to acquire it.

Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and select “Allow only Windows Hello for improved security”. You’ll then need to setup either a webcam, fingerprint recognition, or a PIN if you haven’t already done so.

Connect your phone

Using Bluetooth to connect to an Android phone on Windows 11 allows for a whole host of useful features. When your bank sends you a security code to log in to your online account, for example, you can write and read text messages when using the included Your Phone app.

A computer with a microphone can also be used to make and receive phone calls. If you’re in an online meeting, you can even use the computer to silence the phone while you’re looking at photos stored on your phone.

Turn on Dynamic Lock

The Dynamic Lock feature can be turned on in your phone once it is paired with your PC. A software program known as PC Lock detects when you leave your PC — to go to a meeting elsewhere in the office, for example — and locks the computer. If you step away from the screen in a shared environment, it saves you the trouble of remembering to lock the screen manually.

Click the switch next to Dynamic Lock in Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options to enable the feature.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Install Power Toys

There are a number of featureful little add-ons that are available both for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

PowerToys Run and Mouse Utilities are two of my favorite Power Toys. Using PowerToys Run is a blatant imitation of Spotlight search in Mac OS X; you simply press Alt + Space and a slim search box appears in the middle of the screen, letting you find apps, files, and preferences. There’s no comparison to the default search function of Windows 11.

If you use multiple screens and cannot locate your mouse cursor, Mouse Utilities is a great choice for you. You can easily find the missing mouse by tapping the Ctrl key twice twice, and the spotlight will be cast around the cursor (as shown above).

Windows 11 comes with a built-in Microsoft Store from which you can download Power Toys.

Turn on Clipboard history

Often when working on long documents or using spreadsheets, cutting and pasting data will be necessary. Microsoft Windows defaults to just remembering the last bit of information copied to the clipboard, but you have the option of enabling it to remember past data as well, so that you won’t have to keep copying the same information repeatedly.

Turn on Clipboard history by going to Settings > System > Clipboard. After the clipboard history feature has been enabled, you have to press Windows key + V to access it.

Bing Wallpaper of the Day

Bing isn’t my favorite search engine, but its Bing Wallpaper of the Day is really cool. You’re constantly presented with a new piece of photography, usually a photograph that’s topical (such as pumpkin fields on Halloween).

Here is the link to today’s Bing Wallpaper of the Day. If you don’t want Edge and Bing to be your default browser/search engine, make sure to untick the install options.

Tame notifications

If you don’t strictly limit the apps allowed to send notifications in Windows 11, you still end up with too much clutter in the notifications panel.

You can untick all but the most essential apps in Settings > System > Notifications.

You can also untick the box to prevent notification sounds from being played under the Notifications panel at the top, while you’re there.

You can also use the new Focus Assist feature, which allows you to silence notifications when you need to focus (or all but the most vital ones), by clicking on the speaker icon at the bottom right of your screen.

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