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Windows 11: first steps after installing

The day has come. Windows 11 is already among us, and you can now download it to your computer as long as it is compatible and meets its minimum requirements. If you have already installed Windows 11 on your computer but you don’t even know where to start using it, we are going to suggest you the first steps you can take once you have completed its initial configuration and are ready to start using it.

With these steps, you will learn to start putting the operating system to your liking, adapting it to your needs or the way you want to use it. They are simple steps designed for beginners, but if you are an experienced user and want to give other tips to first timers, I invite you to do so in the comments section.

Make sure you have all your apps

Applications

The first thing you should do is make sure you have all the apps you need. Windows 11 is generally like an update, and it will have kept all the apps you have installed. But just in case, it is convenient that you check your list of applications in the start menu, clicking on All applications, in case you miss any.

It is also convenient that explore the new app store from Microsoft Store. It has changed a lot with respect to Windows 11, and you will find many new applications that were not in the previous version, although most will be progressive web applications. It is worth checking if you are interested in any of the new ones that are available, and review the new sections of application suggestions.

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In addition to this, Windows 11 may have also installed other applications automatically without your permission, or launchers to install applications. Therefore, you can take advantage of cleaning and uninstall the apps you don’t need and that you didn’t have in Windows 10 either.

Organize the new start menu

Start MenuStart Menu

Another thing that has changed the most in Windows 11 is the new start menu. Goodbye to tiles, now it has a reduced size again, and it works through applications that you can anchor on it. Therefore, another first step is take some time to put it however you want, adding and removing pinned apps.

To start, right-click on the apps that you don’t want to appear, and click on the option Unpin from startup so they don’t appear on the main screen of the start menu. You will not uninstall the apps, they will simply no longer be present.

In addition, you can search for an application by typing its name or in the section All applications. When doing so, right click and choose the option Pin to Start to add them. Once you have all the applications you want in the start menu, you can drag them to sort them by moving them around, and that each one is in the area you want.

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Below the pinned apps, you have a section of recommendations that you can customize. To do this, go to Windows settings, go to Personalization and click on Beginning. There you can deactivate the elements that you do not want to appear, such as the most used applications, or the files that you have recently opened.

In this options window Beginning, you can enter the section of Folders. With it, you will be able to activate shortcuts you want to appear next to the power button, as quick access to some key folders on your computer that will take you to them in the file explorer.

Put the Start menu on the left

AlignmentAlignment

Another aesthetic change in Windows 11 is that they have risked putting the start menu in the middle of the screen. But this is something you can also change to move the start menu to the left and be in a more natural position. To do this, go to Windows settings, go to Personalization and click on Taskbar.

In these options, you simply have to open the option Taskbar alignment and choose Left instead of Centered. At the moment, in Windows 11 you cannot change the place where the taskbar is, it always has to be at the bottom, but you can choose between a classic alignment to the left or centered.

Pin apps to the taskbar

AnchorAnchor

When you open an application or program, you will see that its icon appears on the taskbar, at the bottom. Well, you will also be able to pin apps to taskbar so that its icon is always there even if you don’t use it. This, along with having the startup centered, will give you a look reminiscent of many GNU / Linux distros or even macOS.

All you have to do for this is open an application, whatever you want. When its icon appears on the taskbar right click on it and choose the option Pin to taskbar that will appear in the context menu.

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Change the default apps

Default AppsDefault Apps

Windows 11 has complicated the default app system. You can no longer simply say that a certain application is for this function, such as using X app for videos or X browser in general. You have to assign an application to each file formatSo you will have to manually configure the AVI, MP4, etc. files instead of just the videos. And so with everything.

To change your default browser or any other default application, you have to enter Windows settings and go to the section of Applications. There, enter the option of Default apps. When you do, you will see a list of apps, and you will have to click on them to choose the type of file you want each one to play.

Master the split screen system

Split screenSplit screen

Windows 11 split screen system has changed a lot from Windows 10, and you have different split screen settings depending on whether you want to see two, three or four applications on a single screen.

All you have to do is hover over the maximize button on the top bar of one of the applications. The various layouts will be displayed, and you have to click on the part you want within a layout to place the application you are in there. When you place that application, you will be invited to choose another of the applications that you have open in each of the other areas of the layout.

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Master the notification system

NotificationsNotifications

There are also changes to Windows 11 notifications, which now appear when you tap on the clock and calendar from the taskbar. They will appear above the calendar, and they are notifications with which you can interact to reply to messages or archive emails, for example. The interactions in the notifications will depend on each application.

Macbeth AppsMacbeth Apps

You can customize notifications in clicking on Notifications inside section System from Windows settings. Here, you will be able to deactivate all notifications or only some types that are especially annoying. You will also have a list of applications to deactivate or configure the notifications of each of them

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You can also configure the Concentration assistant Windows 11. This is a new feature in Windows 11, which allows you to configure times or hours when you do not want notifications to appear, or at least not to appear those that are not important. You can choose different times of the day, or deactivate certain applications when you do something, such as expanding an application or game in full screen.

Organize your virtual desktops

DesksDesks

The other big step is to familiarize yourself with Windows 11 virtual desktop management. If you press Windows + Tab you will open the virtual desktops, which will appear below. You can create new desktops or delete the ones you already have created, and you can assign each one a different name.

Later, you can move between the desks by pressing Control + Windows + Left or Right, to navigate to the next or previous desktop. The idea is that ** on each desktop you can have different applications, and thus you can separate your work environment from your leisure environment. Also, in the desktop view of Windows + Tab, you can drag open applications on a desktop to move them to another without closing them.

In addition, by right clicking on the background of a desktop, you can choose the option to Personalize, with them, you can do things like assign each virtual desktop a different wallpaper, so that you can easily differentiate them just by moving from one to another.

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Customize Windows 11 to your liking

And finally, within the options Personalization from Windows 11 settings you can also choose between light or dark mode in the section Colors. Among its options, you can choose the dark or light mode, the transparencies of the windows or the accent color that appear in the application icons.

In addition, you also have the section of Topics on Personalization, with which you can change the look of your desktop completely, from the wallpaper to the sounds you want to use. You will also have access to the themes section of the Windows store to download other custom ones created by other people.