9 useful features hidden in Windows 11

“Microsoft is hiding some of the best features of Windows 11 deep, while putting the most embarrassing features to the fore.” This is how I rate Windows 11. It was and still is when I first started using Windows 11 earlier this month. What Windows 11 features are Microsoft hiding?
ⓒ Microsoft

Microsoft has splattered some pretty useful features into the new operating system. You’ll have to scour Windows 11 to find this feature. We recommend holding off installing Windows 11 until Microsoft fixes a number of issues with Windows 11, but if you upgrade, you may discover some cool new features.

Some features may have already been introduced in other reviews. Things like the new Snap View feature you probably won’t know about until you stumble upon it. Here are nine features I discovered.

TPM installed in CPU ⓒ Gigabyte

Better security

There have been a lot of articles about the hardware limitations of Windows 11, especially the TPM, which Microsoft has been pushing hard. To users, the TPM requirement can feel more like a hurdle to overcome than a feature to welcome. Still, Microsoft sees hardware restrictions as a way to protect PCs from known and unknown attacks. It’s like using a laptop lock to prevent data theft.

Aside from the question of whether your PC has hardware that supports Windows 11, the TPM isn’t something to consider at all. It’s still unclear how the added security features will be implemented in Windows 11. For example, Microsoft uses the Memory Integrity feature to isolate certain parts of the PC to prevent security attacks, but on the Surface, the button to turn on or off the memory integrity setting was removed.

Clean windows even when connecting and disconnecting displays

Disconnecting the Thunderbolt or display cable on a Windows 10 laptop often messes up the screen. Disconnecting often confuses all open windows on the laptop screen. Reconnecting the cables randomly scatters open windows across the available displays.

When you disconnect your laptop from Windows 11, the available windows are minimized and placed in an orderly manner on your laptop screen. Reconnecting the laptop and cables will return all windows to their original positions. This feature works well as Microsoft advertises.

You can install popular apps directly from the ‘Get Started’ function. ⓒ IDG

Tips & Get Started

Windows 11’s out-of-the-box experience (OOBE) is very good. Two features that can be overlooked here are ‘tips’ and ‘getting started’. You can access both features at any time, but Windows 11 doesn’t have a button that launches you directly to Tips and Get Started. It may be in an OOBE environment, but it’s easy to miss.

The Get Started feature is more than an introductory app. It recommends new apps to use Windows 11 in a variety of ways and provides useful options. However, since it is a very basic function, users who are already familiar with Windows or Windows 11 may not find it special.

The ‘Tips’ feature introduces useful Windows settings, such as how to speed up Microsoft Edge. ⓒ IDG

However, the ‘tip’ function is slightly different. No matter what operating system you use, there are countless opportunities to learn new things. There’s no reason Microsoft can’t keep up with this trend. The tip app takes less than 30 seconds to launch. You may discover new tricks that even people who work regularly with Windows 11 didn’t know about.

Estimated update time

Windows 11 guesses how long an update will take. I haven’t tested it to make sure the predictions are accurate, but it’s possible that it’s just a gimmicky feature. As anyone who has ever transferred files from Windows knows, Microsoft estimates the expected completion time differently even for transferring the same file.

Still, the time estimate will let you know if you can get another cup of coffee during the update. If the update seems to be taking too long, it is possible to postpone it to a few hours. You can check the estimated time in the ‘Windows Update’ section of ‘Settings’ of Windows 11.

It’s also worth remembering that Microsoft is increasingly separating apps from the underlying OS. This means that app updates can be downloaded and applied in the background, without the need for a PC reboot like Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) does. Windows 11 still needs an app update. When you open the app, you’ll see it’s paused to download and install updates. We don’t know how often this happens, but it’s definitely annoying.

You can set the purpose of using the device in the Settings app. ⓒ IDG

Setting the purpose of the device

This small function may not have much meaning at the moment, but it is a function with potential for development. Windows 10 also selects the purpose for which the PC will be used during the initial setup process. It is to set whether it is a PC to be used at school, a PC for gaming, or a PC for work. But essentially that was all. However, Windows 11 gives you more control over what your device is used for. It is managed in the ‘Personal Settings’ menu of ‘Settings’.

Setting the usage does not mean that the PC usage environment changes drastically. For testing, I set up my PC for gaming and was recommended a game like Spelunky, an HTML5 version of the game. It was a simple game that I had downloaded in the past. Microsoft leaves room for a trial version of the Xbox Game Pass on Windows 11. Over time, these settings may materialize, so it’s not a bad idea to give it a try.

Cortana App ⓒ IDG


Cortana is no longer part of Windows. Cortana, Microsoft’s smart personal assistant, has become an app, as it has been in the past few months. But Cortana’s ears are always open, and you can set Cortana to always listen. I also use Cortana for simplicity. Whether it’s doing a calculation, setting a reminder, or asking to be notified in 20 minutes so that you can run a new benchmark test, etc. If you don’t want to spend money on Alexa or Google’s smart speakers, remember Cortana on your PC right in front of you.
Watch app focus mode ⓒ IDG

watch app focus mode

The Clock app in Windows 11 now has a feature to set work hours and break times that require concentration. Using Pomodoro, a time management methodology, the Windows 11 clock app is integrated with ‘To-Do’ and ‘Spotify’ apps to increase productivity. Personally, I don’t like to listen to music while working. But making a to-do list, completing a task, and then checking that it’s done is a smart and satisfying thing to do.
Mahjong game for WSL2 and Linux ⓒ IDG

Linux GUI app

In Windows 11, you can experience the Linux operating system with WSL. Basically, WSL runs Linux in a Windows terminal shell, and creates a Linux environment without a dedicated device or virtual machine. However, unlike Windows Sandbox, WSL accesses the PC’s file system, so if you use it without background knowledge, you may experience unexpected confusion.

Microsoft upgraded WSL to WSL2 last year and started supporting Linux graphics apps and GPUs. This means you can work in a command-line environment like Ubuntu, or you can work with Windows apps. However, it seems impossible to run a real Linux GUI desktop shell in WSL2. Microsoft won’t be happy for users to notice how similar Windows 11 and Linux are.

‘Your mobile phone’ app connected to Samsung Galaxy S20+ ⓒ IDG

Android app used by ‘Your Phone’ app

Unfortunately, Android app support is a really hidden feature right now. That’s because Microsoft has promised to bring this feature to Windows 11, but it hasn’t been activated yet. However, if you have a supported Samsung Android smartphone, you can mirror the phone on the desktop and run Android apps. The ‘Your Phone’ app is a great way to check your phone without touching it. Sending text messages and making phone calls to mobile phones is also possible from a computer.

The messaging app used on mobile can also be used on the ‘User Phone’ app, and the screen of the app used on the mobile phone can be pinned to the desktop. Of course, you can run the PC app on your PC, but if you prefer the feel of an Android app, the ‘User Phone’ feature is helpful.

The hidden features of Windows 11 won’t end there. As Microsoft rolls out new features, there will be more and more gems. [email protected]

Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.

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