Microsoft has touted many big changes coming to Windows 11, including a redesign of the user interface for the many elements of the experience, including an updated version of the Start menu and taskbar, new features like than the redesigned Settings and File Explorer widgets and apps. However, the most recent previews for testers also reveal a number of other hidden changes.
These changes are hidden in plain sight, and you can find them in File Explorer, Desktop, Settings app, and the whole experience. Some are welcome additions, while others feel like taking a step back.
This Windows 11 guide will highlight nine of the less obvious changes expected with the next release.
Main hidden changes of Windows 11
Here are the main hidden changes you will encounter after installing Windows 11 (preview):
1. Missing File Explorer Options
Windows 11 comes with an updated version of File Explorer that moves away from the traditional ribbon menu in favor of a new minimalist menu that only has essential commands for performing basic actions (like creating a new one). folder, cut, copy and paste). Although depending on the location and type of content, the menu will also display additional commands. You will notice that most of the legacy menu items are no longer available. However, they were not deleted. They are found under three new drop-down menus, including “Sort and Group Options”, “Layouts and Display Options” and “Learn More”.
the Sorting and grouping options The menu includes options to sort content by name, date modified, type, etc.
the Layout and display options The menu lists options for displaying items in different sizes, such as extra large, large, small, list, details, etc. The menu also includes the option to activate the compact view instead of the new view with more padding.
In addition, the Show The submenu also includes options to manage left pane view, show extensions or hidden items.
Finally, the See more The menu (with three dots) includes the commands for the selections, compressed in ZIP file and the options to manage the settings of the application. However, depending on the location (this PC, network, folder, etc.) the options will be different. For example, in This PC, the menu lists options to add, map, and disconnect network locations.
2. Estimated Windows Update Time
Another feature hidden in the new version of the operating system is the ability to know how long an update will take to update. It seems that one of the reasons why users are reluctant to apply updates is because they don’t know how long the process will take, as some updates install quickly and others take a long time. . However, starting with Windows 11, when an update requires a restart to complete the installation, Windows Update will now tell you the estimated time the update will take.
You will see this notification in the Windows Update settings page and in the power menu when an update is pending.
3. Adjustment recommendations
Windows 11 will now recommend changing the settings based on your current configuration. For example, if you have configured the power settings to never turn off the screen, a notification will appear to let you know about the problem and the possibility of fixing the problem.
However, these recommendations will not be available for all parameters. Instead, they’ll only show up for the obvious settings that you need to be careful about.
4. Mixer volume and properties
The legacy volume mixer is no longer available. Instead, when you right click on the speaker icon in the new notification area, the option will open the “Volume Mixer” in the Settings page (formerly known as the ” App volume and device preferences “).
On this new page, you will be able to control system volume, control input and output devices, and most importantly, you will be able to control sounds by app. Moreover, the settings will also allow you to change the input and output parameters per application.
As part of the sound settings improvements, Microsoft has also quietly updated the speaker and microphone property pages. In Windows 11, the Loudspeakers The property page includes high-quality iconography, driver information, an option to check for driver updates, and the ability to block application access to the device.
You will also find the output settings that were previously available through the Control Panel. For example, format, volume and improve audio settings.
On the Microphone property page, you will find the same design as the speaker settings, but with the settings of the input device.
5. Legacy context menu
In this new version of Windows, Microsoft is trying to improve design consistency, and one of the ways the company is doing this is to introduce a new context menu for File Explorer, Desktop, and Across. experience.
When you right click on an item, you will see the new menu which includes a first line with commands for quick access to cut, copy, rename, share and recycle, and the rest of the items will be different depending on the items you select you. However, if you prefer the legacy experience, you can click the button Show more options article (or Shift key + F10 keyboard shortcut) to open the classic menu.
6. Disable network adapters
In the past, when you had to enable or disable a network card, you had to use Control Panel, but not anymore. In Windows 11, the Settings application, more precisely on Network and Internet > Advanced network settings, you can now quickly enable or disable Wi-Fi and Ethernet adapters.
In addition, you can now extend the interface to display the current status, including status, bytes sent and received, link speed, and duration.
7. Larger task bar
Although the taskbar may look like the one available in previous versions, on Windows 11 Microsoft is adding many new improvements, such as the new center alignment, the redesigned Start button, and buttons for task view, widgets, and more. research, animations and other adjustments. However, you may not have noticed it, but the taskbar is now taller (around six pixels) than what is available on Windows 10.
In addition, in this version of the operating system, you will no longer be able to change the position of the taskbar (top, left or right) and the option to display labels for applications is no longer available.
8. Background apps
Some apps that you download from the Microsoft Store may continue to run in the background to provide additional functionality, including the ability to download data in the background and show notifications. On Windows 10, the Settings app included a page to manage which apps should run in the background, but that’s no longer the case in Windows 11.
However, the functionality has not been removed. You can now control this feature from the Advanced setting of each app. For example, if you don’t want the Microsoft Photo app to run in the background, go to Settings > applications > Applications and Features > Microsoft Pictures advanced settings, and you would change the “Background app permissions” to Never.
9. Windows backup and backup options
Starting with Windows 11, Microsoft seems to be pushing a step further to make users forget about legacy backup apps, including File History and Windows Backup.
In the redesigned version of the Settings app, you’ll find a new Windows backup in the “Accounts” section which highlights the backup features the company wants you to use, including OneDrive for backing up profile folders (Desktop, Documents, and Pictures), and options for syncing your preferences and storing files. apps on all devices.
As you can see, the options to back up your files locally to external storage or create a full backup are not available on this page. However, the settings bury these features in the “Storage page”, under the “Advanced storage settings”, in the Backup options. Of course, you can still access these legacy features using Control Panel.
The separation of these features from the backup settings is not surprising since Microsoft has already deprecated both features, and it is a matter of time until they are completely removed from the system.
We’re focusing this guide on some of the biggest changes Microsoft didn’t mention in the official journals. The changes are not listed in any particular order and do not reflect everything new in Windows 11.
More Windows resources
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common Windows 10 and Windows 11 questions, visit the following resources: