Author: Faith Cheruiyot
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Windows 11: What you need to know about windows 11 before upgrading

Category: Windows 11

Windows 11 is out and has many features that are not in other operating systems. If you are eager to know what features, cost, benefits, and how to get windows 11, then you are in the right. There is so much in store for you. 

There are several new things that you should expect if you upgrade to Windows 11. Microsoft has upgraded the following features in Windows 11:

  • Widgets
  • File explorer
  • Task bar
  • Desktop
  • Settings
  • Snap layout
  • Microsoft Teams integration 

Apart from Windows 11 features, I will show you how to check if you are eligible for the upgrade or not, how to install it officially, and much more.

Windows 11: What you need to know about windows 11 before upgrading

Recently, Windows 11 from the Beta and Dev channels received a preview build 22000.120. it includes some visual changes, a slew of fixes and improvements.

For example, in the release, Microsoft is more into improvements for the taskbar. Also, a version of task explorer is updated with other necessary clarifications and setting the app's tweaks.

Windows 11: What you need to know about windows 11 before upgrading

With the build 22000.120, the software giant made other previews, which are 22000.100, 22000.71, and 22000.65. they also introduced other fascinating changes regarding the PC experience, widgets, file explorer, and much more

Windows 11 built 22000.120. What changes were made?

The most detectable attributes and upgrades Microsoft has delivered for Windows 11 are based on the four builds.

1. Widgets

Windows 11 comprises a current family dashboard for widget's experience. It enables those connected using a Microsoft account to view the recent activities from family group members.

Windows 11 widgets take the idea of having PC widgets with interests panel and news a step further. The latest widgets bring a more personalized feed. This idea will be engineered by Al and will use Edge for rendering.

You will also get to access a current entertainment widget. It allowed you to see the latest and featured movies that are available inside the Microsoft store. If you fail to see any of these widgets, enable the widget you'd like to see by clicking Add widget key. It will be easier to expand the widgets to fill all the screens.

2. Taskbar
We have perceived some developments in the taskbar experience in the past four previews. An example, the chat key has been modernized with build 22000.120. For a simple reason to support badge notifications for unnoticed alerts.

The taskbar icons have been improved to a smaller size, just like in Chrome OS. And the icons are centered as well.
Taskbar's preview has been improved with circle corners and acrylic fabric. It helps in equalizing the latest design language for windows 11. Moreover, this preview will highlight a more compatible close button.

Given the build 22000.65, if you right-click the sound image in the system tray, the context will offer a choice to troubleshoot volume problems. 
And in build 22000.100, the taskbar has multiple upgrades. Like a remodel flyout for the unseen items in the bottom right corner. It also has acrylic material for matching the new design's language.

Once you open the notification center, there is an improvement on the flyout to indicate the choice to access the focus assist setting page. 
And lastly, the recent preview of Windows 11 has an interface redesigned that lights up if an app needs your attention. The backplate has a light red color plus a pill which is red under the icon. Thus, making the experience calming with minimal destruction.
3. File explorer
The file explorer app got various improvements since the four reviews. For instance, build 22000.120, the menu received an improvement to better the design and keep the menu intact when using the menu.

There is also an improved button in the command bar. This button leads to a redesigned menu that has a list of all the items you can create. That is, documents, folders, shortcuts, etcetera. 

However, you won't involve a direct button in creating a new folder with this. The command bar won't perform that task.
After build 22000.65, if right-clicking the PowerShell script (.ps1), you'll be able to spot a 'Run with PowerShell' option.

4. Desktop
The upgraded version will enable the ability to settle for a particular background on each virtual PC.
The PC context menu now has a 'refresh' button. You'll be able to access this without the classic menu with keyboard shortcut shift + F10. It is a desktop experience.

Windows 11: What you need to know about windows 11 before upgrading

 5. Settings
The settings app for windows 11 also received an upgrade. For example, with the coming in of build 22000.120, an identity is placed below the controls at the' display' settings. It is basically for re-arranging the monitors and making it easier to find them.

From build 22000.65, the settings of the taskbar have been improved. It is to let users show the taskbar on multiple monitors.
On the battery and power settings page, there's an option of changing the power mode.

6. Snap layouts
The advancement of these is that you'll be able to choose from a variety of window layouts. You'll be making it easier to populate them with app windows you like.

Most importantly, the layouts are found and accessed from the taskbar icons app. Therefore' no need to keep on recreating them once you do something on your desktop.

7. Teams integration
The biggest hit for Microsoft has been on teams. The messaging tool and video conferencing. Much improvement has taken place from 2019 to 2012. Users have increased rapidly. 

Microsoft wants it to go beyond the workplace. A button will make it easier for teams in windows 11. Teams is a cross-platform, working on both android and IOS and also windows. 

And for those without a mobile app installed, it can work with SMS. Therefore you can use your desktop to text anyone, for free.
The feature comprises two parts; teams videoconferencing and chat teams. These two parts open a new window. Immediately you text someone who doesn't have the app, they will get a notification to sign up.

Other upgrades are;
Windows 11 still made some changes to the alert dialog boxes. They include when the battery is running low or adjusting the display settings.
They are also working towards bringing in the GIF providers for GIF addition in the emoji section. 

How will upgrading to Windows 11 benefit you?

Windows 11 is not just another collection of wallpapers. Gladly, many other improvements and tweaks have made the upgrade very fascinating.
The upgraded wallpaper is quite beautiful. The PCs of windows 11 aesthetics mimic a glass look. Hence, there's much transparency on most desktop features, from menus to windows.

The taskbar can also change into a dock. And you can center the icons on it, which aids when using the windows 11 touch-enabled device.
The widgets seem to be primarily geared toward presenting info and not on working as mini-apps. They are in a dedicated pane, with easily accessible groups and snap layouts. Windows 11 also has support on android apps baked in. A click on the taskbar will make it possible to chat with video, text, voice with contacts, and friends.

How to check if I can run Windows 11?

Windows 11: What you need to know about windows 11 before upgrading

Windows 11 is going to be a free upgrade for the selected windows 10. But unsupported desktops are also allowed to upgrade. It has pretty stringent system requirements. It only supports desktops with current CPUs.
Minimum system requirements for windows 11
Your  PCs should at least have;

  • 4GB RAM.
  • 64GB storage device.
  • Trusted platform module (TPM); version 2.0.
  • Display of more than 9 inches with a resolution (720p) HD.
  • One gigahertz (GHz) processor or a quick one with more cores.
  • System firmware; safe boot capable, UEFI.

PC Health Check

The PC health check will aid you in knowing if your PC can run Windows 11. And it's a free health check tool.
To get to this app, you must be a registered member of the Microsoft insider program. You must also have logged into your account. If not so, you'll get a denial message barring you from accessing the page.

To the registered fellows, the download is readily available. It's a Microsoft installer file called ….the program will install itself once you run the file.
For the program to run, type PC HEAL in the search box. After this, operate the app at the start menu. To operate its integrated windows 11 obscurity check, press the check now button inside the "introducing windows 11" panel.

The program will give one feedback on the three possible outcomes. The ones that progress gets a "this PC meets windows 11 requirements" message. Those that don't get a "This PC doesn't currently meet windows 11 requirements" message.

Those from PCs educational centers get "your organization manages updates on this PC" but no obscurity check. In case your desktop isn't compatible, it'll still be possible for you to upgrade it. However, you might bump into bugs. Microsoft says your desktop won't be guaranteed to keep on receiving security updates.

Some desktops are recent but still give the feedback that you can't run Windows 11. And It's because of TMP 2.0. Here is what you should do. Type tpm.msc. In the search field of windows 10. On the screen, it will show if the compatible TMP has been located and enabled.

After this, check your BIOS. Reboot your desktop and click the appropriate key to get to your BIOS. On the BIOS screen, find and open the setting security. Suppose the TMP chip displays TMP 2.0; you need to enable it.

If the version of your chip is not the latest one, go to your downloads page for your desktop manufacturer. To see if a BIOS update is there. If so, your TMP might be upgraded to 2.0... if not, then your desktop is probably too old. Therefore cant run windows 11.

There are other ways to check if you can run Windows 11. They aren't under Microsoft, though. For example, Windows 11 compatibility check, whynotwin11, etc.

Any of these tools get the job done. Microsoft's desktop health check confirms the purpose. But it doesn't work for any running education or enterprise versions—those whose desktops are on central IT. And lastly, those who aren't registered members of the Microsoft insider program.

How to Install Windows 11 Officially.

Windows 7 and above will get a free update of Windows 11. There might be no reason for you to attempt and get a pirated version of an unfinished operating system.

It might be very tempting to download Windows 11. However, it is advisable to wait, especially if you have only one PC. Why? Because early problems can be quickly fixed when caught. 

You must make sure that the system you want to install, Windows 11, is good enough to run the operating system. And that it meets the windows 11 system requirements. Especially its demand for TPM 2.0 for improvement of security.

What are the features of Windows 11?

Windows 11: What you need to know about windows 11 before upgrading

Once you install Windows 11 on your PC, you'll be fascinated by the new user experience, from the options, questions, and intro screens that entail. You'll also have the ability to name your PC as you set up Windows 11.

Windows 11 now has a very detailed health check app, which can advise on some tasks to better your laptop or desktop.

The latest build insider has got better support for two or more monitors. Therefore, the taskbar can be quickly sorted when the need arises. Once in portrait mode through touch display, snap layouts are available in plenty.

Installing of Windows 11; ways you can install windows 11 on your device

Make sure that your PC meets the requirements. If so, then back up your PC before going to download. It will ensure that your files are well backed up in case anything goes wrong.

1. Upgrading the device you are using
The quickest way to download plus install windows 11 will be by upgrading your current device. Go to Microsoft's download windows 11 page.  Click 'download now.' After this, follow instructions for downloading and installing windows 11 on your device. 

2. Install of windows using an ISO
Download the Windows 11 ISO file. From here, there are a variety of options available.
First, you can put the ISO file into an existing windows machine. And do a fresh install or an in-place update on top of the current installation.

Steer to the ISO file's location in file explorer. Double click for it to open. It will perfectly organize it, making it easier for you to get to the files inside.

Double click on the set-up. The install process will begin. If you want to keep anything off in this installation, select the option 'keep windows settings, personal files, and apps.'

And perhaps you need a clean install; go for the option that says 'keep nothing.'

3. Installing Windows 11 using a USB or a DVD on another PC
Beneath the 'create windows 11 installation media' select 'download now.' A download of a tool that formats a USB drive will take place.  And also, a bootable version of windows will install 11 installation media. It can also happen with a DVD, which is blank.

A USB of a minimum of 8GB will be required. Check to ascertain that there aren't any important files in it. Installing this tool will delete everything in there.

Follow all the steps on the media creation tool to make a bootable DVD or USB. After this, put it inside the PC you need to install Windows 11. And restart your PC. 

There might be a need for you to get your device to boot from USB or DVD. For this to happen, press F1 or F2 when the manufacturer's logo appears on the screen. 

When the boot menu appears, select if you'd want to boot from DVD or USB. Then click enter. After this, the windows 11 installer will load up, and you'll be able to make a fresh

Is Windows 11 Free to Install?

Windows 11: What you need to know about windows 11 before upgrading

Windows 11 is a free upgrade for all PCs that support it. As long as your computer meets the minimum requirements needed, you can install it for free.

New laptops using Windows 10 can upgrade to Windows 11. And it's free to do the upgrade.
There are several ways you can install windows 11. Choose the one that best suits your desktop. If you find it hard to install it, there are tutorials on how to do it.

As it is free to install, you'll get to enjoy greater benefits and improvements. You will be able to do a lot compared to other versions. Not to talk of the beauty that comes with the upgrade

Also read:

  1. How to remove a password from a PDF file


Windows 11 has better features than Windows 10. It has a better user experience, features and it's free to upgrade for eligible users. If your computer can't accommodate the new Windows 11, you can upgrade it to enjoy the new operating system. Get or download from the official website or approved vendors. Microsoft says that if you install Windows from unauthorized dealers, it will not guarantee the security of your computer, and this is not something you would like to risk. 

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