Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world, but yet millions of its users never get to know some of the best features it has to offer. In this blog, we will list the 20 best hidden features in Windows 11 that you most likely have never heard before.
Windows 11 is the newest operating system that Microsoft is introducing this year. Although it is not currently available for all users, still users who are part of the Windows Insider Program have access to the developer and beta build of Windows 11. We have tested out Windows 11 thoroughly and come up with below 20 best hidden features in it:
- New Shortcut Keys
Windows 11 comes with many new shortcut keys. For example, if you press the "Windows logo" + "A" keys, it will open quick settings from where you can adjust brightness, volume level, turn on/off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and similar other basic settings. Similarly, if you press the "Windows logo" + "N" keys, it will open the notification window and the calendar. Likewise, if you press the "Windows logo" + "Z" keys, it will open snap layouts from where you can quickly position your window.
- Add more Themes
Windows 11 is offering new modern themes, but they are just around 9 themes available by default. If you like to add more themes, go to "Settings", click "Personalization" from the left menu bar, and then click "Themes". Under the Themes window, click "Browse themes" and there you will find tons of new themes that you can install for free.
- Shortcut to Launch Task Manager
Whenever any app in Windows doesn't work properly or even close, we often navigate to Task Manager to force stop the app. But instead of taking a longer path to open task manager, Windows 11 lets you easily launch it by pressing "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "Esc" keys.
- Night Light
Windows 11 offers a "Night Light" feature that displays warmer colors to help block blue light and let you follow asleep easier. To turn on the night light, right-click your desktop and then click "Display settings". From there, locate the "Night light" setting and turn it ON.
- More Visible Mouse Cursor
To let your audience easily see the mouse cursor, you can resize or change its colors in Windows 11. Go to "Settings", click "Accessibility" from the left menu bar, and then click the "Mouse pointer and touch" option. From there, you can adjust the size of the mouse cursor or give it a new color.
- Hide Desktop Icons
If you are going to do screen sharing and the audience is going to see your desktop, then it's much wiser to hide desktop icons to keep your privacy. To do that, right-click your desktop, go to "View", and then click "Show desktop icons". This way, all the desktop icons get hidden.
- Re-Designed Emoji Picker
If you press the "Windows logo" + ";" keys, it will open the emoji picker. It is re-designed in Windows 11, as you can now pick emoji, GIF, kaomoji, etc.
- Copy and Paste Multiple Items
"Ctrl + C" and "Ctrl + V" are the shortcut keys to copy and paste items. But there is another shortcut key that lets you paste multiple items, i.e., "Windows logo + V" key. With this key, you can see your recently copied items and paste the ones you like.
- Start Menu Navigation
If you click the "Start" menu and then the "All apps" button, you will see all the apps that you have in Windows 11. But if you click any header, it will provide the alphabetic character pick option from which you can navigate to any character and see all apps that start with that character.
- Print Screen with Snip & Sketch
Windows 11 offers a "Snip & Sketch" tool that lets you screenshot your screen with adjustable dimensions. You can launch it by searching in the Windows search bar or by pressing the "Windows logo" + "Shift" + "S" keys. To launch it even faster, go to "Settings", click "Accessibility" and then click "Keyboard". From there, switch the "Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping" option to ON. This way, you now just have to press the "PrtSc" button from your keyboard to launch the Snip & Sketch app.
- Steps Recorder
If you are making a step-by-step guide in Windows and want to add pictures about each step, Windows 11 offers a dedicated app for it known as "Steps Recorder". Search "steps recorder" in the Windows search bar and click the best match option. Once the Steps Recorder app launches, click the "Start Record" button. It will start taking screenshots of what you do next and then present them in step-by-step guide format with a text description.
- Add Additional Clocks
Instead of just having one clock, you can have additional clocks in Windows 11. Right-click the clock & date section from the taskbar and then click "Adjust date and time". Now click "Date & time", scroll down, and then click "Additional clocks". In the pop-up window, you get the option to add new clocks.
- Dark Theme
Since every app today tries to offer dark mode, Windows 11 is also following the same path. Go to "Settings" and click "Personalization" from the left menu bar. Afterward, click "Colors" and then select "Dark" under the "Choose your mode" option. The added advantage is that many apps in Windows 11 will automatically inherit this mode. For example, your web browser will automatically display dark mode.
- Startup Apps
You have the control to set up which apps start when you start the computer. If your computer starts slowly, then probably lots of apps are getting started in the background. To check your startup apps, go to "Settings", click "Apps" from the left menu bar, and then click "Startup". There you will see all the apps that are starting with your computer. You can easily turn them on and off by toggling the switch next to each app.
- Windows Sandbox
Windows Sandbox is like a virtual computer inside your computer that you can use to check out apps or open files that you think can cause damage to your computer. So, if they cause any malfunction, simply closing the Sandbox window will end that malfunction.
To use Sandbox, first you have to ensure it is enabled. To check that, search "turn Windows features on or off" in the Windows search bar and click the best match option. From there, ensure that the Windows Sandbox checkbox is ticked. Afterward, search "Windows Sandbox" in the Windows search bar and click the best match option. It will launch the Sandbox app.
- Sticky Notes
Windows 11 also offers another hidden built-in app called Sticky Notes. As the name implies, it lets you create sticky notes in Windows. Search "sticky notes" in the Windows search bar and click the best match option. It will launch the Sticky Notes app.
The notes also get synced with the cloud. So, you can access them on your smartphone with the OneNote app. In addition, you can also view all notes in the Outlook desktop user notes section.
Windows 11 offers a Dictation app that lets you dictate and make the app writes down what you are saying with auto punctuation. Search "dictation" in the Windows search bar and click the best match option. Now if you click the "Mic" icon, it will start hearing what you say and write it down in whatever document you have opened, such as Notepad, Word, etc.
- Video Editor
Windows 11 has a built-in video editor app that offers some basic video editing features to quickly edit videos. Search "video editor" in the Windows search bar and click the best match option. Once Video Editor is launched, you can start with a new project, drag videos from your computer, and start editing.
- Screen Record with Game Bar
You can record your screen using Windows Game Bar app. Press the "Windows logo" + "G" keys to launch the Game Bar app. Once you press the record button, it will start recording the screen. The only drawback with this app is that it cannot record your desktop and file explorer.
- Quick Assist
Sometimes your friend calls you to get help in resolving a problem with the computer. It is usually challenging to explain things on phone and expect the other person to do exactly what you are saying. Windows assists here with the "Quick Assist" app that lets you access and use the screen of your friend's computer once a connection is successfully made. Search "quick assist" in the Windows search bar and click the best match option. Once the app launch, you can generate a code and share it with your friend. Your friend adds that code to make a virtual connection between both computers. This way, you can remotely access your friend's computer and resolve the problem in minimal time.
Windows has tons of features to offer and you simply cannot expect to know about them all in one sit. The above 20 features are the ones that the majority of Windows users have never heard of before but can be of great use to them. So, keep exploring such hidden features and enhance your experience.
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