If you’re used to the taskbar and start menu of Windows 10, though, there may be quite a few changes for you to get used to, depending on how you like you them configured.
It’s quite obvious that Windows 11 is designed for more workspaces than just the standard desktop experience that many of us are used to. Its redesign also makes it easier and more familiar for those who use windows with a touchscreen, such as with a Surface tablet.
The newest incarnation of windows lets you choose at a basic level between light and dark modes, which will be a welcome inclusion for those who have to work primarily in a dimly-lit environment or at night, or for those who simply prefer a dark mode environment.
By default, the taskbar is now much more like MacOS’s app dock, which is centred with larger icons pinned for easy access, although the option is available to change this to the more familiar left-aligned start button and apps icons that you may be used to. The new taskbar also functions more like a dock than ever before, too. It is clean, simple, and effective, with lots of customisation options – however, one of the most controversial changes in this version of Windows is the removal of the option to ungroup your windows and have the familiar standard-style Windows taskbar with each individual window labelled. Instead, upon hovering over the application’s icon on the taskbar, you can choose which window to pull up from a selection of previews – which is actually really useful if you’re on a smaller display and can’t read the labels, or have limited screen space.
While there are third-party tools you can use to restore this functionality, many people are not happy with the change and want Microsoft to restore the legacy functionality of separate instances or windows on the taskbar. This grouping feature has been available and switched on by default since Windows 7, but many users, especially those coming from older versions of Windows, have chosen to switch back to the previous style so as not to impact their productivity.
As of writing, Microsoft has yet to comment on this change, so if you’re a legacy Windows user who heavily utilises individual taskbar windows, you’ll need to wait to upgrade to see if Microsoft will add the option back in again, use a third-party tool to configure it to your liking, or adjust your workflow to enable you to adapt to the changes.