Home windows 11: Each new function we expect you will love and the way to use them

You'll love these new Windows 11 features. Here's how they work

Home windows 11 will deliver a bunch of recent options. Here is the way to use them.


Home windows 11 began rolling out to eligible units on Oct. 5, full with a recent new design and a bunch of recent options geared toward streamlining your PC and serving to you be extra productive. Whether or not you are utilizing your machine at residence or within the workplace, these new options will make your life simpler. 

Be mindful, although, that Microsoft is releasing Home windows 11 in phases, so not everybody could have entry to it at first. The older your machine, the longer you may need to attend to be prompted with the improve.

Learn extra: Home windows 11 evaluation: Acquainted however recent

Listed here are the most effective new Home windows 11 options we have seen introduced thus far and the way you will use them, primarily based on what Microsoft has demonstrated. (And remember to try the way to inform in case your PC might be suitable with Home windows 11 and the way to obtain Home windows 11 free.)

Our favourite options in Home windows 11 and the way to use them

Android apps


You can obtain Android apps on Home windows 11.


What it’s: Android apps might be constructed into Home windows 11 natively by the new Microsoft Retailer — a change Home windows customers have been ready on for years. Know, nevertheless, that assist for Android apps isn’t a part of the primary transport model of Home windows 11: It would include one other launch within the coming months.

Although you could possibly entry Android apps in your Home windows 10 PC in sure instances (like in case you have a Samsung Galaxy cellphone), Home windows 11 will mark the primary time everybody will have the ability to obtain them instantly onto your PC. (Here is every thing to find out about Android apps on Home windows 11.) 

How you will use it: As soon as Home windows 11 can deal with them, Android apps might be within the new Microsoft Retailer through Amazon’s Appstore. Meaning you will must obtain the Amazon Appstore to entry the almost 500,000 apps out there there, together with Disney Plus, TikTok, Netflix, Pinterest and Uber. Nevertheless, you will not have the ability to entry each Android app discovered within the Google Play Retailer.

When it is time, you will must obtain the Amazon Appstore and signal into or create an Amazon account. Then you’ll seek for free or paid apps as you’d on some other platform. Android apps might be built-in into the Begin bar and also will seem on the Taskbar with their very own home windows. 

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Widgets on Windows 11 will give you customizable, at-a-glance information.


What it is: Windows 11 adds Widgets to the interface — an AI-powered customizable feed that slides out to show you such info as news, weather, a glimpse at your calendar and to-do list and your recent photos. Widgets are similar to a feature called news and interests found in a recent Windows 10 update. 

How you’ll use it: On the newly redesigned taskbar, you’ll find a button for Widgets. When you click or tap it, a panel will slide out from the left side of your screen with a series of widgets that give you the at-a-glance information you’re looking for. You can also expand it to be full screen. 

Microsoft Teams


Bring up the Microsoft Teams Chat bar directly from the taskbar in Windows 11 for easier access to your contacts.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

What it is: Windows 11 builds Microsoft’s video chat platform Teams directly into the operating system, making it easier to access for daily use. You can connect with others on Teams across Windows, Android, Mac or iOS. 

How you’ll use it: You may see Teams appear in the taskbar. If not, you can search for it. Click the Teams icon to launch a Chat tool, letting you choose if you want to message, text, voice or video call one of your contacts. Click Meet or Chat, and choose who you want to contact. Or, open the full version of Microsoft teams by clicking the box at the bottom of the Chat screen. (Here’s more about how to use the new and improved Microsoft Teams in Windows 11.)



Easily toggle between different desktops in Windows 11.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

What it is: Windows 11 lets you more easily create separate virtual desktops for each part of your life, and customize them with different wallpapers, so you can create a desktop for personal use, work, school, gaming or anything else, and easily toggle between them. This is similar to the MacOS virtual desktop feature. 

How you’ll use it: Tap the desktop button on the taskbar to pop up a panel with your current desktop. Tap the plus button in the New desktop area to create a new desktop. Tap the X button to remove it. Then tap a desktop to switch to it. 

Snap Layouts

What it is: When you’re working in a bunch of open windows, Windows 11 will let you arrange them in different layouts on the screen, and will save all of those windows in that arrangement. 

How you’ll use it: When you open a window, you’ll see a button that looks like a square in the top right corner, in between the X and the minimize button. Hover over that to see different layout options for that window, and select the layout and the position within the layout that you want to place that window. 


Bring together groups of apps and windows with Snap Layouts, and easily maximize and minimize the entire bunch with Snap Groups in Windows 11. 


Snap Groups 

What it is: Snap Groups are the set of open windows that you saved in Snap Layouts, found in the taskbar for easy access to call up once again, so you can minimize or maximize them as a group.

How you’ll use it: Hover over your browser in the taskbar (it’s unclear if you need to be using Microsoft Edge to do so, as Microsoft did in its demo). You’ll see the different groups of sites and apps you created pop up. Click the one you want to open the whole group again. (Here’s more about using Snap Layouts and Snap Groups.)

For more, check out more about how Windows 11’s desktop widgets and layouts work and how to change your Windows 11 wallpaper.

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