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Top 10 Things You Should Do After Upgrading to Windows 11

by Geek Insider Staff

If you just upgraded your PC operating system to Windows 11, you need to take some measures for the best experience. Windows 11 is the latest OS with a significant change in features and user interface. It makes a substantial difference with its predecessor hence the need to get familiar with the new system. Below are some customization and settings changes that we’d recommend if you want the best experience on your Windows 11 PC. 

Update The System

Most people find it daunting to keep the computer up to date. However, it’s crucial to check and install updates, mainly for security reasons. This way, machines running Windows 10 will automatically get Windows 11, which adds new features to your PC. Below is a process to get updates for your Windows 11 PC.

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Select “Windows Update.”
  3. Click “Check for Updates.”

The status should change and show that available updates have started downloading immediately. Give the process some time, and you may need to restart your PC once it’s complete. Remember to check whether the updates were installed and whether there are new ones. 

Installing new updates through the Microsoft Store will also help upgrade or fix any issues in pre-installed apps on your PC. Simply open the “Library” page in the Microsoft Store app and select “Get Updates.” Check updates for all the pre-installed apps on your Windows PC and install the most recent. Sure, the process may take a while, but it’s worth it as your PC will have all the latest features and security improvements. 

Organize the Start Menu and the Taskbar

Opening a newly set up Windows 11 introduces you to numerous icons pinned to the Start menu and the taskbar. Some of the apps appearing in this section are crucial for your daily activities, while others may not be that important. Therefore, it’s a good idea to decide what should appear on your PC taskbar and remove everything you don’t need so often. 

Windows 11’s taskbar has a few Windows features icons such as Search, Chat, Widgets, and Task View. To remove any of these, find and right-click on an empty area on the taskbar and click “Settings.” A “Settings” page will appear to help you enable or disable any of the Windows features icons. 

Similarly, the taskbar has other apps and browsers that you’d probably use for online interactions. To remove any of these apps, simply right-click on their icon on the taskbar and select “Unpin from Taskbar.”

The “Start” menu also has some apps pinned on it whenever you click the tab. If you want to remove some of the apps appearing on this menu, simply right-click on the icons and select “Unpin from the Start.” If you want to remove the apps from the PC entirely, click “Uninstall.”

Remove Unwanted Software

All Windows PCs come with many pre-installed software to help with the system process. So, if you just acquired a new Windows 11 PC, there is a high chance that the manufacturer added tons of software that you may not need. 

The type and number of the software you need on your PC depends on you, and the best thing would be to scrutinize all the software in your new system and check whether they are relevant or valuable. Click “All Apps” under the “Start Menu” to see all the software installed on your PC. If you come across a suspicious app or software, you can click on it for more information and see if it’s worth retention. If not, don’t hesitate to install it by right-clicking and choosing “Uninstall.” 

Note that there are two methods to uninstall an app or software, depending on the source. If an app was installed or updated through the Microsoft Store, it should uninstall through the discussed process. However, if it happens to be a “classic” app originating from outside the Microsoft Store, you’ll need to open the “Control Panel,” select the app and click “Uninstall,”

Be sure to look out for apps and software added to enhance PC performance. Take a good look at the software’s name and content before deciding to uninstall it. You might not want to uninstall apps included by manufacturers for drivers and updates.  

Disable Unnecessary Startup Apps

This step may be helpful if your PC takes long to boot. Some apps run after you start your computer hence the delay on startup. Other apps also use resources behind the scenes affecting your hard disk performance and overall PC output. So, even if you choose to retain some apps or software, you need to ensure that they don’t affect PC performance and efficiency. To check all the apps that start immediately, turn on your PC, hit the “Windows icon” on the taskbar, and select “Task Manager.” Open “More Details” and click the “Startup” tab. A detailed table of all the apps will appear, showing their name, publisher, status, and startup impact. 

To disable or enable an app, simply click on it from the list and select enable/disable at the bottom right of the table. Disabling some of these apps will help your PC start a little faster and relieve resources. The table also lets you enable any app that stops working. Also, regularly open this table whenever you install new software programs like Steam to ensure they don’t automatically create startup tasks. Be sure to disable such programs and only enable them whenever you plan to use them. 

Merge Partitions on Your Drive

Hard drive partitioning may not be a big deal, but some risks are involved, especially if you are not competent at it. PC manufacturers are fond of dividing the hard drive into partitions to function just like different folders. However, disk partitioning is counterproductive unless you plan to dual-boot Windows through a different OS. Drive partitioning leaves you in a situation where the disk can’t install a game or program just because the technically large space is divided into small portions. 

Check whether your PC disk space is divided by clicking on the Windows icon on the taskbar and clicking “Disk Management.” The new Windows should display a list of all the available disks and partitions. Note that the primary disk in your PC requires some partitions to function properly. Also, PCs may have multiple disks that are physically separate and can’t be merged.

PCs with multiple partitions have partitions labeled “D” or “C” with an upward of 100GB of space each. So, if you don’t see such labels or sections, you’re good to go. 

To merge the disk and integrate the storage space, first ensure that the drive has nothing useful. Don’t proceed to merge the spaces if you’re unsure of the data in any of the partitions. If the disk is empty or has irrelevant data, right-click on the drive and select “Delete Volume.” 

The disk’s label will now change from “D” to “unallocated.” Now right-click “C” and select “Expand Volume.” A new window will automatically select the unallocated space and guide you throughout the process. Follow the guide, and the “C” drive will take up all the available space on the disk.  

Change Windows 11 Appearance

Windows 11 enables you to customize the appearance on your machine to match your themes and style. In most cases, a new system applies the default settings, and some might be so basic. You may want to improve the Windows appearance and perhaps change the look of the widgets or icons on the monitor. 

Simply access the “Personalization” page under “Settings” and check all the available options. You can choose any of the preset themes on top of the page to change the theme colors and background image or check additional individual options at the bottom. Use the “Background” options to adjust your PC’s background and set the appropriate slideshows. There’s also the “Color” page that lets you select between light and dark colors as well as other things like a mouse cursor and sounds. 

Activate OneDrive

When you turn on your Windows 11 computer for the first time, you’ll be asked to set up OneDrive. This is Microsoft’s cloud storage service, and if you sign in with your Microsoft account, the service will be connected automatically. If you want to change the OneDrive settings, follow the steps below;

  1. Click the arrow icon on the right side of the taskbar.
  2. Select “OneDrive” with a cloud icon to open the flyout. 
  3. Sign in or click the “Help & Settings” tab. 
  4. Select “Settings.”

Ensure that the Files On-Demand feature is enabled so that you can view all the OneDrive cloud files from the File Explorer. Note that enabling this feature will help you access all files in the cloud even if they are not on your PC. Once you open File Explorer, you can download the files and save them locally so you can access them from different sources. Similarly, the “Account” tab under Settings helps you choose which folders you want to be available on your PC. 

Another important setting in the OneDrive cloud is file backup. The “Backup” tab is still under “Settings” and enables you to back up documents, pictures, etc., on your PC to your OneDrive storage. This means that you can still access your crucial files even if your machine breaks down or gets stolen. 

Install Your Favorite Browser

Almost everything you will be doing with your PC will involve browsing the web. This makes the web browser a crucial app on your PC as it determines your experience and productivity. Windows 11 comes with Microsoft Edge as the default browser, which should work well for you. However, if you are used to a different browser such as Brave, Firefox, or Google Chrome, you might want to install it. The next thing you might need to do is set the added browser as the default to replace Edge. Here’s how;

  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Click the “Apps” section.
  3. Select “Default apps.”

A list of all your apps will appear, showing link types and extensions supported by your browser. Select the HTTP, htm, .html, and .pdf options to your new browser to make it default.  

Install Favorite Apps

This is one of the things you’ll want to do depending on what you plan to use your PC for. So, don’t expect a guide on the apps to install on your Windows 11 PC, as there’s a variety you can find online or on Microsoft Store. If you’ve just acquired a brand-new Windows 11 PC and struggle to install apps online, your machine may be in S mode. Follow the steps below to switch out of the mode;

  1. Open the “Settings” app. 
  2. Scroll down and select “Activation.”
  3. Choose the “Switch to Windows 11 Home” option.

The choice will direct you to the Microsoft Store for all your favorite apps.

Manage Notifications

Now you have your favorite apps and browsers installed on your Windows 11 PC. It means that you’ll start receiving notifications depending on the apps you added, which sometimes may be overwhelming. If you want to set up important notifications and how they appear on your device, click “Notifications” under “Settings.” Here, you can change the settings according to your needs and preferences. The bottom of the “Settings” page also has options for tips and Windows notifications meant to enhance your user experience. You can disable them, too, if you don’t need any guidance.  

The measures discussed here are what we believe should be your priority when you upgrade to Windows 11. While some of the things highlighted here might not seem crucial, they can help ensure that you have a seamless experience. Besides, your PC won’t have unnecessary apps or browsers, and you will discard overwhelming notifications.

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