• 11 settings to tweak on a new Windows 11 PC

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    #2426766

    ISSUE 19.08 • 2022-02-21 WINDOWS 11 By Lance Whitney There are a bunch of settings you should configure before you fully dive into Windows 11. Let’s a
    [See the full post at: 11 settings to tweak on a new Windows 11 PC]

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    • #2426775

      If you use Microsoft Office or other Microsoft programs, flip on the switch for “Receive updates for other Microsoft products.”

      I wonder if this is of any use nowadays? The people who make MS Office probably got fed up with Windows Update, so the latest versions of Office use their own update-method. Just like many other software vendors…

    • #2426873

      I tried Windows 11 setting up a new Dell PC for someone this weekend because if it comes with it, why not at least take a look? I hoped it would be like it has been for me sometimes in the past. People complained so much about Vista and Windows 8.1, but after a bit of disorientation, I tweaked both to become really great. In fact, both were my favorite OSes, Vista because of its better taskbar and not much difference with 7 when tweaked and 8.1 for its maturity, cleanliness, speed, reliability and stability once properly supplemented with Classic Shell.

      I don’t hate Windows 10 as much anymore, but I still hate that it changes so often and I don’t keep up with the changes as much as I would like. Gone are the days where you could invest hours in research to create a really great desktop you could then run just using your apps for years until the support ends. The good news is Windows 10 feature updates seem more boring and will be less frequent.

      Unfortunately, I ran into deal breakers with Windows 11 for now. This system is too much of a step back in productivity. The real deal breakers for me are the inability to :

      1. use the quicklaunch bar to better use muscle memory than the unproductive launch bar of Win 7 that moves your launch icons around and demands that you hover your mouse on an icon to see a subset of active windows instead of having everything already shown when you use multiple windows
      2. ungroup Windows from the taskbar and display them with text instead of icons like previous editions so you can quickly see where to click to get back to a specific window
      3. the disappearance of “open file location” from the right-click button. This one is a big deal. I always use Windows search and this feature to know where to find or put documents in my complex folder structure. This is much faster than going manually to a deeply nested folder. No, copying the path is not the same and much more cumbersome.

      I can’t be productive with that kind of nonsense. I don’t know who tests those designs, but it is extremely irritating when you are used to do things fast and you get slowed down by mindless regressions. Probably they show it to average users who don’t even know a keyboard shortcut, but find the icons cute.

      Now do we need to wait a year for at least some of this to get put back in? Here’s a tip for quality updates, Microsoft. You are allowed to change the features if it means bringing back the choice of using a feature that was previously used and liked by some people. You don’t even have to put it back as the default option, just give back the choice.

      You can also ask yourself this question when adding a feature: is it something we add that people might not like? If so, put it in the next year feature update. If not, go ahead if you want and if it doesn’t risk introducing security, performance or stability issues. A button to turn off your mic from the taskbar when in a Teams meeting? Why not? That’s fine. Forcing an online Microsoft account? Are you out of your mind? Another hint: any privacy sensitive feature or automatically started new service/ app / *$”&$” widget might not be liked.

      I initially found the new settings pane a step in the right direction for cleaning up the mess of having settings scattered around everywhere, but I found it annoying to have the impression I didn’t easily know what was on my computer when looking for installed programs and active services. I felt like things were getting even more muddy, but maybe it is just a lack of familiarity on my part. Accessing programs and features is getting more and more difficult. I saw Facebook and Instagram icons, ready to be clicked for an easy install, I suppose they were just placeholders, but they can also be easily removed with a click on the right. I understand some users might like that. I don’t but it is not a big deal and I understand why Microsoft would put them there. Easy remove, not too big of a deal.

      When it comes to the new revamped Store for which I have absolutely no interest, I will just make an observation. It is funny to start the super new Store to find out that the suggested apps for popular services like Netflix and Prime have only a few reviews and the number of stars on them are pretty low. You can’t help but wonder how is this possible. Is there so few people giving stars and it looks pretty bad to show a Store with what appear to be lame apps according to users featured prominently as if it was the best the Store has to offer.

      The new Start Menu is a useless piece of garbage but I don’t mind because I don’t use it. I use the windows key and start typing what I want. Of course, I know what I want. For someone who doesn’t or haven’t been with Windows forever, digging deep into the applications to find a Windows tools icon in which you will find other things is not that great. The screen that pops on the Start Menu with recommended things and randomly displayed apps that you can’t align to your liking is really bad design. But I can live with that. Remember to use WIN-X to reduce insanity.

      The new forecasted requirement for an online account on Pro is really scary because even if you still can use an offline account, it will be too hard for many and a lot of people will end up with online accounts, which will make it more normal and acceptable to people. Funny that since Apple started asking users if they wanted to allow Facebook and others to track them as much, most of them said no, although they were living previously in a world where they were just thinking it was normal to be tracked and there was nothing to do about it. Fortunately, NetDef showed that the online account might be avoidable with a domain, so it means there will be many users running without an online account in businesses so any trick that will make it work at home will still be viable as Microsoft won’t be able to assume everyone uses an online account.

      Overall, I felt like Windows 11 didn’t bring anything necessary for now. It moved a lot of stuff around without any perceived overall benefit and I really didn’t feel like learning again where things went. I have feature update fatigue already. I might love some of the security aspects down the road because I am one of those weird person who cares about that a bit more than normal. But for now, my 3 deal breakers higher are just too much. My productivity is more important than an increase in security if I don’t feel too threatened right now using Windows 10, knowing I am probably less inclined than others to be infected due to my use cases.

      I also felt like Microsoft was asking a lot of times if I would allow them to give me a “better experience” or the equivalent marketing gimmick. Thanks to them for asking at least, but it still reminded me how hard they try at monetizing me and I don’t like that. I also didn’t like their patronizing demand that I try Edge when switching to Firefox, nor their idiotic process you now have to go through to change your default browser. I wonder if their is one person responsible for these “great” ideas and if it is the same person as the online account thing, but I wonder how it can continue like this. Please fire that person if you truly want to win back our love.

      Finally, I felt Windows 11 sluggish at times. Sometimes, it was fast on this great machine I had, sometimes, there was delays for no apparent reason, although the Dell computer was pretty clean from the start. This is not a deal breaker as I could have removed McAfee that came with it and maybe Microsoft would polish it down the road for those problems if it is more on them.

      What? You wanted to instill a sense of calm and serenity in me with Windows 11? Maybe turning off the computer will help with that because right now, I am just too irritated.

      Things need to cleaned even more and by that I mean showing your options in an intelligible way so you can more easily grasp what is possible with your computer and make the choices you want, not removing useful things. Please stop dumbing down the OS to make it appear cleaner without leaving options for power user to put back what you removed without thinking twice.

      Needless to say, I downloaded the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool and updated Windows 11 to a clean install Windows 10 that felt like a relief. I will be better to stay on Windows 10. Dell has made it quite easy to download any driver I needed that wasn’t already updated by Windows update. Thanks, Dell, for not making my life more difficult on this home computer.

      P.S. I am not the only one horrified by the online account on Pro. This guy doesn’t usually say he will move the Linux as a primary desktop although he knows it very well:

      https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/windows-moving-away.html

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2426880

        3. the disappearance of “open file location” from the right-click button. This one is a big deal. I always use Windows search and this feature to know where to find or put documents in my complex folder structure. This is much faster than going manually to a deeply nested folder. No, copying the path is not the same and much more cumbersome.

        You can click the path after Location:

        https://imgur.com/a/N8cGKeF

        (Windows 10 or Windows 11)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2426917

          To be honest, I am so used to right-clicking, I was only looking at the options from the context menu. I already knew it had disappeared after having read about it and I was just appalled to see it with my own eyes. It never occurred to me there could have a workaround on that right screen that I didn’t even see, being focused on the context menu that popped. In any case, it isn’t intuitive for someone used to the other way. But I am not that particular about things, so now that I know about this, you can remove that deal breaker from the list. Thanks to you.

          Funny I read people complain about that a couple of times, but never saw your tip.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          b
      • #2426903

        Most impressive, thanks

        * _ being 20 in the 70's was fun _ *
    • #2426894

      On my main home PC, I can’t make any changes to the Personalization settings because “some of these settings are managed by your organization”…..I’m logged in using my admin-account and there’s no domain. No work-related accounts present either.
      How can I clear that restriction?

      Mod edit: Typo

      • #2426969

        Maybe WPD will do the trick: WPD | Privacy dashboard for Windows

      • #2426982

        You are seeing “some of these settings are managed by your organization,” not because there is an “organization,” but because you (or someone) have made changes to Group Policy and/or the Registry. See if you can figure out what changes that were made that caused the notification.

        In Windows Update, for example, you can click on “View configured update policies.” and it will show you what changes you have made.

        Screen-Shot-2022-02-21-at-5.49.51-PM

        Screen-Shot-2022-02-21-at-5.50.35-PM

        • #2427091

          Thanks, I’ll look again.

          Didn’t have this sort of problem with Win10 Pro; removing my work-account from the computer made such messages go away….I again removed the account; this time it made no difference.

          Here’s the main thrust, though:  the message is useless; I am using the administrator account and haven’t made any registry changes that I am aware of.  The open-ended nature of the statement doesn’t provide any help (nor have a number of other articles I’ve read about on this issue).  Guess I’ll keep digging…although getting more and more frustrated with the system “hiding” solutions.  🙁

    • #2426900

      Lance,

      Thank you for all the help with Windows 11. The only drawback was not being warned how long it would take to make the recovery disk. For me it was over 3 hours. I didn’t know if I could use the machine in the meantime and forwent its usage so as not to interfere with the recovery disk.

      Victor

      • #2427095

        Yes, I should have mentioned that it can take a long time to create the recovery disk. You can do other things while it’s being created and it will continue in the background until completion.

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