It has been over two years since the initial official release of Microsoft Windows 11 operating system (OS). A lot of users have switched from the former Windows 10 to Windows 11 to enjoy the wonderful features of the newest OS. How about you?

Whether you are a user who is new to Windows 11 or who is planning to try Windows 11, it is of great necessity to learn the basic features of the latest OS to quickly get started with Windows 11. Now, let’s see how to make use of the frequently used features following the below contents provided by NewsPivot.

Part 1. Windows 11 Desktop

The first screen you will see in Windows 11 is its desktop. Therefore, let’s see some features related to the desktop.

#1 Windows 11 Wallpaper

The default desktop wallpaper of Windows 11 is the light blue Bloom (also called img0 internally) as this picture shows.

Windows 11 default light blue Bloom wallpaper

“Can I change the preset background to my favorite one?” you may ask. Of course! Just like the former Windows operating systems, you can freely personalize your system skin as you like.

Step 1. Click the Start icon (now in the middle of the bottom taskbar) and select the Settings option from the Pinned list.

choose Windows 11 Settings

Step 2. In the next Settings window, navigate to the Personalization tab from the left menu.

Step 3. In the right area of the Personalization tab, go to the Select a theme to apply section to pick up a proper wallpaper for your Windows 11 desktop. The available themes are:

  • Windows light (Bloom light, 1 image)
  • Windows dark (Bloom dark, 1 image)
  • Windows spotlight (dynamic images)
  • Glow (4 images)
  • Captured Motion (4 images)
  • Sunrise (4 images)
customize Windows 11 desktop theme

Your selection will immediately take effect and you can see the theme on your desktop.

Step 4. If you are not satisfied with any of the 6 themes, you can make further choices by clicking the Themes option below and then choosing Browse themes to get more Windows 11 themes from the Microsoft Store.

get more Windows 11 themes from the Microsoft Store

Step 5. Or you can go to the Background window from the Personalization window and click on the Browse photos button to choose a photo from your local storage.

select a Windows 11 wallpaper from your storage

Step 6. Moreover, instead of pictures, you can customize your Win11 background to other types of themes including solid color, slideshow, and spotlight.

personalize your background
A picture background applies to your current desktop while solid color and slideshow backgrounds apply to all your desktops.

Step 7. Furthermore, special contrast themes for low vision and light sensitivity are also available. Just click the Contrast themes option within the Related settings section below the background personalization section.

Step 8. In the Contrast themes window, preview the contrast themes. Then, unfold the options for the contrast themes and choose the one you prefer.

select a contrast theme

#2 Windows 11 Display

After talking about the themes of Windows 11, let’s discuss some display settings to easily get started with Windows 11.

First of all, you can customize the icons on the desktop. Just switch to Desktop icon settings from the Themes window. Then, specify what icons you would like to display on your desktop.

Windows 11 desktop icon settings

Related post: How to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Moving After Rebooting

Secondly, navigate to System > Display in Windows 11 Settings. In the Display window, you can set up the following items:

  • Night light: Use warmer colors to help block blue light and help you sleep. You can even set a night light schedule.
  • HDR: Get a brighter and more vibrant picture for high dynamic range (HDR) applications, videos, and games, which depends on whether your PC and display support HDR or not.
  • Scale: Change the size of texts, apps, and other items. You can select from 100%, 125%, 150%, and 175%. Or you can customize a scale between 100% and 500%.
  • Display resolution: Change your display resolution. Some popular resolutions are 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), and 3840 x 2160 (4K).
  • Display orientation: landscape, portrait, landscape (flipped), or portrait (flipped).
  • Multiple displays
Windows 11 display settings

You can do some further settings by clicking the Advanced display option within the Related settings section below. Then, preview the current display parameters and change the display refresh rate.

Windows 11 advanced display settings

Similar article: How to Fix Windows 11 Not Detecting Second Monitor?

Thirdly, you are able to alter the text size in Windows 11. Simply go to Accessibility > Text size in Settings, move the slider rightwards to enlarge the size of the most texts on your device, and click Apply to save the change. The maximum enlarge rate is 225%.

change Windows 11 text size

Fourthly, go to Accessibility > Mouse pointer and touch to personalize mouse pointer style and size.

Windows 11 mouse pointer and touch

You may also like: How to Fix Mouse Keeps Freezing? Here Are 6 Solutions

#3 Windows 11 Taskbar

Another section you will see when you first open Windows 11 is its taskbar. Being quite different from the taskbar in Windows 10, the Win11 taskbar focuses on its “center”. The Start, Search, and other pinned or opened tasks will be displayed in the center of the taskbar, which is similar to the taskbar in MacOS.

Certainly, you can make some changes to your own taskbar in Windows 11. Shift to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar and choose to make the below changes:

  • Taskbar items: Whether to show the search, task view, widgets, and chat buttons on the taskbar or not.
  • Taskbar corner icons: Show or hide the pen menu, touch keyboard, and virtual touchpad on the corner of your taskbar.
  • Taskbar corner overflow: Select which icons can appear in the taskbar corner while all other icons will be shown in the taskbar corner overflow menu.
  • Taskbar behaviors: Manage the alignment, badges, displays, etc. on the taskbar. You can make your Windows 11 taskbar look like Windows 10 (left alignment) here.
Windows 11 taskbar settings

Part 2. Windows 11 File Explorer

One of the most frequently used applications in Windows is File Explorer. To quickly get started with Windows 11, it is a must-learn app. The file explorer in Windows 11 is different but similar to that in Windows 10. In general, the functions and operations of File Explorer are unchanged. The differences are mainly located on the icons. The icon style in Win11 is different from that in Win10.

Windows 11 File Explorer

Besides, the right-click menu (also called context menu, contextual, shortcut, pop up, or pop-up menu) is slightly different too. Some options are hidden in the Show more options when you right-click on an item in File Explorer: create shortcut, send to, restore to previous version, give access to, etc. Some options are displayed only in icons: cut, copy, rename, share, and delete.

Windows 11 right-click menu

Part 3. Windows 11 Startup

In this part, let’s have a look at the startup settings in Windows 11. When it comes to computer startup, many users pay more attention to the startup time. To make your device boot up more quickly, the common action is to block unnecessary apps from automatic startup when you sign in.

To do that, navigate to Windows 11 Settings > Apps > Startup and toggle off the apps that you don’t use every time when you use your PC.

disable apps from startup when you open the PC

Article involved: How to Enable/Disable Fast Startup Windows 10 Step by Step?

Part 4. Windows 11 Storage

Next, to get started with Windows 11 smoothly, what you should pay attention to is the storage of your computer. If your Windows 11 PC is newly bought, there should be much free space on your hard drive. If you just upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, the condition is different. You may still have much storage or may not, especially on the system disk.

Windows 11 operating system occupies much more storage than Windows 10. Therefore, your system partition may have a low disk space problem. If so, you should adjust your storage assignment and move some free space from other partitions to the boot partition.

Therefore, it is necessary to take a look at the storage usage on your system C drive. Directly switch to Settings > System > Storage and review the details.

Windows 11 storage

Windows 11 Storage Sense

On the Storage page, you can see what items are on your system disk and how much space they eat. If your C drive is running out of space, you can turn on the Storage Sense feature below to help you automatically free up space, remove temporary files, as well as manage local cloud data.

Windows 11 Storage Sense

You can also do some specific settings. For example, you are able to configure the cleanup schedules: the frequencies to run Storage Sense, to delete recycle bin files that have been there for certain days, and to remove files in the Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened over a set period.

Windows 11 Cleanup Recommendations

Besides Storage Sense, you can also rely on the cleanup recommendations function to free up space on your PC. It will show you the temporary files, large or unused files, unused apps, and files synced to the cloud for you to choose from.

Windows 11 cleanup recommendations

Advanced Storage Settings

Moreover, there are some advanced settings that can help you well manage your storage space.

  • Where new content is saved: Specify the destination location of your apps, documents, music, pictures, videos, and offline maps.
  • Storage Spaces: With it, you can save files to more than one disk to protect them from disk failures. Also, you can conveniently add more disks when you run low on space.
  • Drive optimization: Optimize drives on a schedule to make the PC run more efficiently.
Windows 11 advanced storage settings

Part 5. Network and Internet

A network connection is necessary for getting started with Windows 11.

  • Ethernet: Set up authentication, IP addresses, DNS server, and metered connection.
  • VPN: Add and manage VPN connections on your PC.
  • Proxy: Use a proxy server for Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections.
  • Dial-up: Create a dial-up internet connection.
Windows 11 network and internet settings

Also read: VPN Not Connecting? Try These Five Solutions to Resolve It

Part 6. Windows Security

When your network connection is on, potential threats from the internet are possible. Thus, it is of great importance to take some actions to protect your device from attacks. Microsoft offers official tools to assist you in guarding your computer.

Go to the Privacy & security section in Settings. There, you can find many features that are useful for securing your device.

  • Windows Security: Provides antivirus, browser, firewall, and network protection for your PC.
  • Find my device: Track your device if you lost it.
  • Windows permissions: Enable or disable some services to use your private settings.
  • App permissions: Allow or block certain apps to access your location, camera, microphone, contacts, local files, etc.
Windows 11 privacy and security

Related article: What Is “Find My iPhone” APP and How Does It Work?

In particular, Windows Security offers virus & threat protection, account protection, firewall & network protection, app & browser protection, device protection, and so on. So, you’d better keep this app always on and put it into the computer startup app list.

Windows Security in Windows 11

Part 7. Backup and Recovery

In addition to real-time protection from Windows Security, you are also recommended to make a backup of your import data and set up a backup schedule.

Just navigate to Settings > Accounts > Windows backup. There, backing up local files to OneDrive cloud storage is your choice.

Windows backup in Windows 11

Read more: Guide to Fix OneDrive Won’t Sign in on Windows 10/11

If you prefer backup to local storage, the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) tool is still there in Windows 11. You can find it in the Control Panel.

All backups are prepared for recovery after data loss. If you lose something due to wrong deletion, malware attacks, software errors, etc., you can take advantage of these backups to restore your file.

If you conduct a system backup when your PC is working smoothly, you can use the backup to make your OS go back to its former healthy state after a crash. For system restore, you can also rely on the Reset PC feature which can be found in Settings > System > Recovery.

reset this PC in Windows 11

Part 8. Windows Update

Finally, it is time to talk about the operating system update. Whether to always keep your OS up to date is upon your choice. Some users think it is important to use the latest version of Windows since new updates always contain patches to the bugs of the old versions. They are willing to try new features. However, some users tend to stick to old but more stable versions. They are afraid of possible new problems in new versions.

If you are willing to enjoy new updates, you can check for updates manually and do it frequently or set to automatically download and install new updates. You can even join Windows Insider Program to try new features in advance.

Windows update in Windows 11

Similar post: How to Fix Windows Update Turns Itself Back On in 3 Good Solutions


This article has introduced some frequently used features in Windows 11. Hope it will help you to get started with Windows 11 quickly! Of course, much more details and functions are there waiting for you to explore.

Further Reading

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