Articles about Windows 11

Microsoft tests option to let you receive Windows 11 updates sooner

Windows 11 keyboard

Microsoft is working on a new option for Windows 11 that will give users the ability to receive updates for the operating system faster. With the option enabled, there will be no need to wait until Patch Tuesday each month in order to get the latest bug fixes, or even new features.

It also means that there will be no need to manually hunt down the preview versions of updates Microsoft makes available. If this sounds interesting, it is possible to get on board and try out the early access feature right now.

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Microsoft is bringing huge changes to app pinning and app defaults in Windows 11

Windows 11 app defaults

Microsoft has unveiled plans for what it is referring to as "a principled approach to app pinning and app defaults in Windows". The company has outlined sweeping changes that are coming to Windows 11 that will give users greater control over their computers.

The updates mean that the pinning of apps to the Start menu, desktop and taskbar will respect user choices, and adjusting the default apps used to open specific file types will be much easier. Microsoft says that the changes -- which are due to hit the Dev Channel soon before making their way to everyone else -- will also benefit developers.

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How to install Windows on a USB Flash Drive

flash drive and laptop

Windows installations benefit from fast hard drives, and installing Windows on USB Flash Drives may sound counter-intuitive on first glance. While it is true that dedicated hard drives, especially Solid State Drives, are better suited for running Windows, USB Flash drive Windows installations offer some features that these dedicated installations don’t.

Installation on a USB drive makes the Windows installation portable. You can connect it to different PCs and use it on these, provided that booting from USB is supported. One downside is that this works best with PCs that have the same hardware. This solution has other benefits; it can be used to boot a copy of Windows on a PC it was created on, even if the main hard drive is no longer available.

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Best Windows apps this week

Five-hundred-and-thirty-four in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 and 11 on the Microsoft Store and elsewhere in the past seven days.

Microsoft unveiled Microsoft 365 Copilot yesterday, which "combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with business data and Microsoft 365 apps".

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Microsoft is fixing a plethora of Windows 11 problems with the KB5023774 update

Laptop running Windows 11

Ahead of next week's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released a preview of the upcoming KB5023774 update for Windows 11.

This is a non-security update, but it addresses a wide range of issues with Windows 11, including problems with Notepad, USB printer abnormalities, and bugs that were sending PowerPoint awry.

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Get 'Teach Yourself VISUALLY Windows 11' (worth $19.00) for FREE

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Windows 11 collects all the resources you need to master the day-to-day use of Microsoft’s new operating system and delivers them in a single resource.

Fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions are combined with crystal-clear screenshots to walk you through the basic and advanced functions of Windows 11.

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Microsoft releases PowerShell scripts (KB5025175) to help address BitLocker vulnerability

Microsoft mirror building logo

Microsoft has published details of PowerShell scripts which the company has designed to help automate updating the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) to address a BitLocker security vulnerability.

The security feature bypass vulnerability affects both Windows 10 and Windows 11, and sample scripts are available for different editions of both versions of the operating system.

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Microsoft is giving free USB drives to Windows 11 users

Windows 11 pink USB drive

Earlier this month, Microsoft made significant changes to the Windows 11 Insider program including introducing a new Canary Channel. While this caused much excitement for those keen to try out the very latest features as soon as possible, the fact that a clean installation of Windows was needed put off some users.

Now Microsoft has decided to make things a little easier for people, notably those lacking a way to create installation media. The company is sending out free USB drives so Insiders can perform a clean installation of Windows 11 and get started with the Canary builds.

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Sorry, but it looks as though Microsoft is keeping the Windows 11 taskbar fixed at the bottom of the screen

Top taskbar in Windows 11

A few days ago, news started to spread that Microsoft appeared to be working on a much-requested feature for Windows 11 -- the ability to move the taskbar to somewhere other than the bottom of the screen.

But it seems that this is not actually the case. The very same source that served as a catalyst for excitement has now poured water on the flames of anticipation. What appears to have happened is that Microsoft accidentally left code in place in a recent build of Windows 11 that made the taskbar movable; there remains no evidence that the option to reposition the taskbar will ever arrive.

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Microsoft may soon let you move the Window 11 taskbar

Top taskbar in Windows 11

With Windows 11, Microsoft made lots of questionable design, UI and UX choices, but one of the most baffling was the decision to make the taskbar immovable.

If you're one of the many people who would like to untether the taskbar from the bottom of the screen, there could be some good news. In recent preview builds of Windows 11, the taskbar can be moved to the top of the screen in a sign that the company may be ready to back-peddle on its stance that the taskbar has a fixed location.

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Best Windows apps this week

Five-hundred-and-thirty-three in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 and 11 on the Microsoft Store and elsewhere in the past seven days.

Microsoft released the first build to the newly created Windows 11 Canary Insider channel. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the creation of the new channel, which takes over the Dev channel's far-in-the-future developments.

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Microsoft releases Windows 11 Build 25314 to the new Canary Channel


As well as releasing a new Windows 11 build to the 'rebooted' Dev Channel, Microsoft today gives Windows Insiders their very first Canary Channel flight, Build 25314.

Announced earlier in the week, the new Canary Channel will be the "place to preview platform changes that require longer-lead time before getting released to customers". Examples of this will include major changes to the Windows kernel, new APIs, and so on.

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Microsoft releases Windows 11 Build 23403 on the rebooted Dev Channel

Windows 11 laptop

Microsoft announced a massive overhaul to the Windows Insider Program earlier in the week, which includes 'rebooting' the Dev Channel and introducing a new Canary Channel for more experimental features, and where we may well see the first signs of Windows 12.

This week’s new Insider flight, Build 23403, is the first to arrive in the rebooted Dev Channel. If you're wondering what the rebooting means, Microsoft explains:

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Forget all the talk about Windows 12, could Windows 11.1 Pro win you over?

Although Windows 11 hasn’t been out that long -- it was only released towards the end of 2021 -- there is already a lot of talk about its successor, presumed to be called Windows 12 (although you never know with Microsoft). If you want to find out what to expect from that OS, you can read about it here.

But even if Microsoft is planning Windows 12, it won’t be out for at least a year or two, and that leaves plenty of time for the company to turn Windows 11 into a raging success. Could Windows 11.1 be the answer?

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Forget Notepad! The far superior Notepad++ now integrates with Windows 11


It may be old and it may be simple, but Notepad remains a firm favorite for many Windows users, particularly when it comes to coding. And while Microsoft has taken steps to improve the app with the addition of tabs, there are better options out there -- such as Notepad++.

With the release of Notepad++ 8.5, there is an important update that that will make life much easier for Windows 11 users: a context menu entry.

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