11 Things to Do After Installing or Upgrading to Windows 11

Congratulations! You’ve just installed or upgraded to Windows 11, and now you’re wondering what steps to take to optimize your experience. In this article, I’ll walk you through the essential tasks to perform after installing Windows 11 to ensure it works seamlessly for you.

11 Things to Do After Installing or Upgrading to Windows 11

1. Check for Updates

First and foremost, check if there are any updates available after the initial installation of Windows 11. These updates may include new features, bug fixes, or driver updates to enhance compatibility with the new operating system.

  • Open the Settings app (you can right-click the Start menu icon and select Settings).
  • In the left pane, scroll down and select Windows Update.
  • If updates are available, click Download and Install. If not, click Check for Updates to scan for new updates.

Additionally, you may have optional updates that can further improve your system.

  • Go to Advanced Options.
  • Under Additional Options, select Optional Updates.
  • If there are any available, select them and click Download and Install.

2. Create System Restore Points

Before making any significant changes that could affect your system, it’s wise to create system restore points. These allow you to revert to a previous state if needed.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • In the search bar, type System Restore and click on Create a Restore Point.
  • Ensure the System Protection tab is selected.
  • Click on your system drive (usually the C drive), then select Configure.
  • If disabled, select Turn on System Protection.
  • Adjust the maximum usage of disk space for restore points (around 2% is usually sufficient).
  • Click OK to save your settings.

Now, your computer will automatically create system restore points for added security.

3. Customize Your Visual Experience

To tailor your visual experience in Windows 11, follow these steps:

  • Right-click anywhere on your desktop and select Personalize.
  • Go to Colors, where you can switch between light and dark modes.
  • Explore Themes to choose from pre-installed or downloaded themes, or find new themes in the Microsoft Store.

4. Optimize Startup

Disable unnecessary Microsoft services that load at startup, potentially slowing down your boot time.

  • Right-click the Start menu icon and select Task Manager.
  • In the Task Manager, go to the Startup tab.
  • Identify Microsoft-owned services that you don’t use (e.g., Microsoft To Do, Teams, Skype), select them, and click Disable.

5. Customize Sign-in Options

Enhance security by customizing your sign-in options.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • In the left pane, select Accounts, then go to Sign-in Options.
  • Choose from various sign-in methods, including facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, security key, or picture password.

6. Clean Up Previous Windows Installation

If you’ve upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you might have unnecessary files from the previous installation taking up space.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Under System, select Storage.
  • In Storage Management, click Clean Up Recommendations.
  • Check the box next to Previous Windows Installation, along with other files you no longer need.
  • Click Clean Up and confirm.

7. Explore Widgets

Windows 11 introduces widgets for quick access to information like weather, sports, stocks, and news. Open the widgets panel from the taskbar.

  • Click the widgets icon in the taskbar.
  • Customize widget size by clicking the three-dot menu icon.
  • Add new widgets by selecting Add Widgets.

8. Manage Taskbar Items

Customize your taskbar by removing or adding items to suit your preferences.

  • Right-click an empty space on your taskbar and select Taskbar Settings.
  • Toggle off items you want to remove.
  • To add a program or app to the taskbar, find it in All Apps, right-click, and select Pin to Taskbar.

9. Adjust Taskbar Alignment

Windows 11’s centered alignment for the taskbar and start menu might not be for everyone. You can switch back to the left alignment.

  • Right-click an empty space on your taskbar and select Taskbar Settings.
  • Scroll down to Taskbar Behaviors.
  • Change the Taskbar Alignment to Left for the traditional left alignment.

10. Review Privacy Settings

Check and adjust your privacy settings to ensure they align with your preferences.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • In the left pane, select Privacy and Security.
  • Explore various privacy settings and adjust them as needed.

11. Optimize Power Plan

Review and select an appropriate power plan for your needs, especially if you’re a gamer or have specific power requirements.

  • Search for Control Panel and open it.
  • Click on Power Options and choose the power plan that suits your usage.

That’s it! You’ve completed the essential steps to optimize your Windows 11 experience. If you found this guide helpful, please give it a thumbs up, share it with others, and let us know in the comments about your post-installation rituals.

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