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20+ Best Windows 11 features in 2024

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your Windows 11 PC? Windows 11 has brought an overhaul of visual enhancements to time-saving productivity tools. In this guide, I have curated a comprehensive list of the best Windows 11 features to transform your daily routine.

So, get ready to revolutionize the way you interact with your Windows 11 PC with one hidden feature at a time!

1. Windows Copilot

Windows Copilot is a centralized AI assistant that can help you be more productive and get things done more easily on your Windows 11 PC. It can answer your queries, change settings, summarize content, and perform other useful actions. Unlike Cortana in Windows 10, Copilot is powered by ChatGPT 4 and other OpenAI plugins to create a powerful AI assistant.

windows copilot

You can launch Copilot on Windows 11 by either clicking the Copilot icon on the taskbar or using the Windows + C shortcut. When you open Copilot, it will appear as a sidebar on the right edge of your screen. Copilot won’t overlap the content on your desktop and will run alongside your open app windows, so you can interact with it anytime you need assistance.

2. Redesigned Start menu and Taskbar in Windows 11

The Start Menu and the Taskbar have played a central role in Windows since its inception, and Windows 11 brings a major redesign to them. For starters, the Start Menu and the Taskbar now offer Windows 11’s Acrylic design language that creates a translucent effect throughout the UI.

Redesigned Start menu and Taskbar in windows 11

As for the specifics, the Apps and the Start button on the taskbar are placed centrally, along with an optional Search and Windows Copilot button. When a user clicks on the Start button, it appears as a rectangle box in the center of the screen. The Start Menu has a Search bar, your apps arranged in a grid, a recommended section, power controls, and a User ID button.

3. New and upgraded Quick Settings panel

Unlike Windows 10, the Action Centre in Windows 11 is much more compact and only takes up a corner of the screen. You can use it to toggle on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Airplane Mode, get accessibility features, or control volume and brightness quickly. If you don’t like the default layout, you can click the Edit button to make changes as per your needs.

new action center in windows 11

4. Widgets in Windows 11

Widgets are making a comeback in Windows 11 in an entirely new way. You can now choose to have a dedicated widgets button on the leftmost side of the taskbar. This button allows you to access the Widgets menu along with a customizable news feed. There’s a weather widget, a stock watchlist widget, and widgets for Outlook calendar, Photos, Family Safety, and more.

windows 11 widgets features

You can easily add or remove widgets and create a personalized news feed that is tailor-made to your interests. Moreover, there’s now a maximize button within the interface, which allows you to extend the Widgets and news feed to cover the whole screen for better accessibility.

5. New volume slider in Windows 11

The release build of Windows 11 lacked advanced volume controls. Thankfully, the recent builds of Windows 11 feature revamped volume controls in Quick Settings. You can now easily control volume on a per-app basis or quickly switch the output devices and toggle on spatial audio.

revamped volume controls

6. Snap assist for easy multi-tasking

Snap Assist is one of the most useful Windows 11 features that can help improve your multi-tasking capabilities. You can hover over the maximize button in any app to access a list of four layouts that can be used to open a maximum of four apps simultaneously. Thanks to Snap Assist in Windows 11, you’ll never need to resize and arrange app windows manually.

snap assist feature in windows 11

7. Support for multiple desktops

Although it was first launched with Windows 10, support for Virtual desktops is a useful feature that has also made its way to Windows 11 with a handful of additions. With this feature, you can distribute active apps and windows between different home screens to reduce clutter. However, unlike Windows 10, each virtual desktop in Windows 11 can have a separate wallpaper.

visual desktops in windows 11

8. Redesigned File Explorer with tabs in Windows 11

The File Explorer in Windows 11 has also been redesigned from the ground up and offers tabs to boost productivity. This means you no longer need to open separate windows to open multiple folders.

file explorer with tabs

Besides offering tabs, the new file explorer features a new Home page that shows all your recent documents and a gallery page where you can view and manage your photos. Moreover, the new File Explorer offers native support for RAR and 7-Zip files, which typically can’t be accessed without third-party tools.

9. Redesigned Settings app

Microsoft has been working toward creating a replacement for the Control Panel since Windows 10. However, it’s only with Windows 11 that it looks like Microsoft is going in the right direction. Windows 11 features a redesigned Settings app with properly segregated sections that can be accessed easily from the left sidebar, while the settings can be customized from the right pane.

redesigned settings app in windows 11

Besides these changes that were a part of the initial Windows 11 rollout, the recent version of the operating system also features a brand-new Home section. The Home section offers a dashboard-like experience with interactive cards with settings that dynamically adapt to your usage.

The Your Phone app in Windows 10 is now available as the Phone Link in Windows 11. The app still offers a convenient way to connect your Android or iPhone to your PC. However, there are several new features to talk about.

Upgraded Phone Link app

You can still connect your iPhone or Android device to view and respond to messages and make or receive calls directly on your PC screen; Android devices now offer exclusive support for photo syncing. Moreover, compatible Android smartphones from Samsung can even let you use installed apps on your Windows PC.

11. Photos app in Windows 11

The Photos app in Windows 11 has been redesigned to offer several new features. You can now view all photos on your PC in one place and even import new photos from connected devices. Moreover, iPhone user can connect their iCloud account to the Photos app to view photos from their iCloud photo library.

Redesigned Photos app

When you open a photo, you get to access an entirely new interface that makes it easy to compare photos, share photos with apps or contacts, and make edits on the go. Apart from tools to flip, crop, and tweak photos, the new editor also offers new AI-powered features, including a spot fix tool and a background editor tool that can blur, remove, or replace the background in photos.

12. New and improved MS Paint app

Microsoft has also significantly improved the Paint app to offer a more modern user interface with support for transparent layers, PNG exports, dark mode, and the addition of an improved font picker. However, that’s not all. Thanks to Microsoft’s AI push, the new Paint app also offers several AI-based features, including an AI art generator and an offline background removal tool.

windows 11 paint app

13. New Microsoft Store

Windows 11 also features a brand-new Microsoft Store, which offers a significant leap forward in terms of both design and functionality. A sleek and modern interface with a streamlined layout makes it easier for users to discover and explore a wide range of apps, games, and other content.

new microsoft store in windows 11

One of the standout features of the New Microsoft Store is its support for a broader range of app types, including Win32, PWA (Progressive Web Apps), and Android apps through the Amazon Appstore. Not only that, but Microsoft has also revised the revenue structure for apps on the Microsoft Store to incentivize developers to create more apps for the platform.

14. Dynamic Lighting in Windows 11

An insignificant yet really useful feature in Windows 11 is support for Dynamic Lighting. With this, you can easily control the RGB lights on compatible keyboards, mice, PC cases, or other devices individually or as a group through the Settings app. This is great as you don’t need to rely on multiple companion apps to control RGB lighting on your devices.

15. Auto HDR and Dynamic Refresh Rate

Auto HDR and Dynamic Refresh Rate are two pretty useful features in Windows 11 that aim to improve the capabilities of your displays depending on the task you’re currently performing.

It offers a quick way to enhance your gaming and visual experience in DirectX 11 and 12 games that don’t natively support HDR. Also, the features enhance your display’s color range and brightness levels so that colors appear deeper and brighter. This, in turn, makes older games look just as vibrant as newer HDR-compatible games without a significant performance hit.

Meanwhile, Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) dynamically adjusts your display’s refresh rate based on your activities to offer a balance of power and performance. For everyday tasks like word processing, Windows 11 reduces the refresh rate to 60Hz for better battery life. However, for tasks such as scrolling or gaming that require responsiveness, Windows 11 switches to 120Hz.

16. Customizable touch keyboard

Thanks to a unified interface that works for both desktops and tablets, Windows 11 doesn’t feature a dedicated tablet mode. In an attempt to enhance the tablet experience in Windows 11, Microsoft has made major improvements to the touch keyboard. You can now personalize the touch keyboard with themes or even tweak the text size and typing behavior to your liking.

customizable touch keyboard

17. New Clock app with focus sessions

Similar to other default UWP apps on Windows 11, the Clock app has also been redesigned from the ground up to offer several new features. Along with the default options for Timer, Alarm, Stopwatch, and World Clock, the Clock app also has a new option for Focus Sessions.

new clock app

Focus Sessions offers a dashboard to keep track of your progress and stay productive. You can use this feature to stay focused by reducing distractions while you’re working or even create reminders to take a break after long work hours. Moreover, you can even link your Microsoft To-Do list to manage your tasks and integrate Spotify to listen to your favorite music during work.

18. New Snipping tool with screen recording capability

The Snipping tool in Windows 11 is significantly revamped to make taking screenshots and recording your screen a breeze. You can easily use the Windows + Shift + S keyboard shortcut or press the Print Screen button to access a quick-access menu and select how you want to capture your screen.

screen recording feature in windows 11

Once you are done taking a screenshot, it’s automatically copied to the clipboard for easy sharing. Moreover, you can edit the screenshot or a screen recording using an array of built-in tools.

19. AI-powered accessibility features

Microsoft has also made significant strides in accessibility with Windows 11, recognizing that technology should be inclusive for all. Whether you have vision, hearing, mobility, or cognitive impairments, Windows 11 offers a diverse set of tools to bridge the gap, empowering everyone to use their PC seamlessly.

Users can use Narrator to select and listen to text in natural-sounding voices or use Live Captions to automatically transcribe the audio in real time. There’s a Magnifier tool that enlarges on-screen elements and Color Filters to improve readability. Moreover, for those with limited mobility, there’s voice control, eye control, and voice typing that enable hands-free operation.

20. Windows subsystem for Android

Yet another notable feature of Windows 11 is Windows Subsystem for Android. Based on Windows 10’s subsystem for Linux, the Windows subsystem for Android allows users to run Android applications natively on their Windows 11 PC.

windows subsystem for android

Thanks to this feature, you can now download Android apps from the Amazon App Store in Windows 11. Moreover, you can also use various ADB commands to sideload APK files and connect to test devices for debugging, helping you create universal apps that work on both Android and Windows.

21. New Dev home app for developers

Apart from everyday features to help normal users, Windows 11 also features a brand new Dev Home app to help Windows developers. Accessible by pressing the Windows Key and F12, the Dev Home serves as a centralized control center with various features to boost productivity.

new dev home app for developers

With Dev Home, developers can use Windows Package Manager (WinGet) to install the apps, tools, and packages they might need or create a dedicated Dev Drive that uses Microsoft’s latest Resilient File System (ReFS). Moreover, developers can even use the Dev Home GitHub extension to connect their GitHub account to Dev Home and create customized widgets.

22. New wallpapers, sounds and animations

Last but not least, Windows 11 brings in a plethora of new wallpapers, sounds, and animations. While there isn’t much to offer in terms of wallpapers (they are subjective anyway), the new sounds for notifications and the boot sequence are much more soothing to hear. Moreover, the animations are much more snappy and fluid, adding to the new modern design language of Windows 11.

Wrapping up…

All in all, Windows 11 boasts a wide range of innovative features that can help enhance your productivity, creativity, and entertainment experience. From the UI overhaul to the addition of several new features, Windows 11 is truly designed to offer a groundbreaking computing experience than its predecessor.

Lastly, if you found this article informative, we would love to hear which Windows 11 feature you like the most. Also, feel free to let us know if we missed any other best Windows 11 features worth mentioning.

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  • Ayush Patel

    Ayush is a multi-faceted writer with a deep understanding of all major operating systems. He has over three years of experience working at a handful of big-name publications, including iGeeksBlog and Guiding Tech. At iGeekified, he specializes in writing content related to Android and Windows.

  • Ava Biswas

    With over three years of prolific content creation in the Android and Windows niches, Ava stands as an accomplished tech content editor. Her ability to break down technical concepts into reader-friendly content has established her as a go-to authority for consumer tech. She cultivated her expertise during her tenure at iGeeksBlog and TechBurner. Armed with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Applications, she has a solid foundation for comprehending and simplifying complex technological topics. So, Ava is dedicated to bridging the gap between complex tech jargon and everyday readers, ensuring technology is accessible and enjoyable for all.

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