Windows 11 comes with noticeably less bloatware than Windows 10, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The new Windows 11 PC has a lot of annoying features that most people won’t like, thankfully. Candy Crush not one of them.
Turn off the sticky buttons popup
This helpful message about sticky keys has plagued Windows users for decades. You’ve seen it, your grandma has seen it, and aliens secretly profiling human behavior have seen it too.
The criticism isn’t to say that Sticky Keys don’t have their place – they definitely do. Enabling Sticky Keys changes the behavior of the Control, Shift, Alt, and Windows keys. Instead of being a push button that is only active during depression, they function as toggle switches that stay on until specifically turned off. For some people, this is an invaluable quality of life that makes accessing hot buttons much easier.
The problem with the Sticky Keys popup is how easy it is to accidentally launch it. Fortunately, you can disable the popup entirely in Accessibility Options. Click Start, type “sticky buttons” in the search bar, and then click “Sticky Buttons” or “Open.”
You can also open the Settings app and go to Accessibility > Keyboard > Sticky keys to find these options.
Toggle the switch next to “Keyboard shortcut for sticky keys” to “Off”.
That’s it — the sticky keys pop-up will no longer appear, no matter how many times you press the Shift key.
Turn off Extra Telemetry
You can’t opt out of all data telemetry in Windows 11, in short, completely disconnect your Windows PC from the Internet. You can limit this quite significantly in the Settings app. Click Start, type “Diagnostics and feedback” in the search bar, and then click Open. It’s also available through the Settings app under Privacy & Security > Diagnostics & Connectivity.
There are quite a few separate options here to limit different types of diagnostic data.
You have to go through and disable them individually. Start with “Diagnostic information”. Click the chevron on the right (the small arrow without a tail), then turn off the switch next to “Send Optional Diagnostic Information.”
Repeat this process for “Improving Inking and Writing” and “Improved Practices.”
Then open the “Remove diagnostic data” section and click “Remove” to delete all additional data that Microsoft has already collected.
Finally, scroll down and change “Contact Frequency” to “Never”.
You will not send any unnecessary information to Microsoft, and you will not receive manual feedback prompts.
Remove Bing from Start Menu Search
Bing search results have been included in Start Menu search queries for the last few versions of Windows. But does anyone want it? Should your searches for local files and apps really be sent to the Bing search engine?
Changing the registry can permanently disable Bing in the Start menu for a few minutes. Alternatively, we’ve included a pre-made registry key that will do the job in seconds.
Move the Start button to Back
Windows 11 has redesigned the taskbar and Start menu quite radically. The Start button has been moved to the bottom center of the screen instead of being placed in the lower left. People used to MacOS or some Linux distributions (with the GNOME desktop environment) may like the new taskbar introduced in Windows 11, but long-time Windows users will probably be less keen on it – the Start button is located at the bottom left. corner for about 27 years.
Microsoft has changed or removed a number of features available in Windows 11. Fortunately for everyone, the ability to move the Start button to its historic home is not one of them. To do this, right-click on an empty space on the taskbar and click “Taskbar settings”.
Note: You can also open the Settings app, then go to Personalization > Taskbar.
Scroll down until you see the section titled “Taskbar Behaviors” and if necessary, expand it by clicking the small chevron (like an arrow without a tail) on the right. Click the drop-down box next to “Taskbar alignment” and set it to “Left”.
The start button will immediately move to the left corner and everything will be right with the world again.
Remove the New Right Click Menu and Restore the Old One
The Windows right-click menu is another long-standing feature that has been significantly redesigned in Windows 11. Instead, it implements the classic copy, cut, paste and rename options for characters. The new menu is shown below on the left, and the old menu is shown on the right.
New right click menu looks at pretty good but no more usable than the old one. The icons above are reminiscent of the kind you’d find in a user interface designed for touch devices like a mobile phone or tablet rather than a mouse and keyboard. Fortunately, you can get the old context menus back with a quick registry hack.
RELATED: How to bring back the old context menus in Windows 11
Bring Back the Old Labeled Taskbar Icons
The taskbar icons that Windows 11 requires you to use have one thing in common: they’re minimalistic, and there’s a certain elegance to minimalism. However, this comes at the cost of efficiency. Microsoft disabled (or accidentally hacked) the LastActiveClick registry hack in Windows 11 and completely removed labeled taskbar icons, so if you have multiple instances of the same program, open it, hover over the icon, and click the desired instance.
It’s hardly efficient – it’s faster to scan the pattern you want and click directly on it. Stardock filled in the gaps for Microsoft, as it had done for decades. The company released Start11, which allows you to restore the taskbar labels in Windows 11.
Note: Start11 is not free; It costs $6. It’s worth it if you don’t like Windows 11’s taskbar and Start menu.
Fix the start menu
Windows users are very sensitive to changes in the Start menu. Windows 8’s Start menu was notoriously ill-received. Windows 10 learned from this mistake while taking some aesthetic inspiration. Windows 11’s Start Menu was a controversial step away from the utility that Windows 10 offered to users. Again, Start11 comes to the rescue.
Start11 lets you choose how your Start Menu looks — you can choose between Windows 7 Style, Modern Style, Windows 10 style, or use the default Windows 11 look. Just click on the one you like and it will be applied automatically.
They all work well, and the Windows 10 option lets you bring back the information density that makes Windows 10’s Start menu so practical.
Enable dark mode
Windows has had an official dark mode since Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, but Windows 11 still comes with a white user interface (UI) out of the box. Dark modes or dark themes are all the rage right now, so why not enable dark mode in Windows 11?
RELATED: How to Enable Dark Mode for Google Chrome
Right-click an empty space on your desktop, click “Personalize,” then click “Colors.” You can select “Dark” from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.
RELATED: How to enable dark mode in Windows 11
Enable DNS over HTTPS
DNS over HTTPS started making its way into the mainstream in 2020, but Windows 10 still lacks official support. Windows 11 eliminated this shortcoming – the option of DNS over HTTPS was available in the operating system from the first day.
DNS over HTTPS encrypts your DNS Server requests so that third parties, such as your Internet Service Provider, cannot see which websites you are requesting from the DNS Server or perform a man-in-the-middle attack against you.
Microsoft has integrated DNS over HTTPS directly into the new Settings app, so enabling it in Windows 11 is a pain in the ass.
RELATED: How to enable DNS over HTTPS in Windows 11
Customize your widgets
The Windows Sidebar Windows has had widgets since its introduction with Windows Vista, although they were then called gadgets rather than widgets. Microsoft has tried several widget variants since then, and Windows 11 is no exception. It offers a variant of Windows 10’s News and Interests widget. Clicking on the Widget button opens a window that shows your local weather and items that Microsoft thinks you’ll be interested in.
If you’re not a fan of widgets in general (or at least this app), removing them is simple. Go to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, and then click the link next to Widgets.
Tip: You can also click Start and type “taskbar” in the search field. Click on the result and it will take you directly to the page.
If you want to customize the content, you can — click the little plus button in the top right.
You can add several predefined items, or click “Manage Interests” below to manually select the interests that will appear in the feed.
Note: Clicking on “Manage Interests” will take you to the MSN website.
Change Default Browser
Microsoft made it unreasonably difficult to change Windows 11’s default browser when the operating system was released, then doubled down on it by experimenting with features that actively blocked workarounds. Unsurprisingly, this was not a very popular move – Microsoft ended up simplifying the process in response to user feedback.
The first thing you need to do is install the browser you want to use, whether it’s Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another option.
RELATED: How to change the default web browser in Windows 11
Next, open the Settings app, tap the Apps tab, and click Default Apps.
Scroll through the list of apps until you see the browser you have installed, click it, and then click the “Set default” button at the top of the page.
Despite some changes that weren’t particularly popular, there were some good things that came with the release of Windows 11. For example, the new Settings app is significantly sleeker and more user-friendly than the version found in Windows 10. There are also plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of Windows 11 – 22H2, the big update that will be released sometime in the second half. 2022 has a ton of great features.
RELATED: What’s New in Windows 11’s 22H2 Update: Top 10 New Features