February 2, 2023

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Windows 11 gets new touch gestures, Start Menu folders, and more

Windows 11 gets new touch gestures, Start Menu folders, and more

Microsoft introduces new touch gestures, Start Menu folders, a redesigned task manager, and many other improvements for Windows 11. Available for testers todaywhich is packed with new features that look like they will greatly improve the usability of Windows 11 in general.

The new Start menu folders will allow Windows 11 users to customize the pinned section of the Start menu into folders. You drag an app on top of another to create a folder, and you can rearrange and remove apps within folders. The ability to rename folders is coming in future test designs, but it’s good to see more customizations in the Start menu, since Windows 11 launched without many ways to tweak the menu design.

New Start Menu folders
Image: Microsoft

If you’ve always been a fan of gestures in Windows 8, Microsoft is bringing five new touch gestures to Windows 11 soon that make using tablets a little easier. The first is the ability to swipe up on the taskbar to bring up the Start menu and swipe down to dismiss it again. You will also be able to scroll between all the installed apps and the recommended/more apps in the Start Menu.

A new third touch gesture lets you swipe in from the bottom right of the taskbar to bring up the quick settings menu — useful if you need to quickly toggle Airplane mode or access Bluetooth settings. The animations have also been improved to bring up the Notification Center, and there’s a new full screen widget in touch apps that will prevent you from accidentally swiping from the edges of the tablet screen. Microsoft also says that rotating your device between portrait and landscape orientation is now “more accurate” and “more responsive.”

One of the new touch gestures coming to Windows 11.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft’s new Snap Layouts feature is also improved in Windows 11, allowing you to drag an app to the top of a window and reveal all the layouts you can use. Microsoft is also improving its focus feature to include Do Not Disturb mode. It makes it a lot easier to quickly silence notifications, so you only see priority alerts or alerts.

Live Captions will soon be included in Windows 11, and can be accessed from the Winkey + CTRL + L shortcut. The Auto Transcript feature will greatly benefit people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it is also available for anyone to use and will be automatically generated on the device from any content that includes a voice. Captions can float in a window or be displayed at the top or bottom of the screen. This seems like a nice accessibility improvement for Windows 11.

New Snap Layouts feature.
Image: Microsoft

Anything with audio will be available for Auto Transcription.
Image: Microsoft

Other improvements on the way include the ability to drag and drop to the Windows 11 taskbar. This was a huge part missing from the initial launch, so Windows 11 users will be glad to see this return. Microsoft is also making it easier to see your OneDrive storage inside File Explorer and improving the Quick Access feature to let you pin files and folders.

In an effort to reduce power consumption on PCs, Microsoft is also changing the default values ​​for sleep and screen off in Windows 11 power settings. You’ll only see these new settings if you clean up your Windows 11 installation, but new PCs in the future should come with more options. Aggressive to sleep on / off screen.

The task manager is getting a dark mode.
Image: Microsoft

Last but not least, the task manager redesign in Windows 11 is now official. It includes a new command bar and dark theme, along with an efficiency mode that lets you limit apps from consuming system resources.

As always, these new Windows 11 features are currently still being tested, which means that some of them will likely appear in monthly updates throughout 2022. Microsoft just delivered them The first big update for Windows 11The company revealed that it will not wait to bring in new features only once a year.

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