Windows 11 tips and tricks you didn't know you needed until now

You’ve got questions?  I’m a tech expert with the answers.  We recently got a question from Wayne from Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. Here’s what he asked:

“I would like tips on using Windows 11. Thanks for the nice articles – Wayne”

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It’s been about 20 months since Windows 11 was released, and its capabilities are pretty impressive. However, many of you may not even realize just how much the program has to offer. Here are nine of my best tips and tricks for Windows 11 users.

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Photo of Microsoft laptops.

Microsoft has released Windows 11 with a lot more features. (CyberGuy.com)

Credit: Microsoft

9 tips and tricks for Windows 11 users

1. Use the Night Light Schedule

This is a great feature for someone who uses their PC for long hours at a time and finds it beneficial to rest their eyes from the constant white light. Here’s how to turn on the Night Light Schedule:

How to turn on the Night Light schedule

  • Go to Start
  • Select Settings
  • Click System
  • Select Display
  • Click Night light
  • You can easily adjust the Strength of the Night Light function by moving the slider from left to right to suit your preference
  • Turn on Schedule night light by toggling On
  • Select either Sunset to sunrise, or Set hours (To set hours enter custom times for the night light to turn on and off)*It is important to note that if you want to use Sunset to sunrise, you must turn on location services. To do this – click where it says Location settings in blue and toggle On Location settings. Also, toggle On Let apps access your location. Then tap the left arrow in the upper right corner to take you back to the Night light settings
  • *It is important to note that if you want to use Sunset to sunrise, you must turn on location services. To do this – click where it says Location settings in blue and toggle On Location settings. Also, toggle On Let apps access your location. Then tap the left arrow in the upper right corner to take you back to the Night light settings
  • Then when you are ready to enable the Night light feature – tap Turn on Now

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Screenshot of the settings screen on a Windows 11 computer.

You can set the time on Windows 11 to adjust the light. (CyberGuy.com)

2. Enable Focus Mode

When you’re trying to work on a project, it can be distracting when you’re constantly receiving notifications. That’s why Windows 11 allows you to enable Focus Mode, where you will still get notifications without them directly alerting you or making noise.

How to turn on Focus mode

  • Select Start
  • Select Settings
  • Click System
  • Click Focus
    Select session duration – click the or + to increase or decrease the time
    Decide if you want to – Show the timer in the clock app, Hide badges on taskbar apps, Hide flashing taskbar apps, or turn on do not disturb – if you do want to enable any of these, just check the box beside it
  • Select session duration – click the or + to increase or decrease the time
  • Decide if you want to – Show the timer in the clock app, Hide badges on taskbar apps, Hide flashing taskbar apps, or turn on do not disturb – if you do want to enable any of these, just check the box beside it
  • Then select Start focus session

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Screenshot of the Settings screen to turn on Focus Mode.

Screenshot instructions on how to turn on Focus Mode. (CyberGuy.com)

3. Save your battery life with Sleep Settings

You always want to make sure you get the most battery life out of your computer, and adjusting its sleep behavior can help preserve that battery life immensely.

How to adjust your Sleep Settings

  • Select Start
  • Go to Settings
  • Click System
  • Select Power & battery
  • Scroll down and click Screen and sleep 
  • Then select how long you want your device to wait before turning the screen off. Here are the options:
    On battery power, turn off my screen after
    When plugged in, turn off my screen after
    On battery power, put my device to sleep after
    When plugged in, put my device to sleep after
  • On battery power, turn off my screen after
  • When plugged in, turn off my screen after
  • On battery power, put my device to sleep after
  • When plugged in, put my device to sleep after

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Screenshot of the Power & battery screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to adjust the Sleep seettings. (CyberGuy.com)

  • You can adjust each time frame by clicking the Never dropdown and selecting a time limit

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Screenshot of the Power & batter screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to change the settings so that your computer doesn’t fall asleep. (CyberGuy.com)

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4. Use Live Captions

Live captions will give you live subtitles for a video on the spot, as opposed to only having closed captions where they were already present for certain videos. Those who need captions can strongly benefit from this setting.

How to enable and customize Live Captions

  • Select Start
  • Click Settings
  • Select Accessibility 
  • Scroll down and under Hearing select Captions
  • Toggle On Live captions
  • Under Caption Style, you can choose how you want your captions to appear on the screen by clicking on where it says Default (copy)

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Screenshot of the Captions screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to enable and customize Live Captions. (CyberGuy.com)

  • Once you click on where it says Default (copy) you can select between White on Black, Small caps, Large text, or Yellow on blue

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Screenshot of the Captions screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to change the caption style. (CyberGuy.com)

5. Enable Camera protection

Windows 11 gives special protections for each app on your computer that can prevent your camera from being used with apps that don’t need camera access.

How to enable Camera protection

  • Select Start
  • Go to Settings
  • Click Privacy & security 
  • Scroll down and select Camera under App Permissions
  • Turn on Let apps access your camera, and then you can choose which apps can access your camera or not

Once you have turned on camera protection, apps will need to ask your permission before they can access your camera. If you don’t want an app to access your camera, you can deny the request.

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Screenshot of the Camera.

Screenshot instructions on how to enable Camera protection. (CyberGuy.com)

6. Turn on Clipboard history

On Windows 11, you can copy multiple items at once and view your clipboard history so that you can decide what to paste. As a refresher, clipboard history is a feature that allows you to see and access the items that you have copied or cut in the past. You can use it to paste multiple items without having to copy them again or to paste something that you copied earlier.

How to turn on Clipboard history

  • Go to Settings
  • Click System 
  • Scroll down and click Clipboard 
  • Toggle on Clipboard History 

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Screenshot of the Clipboard screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to turn on Clipboard history. (CyberGuy.com)

  • Once enabled, you can press Windows key + V to view your clipboard history and select the item that you want to paste

7. Use the snipping tool

The Snipping tool allows you to take screenshots or screen recordings of either your full screen or a section of your screen.

How to use the Snipping tool

  • Go to Start
  • Search for Snipping tool
  • Select the application
  • Click the camera icon if you want to take a picture
  • Click the video recording icon if you want to record your screen
  • Click +New when you’re ready to begin, and adjust the parameters to fit the section of the screen you want to capture/record
  • Save or send your items by clicking the icons in the top right

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Screenshot of the Snipping Tool window.

Screenshot instructions on how to use the Snipping tool. (CyberGuy.com)

8. Turn on autocorrect

You can enable autocorrect on your Windows computer as well to avoid any embarrassing typos in emails and social media posts.

How to turn on autocorrect

  • Go to Start
  • Go to Settings
  • Select Time & language 
  • Click Typing
  • Turn on Autocorrect misspelled words and Highlight misspelled words 

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Screenshot of the Typing screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to turn on the autocorrect feature. (CyberGuy.com)

9. Change the size and style of your mouse pointer

If you’re someone who struggles to see the pointer on your computer screen or to see where it’s landing exactly, you can adjust its size.

How to change the size and style of your mouse pointer

  • Go to Start
  • Go to Settings
  • Click Accessibility 
  • Tap Mouse pointer and touch
  • Choose a pointer style (white, black or inverted) or adjust the size to make your mouse bigger on the screen

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Screenshot of the Mouse pointer and touch screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to change the size and style of the cursor. (CyberGuy.com)

  • You can also customize the color of the mouse pointer by clicking on the custom icon pointer and selecting the color of your preference  

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Screenshot of the Mouse pointer and touch screen.

Screenshot instructions on how to customize the color of the cursor. (CyberGuy.com)

Kurt’s key takeaways

Windows 11 has a bunch of cool features and settings that can really amp up your experience. You’ve now got options like tweaking your display settings to make everything just right, activating focus mode for those times when you need to buckle down and get things done, and taking advantage of tools like live captions and the snipping tool. It’s all about customizing and optimizing your Windows 11 experience to fit your needs and preferences. So go ahead, give these tips and tricks a try, and see how they can make your Windows 11 device work even better for you.

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What other lesser-known features or hidden gems have you discovered in Windows 11 that you would recommend to fellow users? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact

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