Windows 11 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know

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This broad usher offers details astir Microsoft Windows 11, including caller features, strategy requirements, erstwhile you tin download the OS and more.

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Microsoft Windows 11

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft unveiled connected June 24, 2021 its newest operating system, Windows 11—almost six years aft Windows 10 debuted. Windows 11 volition connection respective updates and caller features, including a simpler plan intended to summation productivity, easiness of usage and creativity, ways to link to radical faster, amended PC gaming experiences, faster ways to get accusation you need, an all-new Microsoft Store, and a much unfastened ecosystem that unlocks caller opportunities for developers and different creators.

This Microsoft Windows 11 cheat expanse details the operating system's main features, lists strategy requirements for the OS, explains however and erstwhile to get it and more. (Download the free PDF mentation of this Windows 11 cheat sheet.) We'll update this Windows 11 usher erstwhile caller accusation is released.

SEE: Windows evolves: Windows 11, and the aboriginal of Windows 10 (TechRepublic) 

What is Windows 11?

Windows 11 is Microsoft's newest large merchandise of its operating strategy and the successor to Windows 10. The OS features an all-new simplified, yet modernized, interface and was designed to animate productivity and creativity. 

Pre-release updates of Windows 11

As of July 29, 2021, a preview mentation of Windows 11 is disposable for reappraisal to members of the Windows Insider Beta Channel; earlier that date, preview versions of Windows 11 were lone disposable to members of the Dev Channel. So, to instal Windows 11 Version 22000.100 oregon amended connected a valid Windows 10 PC, activate the Windows Insider Beta Channel connected the Update & Security Settings surface successful Windows 10 and past click the Check For Updates button.

SEE: How to instal Windows 11 connected a virtual machine (TechRepublic)

As of August 23, 2021, Microsoft has released an ISO record for the Windows 11 Insiders Preview; previously, your lone enactment was to upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 done Microsoft's Windows Insider program. To download the Windows 11 ISO file, navigate to the Windows Insider Preview Downloads page and motion successful with your account.

SEE: How to instal Windows 11 from Microsoft's ISO file (TechRepublic)

What caller features travel with Windows 11?

In Windows 11, the recently centered Start fastener uses the unreality and Microsoft 365 to amusement caller files, nary substance what level oregon instrumentality they were being viewed connected previously, including an Android oregon iOS device.

A caller acceptable of features to Microsoft Windows 11 volition beryllium the instauration of Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops. These connection a "powerful mode to multitask and enactment connected apical of what you request to get done," according to the Microsoft's property release. With these Windows 11 features, users tin signifier windows and optimize surface existent property for a cleaner ocular layout. Users tin make and customize abstracted Desktops for each portion of their life—like 1 for enactment and 1 for idiosyncratic use. 

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The caller Windows 11 Desktops feature. 

Image: Microsoft

In Windows 11, Microsoft is integrating Chat from Microsoft Teams into the taskbar truthful users tin instantly link via text, chat, dependable oregon video with idiosyncratic contacts careless of which level oregon instrumentality is being utilized crossed Microsoft Windows, Android oregon iOS. Through Microsoft Teams, users tin present instantly mute and unmute oregon commencement a presumption straight from the taskbar successful the caller OS.

For gamers, Windows 11 "unlocks the afloat imaginable of your system's hardware, putting immoderate of the latest gaming exertion to enactment for you," according to Microsoft. Windows 11 volition connection DirectX 12 Ultimate, which enables immersive graphics astatine precocious framework rates; DirectStorage for faster load times and much elaborate crippled worlds; and Auto HDR for a wider, much vivid scope of colors. Microsoft Windows 11 volition inactive enactment users' favourite PC gaming accessories and peripherals. 

Windows 11's caller Widgets are a personalized provender powered by artificial intelligence and Microsoft Edge. Instead of utilizing a telephone to cheque news, upwind oregon notifications, present users tin unfastened their Windows 11 desktop to spot a likewise curated view. Widgets offers caller opportunities wrong Windows 11 to present personalized contented for creators and publishers. 

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The caller Widgets diagnostic successful Windows 11. 

Image: Microsoft

The Microsoft Store is getting a large overhaul–users volition person 1 harmless determination for apps and contented to watch, create, play, enactment and learn. According to Microsoft, the Store "has been rebuilt for velocity and with an all-new plan that is beauteous and elemental to use. Not lone volition we bring you much apps than ever before, we're besides making each content—apps, games, shows, movies—easier to hunt for and observe with curated stories and collections." Soon, starring first- and third-party apps specified arsenic Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva volition beryllium disposable successful the Microsoft Store.

Coming successful precocious 2021 for Windows 11: Android apps connected Windows. Through its concern with Amazon and Intel, and for the archetypal clip ever, the Microsoft Store volition let users to observe Android apps, which tin beryllium downloaded via the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft is enabling developers and autarkic bundle vendors to bring apps to the Microsoft Store, nary substance what app model is utilized to make them. 

SEE: How to get the preview mentation of Windows 11 (TechRepublic) 

What bash developers request to cognize astir Windows 11?

Windows 11 features the new PWABuilder3, truthful developers tin physique a PWA from their web app successful minutes. WebView2 runtime is included with Windows 11, which makes it easier to instrumentality vantage of its web level arsenic a unafraid mode to physique hybrid web apps. Offerings similar Windows Terminal and the new Microsoft Edge DevTools can inactive beryllium used, arsenic they are present included successful Windows 11.

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PWA Shortcuts integrated with Windows 11.

Image: Microsoft

The Windows App SDK (previously known arsenic Project Reunion) volition marque it easier to integrate Windows 11 features into apps, but it inactive allows developers to scope much than a cardinal users connected Windows 10. The Windows App SDK 1.0 is acceptable to beryllium released aboriginal this year.

Developers tin physique apps that tally natively connected Windows connected ARM with the caller ARM64 Emulation Compatible ABI. Using the ARM64EC, autochthonal ARM and emulated x64 codification tin beryllium mixed successful the aforesaid process oregon module. This interoperability means developers tin optimize apps to tally connected Windows connected ARM—even if the app has x64 dependencies oregon loads x64 plugins they don't control.

To rejuvenate app designs, developers tin usage WinUI3 successful Windows 11, which offers built-in UI updates specified arsenic rounded geometry, refreshed iconography, caller typography, amusive micro-interactions (such arsenic Lottie animation) and refreshed colour palette. The Snap layouts diagnostic volition helps with maximum productivity successful Windows 11. 

Reunion Windowing allows developers to easy negociate and make app windows. The diagnostic works with existing app codes, simplifies communal operations and brings caller functionality to desktop apps similar Light-Dismiss Behavior, Picture-In-Picture mode and easier titlebar customization.

Along with the large changes to the Microsoft Store, Microsoft is taking steps to unlock greater economical accidental for creators and developers. Microsoft plans to alteration developers and autarkic bundle vendors to bring their apps careless of whether they're built arsenic a Win32, Progressive Web App, Universal Windows App oregon immoderate different app framework. This volition let developers to scope and prosecute a larger audience. 

The gross stock policies volition beryllium changing, too, according to Microsoft. App developers tin present bring their ain commerce into the Microsoft Store and support 100% of the revenue—Microsoft takes nothing. Developers tin inactive usage Microsoft's commerce with competitory gross stock of 85/15. 

What are the strategy requirements for Windows 11?

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) oregon faster with 2 oregon much cores connected a compatible 64-bit processor oregon System connected a Chip (SoC)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB oregon larger retention device
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 oregon aboriginal with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: High-definition (720p) show that is greater than 9" diagonally, 8 bits per colour channel
  • Internet connection: Windows 11 Home variation requires net connectivity and a Microsoft account to implicit instrumentality setup connected archetypal use. Switching a instrumentality retired of Windows 11 Home successful S mode requires net connectivity.

SEE: How to archer if your PC tin tally Windows 11 (TechRepublic) 

What are feature-specific requirements for Windows 11?

Some features successful Windows 11 person accrued requirements beyond those listed above. Here are further details regarding requirements for cardinal features per Microsoft.

  • 5G support: Requires a 5G-capable modem.
  • Auto HDR: Requires an HDR monitor.
  • BitLocker to Go: Requires a USB flash thrust (available successful Windows Pro and supra editions).
  • Client Hyper-V: Requires a processor with 2nd level code translation (SLAT) capabilities (available successful Windows Pro and supra editions).
  • Cortana: Requires a microphone and talker and is presently disposable connected Windows 11 for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K. and U.S.
  • DirectStorage: Requires an NVMe SSD to store and tally games that usage the Standard NVM Express Controller operator and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support.
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate: Available with supported games and graphics chips.
  • Presence: Requires a sensor that tin observe quality region from instrumentality oregon intent to interact with device.
  • Intelligent Video Conferencing: Requires video camera, microphone and talker (audio output).
  • Multiple Voice Assistant (MVA): Requires a microphone and speaker.
  • Snap: Three-column layouts necessitate a surface that is 1920 effectual pixels oregon greater successful width.
  • Mute/Unmute from Taskbar: Requires video camera, microphone and talker (audio output). App indispensable beryllium compatible with diagnostic to alteration planetary mute/unmute.
  • Spatial Sound: Requires supporting hardware and software.
  • Teams: Requires video camera, microphone and talker (audio output).
  • Touch: Requires a surface oregon show that supports multi-touch.
  • Two-factor authentication: Requires usage of PIN, biometric (fingerprint scholar oregon illuminated infrared camera) oregon a telephone with Wi-Fi oregon Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Voice Typing: Requires a PC with a microphone.
  • Wake connected Voice: Requires Modern Standby powerfulness exemplary and microphone.
  • Wi-Fi 6E: Requires caller WLAN IHV hardware and operator and a Wi-Fi 6E susceptible AP/router.
  • Windows Hello: Requires a camera configured for adjacent infrared (IR) imaging oregon fingerprint scholar for biometric authentication. Devices without biometric sensors tin usage Windows Hello with a PIN oregon portable Microsoft compatible information key.
  • Windows Projection: Requires a show adapter that supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct.

SEE: Windows 11: Understanding the strategy requirements and the information benefits (TechRepublic)

When volition Windows 11 beryllium released, and however tin I get it?

Windows 11 volition beryllium disposable done a escaped upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs and connected caller PCs beginning October 5, 2021. To spot if your Windows 10 PC is eligible for the escaped upgrade to Windows 11, download the PC Health Check app. Microsoft said it is moving with its retail partners to "make definite [the] Windows 10 PCs you bargain contiguous are acceptable for the upgrade to Windows 11."

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