First Steps with Windows 11 (Recommended)

First Steps with Windows 11 (Recommended)

Whoa...!  I can't find anything!  How do I use this?

A lot of changes have occurred between the original Windows 10 and the new Windows 11.  So this article will help you get started.  Of course, more will be added to this as time progresses, so keep coming back.  The steps below are intended to help make Windows 11 a little more comfortable and more like what you are used to.

Pinning and Unpinning icons on the Taskbar.

First, I recommend unpinning Microsoft Edge and the Microsoft Store, which are the last two icons that you see in the taskbar above.  You want to only pin programs that you use on a frequent basis, or no programs at all.
  1. Move your mouse over the blue swirl icon (Microsoft Edge) and right-click on it.
  2. Then click on unpin from taskbar.
  3. Repeat this step with the Microsoft Store.
Next, I recommend getting rid of the Chat icon and the Widgets icons.  We won't be using the Chat functionality, because we use Google Chat.
  1. Right-click on the empty space of the taskbar.  You should see an option called, "Taskbar settings".  Click on it.

  2. On the settings screen you can turn on/off items that you want shown on the taskbar.
  3. Turn the Chat feature and the Widgets feature.

Of course, if you want to explore the Widgets feature, feel free to do so, but it won't be necessarily used for your everyday job responsibilities.

Now, if you want to pin icons (programs) that you use frequently, use these steps:
  1. Click on the first icon in the taskbar.  This is the Start Menu.

  2. Click on the All Apps button in the top left corner of the Start Menu.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and right-click on the icon that you want to pin to the Taskbar.

  4. Then go to More options and click on Pin to Taskbar.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 with any programs that you want quick access to on your Taskbar.

Pinning and Unpinning programs from your Start Menu
Maybe you have some programs that you want quick access to but you don't want to clutter up your taskbar.  If you are like me, your taskbar is minimalistic and used only for apps that you currently have open.  Thus, I pin my most used apps to the Start Menu.  To do that...:
  1. Go to the Start Menu and right-click on the apps you want to get rid of.  By default, Microsoft pins a lot of apps that they want to highlight.  After you right-click on them, choose "Unpin from Start".  Repeat for every app that you want to remove from the Start Menu.
  2. Next, go to the All Apps button in the top-right corner.
  3. Scroll down the list to locate an app that you want saved on the Start Menu.
  4. Right-click on it and choose "Pin to Start".
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for every program that you want quicker access to.

Set Google Chrome as your Default Browser and PDF reader and Email client
Since we are a Google school, we don't use Microsoft Edge.  Please refrain from using this browser.  As much as possible use Google Chrome as your default browser.
  1. Go to your Start Menu and find the Settings screen.
  2. On the left side click on Apps.
  3. Then on the right side, click on Default Apps.

  4. Scroll down the list of programs, find Google Chrome and click on it.
  5. Click the Set Default button in the top-right corner.

  6. You should see the first top options switch from Edge to Chrome.
  7. Next, click on the third option, which is PDF.
  8. Windows will ask if you're sure you want to change the defaults.  Just click on "Switch anyway".

  9. Choose Google Chrome and then click the OK button.
  10. Finally, scroll down the list and find the option for MailTo and verify that it shows Google Chrome for that too.

Log into Google Chrome with your MCS email account
Logging into Chrome allows you to synchronize your bookmarks, search history, saved passwords, etc.  This is useful when you use Google Chrome on another computer (at school or home).
  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. If you haven't used Chrome yet on your new computer, you should get a Welcome screen that look like the image below:

  3. Just click on the blue link at the bottom that says, "Already a Chrome user?  Sign-in".  Then skip to Step 6 below.
  4. If you don't get this Welcome screen, click on the user icon, which is next to the three dots in the top-right corner of the Chrome window.
  5. From there, you should see a blue "Turn on sync..." button.  Click on it.
  6. Now, you should see a typical Google login screen.  Use your MCS email address and password to login.
  7. If you have a personal Gmail account, you can toggle back and forth between the two accounts by using the User menu illustrated in Step 4.  Just click on the Add button at the bottom of this menu.

Setup Google Drive
Now that we've set Chrome as our Default Browser and have logged into it, we can attach our Google Drives to Windows, making it easier to open/edit/save documents and files that we're working on.
  1. Go to the Start Menu, click on All Apps and find Google Drive.
  2. When you do this for the first time, it should bring up a window that lets you log in with your browser.

  3. Click on the blue button and log in with your MCS email account.
    Please do not log into your personal Gmail Google Drive.  Only sync your MCS account.

  4. When you're done, you should get a screen that indicates you were successful and can close the browser.  You should also see a notification pop up that indicates that syncing has started.

  5. Click the OK button on the notification and close the browser window or tab.
  6. Then open File Explorer, which is the yellow folder on your taskbar, if you didn't remove it.

  7. In the illustration above, you should see Google Drive listed in your Quick Access list.
  8. Click on it and then double-click on "My Drive".  You should see everything you have saved.
If you're missing any files or you can't find them, then you probably saved them locally on your old computer and didn't save them in your Google Drive.  Please create a new HelpDesk ticket and the Technology Dept. will help you find your old files on your old computer.  This will only be available for a short time.  The goal is to completely erase and dispose of the old computers by January 1, 2023.