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My first look at Windows 11

Microsoft recently announced that they are releasing a successor to Windows 10, aptly named Windows 11. So join me as I take a look at Windows 11.

My first look at Windows 11

When Microsoft announced the next version of Windows, I went looking for a beta or technical preview of Windows 11. I soon found out that the only way to get a version of Windows 11 is through their Insider Program.

Well, it just so happens that I had created a Virtual Machine (VM) a couple of years ago for the Windows 10 Insider Program. I started it, and sure enough, Windows informed me that I need to download a new build of Windows.

I went through the upgrade process, and when all was said and done, I had Windows 11 Insider Preview running inside a VM. So let's take a look at Windows 11.

Note: This build of Windows 11 that I am using for this article is just a beta, so the look and the way it operates may and probably will change before the final release of Windows 11.

Login Screen

The Windows 11 Logon Screen

Not much different here from Windows 10. The default font has changed, but other than that, it looks and feels like Windows 10.

Taskbar

The Windows 11 Taskbar

The first thing you will notice when the Desktop appears is that the Start button and pinned programs are centered in the Taskbar. Is this by default, and can it be easily changed back to left-justified.

Start Menu

The Windows 11 Start Menu

The Start Menu has gotten a makeover, with a new cleaner looking layout. All the same features are available, but they are arranged completely different.

Power User menu

The Windows 11 Power Users menu

It is still there, The only component of Windows 8.1 to still be inside of Windows. Don't remember Windows 8.1? That is one version of Windows I would love to forget.

Settings

The Windows 11 Settings app

As with the Start Menu, the Settings app has also received a makeover, getting broken into two (2) columns. The categories are now listed in the left-side column, and sub-categories are listed in the right-hand column.

Control Panel

The Windows 11 Control Panel

Microsoft has been trying to eliminate the Control Panel for a while now, but it still exists in the preview build I am running. Who knows if it will make it to the final build of Windows 11.

File Explorer

The Windows 11 File Explorer

File Explorer has gotten a small makeover too. The Ribbon appears to be gone, and a simple toolbar with the most commons functions has taken its place. We will have to wait until the final build to see if the Ribbon is truly gone.

The overall look and feel of Windows 11 is smoother than Windows 10. With rounded corners on dialog boxes and newer icons, Windows 11 looks like an excellent successor to Windows 10.

But of course, we will have to wait and see how the final build of Windows 11 looks and feels. For a more in-depth look at this version of Windows 11, check out the video below.

Inside the Windows 10 Control Panel

Updated July 8, 2020

When it comes to finding features and settings in Windows, the Control Panel has always been where I go. The same holds for Windows 10. Let's take a look inside the Windows 10 Control Panel.

Inside the Windows 10 Control Panel

The Control Panel in Windows 10 contains all sorts of different features and settings. Some of them are easy to find, and others are not. But with a little patience, you find everything you are looking for and more.

Now finding the Control Panel in Windows 10 can be a little hard. There are two (2) different shortcuts: One on the Start menu and one on the Power User menu. I like to use the Power User menu shortcuts as they are speedy and easy to use.

How to access the Control Panel in Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo menu.
  2. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on the Windows System folder to expand it.
  3. Left-click on Control Panel.

or

  1. Right-click on the Start Windows logo menu or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User command menu.
  2. Left-click on Run.
  3. In the Run dialog box that appears, type control and left-click on Ok.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R to bring up the Run dialog box.
  2. In the Run dialog box that appears, type control and left-click on Ok.

I am still amazed at how many features and settings I can access from the Control Panel. You can access everything from creating hard drive partitions to managing work folders.

I like the Settings app in Windows 10, but I am more familiar with the Control Panel like many other people. Did you know that it first appeared in Windows 2.0?

But with Windows 10, Microsoft has now deprecated it in favor of the Settings app. But there are still items that you can only find in the Control Panel. Third-party applets are one that comes to mind.

Going through all of the Control Panel features and settings in Windows 10 could take some time. Even changing the view from Category to Large icons or Small icons still doesn't give you all that the Control Panel contains.

Windows 10 Control Panel in God Mode
Windows 10 Control Panel in God Mode

And then there is God Mode. If you're not familiar with God Mode, it lists all of the Control Panel features and settings in detail. Using God Mode, you can find some cool features and settings.

How to list everything inside of the Windows 10 Control Panel in one folder

For example, living in Arizona has one unique feature, never changing our clocks for daylight savings time. Now the downside is that all the rest of the U.S. does change its clocks twice a year.

Additional clocks on Taskbar in Windows 10
Additional clocks on Taskbar in Windows 10

With having vendors across the U.S., I need to know what the time is in their time zone. I found under Clock, Language, and Region > Date and Time that I can add multiple clocks for the different time zones.

When you have some time, take a minute or two and explore through the Control Panel and see what cool features and settings you can find.

How to list everything inside of the Windows 10 Control Panel in one folder

When it comes to finding something in the Control Panel in Windows 10, you have to know where to look. You could spend hours going through all of the categories. But what if you could see everything that was inside of the Control Panel in just one window. Here's how to list everything inside of the Windows 10 Control Panel.

How to list everything inside of the Windows 10 Control Panel in one folder

This shortcut was initially nicknamed 'God Mode' when it was first discovered inside of Windows Vista. It is a registry key that, when rendered inside the File Explorer, displays the Control Panel's complete contains. No searching through categories and subcategories, everything is right there in one folder.

How to create an expanded Control Panel folder

Windows 10 expanded Control Panel code
1. Highlight the following code, right-click on it, and select Copy.

Control Panel Expanded.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Note:
For this article, I am going to use the name Control Panel Expanded. You can use whatever name you like, just keep the GUID (Global Unique Identifier) extension (.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}) at the end.

Create a new Desktop folder in Windows 10
2. Right-click on the Desktop background and select New > Folder.

Paste Windows 10 expanded Control Panel code into folder name
3. Right-click on the new folder name and select Paste.

New expanded Control Panel icon on Desktop
4. You now have a folder on your Desktop that has a Control Panel icon. Just double-click to open it.

View everything in the Control Panel in one folder in Windows 8

With the new Metro interface for Windows 8, finding things can be kind of hard. So I thought I would give the 'God' mode trick from Windows 7 a try, and sure enough, it works. The way it works is you create a new folder and give it a specific name. Then, when you open that folder, it displays the complete contains of the Control Panel.

Complete listing of Control Panel in one folder inside of Windows 8
A complete listing of Control Panel in one folder inside of Windows 8

All you have to do is create a new folder (I like having one on my Desktop) and cut & paste the following code in the name (check out How to create a shortcut on the Desktop and Start menu in Windows 8).

Control Panel Expanded.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Note:
For this article, I am going to use the name Control Panel Expanded. You can use whatever you like; just keep the GUID (Global Unique Identifier) extension (.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}) at the end
.

The first thing you will notice is that the folder now has a Control Panel icon. Double-clicking it reveals the complete contains of the Control Panel. How does it work? The folder extension references the GUID for the Control Panel in the registry and lists everything contained in it.

List everything contained in the Control Panel in Windows Vista and Windows 7 in one folder

This article shows how to list everything contained in the Control Panel in Windows Vista and Windows 7 in one folder. I had read a couple of articles concerning the Windows 7 'God Mode', and I thought I would look into it. The way it works is you create a new folder and give it a specific name. Then, when you open that folder, it displays the contains of the control panel. Let's give it a try.

First, create a new folder and cut & paste the following in the name:

Control Panel.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Note:
For this article, I am going to use the name Control Panel. You can use whatever you like; keep the GUID extension (.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}) at the end
.

The first thing you will notice is that the folder now has a Control Panel icon. Double-clicking it reveals the complete contains of the Control Panel. I thought to myself, 'Pretty sweet, but how does it work?'. I quickly found the answer. The folder extension references the GUID (Global Unique Identifier) for the Control Panel in the registry and lists everything in the Control Panel.

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