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8 Common Windows 11 Problems and their Solutions

8 Common Windows 11 Problems and their Solutions
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Windows 11 received a completely new design makeover with many new features. Of course, this also means new bugs and users disagreeing on the changes.

I personally found Windows 11 better than previous versions as it’s simpler, like Windows 7, yet more functional than Windows 10. Although I understand if you dislike some of the changes as it did completely change some core features like the taskbar, context menu, file explorer, etc.

The good news is that many of the changes can be reverted, and new features can be turned off. You just need to do some tinkering in the settings or maybe the Windows registry.

To help you out, I have compiled a list of some of the common Windows 11 problems that users complain about and how to fix them.

Move the Start Menu to the Left Side

The first change you’ll notice in Windows 11 is that the Start menu and icons are all moved in the middle. It’s a significant change since almost all Windows versions had them on the left side. It’s understandable if you want them back on the left side.

Thankfully, the Windows 11 taskbar is highly customizable, so you can bring the Start menu back to the left side with a few clicks. Here’s how:

Right-click on an empty space on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings.

Taskbar settings

Here click on the Taskbar behaviors option and then select Left next to the Taskbar alignment option.

Start menu on left side

That’s it, the Start Menu and the icons will be moved to the left side.

Get Back to the Old Context Menu

In Windows 11, Microsoft has simplified the context menu to just a few common options like open, copy, or properties, etc. You have to click the Show more options button to see all the options found in previous Windows versions.

For most power users, this is an unrequired change that just adds an extra click to do regular tasks. If you don’t like the change, you can get back the classic context menu with a registry hack that I’ll show below.

Note: Make sure you back up the registry before making any changes, as any incorrect change can negatively impact your PC. You can also use a third-party registry manager app for this purpose.

Press the Windows+R keys to bring up the Run dialog and type regedit to open the registry.

Open the Windows registry

Here move to the below-mentioned location. You can also copy/paste it into the search bar to open it directly.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID

Now right-click on CLSID and select New > Key.

clsid-new-key

Name this key as {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}.

Right-click on this new key and select New > Key.

Old context menu key

Name it InprocServer32 and make sure its value stays blank.

inprocserver32

Now either restart the PC or open the Task Manager and restart Windows Explorer to let the changes take effect.

Stop MS Edge from Opening Links

Microsoft Edge is the default browser in Windows 11, and it’s set to open all types of links and compatible files by default. However, even when you set another browser as the default browser, Microsoft will still open uncommon files and links like PDF or HTML, etc. If you don’t want anything to open at all by Microsoft Edge, here’s how to do it:

Go to Settings from the Start menu. Click on the Apps option in the left panel and then click on Default apps.

Default apps Windows-11

Here look for Microsoft Edge from the list and open it.

You’ll see all files/links a browser can open and the browser’s name that can open them. Here look for the ones that Microsoft Edge opens and click on them. A list will open with all installed browsers, just choose the one you prefer.

Microsoft Edge Defaults

For some links, you might have to click the More apps button to see the other browsers.

Remove the Lock Screen

When you start Windows 11, you have to press a key or click anywhere to remove the lock screen and access the login screen.

The lock screen is only there to show an interesting picture and some information about it. Of course, some people aren’t interested in random pictures, so this screen delays them from reaching the login screen.

If you find the lock screen to be a hurdle, you can remove it by editing the registry.

Open up the registry like we did above and move to the below-mentioned location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Now right-click on Windows and select New > Key.

Windows new key

Name the new key “Personalization” and while it’s selected, right-click in the right-side column and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Personalization DWORD key

Name this new entry as “NoLockScreen”, and then double-click on it and change its value to 1.

Remove the lock screen

Now the lock screen won’t bother you every time you’ll start the PC.

Time Not Syncing

Correct system clock time is necessary as many websites and services use it to offer their services. Thankfully, Windows automatically sync the time as soon as you connect to the internet, and the clock can access the servers.

Unfortunately, sometimes Windows 11 doesn’t sync the time or sync time with the incorrect timezone for some reason. If that happens to you, you will have to sync it from the settings manually. Here’s how:

Right-click on the clock and select Adjust date and time option.

Adjust date and time

Here scroll down and click the Sync now button. This should sync the clock after a short delay.

Sync time Windows 11

If that doesn’t work, you can also try turning off and then on the Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically buttons.

Set time automatically

Disable Highlights in Windows Search

Windows 11 has a search highlights feature that shows the latest news and interesting content in the search window. Not all people like it, though, especially because it uses your bandwidth and space inside the search window. If you want to disable it, you can do it from the settings.

Open up Windows 11 Settings and click on Privacy & security in the left panel.

Here scroll down a little and click on Search permissions.

Search permissions Windows 11

Scroll down to the bottom and turn off the Show search highlights option under the More settings section.

Disable Windows search highlights

This will remove the highlights, and that area will instead show quick search suggestions and your most used apps, which is honestly much more useful for many users.

Remove “System requirements not met” Message

If you have installed Windows 11 on an unsupported PC, you must have started seeing a new “System requirements not met” watermark at the bottom-right corner of the desktop and in Settings. I am sure you won’t like it as it’s as bad as the “Activate Windows” watermark when you don’t buy a Windows key.

Thankfully, you don’t have to upgrade the PC to remove this message, it can be removed using a registry hack. Here’s what you need to do.

Open the registry and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache.

While UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache is selected, double-click on the SV1 DWORD entry in the right column and change its value to 0.

Remove watermark

Afterward, restart the PC or restart the Windows Explorer from the Task Manager to let the changes take effect. This will remove the message from both the desktop and the Settings.

Disable Ads in Windows 11

Microsoft has been quite pushy lately with showing ads, and Windows 11 has ads literally everywhere. You can find ads in Settings, the lock screen, and even as notifications. If you don’t like seeing ads, you can disable them from the settings. Below are the instructions to disable ads in Settings, File Explorer, the lock screen, and ads shown as notifications.

Disable Ads on the Lock Screen

In Settings, click on Personalization in the right panel and select Lock screen.

Lock screen settings

Here select Picture or Slideshow next to the Personalize your lock screen option if not already selected. You can’t disable ads if Windows spotlight is selected here.

Personalize lock screen option

Now uncheck the checkbox next to Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen option to disable lock screen ads.

Remove lock screen ads

Disable Ads in the Settings

Open Settings and go to Privacy & Security and then click on General.

General settings

Here disable the Show me suggested content in the Settings app option.

Remove settings ads

Disable Ads Shown as Notifications

In Settings, click on System and then Notifications.

Notifications settings

Here scroll to the very bottom and uncheck the Offer suggestions on how I can set up my device and Get tips and suggestions when I use Windows options.

Remove notifications settings

Disable Ads in the File Explorer

Open the File Explorer, click on the three dots menu at the top and select Options from it.

File Explorer options

Now move to the View section and uncheck the checkbox next to Show sync provider notifications.

Remove File Explorer ads

Bonus: Use the Troubleshooters

Other than the above solutions to common Windows 11 problems, you can also use the troubleshooters available in Windows 11 to fix common issues related to its components. You can access these troubleshooters in Settings. Just go to System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters.

Here you’ll find troubleshooters for components like Windows updates, internet, audio, camera, power, keyboard, etc. Just hit the Run button, and it will automatically look for problems and try to fix them.

Ending Thoughts👨🏻‍💻

I personally find Windows 11 to be much more stable than Windows 10, and I like most of the new changes. Although the sneaky ads and the forced “System requirements not met” message did put me off a bit. I am sure your Windows 11 experience will improve once you tackle the above-mentioned issues.

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