The Ten Worst Things about Windows 11

We enjoy the sleek appearance and increased speed of Microsoft’s newest operating system, but it still has certain flaws. Here’s what people complain about the most.


  1. Windows 11 hardware requirements are too stringent.

At launch, much was made of Windows 11’s stringent hardware requirements. This criticism mostly impacts users looking to update their current PC to Windows 11. I’ve made the argument that Microsoft isn’t really interested in that situation. The corporation does not want you to update to Windows 11. Instead, it wants you to purchase a new computer that runs Windows 11.

To be honest, several of the system requirements for Windows 11 are fairly modest, including a 1GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Those sound like specs from a decade ago. The actual roadblocks are three specific hardware specifications.


The CPU must be recent, within the previous three years.


The PC must include a TPM security chip.


The computer’s firmware must be able to use Secure Boot.


Even the final two needs have become normal on PCs in recent years. I would argue that the current CPU requirement is the stumbling barrier for most failed upgraders—it has kept me from updating numerous of my PCs. Some expect that Microsoft may extend the number of machines that can be updated to Windows 11


For people who are unable to purchase a new PC or upgrade their current one to Windows 11, Microsoft has changed its prior policy of only allowing corporations to pay for extended security updates to Windows 10 after its 2025 expiry date. Individuals can now pay for prolonged updates, though the yearly cost has yet to be determined.


  1. Changing Default Apps in Windows 11 Is Too Hard.


To configure a default app in Windows 11, you must allocate each file type to its appropriate app. Instead of changing a single option to make CyberLink PhotoDirector your preferred picture software for all images, you must go through all of the file kinds and protocols that a web browser supports: BMP, DNG, JPG, PNG, TIFF, NEF, and so on. There is no reason for the default app settings to be so convoluted. In later OS versions, Microsoft has made it easy to set the default browser.


  1. To use Windows 11, you must sign in with a Microsoft Account.


Running Windows 11 Home Edition requires users to sign in to a Microsoft account, which provides several benefits such as single sign-in for office apps, OneDrive backup, syncing settings across multiple devices, full-disk encryption for the system drive, and the ability to reinstall Windows without a serial number. I dare you to find a single Mac user who does not login into an Apple account to use their computer, and forget about using a Chromebook without first logging into a Google account. But for some reason, people freak out when they have to sign into a Windows account. Actually, it is only required during setup, not for using the computer once it has been set up, and there are ways for eliminating the account need during setup.


  1. Windows 11’s Start Menu is less usable than Windows 10’s.


The Start button and Start menu have been key topics of dispute in almost every major new version of Windows. For me, the Windows 10 Start menu does things properly and is an unappreciated feature. MacOS does not offer something as convenient. The Launchpad is present, but it is not as accessible and integrated as the Windows Start menu. The similar Chrome OS launcher serves as the blueprint for the new Windows 11 Start menu, which I believe is unattractive. With Windows 10, having everything in the lower left means the menu does not block programs running in the center of the screen. At the very least, you may left-align Windows 11’s Start button by going to Settings.


The Start menu in Windows 10 also provides quick access to power, settings, and folders, all located just above the Start button. Fortunately, Windows 11 upgrades have made it possible to access items from the new Start menu. It also displays the most frequently used and recently installed apps at the top (if enabled). Instead, Windows 11 provides suggested and pinned app and document icons. Though they’re not particularly popular, I like Windows 10’s Start menu tiles because they allow you to prioritize apps depending on tile size. Use a larger tile to make a more critical app stand out. I have large tiles for Spotify and WhatsApp so I won’t have to look for them. They are considerably better for touch screen use


  1. The taskbar is less useful than it was.


One issue with the centered taskbar in Windows 11 is that the Start button is not centered. It is located at the left end of the taskbar, and its location varies as you start new programs.


Fortunately, there is a remedy. Navigate to Taskbar Settings, then Taskbar Behaviors, then set Taskbar Alignment to Left. That way, the Start button remains in the same location it has for decades. It would be fantastic if Microsoft included an option to center the Start button for people who prefer that layout. Whatever your preference, once you’ve decided where to set the button, it should stay there.


In unrelated Taskbar news, Windows 11’s app buttons provide less information. Similar to how it works on macOS, they don’t make it plain which apps are running and which are simply pin. You couldn’t initially make them broader; however, the 23H2 upgrade restored this functionality. Simply choose Never from the Combine taskbar and hide labels settings. Taskbar buttons do not display download or processing status, although Windows 10 applications do.


  1. Windows 11 ‘forces’ you to use the Edge browser.


Some Windows 11 customers are complaining about being compelled to use Microsoft Edge as their web browser. This issue has received more than its fair amount of attention, yet it is deceptive. On Windows 11, you may use whatever web browser you like, but some limited OS tasks, such as the built-in search and weather services, will launch Edge automatically. I joyfully installed Firefox and Chrome. Nonetheless, after some early doubts, I’ve grown to like Edge’s style and features, which make Chrome and Firefox appear out of date and limiting. By the way, try changing your default browser on Chrome OS, iOS, or iPadOS! While there are several browsers on the Apple App Store, Cupertino imposes them to use Apple’s Safari web browser as the underlying web rendering engine.


  1. Windows 11 Removes the Action Center, and Its Replacements Stink.

The Windows 10 Action Center was one of the finest Windows improvements in years, but it’s gone in Windows 11, replaced with a jumble of distinct settings and notification panels similar to those seen in macOS. When you click Battery, you don’t only get battery information. Clicking the Wi-Fi icon does not display Wi-Fi settings or available networks. My colleague Matthew Buzzi pointed out to me that in the original Windows 11 release, the Volume Mixer was no longer accessible from the Toolbar, but it is now available via a right-click menu. The Windows 10 Action Center integrates fast settings and notifications in a single, configurable panel. It’ll be missed. The modification also harms tablet users, as you’ll see in the next section.


  1. Windows 11: A Step Backward for Tablets

I was content using my Surface Go simply as a touch tablet running Windows 10—I never even purchased a keyboard for it. I find it more functional this way than an iPad, mostly because swiping in from the right opens the Action Center and sliding in from the left opens the Task View. Unfortunately, both of these activities are no longer available in Windows 11. Another incredibly useful tablet motion, swiping down from the top to close an app, is now gone. Yes, there are new three-finger gestures for minimizing an app and opening the task view, but they are less handy when holding the tablet by its sides, which is the natural way to handle it. We’ve discovered that Windows 11 doesn’t always move to the new, watered-down tablet mode, which means that the on-screen keyboard does not show when I tap in a text box.


  1. You Still Need Third-Party Antivirus With Windows 11

While PCMag security expert Neil Rubenking acknowledges that Windows Defender has improved significantly in recent years and that Windows 11 increases security, he believes that third-party antivirus software is still necessary. Independent malware testing laboratories report mixed results for the renamed Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which falls short of the competition in phishing prevention.


  1. Windows 11 isn’t innovative.


This is more of a philosophical dilemma for me. Even while Windows 8 was hated and did significant harm to the OS’s image, it did offer several dramatic innovations to Windows. Aside from a few features like as Snap Layouts, Windows 11 is essentially a copy of Chrome OS and macOS. That is not a valid justification for an OS update. If you want to produce a Chrome OS clone to target the education market, establish a distinct OS rather than skinning your core product to resemble it.


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