Your guide to a better future
Windows 10 and 11 actually have a lot of differences. We’ll walk you through them.
Alison DeNisco Rayome
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a managing editor at CNET, now covering home topics after writing about services and software. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is a writer for CNET’s services and software team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby oversees Tech Tips coverage and curates the CNET Now daily newsletter. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating systems share many similarities, there are some . The newer version offers a more Mac-like aesthetic and more productivity features — plus the chance to finally .
Let’s dig into the big changes Microsoft made and what’s actually different. And make sure you check out , and how to . Once you’re ready, we’ll show you .
Windows 11 features a new design with a centered Start menu and Taskbar.
Windows 11 brings a brand-new, more Mac-like interface to the OS. It features a clean design with rounded corners and pastel shades. The also moves to the center of the screen along with the Taskbar. But you can , where they are in Windows 10, if you prefer.
Windows 11 finally lets you download Android apps to your PC.
through the , via the Amazon Appstore. (There were a couple of ways to access Android apps on Windows 10, including , but this will make it native.) This is something Windows users have been waiting for for years and marks another move toward the merging of mobile and laptop devices.
You’ll find it easier to create and toggle between different virtual desktops in Windows 11 than in Windows 10.
Windows 11 lets you in a way that’s similar to on a Mac. It allows you to toggle between multiple desktops at once for personal, work, school or gaming. In Windows 10, this feature was harder to set up and use.
It’s easier to group different sets of windows and apps together and move between a desktop and a monitor thanks to Snap Layouts and Snap Groups.
The new OS includes features called — collections of the apps you’re using at once that sit in the Taskbar, and can come up or be minimized at the same time for easier task switching. They also let you plug and unplug from a monitor easily, without losing where your open windows are located.
Microsoft Teams is built directly into the Taskbar in Windows 11 for easier video calling.
and is now integrated directly into the Windows 11 Taskbar, making it easier to access (and a bit more like Apple’s FaceTime). You can access Teams from Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.
Launch widgets from the Taskbar in Windows 11 to see at-a-glance information like weather, news and stocks.
While they’ve been around for a while (remember desktop gadgets on Windows Vista?), including in a , you can now and personalize them to see whatever you’d like.
Microsoft made Windows 11 easier to use on tablets than Windows 10.
For tablets, Microsoft has aimed to improve the experience for touch, with more space between icons on the Taskbar, and support for gestures. Windows 11 also adds haptics to your digital pen, so you can hear and feel vibrations as you use it for taking notes or drawing. Finally, the OS introduces voice typing and commands across the system.
Windows 11 brings some tech additions from the Xbox for better gaming.
, like Auto HDR and DirectStorage, to improve gaming on your Windows PC. This marks another move toward integrating PCs and Xbox consoles for Microsoft.
For more, check out and .
Your guide to a better future