Windows 11 is built on the foundations of Windows 10, and there are traces of the predecessor still evident throughout the new operating system. While Windows 11 is still in its testing phase, that's not an issue.
However, if you're already fed up with waiting for Microsoft to roll out the next big feature or demand more personalization options, open-source Windows 11 customization tool ThisIsWin11 could be what you're looking for. So, what is ThisIsWin11, and how can you use it to customize Microsoft's latest operating system?
What Is ThisIsWin11?
Dubbed “The Real PowerToys for Windows 11,” ThisIsWin11 is an unofficial customization tool that brings heaps of Windows 11 settings all under one umbrella.
In short, ThisIsWin11 is an all-in-one customization, tweaking, and debloating tool for Windows 11. And yes, some of Windows 10's infamous bloat has made the jump to Windows 11.
Currently, ThisIsWin11 comprises five different tools:
- Presenter: A step-by-step guide to help you configure Windows 11 exactly how you want it.
- PumpedApp: Check and customize Windows 11 configurations and settings.
- Kickassbloat: Remove Windows 11 pre-installed apps and bloatware with ease.
- Packages: Manage and remove Windows 11 apps.
- PowerClicks: Automate Windows 11 tasks with the click of a button, with tasks based upon PowerShell and other community scrips.
Some of the settings ThisIsWin11 changes aren't accessible through a normal menu or are buried deep within Windows 11. While this does come with its own risks, ThisIsWin11 shouldn't break your Windows 11 installation beyond repair, and many of the features have an undo or revert option.
Let's take a closer look at how you can use ThisIsWin11 to customize Windows 11.
How to Customize Windows 11 With ThisIsWin11
As above, ThisIsWin11 works in five primary areas. However, within the app, the names of the tools above have different, slightly more friendly names.
Before continuing, you need to download ThisIsWin11.
- Head to the ThisIsWin11 Releases page and download the latest version (this overview uses version 0.72.0). The file is named ThisIsWin11.zip.
- Locate the file you downloaded, then right-click and select Extract all.
- Choose a location to extract the files too, select Show extracted files when complete, then press Extract.
- After the files finish extracting, which will only take a moment, a new folder containing the files will open. Double-click ThisIsWin11.exe to launch the program.
1. Get Started With Windows 11
The ThisIsWin11 Home also doubles up as the first feature: the Presenter mode. This tool guides you through each Windows 11 setting, allowing you to make changes and customizations as you go.
Select the arrow in the bottom right corner to move between the pages, or skip to the setting you want to adjust using the drop-down menu. Each page comes with a description of what it is and how it is different in Windows 11.
There's the option to Preview this page, which, when selected, opens the Windows 11 feature with its current settings. However, you can also select Configure this page to open the relevant Windows 11 settings, from which you can change settings to your liking.
For example, on the Modern File Explorer page, selecting Configure this page opens the File Explorer Options, where you can change the file view, Quick access settings, and so on.
The range of options differs between pages, and some options have much more customization available. Features that have been extensively changed in Windows 11, such as the Start menu, have more options available.
2. The System Tab
The ThisIsWin11 System tab is where you find the proper nuts and bolts of the tool (and the operating system!). The System menu allows you to turn numerous settings on and off, listing every potential setting change.
Unfurl the first list to reveal the five categories: Personalization, System, Gaming, Privacy, and App Permissions.
Under each category, you'll find a list of new Windows 11 features that you can disable. The best option is to head through the list and select settings on a personal basis. After all, you're best placed to understand how the settings work on your system.
But if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you can press the Check button to automate the process. From here, ThisIsWin11 will scan your current settings and check or uncheck any boxes it things might require changing. Scan through the list after the Check completes and toggle anything on or off that you want, then select Fix issues to implement the changes.
As noted in the app, the developers are rolling out development, system, and privacy setting fixes cautiously as Windows 11 is still under development. As a result, settings and configurations are likely to change, rending ThisIsWin11's efforts impotent.
3. The Apps Page
The Apps page is a handy installer and uninstaller for Windows 11 default apps. An extensive list of apps come installed with the operating system, just as there was with Windows 10.
Guess what? People didn't like it then, and they still don't like now.
The Apps tool aims to make it much easier to remove those apps from your operating system. Just be aware that some apps can have a knock-on effect on other services. Furthermore, don't disable anything you actually use because you don't recognize the name or are unsure.
One thing that's really good about this Apps tool is that it keeps your discarded apps in a recycling bin of sorts. If you realize you've broken something or want an app back, you can restore it from the ThisIsWin11 recycling bin, which is very handy.
4. The Packages Tool
Packages is another handy ThisIsWin11 tool. You can use Packages to download and install the latest version of a long list of really useful tools, such as 7-Zip, Audacity, Rufus, ShareX, Steam, Zoom, and much more.
It's simple to use: select the apps you want to install, hit Create Package, then hit Run Installer. You're good to go.
The final tool, Automate, is a tasking and scripting tool for Windows 11. These scripts enable certain features or allow you to schedule specific tasks to run.
For example, the Remove OneDrive script removes and disables the OneDrive integration in the File Explorer and elsewhere in Windows 11, while Remove telemetry of third-party apps disables telemetry features in a number of popular apps.
The Automate tool is a bit more advanced than the other ThisIsWin11 options, but each task comes with a description of what it does and how it works. If you're unsure if you need a feature or if switching something off will break other parts of your Windows 11 experience, it's worth leaving it alone (or completing an internet search to see how it will affect you.)
Customizing and Debloating Windows 11 With ThisIsWin11
All in all, it's a handy tool for Windows 11, especially at a time when the new operating system is still young. As with Windows 10, more customization tools will appear, but for now, ThisIsWin11 is one of the best one-stop shops for extensive Windows 11 customization.
Author: Gavin Phillips
Source: Gavin Phillips.” How to Customize Windows 11 with ThisIsWin11″. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/how-to-customize-windows-11-with-thisiswin11/
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