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Windows 11

Installation

Bypass incompatibility check: Universal MediaCreationTool wrapper

I installed it on two incompatible devices, using the Universal MediaCreationTool wrapper to bypass the incompatibilities.

Progress

I have installed it on two devices by now. In both cases, the installation was flawless.

Look and feel / User preferences

Windows 11 has the taskbar at the bottom, and doesn't allow QuickLaunch folders. Two preferences that can be overcome using third party tools.

Trial 1: OpenShell cross

  • install !WinaeroTweaker
    • in WinaeroTweaker, go to Windows 11 ► Enable Classic Taskbar
    • also click 'Enable System Icons' and enable clock, network & sound
  • install !OpenShell
  • small icons & don't group icons: registry tweak:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
    • small icons: "TaskbarSmallIcons"=dword:00000002
    • don't group icons: "TaskbarGlomLevel"=dword:00000002
source: https://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/odtoyp/am_i_the_only_one_who_wants_quick_launch_in/

issue: Windows Explorer search box not accessible (see https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu/discussions/745#discussioncomment-1446338)

Trial 2: !StartAllBack tick

https://www.startallback.com/
  • free trial: 30 days
  • license key:
    • 1 PC: $4.99 (€4.30)
    • 2 PCs: $8.99 (€7.75)
This seems to work seamlessly with Windows 11, not breaking the Windows Explorer search.

It has the following advantages:
  • position the taskbar where you want: bottom, left, top, right
  • add a quick launch bar
  • ungroup taskbar items:
    in the navpane of the app, choose Taskbar: then in the 'Tweak behavior and superpowers' section, next to Combine tasbar buttons, choose Never)
  • classic context menus:
    in the navpane of the app, choose Explorer: then in the Make it top notch' section, check the Classic context menus checkbox

Hide language bar tick

This requires two steps. Both are required to hide the language bar under all circumstances!

Step 1: Turn Input Indicator system icon off

  • classic Control Panel > Systeemvakpictogrammen > Turn system icons on or off
  • Input Indicator: Off

Step 2: Language Bar: Hidden

  • (modern) Settings > Time & language
  • Typing
  • Advanced keyboard settings
  • in the Switching input methods section:
    • enable Let met use a different input method for each app window
    • enable Use the desktop language bar when it's available
  • then click on the Language bar options link
    • choose Hidden
    • click Apply
source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNGMScAAFB0

Volume control !EarTrumpet app tick

In Windows 10, you were able to click the Volume icon and then use the left/right arrow keys to lower/increase the volume. In Windows 11, this is no longer possible, making the Volume icon part of the Quick Settings. The third-party app EarTrumpet made this possible again.

On my PC at the office, the default Volume icon returned after a couple of days, I suppose due to a domain group policy, so there the use of the EarTrumpet app has become superfluous…

Cascade windows

Trial 1: vbscript cross

If you rightclick the taskbar in Windows 10, you have the possibility to Cascade windows.

The following .vbs script does the same…

set objShell = CreateObject("shell.application")
objShell.CascadeWindows()

… in Windows 10.

However, in Windows 11, nothing happens!

Nevertheless, the method is present in Windows 11. Issue the following PowerShell command:

New-Object -ComObject "Shell.Application" | gm | select Name, MemberType

Trial 2: FastKeys tick

https://www.fastkeysautomation.com/
  • based on AutoHotkey
  • free trial: 15 days
  • personal license key: $19 (up to 3 computers)
Configuration:
  • choose Shortcuts in the navbar on the left
  • choose New (+) in the top right corner
  • choose Command instead of Run in the blue colored top left corner
  • click on the Library icon (booklet) in the black colored bar at the top
  • choose Window in the Command section
  • scroll down to Cascade Windows, select it and click on the Select button
  • the following appears:
DllCall( "CascadeWindows", uInt,0, Int,4, Int,0, Int,0, Int,0 )
  • position your cursor in the Shortcut field and press the desired shortcut key (e.g. Alt+C)
  • click on OK

Trial 3: AutoHotKey tick

Create an .ahk script with the same command as the FastKeys command:
DllCall( "CascadeWindows", uInt,0, Int,4, Int,0, Int,0, Int,0 )

Using the Ahk2Exe, you can convert the .ahk script to an executable. Afterwards, you can put a shortcut to this .exe file wherever you want.

Finetuning

VPN settings

In Windows 10, you could access VPN settings easily by clicking the Network or the Wi-Fi icon in the system tray / notification area. In Windows 11, the Wi-Fi icon only shows the available Wi-Fi networks, the Network icon opens the quick settings panel, containing Night ligt, Focus assit, Project etc. If VPN isn't available here, you can add it.

The Power icon also opens the quick settings panel.

On my Home PC, I don't have a wired network, so I don't have Network icon, neither have I a Power icont, so I cannot access the VPN settings using either icon. It is available through Settings (Win+I) > Network & internet > VPN, but that's rather cumbersome.

What I did, was adding the Control Center icon to the system tray / notification area.

In a Windows Explorer window, go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Notification Area Icons\System Icons and set the Control Center to On.

Issues

Windows 11 File Explorer Command Bar missing

Right after the upgrade to Windows 11, the File Explorer showed no Command Bar.

Using StartAllBack, I was able to choose the Win10 Ribbon UI (from the Explorer section in the TOC), but whenever I chose Win11 Command Bar, it didn't appear.

Then I found this tip on MAJOR GEEKS.

Apparently, the Win11 Command Bar was blocked, you can unblock it issuing the following registry tweak:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; MajorGeeks.Com
; How to Restore the Classic File Explorer Ribbon in Windows 11
; Tutorial: https://www.majorgeeks.com/content/page/restore_file_explorer_11.html

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked]
"{e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}"=-

Afterwards, restart Explorer.

Taskbar

  • that the taskbar is at the bottom and can't be moved, okay, I can live with it
  • that I can't add a QuickLaunch bar, okay, I can live with it, I'll use Pin to taskbar, but…
  • nearly half (11 out of 24) of the items I'd like to pin to the taskbar, can't be pinned to the taskbar (Event Viewer, WinSCP, PSPad, IB Expert, MySQL Workbench, …)
Solution: StartAllBack

Icons

.bat / .exe files which I gave a custom icon, sometimes appear with a blank page icon.

Solution: move these icons from the network location to a local drive

Searching in Explorer

I can't put my cursor in the Search field if I launch the File Explorer throught the default shortcut.

Workaround:
  • open the 'old' Control Panel: now the Search field is accessible, even if I move to 'regular' folders

Solution: use StartAllBack instead of OpenShell.

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