It's not a usable operating system, sorry.
This is to keep a record for setting up any new machines I get that happen to be unfortunate enough to have to deal with Windows 11 for some reason on. This’ll probably need an update as they force more generative AI nonsense into the OS, but for now, this more or less covers it.
So, so many reasons. Look, I’ve used a lot of versions of Windows. It’s normally my daily driver OS because of gaming and compatibility at large, but damn, have they made the worst version since Millenium Edition of late.
Here’s a mostly-unordered list of my problems:
- Every single rewritten, improved application is slower. Usually dramatically. This is on high end hardware, slow hardware, everything. Notepad? Task Manager? Paint? It doesn’t matter what it is. It performs worse.
- Snipping Tool does not work with multiple monitor resolutions/scaling factors. This worked in Windows 10. I can prove this because, spoilers, one of my fixes later is just using the 10 versions.
- Every single thing they did to the Start Menu. It’s the least configurable and least usable it’s ever been. It’s also slower and less reliable on search, which means that even trying to just ignore it existing sucks.
- Taskbar problems. Centering by default, no sizing options, incredibly limited configuration.
- Explorer problems. What the hell did you do to my right click menu and why? It’s even slower to render. I don’t understand how you fucked this up so hard.
- Newer settings screens bury things 2-3 menus deeper for no reason. Everything is harder to find if it doesn’t come up in search, and I don’t think this is just muscle memory talking.
- Making sharing even worse than it was from a rolled back state in Windows 10. I know that most people aren’t doing local networking of any measure but it’s ridiculous that we’ve backtracked so far on being able to share files between your own devices on the same network.
- So, so many ads in Windows 11
- Volume on screen display moved to cover subtitles. What’s that, you can’t hear the thing you’re watching? Well, now you can’t read what’s going on either!
- On screen display is incredibly low contrast and hard to read with most theme color selections.
the applications that help
These are the easy fixes. Just install a bunch of things and you get most of a usable operating system again.
Not freeware, but this is basically one of the stars of the show. This lets you fix most things with the taskbar or start menu.
So, so many settings fixes. Context menus, a lot of taskbar stuff, etc.
I don’t honestly like this as much as I liked the flyouts in 10, but it’ll do. At least you can get something with readable contrast and in the right position.
I don’t have a source for this one that doesn’t seem sketchy as hell, but Modern Flyouts can’t hide the included OSD, so you end up with two. This hides the built-in OSD, letting you see subtitles again.
the process that can help
So if you have a Windows 10 machine, you can fix a lot of other problems yourself. This will absolutely void your warranty and I’m not supporting this. If these instructions don’t make sense to you, you probably do not want to try this.
With that said: Do this on both the Windows 10 and Windows 11 machine, so that you have backups in case anything goes horribly wrong.
- Take ownership of new files
- Modify permissions to get write on new files
- Replace Win11 files with Win10 files
- Remove modified permissions
- Replace owner back to
This will work reliably on Snipping Tool, but Task Manager seems to override itself.
some other settings
Scroll bars are now considered “accessibility” instead of, I don’t know, basic functionality. You can re-enable them at
Settings > Accessibility > Visual effects > Always show scroll bars.