Things to look out for in Windows 11

If you buy or receive a new Windows laptop or PC from Santa its going to come with Windows 11 installed. Here are a few “must do’s” and some “that’s a good idea” things to do in order to save a lot of trouble in the future.

You will need a Microsoft account to get Windows 11 set up. If you have one already (usually a hotmail or email address) use it, otherwise you will need a new account with Microsoft. Be absolutely sure that you know what the email address and password that you set at this stage are written down or recorded somewhere other than just in the computer.

You will also need to set a PIN. Record this too. If you forget your password can’t access the email address for your Microsoft account and also forget the PIN there’s a very good chance that you will lose everything on your computer as data recovery from Windows 11 hard disks ranges from very difficult to impossible in certain circumstances (Windows 11 Pro encrypts hard disks by default).

During setup you will be asked if you want to store your data locally (on the computer hard disk) or in the Microsoft One Drive cloud system. The cloud is handy if you don’t have a lot of data (the first 5GB are free) and need to access files from several devices, but we recommend keeping your files on the computer with a proper backup solution in place.

Regardless of where your data “lives” always keep at least one other copy on a different computer, external hard disk or USB stick.

Windows 11 harvests an enormous amount of your data – what you search for, your internet history etc. in order to “improve your experience” by targeting adverts and content to you. This needs to be turned off in our opinion. This website:

will show you how to do it, or if you aren’t sure about it come and see us.

You’ll also be pressured into signing up for Office 365 for a monthly or annual recurring fee. This isn’t necessary as perfectly good free alternatives such as Open Office or Libre Office are available free of charge.

Your new computer will probably also come with a 3 month trial subscription to either McAfee or Norton security software. In our opinion these products are a waste of time and the inbuilt security software in Windows is more than adequate for the home user. Don’t be pushed into buying an expensive licence and uninstall either of these packages as soon as you can.

As ever please ask for help or advice if you get stuck with anything. Advice is always free at PECS.

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