ITS Online»Windows 11 Upgrade Guide

Windows 11 (For Faculty/Staff)

Win 11 Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest release of the Windows operating system. It has enhanced security features as well as a refreshed look. Our guide outlines the changes and new features available in Windows 11 as well as how to schedule your upgrade and what to do on your upgrade date.


On this page:

Changes & New Features

The visual update in Windows 11 has a modern yet familiar look; designed to help you focus on your best work.

Although Windows 11 is the newest iteration of Windows 10, it remains familiar to Windows 10, which makes the transition fairly easy.  

Taskbar, Start Menu, and File Explorer

Minor changes to Windows 11 can take some adjusting. Fortunately, the Taskbar in Windows 11 allows for a lot of personalization. You can use the taskbar for more than viewing apps and checking the time. Personalize it based on color, pin favorite apps, move or rearrange taskbar buttons. Like Windows 10, you can also check battery status and minimize all programs momentarily to get a better view of your desktop. For information about Windows 11 taskbar visit Microsoft: How to use the taskbar

Start Menu

As shown above, the start menu, which has previously lived in the lower-left hand corner of the screen, is now centered. If you prefer, you can change the location of the start menu and move it back to the lower-left corner. 

To change the Start Menu location: Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar Behaviors, align to center or left.

start menu change orientation start menu change orientation


File Explorer is a good example of a Windows 11 redesigned look. Like Windows 10, File Explorer helps you get to the files you need quickly and easily. Traditionally located in the lower-left hand corner, now centered along with the start menu. Note: the location will change when the start menu location is changed. For more information about File Explorer in Windows 11 visit Microsoft: How to use File Explorer.

win11 file explorer

 Microsoft Applications

Microsoft has updated the look and feel of every built-in application found in Windows 11, including Paint, Notepad, the Snipping tool, and more. The visual update is a modern yet familiar.

Office 365

Microsoft Office logo




Outlook icon

To Do App

Todo Icon

To Do App

Microsoft To Do is already a cross-platform app for creating, managing, and sharing tasks and lists. To Do is integrated with all Microsoft 365 applications, making it even easier to access your tasks list from anywhere, desktop, web, or mobile. With Windows 11, To Do now comes as a standard application found on your taskbar, along with the start menu. Visit the To-Do page

Todo app create task


Windows Snap Assist

Windows 11 comes with many new features to enhance your Windows experience. Quickly arrange multiple windows on your desktop by using the Windows 11 Snap Assist tool. To use Snap Assist, hover your mouse over a window’s maximize button or press Windows logo key + Z, then choose a snap layout to optimize your screen space.


Windows 11 Upgrades: What to Expect

Scheduling your Upgrade: ITS will be reaching out to individual faculty and staff to schedule their upgrade date. 

Your Windows 11 upgrade will run in a similar manner to regular Windows updates but will take longer to run (approx. 30-60 minutes). Once the update runs, it is very important that you restart your computer when prompted to do so. 


What to do on your Scheduled Upgrade Day (3 easy steps)


All of your files and applications will remain on your computer during your Windows 11 upgrade. Prior to the upgrade running, please make sure OneDrive is syncing properly. If you use Penn+Box or DropBox, make sure no errors are preventing a successful sync. Please also make sure your computer’s power cable is plugged in.


On your upgrade date, you will see the pending upgrade available in your systems tray (see screenshot below). Click on this notification icon to run the upgrade. A restart is needed to apply the new upgrade. While the device is applying the upgrade, do not power off the machine and do not unplug the power cable.



You can also manually check for the upgrade.

  • Go to Settings > Windows Update > and select Check for updates.

Wiindows 11-Upgradee Process

Not seeing Upgrade to Windows 11 on your device? Email to get help installing Windows 11. 

When prompted, restart to apply changes. 

Windows 11 upgrade process 3



Once Windows 11 is installed, check for additional windows updates and restart if prompted. 

  • Go to Settings > Windows Update > and select Check for updates.

Wiindows 11-Upgradee Process 2



Tips & Keyboard Shortcuts: Windows 11


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