WSB - Windows 11 Upgrade

A guide to the Wisconsin School of Business Windows 11 upgrade process.

Windows 11 Upgrade

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest release of the Windows operating system. It has enhanced security features as well as a refreshed look. Below we will outline changes and new features in the form of a user guide, informing you of when you can expect to be upgraded, and showing the results of compatibility testing we performed.

Table of Contents

Windows 11 User Guide

This section will guide you through some of the most important changes and new features that Windows 11 has to offer and help you easily transition to Windows 11.

User Guide Table of Contents

1. Taskbar Settings

Windows 11 has moved the taskbar's default position to the center of the screen, with the Start Button on the far-left hand side (Fig 1).

W11 Taskbar
Fig 1. Windows 11 Desktop with Taskbar in the center of the screen, highlighted.

The functionality of the taskbar is the same as it is in Windows 10. You can pin your applications to it for easy access and it will show an icon for any application that you have open.

If you prefer to have the taskbar on the left-hand side as it was before it is simple to change it back. Right click on the taskbar and select “Taskbar Settings” (Fig 2).

Taskbar Settings Gif
Fig 2. Right clicking taskbar and selecting "Taskbar Settings".

You’ll then find yourself in the Windows 11 Settings menu, specifically in the Personalization settings for your taskbar (Fig 3). To move your taskbar to the left-hand side of your screen click the “Taskbar Behaviors” section at the bottom to expand the menu. The first option under the expanded menu is to change the taskbar alignment.

Taskbar Behaviors Screen
Fig 3. Windows 11 Taskbar Settings Menu - Taskbar Behaviors and Taskbar alignment highlighted.

Simply click the drop-down menu where it says “Center” and change it to “Left”.

Besides the taskbar location, on this same page you can alter many other aspects of the taskbar (Fig 4).

General Taskbar Settings
Fig 4. Windows 11 Taskbar Settings Menu - Full Page with Taskbar items, System tray icons, and Other system tray icons highlighted.

“Taskbar Items” will allow you to choose which default Windows 11 applications are pinned to your taskbar. We recommend turning off Task View and Widgets if they are enabled. 

“System Tray Icons” will allow you to choose which system icons appear in the tray on the right-hand side of your taskbar (Fig 5).

Finally, “Other System Tray Icons” will allow you to choose which of all your remaining applications that run in the background are visible in the tray, again, on the right-hand side of your taskbar. The tray is pictured below for reference. 

System Tray
Fig 5. Windows 11 System Tray.

2. Windows Start Menu

The Windows Start Menu has also changed in appearance. Unlike the taskbar, however, it does not have the same functionality as Windows 10. Previously, in Windows 10, when you opened the Windows Start Menu you would receive a full list of all of your installed applications and would be able to search that list. You could pin applications in the Start Menu, to create a tile off to the side of this list. Now, the default state of the Start Menu is a page for pinned applications, and recommended files and applications, and the full list is one click away (Fig 6).

Start Menu
Fig 6. Windows 11 Start Menu with Pinned, Recommended, All Apps, and Power and Settings highlighted.

This annotated image shows the default setup for the new start menu. Some alterations can be made, but first we’ll go through this default as it is.

1. Here we have our Pinned applications; these are applications that are either in your taskbar, or in the list of all applications that you right click and “Pin to Start Menu” for easy access.

2. Recommended. These will be recently or frequently used applications, and recently or frequently opened files.

3. The “All Apps” button. If you click “All Apps” you will see a full list of applications like you had in Windows 10.

4. Your power and settings icons are still along the bottom, just now at the bottom right of the Start Menu rather than the bottom left.

As with the Taskbar, if you right click on any blank space in the start menu, you can get to your “Start Menu Settings” (Fig 7).

Start Menu Settings Gif
Fig 7. Right clicking start menu and selecting Start Menu Settings.

This will open the Start Menu Settings screen, pictured below (Fig 8).

Start Menu Settings Screen
Fig 8. Windows 11 Start Menu Personalization Settings.

The top three images are variations in the layout of your Start Menu. The default is a relatively even balance of pinned applications, and recommended files and applications. You can move that in either direction, either having “More pins” or “More recommendations”.

Then, in the check boxes below, you can choose whether or not to show recently added apps, most used apps, or recently opened items in the recommended section of the start menu. There is no option to go straight to the “All Apps” list when clicking the Windows Start Menu button in Windows 11.

3. File Explorer

File Explorer is sporting a slightly revamped look as well. Most icons look a little bit different, and everything is by default more spaced out. However, all of the functionality of File Explorer is the same. If you do not like how the spacing is now, you can quickly change it in File Explorer’s “View” settings simply by enabling “Compact View” (Fig 10).

Compact View Gif
Fig 9. Enabling "Compact View" in File Explorer.

The biggest changes in File Explorer come in the form of the ribbon at the top of the application. All of the functions that previously lived in the ribbon have been shrunk down into easily recognizable icons and the space has been used to display a new "tab" feature in File Explorer (Fig 11).

Taskbar Ribbon
Fig 11. File Explorer ribbon highlighting new tab system and quick icon functions.

Similarly to a Web Browser window, you can click the small + sign to create a new tab in File Explorer. This will allow you to go looking for other files that are stored elsewhere, without having to open up multiple different File Explorer Windows. Additionally, beneath the new tab system, we have icon buttons for all of the most used functions. From left to right, we have buttons to create a new file, folder, etc. in the current location, then Cut, Copy, Paste, Rename, Share, and Delete. Turning these common functions into simple icons carries on into the "Right Click Options" for files. 

Now, in Windows 11, when you right click a file to make changes to it, you’ll see the menu shown below (Fig 12).

Right Click Options
Fig 12. Right Click Menu highlighting quick icon functions and show more options button.

The functionality is mostly the same, while minimizing the overall size of the menu. Here again we see most of these icons again, Cut, Copy, Rename, Share, and Delete from left to right. However, if you click “Show More Options” the bottom most option on the menu, you will be shown the familiar Windows 10 right click menu where every function is listed out by name in a long list. 

4. Window Snapping Changes

Previously in Windows 10, you could click and drag windows to snap them to either your full screen, the left half of your screen, or the right half of your screen. Windows 11 adds additional window snapping options. To use them, while clicking and dragging a window, bring it to the top of the screen, and a bar will drop down with options to snap the window to a variety of locations. Hover the window over one of those locations, and when you let go, it will snap to that location (Fig 13).

Window Snapping Gif
Fig 13. Showing how to use Windows 11 Window Snapping functionality in practice.

Below is a close up of the standard array of snapping options (Fig 14).

Window Snapping Locations
Fig 14. Standard window snapping options.

Additionally, if you have a monitor with resolutions above standard 1920x1080, more options will appear to accommodate the size of your display (Fig 15).

Window Snapping Locations at Higher Resolutions
Fig 15. Standard window snapping options for higher resolution displays.

5. System Control Tray

In the bottom right corner of your screen are your volume controls and network settings. These items have been moved into a single control menu. When you click on any of these icons, the control menu for all of them will open (Fig 16).

System Tray Control Center
Fig 16. System Control Tray with control icons, audio device, and edit button highlighted.

From this menu you can control your Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth connections, toggle on and off airplane mode, and alter some power, display, and accessibility options. Below those options is the volume slider, and on the far-right hand side of the volume slider is an icon that will either be a speaker or a phone symbol. To change what audio device your system is using, you can click that symbol to select a new device from the list that appears.

The last icon, the pencil, will allow you to alter what tiles are present in the upper area of the menu. You can unpin any of the existing tiles and pin new ones such as wireless screencasting controls, mobile hotspot connections, nearby sharing, and device projection mode.

6. Microsoft 365

As part of this move to Windows 11 we are also moving to Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365. This will be replacing Office 2019 Pro Plus. Microsoft 365 contains the same suite of Microsoft Office applications, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher, but now also offers full OneDrive integration with these applications for auto save functionality, as well as other productivity tools. Microsoft 365 gives all of the standard Office applications a visual update, and implements an automatic update system that will keep you up to date with the latest features and security patches for all you Microsoft applications. 

Because all of the aspects of Office 2019 Pro Plus are present in Microsoft 365, if you want to use Microsoft 365 the same way you used Office 2019 Pro Plus, you can do so. Microsoft 365 will simply provide expanded options for those that wish to take advantage. For a more in-depth breakdown of the features of Microsoft 365, you can reference this KB page made by DoIT who owns the service on campus:

As part of the Windows 11 Upgrade, your Outlook Signature will be deleted and you will need to re-create it. Simply go back to a previously sent email, copy your signature, and re-enter it. Directions on how to create a signature can be found here

Windows 11 End User Upgrade Timeline

Initially, ITS is running a small group pilot to test Windows 11 with our users in the Wisconsin School of Business environment. Once the small pilot is complete, we’ll move onto a larger pilot, and then after that we will be doing a soft roll out of Windows 11 school-wide. Below is a breakdown of our timeline.

  • Pilot I (10-15 users) will be from March 1st to April 27th.
  • Pilot II (30-40 users) will be from May 10th to July 17th.
  • All new computers purchased after May 1st will be distributed to end users with Windows 11.
  • August 2023 to July 2024 all remaining devices will be updated to Windows 11.

What should I do now?

There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready to upgrade to Windows 11. For the most part, you just want to make sure your data is safe and backed up.

  • Make sure all your files and folders are stored in a network or cloud storage location. Files stored on your Desktop, or in your Documents, Pictures, or Videos folders are not backed up by default, these files would be lost in the event of a storage failure or system wipe. Store these files instead in Box Drive, or in the Q Drive if they can be stored there. 
  • Backup your browser bookmarks or sync them to an account. Every major browser allows you to sign in or create an account. Doing so will allow you to save your bookmarks, saved passwords, etc. to an account, and will allow them to be immediately accessible if you sign into that account in the same browser, on another computer. Otherwise, you can export your bookmarks to a file and save them in a cloud storage location so you can import them again later. For instructions on how to export your bookmarks from Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, you can reference this guide:

Compatibility Testing – Windows 11

Below are compatibility test results for a variety of commonly deployed applications in our environment. We test installed each application and made sure that it launched successfully within Windows 11. Tests were conducted using a Dell Latitude 7490 with a fresh install of Windows 11 Education build 22000.194. Applications were also tested with an in-place upgrade from a managed Windows 10 device to Windows 11.

Test Results

@Risk (Palisade Decision Tools)



Alteryx Designer











Beyond Compare









Citrix Workspace




















Mail Merge Toolkit



Mersive Solstice


















SDC Platinum



Scientific Word



Scientific Workplace









Tableau for Teaching












Additionally, DoIT has done testing for some of the most used applications across campus (Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud/Acrobat, Box Drive, Zoom, etc.) Their testing results can be found here:

If you have any questions, or are looking for clarification on any of the information shared above, please reach out to us at and we'll be happy to provide further assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you have a video I can watch that explains this information?
A. Many videos about Windows 11 and its differences from Windows 10 can be found online. Here is one that we found particularly useful:

Q. How can I become a participant in Pilot II?
A. If work at the School of Business and you would like to participate in the second Pilot, please reach out to us at and let us know. 

KeywordsWindows, Windows 11, Upgrade, OS, Operating System, WSB, School of Business, Wisconsin School of Business, Business   Doc ID124051
OwnerJames F.GroupWisconsin School of Business
Created2023-02-14 09:52:22Updated2023-03-13 11:50:16
SitesWisconsin School of Business
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