How to Set Up Device Usage Settings in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to change device usage settings in Windows 11. The device usage settings in Windows tells Microsoft how you plan to use your device.

There are different types of usage settings available to you, and based on your selections, Microsoft might offer personalized tips, ads, and recommendations within Microsoft experiences.

You can also opt out or change your device usage options any time in the Settings app on Windows.

Here are some examples of tips, ads, and recommendations you might receive when you provide information on how you’ll use your device.

Device usage choiceExample
GamingYou might be offered an Xbox Game Pass trial or receive suggestions on apps and sites based on what is popular with gamers.
FamilyYou might see a notification to set up your Microsoft family group.
CreativityYou might get app and site suggestions related to creativity.
SchoolYou might see suggestions to store your school files in OneDrive.
EntertainmentYou might see pinned app suggestions for entertainment apps and sites.
BusinessYou might be offered a Microsoft 365 Business trial while using your PC.
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How to Change Video Playback Settings to Save Network Bandwidth in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to turn On or Off playback settings to save network bandwidth by playing video at a lower resolutions when using Windows 11. When you’re streaming videos wirelessly or using Miracast, playing different refresh rates on multiple monitors can cause your video display to malfunction.

Using Windows playback settings for apps that use Windows built-in video platform, you can control how these apps playback videos to automatically enhance the videos being played.

Apps such as Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which include Microsoft Edge, Photos, and Movies & TV, as well as many third-party video apps you get from Microsoft Store (for example, Hulu, Netflix, and Vudu) can use Windows playback settings.

When you set up Windows to play video at lower resolutions, you can have your PC process video to enhance it (depending on your PC’s hardware).

Below is how to turn on of off video playback settings to save network bandwidth in Windows 11

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How to Change Playback Settings to Automatically Enhance Videos in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to turn On or Off playback settings automatically enhance videos during playback when using Windows 11. Windows has a feature to control playback settings that can automatically enhance video for some apps that use Windows built-in video platform.

Apps such as Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which include Microsoft Edge, Photos, and Movies & TV, as well as many third-party video apps you get from Microsoft Store (for example, Hulu, Netflix, and Vudu) can use Windows playback settings.

When this feature is enabled, you can have your PC process video to enhance it (depending on your PC’s hardware) or choose to play video at a lower resolution to help save network bandwidth.

Below is how to turn on of off video playback settings in Windows 11

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How to Boot from USB drive in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to boot from a USB flash drive when using Windows 11. There are multiple ways one can boot from a USB flash drive in Windows, and all these methods work well. Some work better than others in some cases.

One common way to boot from a USB drive is to use your computer boot menu. Your PC boot menu is accessible during the computer starts up process. It provides a way to load and install new operating system or access other external devices like a USB drive.

There are specific keys on the keyboard to access a computer boot menu. The keys that are generally used to access a computer boot menu are Esc, F2, F10 or F12. If any of the keys listed are not able to access your computer boot menu, then you may need to reference your PC manufacturer’s manual to get that.

Another way to boot from a USB is via Windows Advanced Startup (WinRE). We’re going to list some of the ways one can boot from a USB drive below.

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How to Boot to Advanced Startup (WinRE) in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to boot into Windows Advanced Startup (WinRE) in Windows 11. The Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) is a companion operating system installed alongside Windows, typically on a separate partition, that can help with troubleshooting, recovery, or booting from external media, such as a USB stick.

WinRE is similar to Windows PE (WinPE). You can think of WinPE as the base OS and WinRE as the user interface with some recovery tools added.

With WinRE, one can perform the follow Advanced startup actions:

  • Start Repair (WinRE), troubleshooting, and diagnostic tools.
  • Boot from a disk (USB or DVD) or device (UEFI only)
  • Access the PC’s UEFI firmware
  • Command Prompt can be used for advanced troubleshooting
  • System Restore helps restore Windows from image
  • Startup Settings help choose the default operating systems when multiple are installed.

When you boot into Advanced startup mode, Windows should launch support tools menu options. If you select a Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) feature from this menu, the PC restarts into WinRE and the selected feature is launched.

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How to Back up BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to back up BitLocker recovery key when using Windows 11. When you turn on BitLocker, it’s also extremely important that you back up its recovery key for all drives that has BitLocker enabled.

In fact, you’re required to save or print out BitLocker recovery key when setting up your machine the first time. That’s how important it is to have a recovery key. In the event that you can not find or locate the backup key while you still have access to your computer, use the steps below to create a new back up copy of the key.

BitLocker helps protect your data on your computer so only authorized users have access to it. If someone tries to access your BitLocker enabled computer without authentication, access will be denied.

Windows will require a BitLocker recovery key when it detects a possible unauthorized attempt to access the data. This extra step is a security measure to protect your data and computer.

If you can not locate the BitLocker key for your machine during the recovery process, you may not be able to access your data and will have to need to reset or clean install Windows 11.

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How to Show Military Time 24 Hour Clock Format on Lock Screen in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to show military time (24 hour) clock format on the lock screen in Windows 11. The lock screen is what one sees when they turn on their computer before logging in or when they lock their PC.

To login or return to your desktop when your session is locked, press any key on the keyboard to raise the lock screen curtain to reveal the logon screen. Enter your password to logon.

Windows has two separate lock screens. Default lock screen shows when no user is currently logged on to Windows. Current user lock screen shows when a user is logged on but the his/her session is locked.

By default, the lock screen shows Windows clock for a specific time zone. Windows lock screen can show either a 12-hour or 24-hour (military) clock format.

Below is how one changes to a 24 hour clock format on the lock screen if a standard time is shown.

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How to Turn On or Off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted Apps in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to enable or disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted Apps in Windows 11. Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are a category of software that can cause your machine to run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other unwanted spy tools.

When Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on, it can help block PUA apps and files and any attempts to download, run, or install them. If you try to download a suspicious app, SmartScreen will show you a warning screen and clearly identify the suspected threat and gives you a chance to stop before anything bad can happen.

These protections are built into Windows and it works with Microsoft Defender Endpoint on your device and in the cloud. Protection such as Controlled folder accessReal-time protectionTamper protection and Ransomware protection, Phishing protection are included with Microsoft Security.

Below is how to turn off or on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted Apps blocking in Windows 11

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How to Turn Off or On Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Microsoft Store Apps in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to enable or disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Microsoft Store Apps in Windows 11. By default, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen will warn users of sites and downloads used by Microsoft Store apps that are potentially dangerous. This can help protect users and devices from malware and viruses.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on and helps protect your device by checking for unrecognized apps and files from the Microsoft Store. If you try to download a suspicious app, SmartScreen will show you a warning screen and clearly identify the suspected threat and gives you a chance to stop before anything bad can happen.

These protections are built into Windows and it works with Microsoft Defender Endpoint on your device and in the cloud. Protection such as Controlled folder accessReal-time protectionTamper protection and Ransomware protection, Phishing protection are included with Microsoft Security.

Below is how to turn off or on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Microsoft Store apps in Windows 11

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How to Turn On or Off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to enable or disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge in Windows 11. When you are using Microsoft Edge browser, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen can help evaluate websites or downloads to see if they are known to be malicious, such as phishing sites, or tech support scams.

By default Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on and which helps protect your device by checking for unrecognized apps and files from the web. If you try to go to a website known to be dangerous, SmartScreen will show you a warning screen that clearly identifies the suspected threat and gives you a chance to close the browser tab before anything bad can happen.

These protections are built into Windows and it works with Microsoft Defender Endpoint on your device and in the cloud. Protection such as Controlled folder accessReal-time protectionTamper protection and Ransomware protection, Phishing protection are included with Microsoft Security.

Below is how to turn off or on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Edge in Windows 11

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How to Turn On of Off Search Highlights in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to show or hide search highlights in Windows 11. Windows Search lets you search from your taskbar to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s on your device, in the cloud, or on the web.

Microsoft will begin rolling out an update for Search in Windows that highlights interesting moments in time. This new feature is called search highlights. Right from the taskbar, when you search Windows Search will now discover what’s trending online, in the world, and in your organization.

The search box in Start and Search will periodically update with content, including fun illustrations, that help you discover more, like holidays, anniversaries, and other interesting moments in time both globally and in your region.

You also have control over the search highlights experience where if you prefer not to see this, you can turn it off or back on in Settings > Privacy & security > Search settings and toggling “Show search highlights”. 

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How to Turn On or Off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen Apps and Files Check in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to enable or disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen Check apps and files in Windows 11. Microsoft Defender SmartScreen protects against phishing or malware websites and applications, and the downloading of potentially malicious files.

By default Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on and which helps protect your device by checking for unrecognized apps and files from the web. If Microsoft Defender SmartScreen determines that a page or app is suspicious, it will show a warning page to advise caution.

A typical warning message should read “Windows protected your PC

These protections are built into Windows and it works with Microsoft Defender Endpoint on your device and in the cloud. Protection such as Controlled folder accessReal-time protectionTamper protection and Ransomware protection, Phishing protection are included with Microsoft Security.

Below is how to turn off or on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen check apps and files in Windows 11

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