10 disadvantages of using windows 11
Microsoft’s latest operating system has been praised for its clean design and improved performance, but some users are unhappy with its feature limitations. Here’s what people hate most about Windows 11.
- The hardware requirements of Windows 11 are too strict
At the beginning of its release, Windows 11 was very demanding on hardware. This complaint mainly affects those who want to upgrade their current PC to Windows 11. I’ve proven that this is not a scenario that Microsoft is very interested in. The company doesn’t want you to upgrade to Windows 11, it wants you to buy a new PC running Windows 11. Microsoft also doesn’t appear to be interested in DIY PC makers. There’s still no option to buy a standalone license for Windows 11 like Windows 10, so those looking to upgrade from Windows 7 or build a new PC themselves must install Windows 10 first and then go through the free upgrade program.
To be fair, many of Windows 11’s hardware requirements are actually pretty low — a 1GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. These sound like specs from 10 years ago. The real blockers are three specific hardware requirements.
The CPU must be recent, about the last three years.
The PC must have a TPM security chip.
The computer’s firmware must be able to use Secure Boot.
The last two requirements have long been the norm for PCs. I would argue that recent CPU demand is a stumbling block for most frustrated upgraders – it’s preventing me from upgrading a few of my PCs.
- Changing default apps in Windows 11 is too hard
To set default apps in Windows 11, you must assign each file type individually to the app you want to use with it. This means that instead of having to change a single setting such as CyberLink PhotoDirector to be the default photo application for all photos, you must check all file types and protocols that your web browser handles: BMP, DNG, JPG, PNG, TIFF, NEF and so on. There’s no reason the default app settings should be so complicated. Fortunately, Microsoft is reportedly working on an update to Windows 11 that will make it easier to set your default browser; hopefully this will extend to photos and other media types.
- You must be signed in to a Microsoft account to use Windows 11
Running Windows 11 Home requires users to be signed in to a Microsoft account, which offers benefits such as Office single sign-on, backup to OneDrive, syncing settings across multiple devices, full disk encryption of the system drive, and the ability to reinstall Windows without a serial number . I challenge you to find a Mac user who is not logged into their Apple account to use their computer, and has forgotten to use their Chromebook without being logged into their Google account. But when people have to log into their Windows accounts, they go crazy. In fact, only Windows 11 Home has this requirement. Windows 11 Pro doesn’t require you to log in, which I hope is the SKU the biggest complainer will use in any case, since only the techs care.
- The Windows 11 Start Menu is not as easy to use as Windows 10
With almost every major new version of Windows, the Start button and Start menu are a point of contention. For me, the Windows 10 Start menu is correct and an underappreciated feature. MacOS doesn’t have any convenience. Launchpad is there, but it’s not as direct and built-in as the Windows Start menu. The equivalent Chrome OS launcher is the model for the new Windows 11 Start menu, which I think is unfortunate. In Windows 10, putting everything in the lower left corner means that menus don’t cover apps running in the middle of the screen. Fortunately, if you dig into Settings, you can left-align the Windows 11 Start button (see the next item).
The Window 10 Start menu also provides easy access to power, settings, and folders above the Start button. It also puts the most used apps and the most recently installed apps first (if you enable this feature). That’s all gone in Windows 11, which offers suggested and pinned app and document icons. While they’re not particularly popular, I’m a fan of Start menu tiles because they allow you to prioritize apps based on the size of the tile. For more important apps that you want highlighted, use the larger magnet. I have big tiles for Spotify and WhatsApp so I don’t have to hunt for them. They are also better suited for touchscreen use.
- Windows 11’s taskbar isn’t as useful as Windows 10’s
One issue with Windows 11’s centered taskbar is that the Start button is not centered. It’s at the left end of the taskbar, and its position changes if you open more apps.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this annoyance. Go into the taskbar settings and change it to left alignment. That way, the Start button stays in a predictable position — just like it’s been for decades. It would be nice if Microsoft provided an option to center the Start button for those who prefer this arrangement. Whatever you like, once you choose a location for it, the button should stay the same.
In other taskbar news, app buttons are less informative. Similar to how it works in macOS, they don’t clearly show you which programs are running and which are just pinned. You can’t make them wider, and they don’t show download or processing progress like Windows apps do. Lastly, the Windows 11 taskbar doesn’t offer much drag-and-drop support, although reports suggest Microsoft is working to fix this in a future update.
- Windows 11 “forces” you to use the Edge browser
Some Windows 11 users have complained that they are now forced to use Microsoft Edge as their web browser. This complaint gets more than its fair share, but it’s misleading. You can use any web browser of your choice on Windows 11, but some limited OS features, like built-in search and weather features, automatically open Edge. I am happy to have Firefox and Chrome installed on the new OS. Still, after some initial reservations, I’ve come to appreciate Edge’s design and convenience that make Chrome and Firefox seem dated and limited. By the way, try changing your default browser on Chrome OS, iOS or iPadOS. While there are many browsers in the Apple App Store, Cupertino forces them to use Apple’s Safari web browser as the underlying web rendering engine.
- Windows 11 ditches Action Center, and its replacement stinks
The Window 10 Action Center was one of the best Windows additions in years, but in Windows 11 it’s gone, replaced by a variety of separate settings and notification panels like in macOS. Clicking on battery doesn’t just take you to battery info. Clicking the Wi-Fi icon does not open the Wi-Fi settings and available networks. My colleague Matthew Buzzi pointed out to me that the volume mixer is no longer accessible from the toolbar. Windows 10 Action Center combines quick settings and notifications in one convenient, customizable panel. It will be missed. As you’ll see in the next section, this change also hurt tablet users.
- Windows 11 is a step back for tablets
I’m happy to use the Surface Go only as a touch tablet under Windows 10 – I’ve never even bought a keyboard for it. I find this way more useful than the iPad, mainly because swiping in from the right opens the action center, and swiping in from the left opens the task view. Sadly, both actions are gone now. Another very useful tablet gesture, swiping down from the top to close apps, is gone too. Yes, there are new three-finger gestures to minimize apps and open task view, but those aren’t as convenient when you’re holding the tablet on its sides, which is the natural way to hold it. I’ve found that Windows 11 also doesn’t always reliably switch to the new, faded tablet mode, which means the on-screen keyboard doesn’t appear when I tap a text box.
- You still need a third-party antivirus for Windows 11
PCMag security expert Neil Rubenking, while acknowledging that Windows Defender has improved a lot over the past few years and that Windows 11 has improved security, says you still need third-party antivirus software. The rebranded Microsoft Defender Antivirus has received mixed results from independent malware testing labs, failing to compete with the competition in terms of phishing protection.
- Windows 11 is not innovative
This is more of a philosophical question for me about the “new” OS. While Windows 8 was reviled and caused significant damage to the operating system’s reputation, at least it made bold changes to Windows. Aside from a few things like Snap Layouts, Windows 11 is just mimicking Chrome OS and macOS. This is not a good reason to upgrade the operating system. If you want to clone Chrome OS for the education market, create a separate OS instead of making your main product look like it.
Despite these misgivings, Windows 11 has a lot to love: lovely new rounded window corners and smooth translucent design touches, snap layouts, widgets, Android app features, focus sessions in the Clock app, and PC Game improvements. For an in-depth look at everything we love and hate, check out our Windows 11 hub page.