Windows 11 has been out since 2021 and while it’s the latest innovation to Microsoft’s most popular invention, it’s still associated with a certain notoriety. Because it appears that Microsoft has only been fixing some of its most glaring issues just now, a myriad of bugs and clunky functionalities included. That begs the question, should you now upgrade to Windows 11? Is it safe?
Granted, it has always been safe technically, it’s just that we don’t guarantee you’ll have a pleasant user experience coming from Windows 10. Microsoft is trying to reinvent the wheel here, and it has hit a few road bumps along the way.
To better evaluate on whether you should upgrade to Windows 11 or not, here’s a more in-depth look through the pros and cons.
Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 11
Apart from Microsoft constantly nagging you in the Windows Update Settings to upgrade to Windows 11, there’s the fact that it’s newer and supposedly more future-proof. The urgency of the upgrade, after all, depends on how long Microsoft plans to keep supporting Windows 10, like what happened with Windows 7 in the past.
And while the general consensus even now is that Windows 10 is still a more refined and user-friendly experience, Windows 11 has its advantages in the following aspects.
“Better” Support for Intel 12th-Gen (or Later) CPUs
If you’re rocking a 12th-gen or 13th-gen Intel CPU, then you should most likely upgrade to Windows 11. One of the 12th-gen and later features for Intel CPUs is the Physical and Efficiency cores which boost performance while being selective about the resources it utilizes.
Microsoft promised better performance using the Windows 11 with update 22H2, making a more optimal use for the Efficiency cores of the new Intel processors. Because at the end of the day, it’s Windows that will delegate which processes or tasks go to which cores in your CPU.
Apparently, Windows 10 has a more blunt focus on the most powerful cores (the Physical cores, presumably) while Windows 11 recognizes the advantages of Efficiency cores especially in managing smaller tasks while multitasking (like streaming during gaming).
Officially, Windows 10 is just not optimized for E-cores as much as Windows 11. There’s that to consider if you have newer processors (assuming the model you have actually has E-cores).
More Convenient Snap Layout Controls
If you like dividing your browser into two or more separate windows to make your work more manageable without clicking too much, then Windows 11 has a nifty build-in feature that lets you do this seamlessly. You just have to hover over the “Maximize” button on your browser (upper right, next to “Close”) and check the browser splitting layouts. It’s a quality of life improvement that a lot of users will be thankful for.
It’s also easier to snap windows to the sides or corners of the screen, making it less of a pain to manipulate tabs or windows into pixel-perfect alignments.
While that kind of functionality for browsers in Windows 10 is also available via browser extensions, it’s clunky since it’s not an official improvement. There’s also the PowerToys tool suite, but you have to install it manually.
The way Windows 11 implements it gives you more freedom in resizing browser windows or tabs.
A More Elegant User Interface
Windows 11, at first glance, has a certain distinct aesthetic to it. It tried to mimic the textures and appearance of glass in its explorer and menu windows and even the taskbar, and the results are quite stunning.
Compared to Windows 10’s more blocky sticky notes user interface style, Windows 11’s explorer and menu interface is easier to appreciate.
The frosted glass look is quite hard to beat, as far as Windows aesthetics go.
Easier Access to Microsoft Teams
Windows 11 seemed to be going for professional functionality when they placed Microsoft Teams at the forefront. By default, it even starts when the operating system has booted, letting you access Microsoft Teams with just one click after opening Windows 11.
For work, this is one of the most convenient features available, particularly if you have a team or department that uses Microsoft Teams.
You will need contacts that use Microsoft Teams as well in order to actually make good, practical use out of it. But that’s only a matter of time seeing as how Microsoft keeps pushing its users to create their own accounts when using Windows.
Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to Windows 11
Now comes the bad part.
Windows 11, as stylish as it is, is quite a mess seeing how it disrupted decades of tradition for millions of Microsoft users and how some bugs led to decreased performance. But even without those issues (some of which are already fixed), Windows 11 still has major drawbacks.
Clunky Context Menu Functionality
In Windows 10 and older Windows OS, you could just right-click on the desktop to get a full-context menu that allows you to create new folders, copy, paste, refresh, and access shortcuts.
In Windows 11, by default, this full-context menu is gone, replaced by another context menu with less functionality.
You can restore the classic context menu but you’ll have to fiddle with the Registry, which is annoying since it involves a bit of code. There’s no way a regular user would know this information without searching up a guide.
Ridiculous Search Bar Functionality
If you thought the Windows 10 search bar and function was bad, then Windows 11 takes the dunce cap. Instead of leading you to the file explorer or to the actual local file in your drives, it will sometimes lead you to Bing search results, and it might try even if you have no internet.
This isn’t always the case. Certain installations with lower security might have more functional search bars that actually show you the locally-stored files or applications you searched for. But at that point, tons of users have already been inconvenienced.
If you want to bring back the old and useful functionality of the desktop search bar, you’ll again have to tinker with Windows 11’s settings, particularly how it indexes your files.
At least Windows 10 will actually show you what you searched.
Previously, in Windows 10 and older Windows versions, you could move the taskbar to any side of the screen and even drag it easily.
Initially, this feature was gone with Windows 11. The taskbar was a lot more restricted and had fewer space due to the larger icons. Windows 11 did rectify the shortcoming a bit by letting users move the taskbar to any edge of the screen again, but it was a lot less smooth than doing it with Windows 10.
And despite the recent tweaks with the taskbar, it’s still a long way from offering the same functionality as Windows 10 did.
Higher System Requirements
With all that’s been said and done, whether you can upgrade to Windows 11 or not might entirely depend on your components. Windows 11 notably has higher system requirements compared to Windows 10.
It specifically requires a GPU that’s compatible with DirectX 12 and for Intel, a CPU that’s no older than 7th or 8th-gen is necessary.
So don’t expect to use it on a decade-old computer even if it’s still a perfectly-performing device. Windows 11 might force you to upgrade.