What Features Will I Lose If I Upgrade To Windows 11?

Windows 11 was released in October 2021, and clearly, some frequently used tools and applications have yet to be brought forward from its predecessor, Windows 10. Some significant designs, user preferences, and application configuration settings have been implemented in 11 to give the system a more user-friendly, Mac-like experience. 

The Windows upgrade process has been refined so that you usually won’t lose files or programs, and it acts as an in-place upgrade. But what about features that you may depend on?

1. Cortana Banished From the Taskbar in Windows 11

Cortana shortcut in Windows 10 Taskbar.

Cortana will no longer be displayed after your computer boots up in Windows 11. This does not mean that the program will be completely unavailable. It just won’t be present in the taskbar as it was on Windows 10.

That’s a bummer if you’re an avid Cortana user who likes to find applications and other information about the system from your taskbar.

Cortana allows users to search and find applications and other information through voice commands.

However, Microsoft announced that the cloud-based digital assistant would not be pinned to the taskbar in Windows 11. 

Thankfully, the support documentation goes on to add that Cortana can be invoked by saying “Cortana” or typing the word Cortana in the search bar on your taskbar.

You can also get Cortana back on Windows 11 by following these steps:

  1. Hit the search icon on the taskbar and type Cortana.
  2. Right-click on the application and select Pin to Taskbar.
  3. You may want to reinstall the application from the Windows 11 Microsoft Store. Visit the Microsoft Store and search for Cortana. It should appear at the top of your results.
  4. Select Install to download the application.
  5. Next, use your credentials to sign in.
  6. Enable Voice Activation from your settings so that it picks up your voice commands.

It’s worth pointing out that you must sign in to Cortana voice assistance since it can only be activated manually on Windows 11.

2. 3D Viewer App is Gone in Windows 11

A screenshot of 3D Viewer's splash screen on startup.

Windows 11 is taking out a useful and popular app for Windows 10 designers, the 3D Viewer.

Although this application doesn’t perform as well as its image editing and 3D design rivals like Maya or Blender, it was a helpful tool for entrepreneurs and casual users to view and edit 3D images. 

With its removal in the new OS, creators may not be able to take full advantage of all the 3D design, and editing features the system has to offer until they manually download the program from the Microsoft Store.

The 3D Viewer App hailed from Windows 10 1703, which has been around since 2017.

Here’s a beacon of hope: although 3D Viewer is one of the applications that will not be part of the new Windows 11, it will not be completely deleted from the Microsoft Store.

Additionally, an upgrade from 10 to 11 will not erase the application from your computer. However, a clean install will.

Here’s how to restore the 3D Viewer App on Windows 11:

  1. Visit the official Microsoft store website.
  2. Search for 3D Viewer, download, and install the application.
  3. Scan for updates and update your computer.

Consider updating your computer as part of your routine for the optimal experience. Frequent updates call for sufficient storage space.

So, be sure to declutter some unused apps and salvage extra space for frequent updates.

3. Quick Status on the Lock Screen

Quick status provided a quick and easy way to choose lock screen apps on the previous operating system. It displays the following on your computer’s screen when locked:

  • Quick email notifications.
  • Detailed weather information.
  • Alarms.
  • System notifications.

Unfortunately, this feature was scrapped in the new Windows 11 and its settings.

We expect desktop widgets to take their place and provide an almost similar service. Desktop widgets appear on the widgets board, which displays a wealth of information about: 

  • The weather forecast.
  • Traffic status.
  • Latest news.
  • Personalized content.

You can pin and unpin each widget, resize and arrange them, and add customization to stay updated with your favorite applications without switching between multiple programs.

Moreover, widgets are dynamic in that they change whenever something interesting happens to the application held in the widget.

When that happens, a notification may be displayed on the taskbar for you to interact with.

4. Internet Explorer is No Longer in Windows 11

A blank Internet Explorer window.

Microsoft has finally retired Internet Explorer (IE) in Windows 11. This comes months after the tech giant announced that it would discontinue support for Internet Explorer on Windows 10 20H2 and later versions.

While IE is no longer the most popular browser, it remains useful to some 28 million internet users who use it as their primary browser.

What’s more, the browser is still useful for some enterprises that interact with legacy web pages written in the early days of the web.

However, Internet Explorer is being integrated into Microsoft Edge, so any websites compatible with IE formatting will still be visible in ME.

This means you don’t have to use the outdated Internet Explorer browser in order to view legacy sites.

This is in place until 2029 (maybe longer), giving enterprises ample time to consider rewriting legacy websites in modern formats that a modern browser can understand.

Microsoft Edge should still give you access to older forms of the internet and means you can make the most of more modern elements in the meantime.

For instance, the browser uses the Trident MSHTML engine to provide access to legacy websites and an integrated Chromium engine released back in 2008 to work with modern websites.

Although we don’t recommend attempting to launch Internet Explorer on Windows 11, there are a few things you can do to get it back:

  1. Launch the start menu and type in Internet Options.
  2. Navigate to the Programs tab and go to Manage add-ons.
  3. Find the extensions and toolbars option to recover Internet Explorer.

If you love Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge should be your go-to browser for Windows 11. This means you can avoid compatibility issues and still enjoy access to legacy sites.

5. Math Input Panel Replaced in Windows 11

The Math Input Panel first opened.

Microsoft has also discontinued the Math Input Panel, a lightweight application that allows users to write down mathematical formulas and feed them a document in an editable format.

The Math Input Panel came in handy when dealing with tasks that required a heavy mathematical formula input.

It recognized formulas sketched by the user with their mouse, touchscreens, and external digitizers.

Instead of the Math Input Panel, you can use the Math Recognizer app on Windows 11.

The Math Recognizer works much like the Math Input Panel, enabling users to maintain productivity in creating presentations that feature tons of mathematical formula input.

Not sure whether the Math Recognizer has been installed on your PC? Follow the steps below:

  1. Run Windows Powershell as administrator and type the following command: Get-WindowsCapability -Online | Where-Object {$_.Name -like “*math*”}
  2. Check the State, which should indicate Installed if the application is installed on your computer.
  3. If not installed on your computer, type Turn Windows Features On or Off in your taskbar to turn the Math Recognizer on from the control panel
  4. Alternatively, run Powershell as administrator and run the following command: Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name MathRecognizer~~~~0.0.1.0

You can also try the steps below to enable the Math Recognizer from your settings:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Go to Optional Features.
  4. Check whether the Math Recognizer is installed.

If not installed, click the Add a Feature button and install it from the options that pop up after searching for Math Recognizer.

6. Goodbye S Mode

Windows S Mode provided a secure way for Windows users to protect themselves from external third-party applications. This feature ensures that only secure and verified apps are downloaded on your PC.

Luckily, there’s still a way for you to use S Mode on Windows 11. However, it has only been made available for Windows 11 Home.

You can easily transfer the app after updating from OS 10 to 11, and the software will remain intact – as long as your computer meets the minimum hardware specifications.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have Windows 11 Home, you won’t be able to use S Mode anymore. 

The good news is that you can still upgrade to 11 after turning off S Mode by following these steps:

  1. Open the settings app from the taskbar.
  2. Go to Update & Security > Activation.
  3. Locate Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to 10 Pro.
  4. Select Go to the Store. Ensure you’re not clicking the link that intends to upgrade your Windows operating system. 
  5. Follow the instructions on the Switch out of S mode page.

Note that switching from S Mode cannot be undone. 

7. Live Tiles Are Gone If You Upgrade to Windows 11

Windows Start Menu is open showing the Live Tiles.

If you were fond of the interactive Live Tiles on your start menu, Windows 11 has yet another disappointment in store for you. Live Tiles will no longer be available on your start menu. 

However, there is an alternative you can use. This is called Live Tiles Anywhere, and helps you personalize your desktop similar to the old interactive version.

It offers updated information on the start menu, including:

  • Photos.
  • Emails.
  • Breaking News.
  • App Notifications.

This new version may look a little different from what you’re used to, but it offers all the same features. Plus, it’s free!

Once you’ve downloaded the application, follow these steps to create your own Live Tiles:

  1. Go to All Apps and select any applications you want to include.
  2. Right-click on the application and select Create a Widget
  3. The new widget can be customized, moved around, or placed in a grid with other widgets.

If the above procedure does not work for you:

  1. Go to the Custom Tiles tab.
  2. Select Create a new custom tile.
  3. Select Element to execute.
  4. Navigate to Installed app.
  5. Click on Pick an app.
  6. Next, select the app you want to create a live tile for and click Save.
  7. Navigate to the left pane and select Tile based on. This will give you quick access to applications compatible with Live Tile.

You can create a widget using any of the compatible apps. Restart your PC to implement the new changes if your new live tiles are not displaying live information.

8. OneNote for Windows 10, Paint 3D, and Skype

With the introduction of Windows 11, OneNote for 10, Paint 3D, and Skype will no longer be automatically installed on new devices.

Since OneNote has been a stalwart part of Windows since 2002, and Paint 3D was part of the Creators Update, this news may be a bummer to loyal users. 

This change will surely cause some disruption among regular users accustomed to the convenience these applications provide. 

Fortunately, these apps are still available to download and install manually if users need them. OneNote, Paint 3D, and Skype will also remain available in the Microsoft Store for those already using them on their Windows 10 machines.

Can I Go Back to Windows 10 After Upgrading to 11?

Windows 11 promises to be a huge step up from 10. But what if you upgrade and find that it’s not for you?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. You can return to Windows 10 after upgrading to 11. 

Note: If it has been longer than 10 days, you will no longer able to roll back to Windows 10. You would then have to perform a clean install in that case.

If you choose to do so, Microsoft offers an easy way to return to your previous Windows version.

After upgrading to Windows 11, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  • Go to the search bar in your taskbar.
  • Type in Go Back.
  • Select Go back to Windows 10.

As you can see, it’s easy, fast, and completely reversible.