Windows 11 For Dummies by Andy Rathbone (book review).

In the introduction to ‘Windows 11 For Dummies’, author Andy Rathbone points out that W11 doesn’t come with a manual and this isn’t one neither but a reference book to find out how to get things done. Rathbone points out the reason he was able to complete this book so early was because he was part of the Beta program and testing out much of it before the final W11 edition and seeing how it all worked together.

In many respects I’ve found W11 intuitive and the change over went rather smoother than I anticipated. Saying that, I don’t go mad over new apps. About the only thing I ended up going after was MS Office 365 and just copied the W7 menu bar emulator and things I used in W10 which allows me not to look at aps and W7 games and happy they still worked. In fact, they were still there from W10 in the update and more like being turned back on.

The only adverts I get are the odd ones that flash up from MS Edge on a side window. I do think you have to remember what decisions you opted for when W11 was finalised and don’t assume everyone is seeing the same things on the screen as you are. I’m not going to cover every detail of this book in the review but will point out the odd thing and the worth of getting this book and things I might query.

Rathbone points out that Windows 11 only installs on computers sold within the last 2-3 years although on my older laptop, the main stopper was not having enough RAM/memory although in chapter 22, he points out that a special TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0 chip is needed so it looks like you’d be stuck with getting a new computer but wait until it breaks down before you switch. I have to confess that I’ve been lately leaving my laptop in sleep mode overnight simply because I can leave so many programs open but be sure you do regular saves of Word and Excel files to be on the safe side if it does an overnight update.

Reading Chapter 6, I am finding it easier in Word to use Save As to save to particular folders than the traditional ‘Save’. However, I do think MS missed a trick and not allowed a secondary choice as to which APP opens which file. Maybe its just the geek in me but I do think showing file extensions is important unless you’re[i] segregating in different directories, mostly because a month or so down the line you’ll look at some name and wonder what it does. Oh, for those of you who use Android hardware, you’ll also find useful information using W11 with it. The copy and paste in W11 is also a lot more powerful than in previous Windows although I still think its still not as fast as it could be.

In Chapter 7, I did wonder at Rathbone’s choice of 8.5×11 inch paper when most of the time when buying a ream of paper its A4 size.

When it comes to MS Edge, Rathbone points out a few things, including the history tab if you want to track down websites you’ve been to but not added to your Favourites list. Saying that, I’m still confused about their being two Favourites lists. His advice on pleshing needs to be heeded and read whenever you get suspicious emails.

In chapter 16, Rathbone points out why the Groove Music App is so useless and why there is still a preference for Windows Media Player. I knew it could no longer play DVDs, principally because of the fees and had automatically sought out something that could play them. How he shows to switch to WMP is also the means to switch other programs for particular files as default settings, principally for picture files. I can understand MS wanting to use Groove Music as a general purpose player that can work on mobile phones as well but you would think when W11 is installing it could ask for a preference there. The details he gives on Windows Media Player and its playlists should be handy to many of you.

Chapter 18, ‘The Case Of The Broken Window’, is probably going to the most turned to chapter when you have problems with W11 and knowing how to manipulate the File History might save you a lot of problems.

The final chapters looks at common problems with W11 and the solutions to them which makes this book rather useful to have to hand. It doesn’t resolve why I can’t get my Epson scanner turned on without either reloading its drivers or in its Properties window, using ‘Start Scan’ to get a reaction.

I found the best way to read this book was to have the computer on at the same time so you could at least look and try things out. If you do get stuck, the solutions offered will at least give you a place to start.

I used the opportunity to interview Andy and that follows this review with some eye-opening comments.

GF Willmetts

February 2022

(pub: Wiley, 2022. 452 page softcover. Price: £18.99 (UK), $24.99 (US), $29.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-119-84647-5)

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2 thoughts on “Windows 11 For Dummies by Andy Rathbone (book review).

  • I presume that the papr ize choice you mention is because the author is American – they seem unable to comprehend the concept of International Standard A4…

    • Hello Julian
      Well, Unless Andy Rathbone is an American with a good command of British spelling then I would have to say he’s actually British.


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