Using Windows 11

Customizing the Quick Settings pane

Three icons on the right side of the taskbar behave differently than their neighbors. The network, volume, and battery icons sit between the system tray and the clock and cannot be hidden or moved.

Right-clicking any of these three icons reveals a shortcut menu specific to that icon’s function. Clicking any part of the region, however, opens the Quick Settings pane, which is shown in Figure 3-14. As an alternative, use the keyboard shortcut Windows key+A to open Quick Settings.

Figure 3-14

Figure 3-14 The Quick Settings pane includes a wide-ranging assortment of tools for efficiently managing common system settings.

This compact pane packs an impressive collection of controls into its small space. On the example shown in Figure 3-14, each of the five buttons at the top of the pane allows direct control over common system settings without having to open the full Settings app. Two slider controls below that control screen brightness and system volume, respectively. Clicking the battery icon opens the Power & Battery page in Settings, where you can change the power mode or turn on Battery Saver mode.

The playback controls above the Quick Settings pane are available for apps that don’t include these functions on the taskbar item itself, as is the case with a Progressive Web App that uses Microsoft Edge as its engine.

Quick Settings controls that have an arrow on the right allow you to choose an additional option for that control. Click the arrow to the right of the volume slider, for example, to direct sound output to a different device. Both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controls offer a split button, with the left side turning the feature on or off. Click the arrow on the right of the Wi-Fi control to select from a list of available Wi-Fi networks; click the arrow on the right of the Bluetooth button to display a list of paired Bluetooth devices that are available for connection, as shown in Figure 3-15.

Figure 3-15

Figure 3-15 Click the arrow to the right of the Bluetooth button in Quick Settings to open this list and connect to a previously paired device.

The gear icon in the lower-right corner of Quick Settings opens the full Settings app. Click the pen icon just to its left to add, remove, or rearrange the controls at the top of the pane, as shown in Figure 3-16. Click Add to display a list of available controls that can be pinned to this region; click the unpin icon next to any control to remove it. Drag icons to change their order.

Figure 3-16

Figure 3-16 You can add, remove, or rearrange controls on the Quick Settings pane using these options.