Windows 11 Splash
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First Steps After Windows Fresh Install

Some people don’t like the subtle differences between Windows 11 and Windows 10 desktop. If you want to use Windows 11 but want the look and feel of Windows 10, check out StartAllBack.

One of the first things I do after a fresh install of Windows 11 is setup my Platform folder (aka. PAF or PortableApps Format). I keep a backup of it on a USB drive, but I copy it over to the new C: drive as soon as I finish installing any Windows updates, and enabling my Cloud Storage.

Download the desktop clients for Google Drive , Dropbox, MEGA, etc. These services limit the need to depend on something like , but I still like to keep that folder because I can install non-PAF apps there as well (and synchronize those “portable” installations to a long term external storage drive, like USB-C SSD, “flash”/ “thumb drive”, NAS or whatever you might have).

Application Launchers: More New Apps to Help You Get Back to More Old Apps

In the end, any one of these apps is going to help you find executable apps, and other important documents on your system much faster and with greater convenience than you might without them. Your decision will probably come down to how well you jive with the configuration interfaces.

Generally referred to as Application Launchers:

  • Execute commands from a hotkey
  • Open files, folders, and websites.
  • Search your computer.
  • Search websites.
  • Paste custom text into text fields.
  • Create sticky notes and set reminders.
  • Control windows on your screen.
  • Perform multiline calculations.

scans designated locations for executables and puts them at the touch of a keyboard shortcut.


See Launchy. Actually, it’s more feature rich than Launchy, but I have experienced some issues w/ the Exlplorer.exe File Open dialogue seeming to be related to Listary, as it integrates there as well.

I’m guessing they use a similar approach to indexing as Everything.

To easily synchronize the new folder with what’s on the USB (or other) drive, I use the app D-Synchronize. It’s an older app, and that’s a strange website, but it’s easy to use and has features that I like such as “Preview” (aka. –simulate -s / dry-run), “only copy newer”, and “don’t delete any files”. Most important, it doesn’t fuss about network paths. Super simple.

There’s an alternate D-Synchronize installer option from a secure site. See screenshot: Platform

I still find it useful. I don’t know if younger people use it but it’s basically a set of apps made to run from a USB drive. They’re the real applications, but made to be “portable” as to be kept for utility purposes, and universally executable from their convenient mini-desktop platform. it was something people used prior to the advent of things like Microsoft , DropBox, Google Drive, etc. running on Windows 11.

the Platform running on Windows 11 (alt). running on Windows 11 (alt).

Everything Else

Download Everything Alpha . (there’s a release version available too, but the Alpha has some cool new enhancements!)

Are you a Linux user looking for something like Everything, VoidTools’ desktop search index? I highly recommend fSearch! It’s not as robust as Everything, but it’s close! It won’t disappoint.

If you’re not already familiar with using Everything for Windows, you should probably start now. Just install the portable version and try it out for a while. You’ll understand. Everything by VoidTools will index your network drives as well.

Windows Subsystem for Linux – WSL/ WSL2

It seems by now it’s as easy to install WSL2 as it is to type on your Powershell command line, wsl --install. Try it!

I realize this guide provides advice for enabling WSL2 on Windows 10. But I’m telling you, I’ve used WSL on Win 11 and the most flawless installation I’ve experienced was after following this guide, especially the bits such as wsl --set-default-version 2 and the use of the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM) which you may know from processes related to restoring your Windows system.

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart
Links to Essential Getting-Started Apps

Desktop Email Client – MailSpring

“Boost your productivity and send better email with Mailspring, the best mail client for Mac, Linux, and Windows.”

I still go back and forth, but i usually gravitate toward Mailspring for Free. In Mailspring, I can add as many accounts I want (so far), including Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, GMX, and others, plus your website domain email via IMAP. Save custom email signatures and templates. Create custom mail filter rules PER-ACCOUNT (which you may, or may not like). Global search in aggregate inbox.

If you are having any difficulties with your Windows 11 installation, I recommend consulting the ElevenForum

Whatchu do

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