Windows 11 Start Laptop RazerbookSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft explains several under the hood performance improvements in Windows 11.
  • Windows 11 will have better battery life and app performance than Windows 10.
  • The new OS also resumes from sleep quicker than its predecessor.

Windows 11 includes several new features, such as improved snapping, Dynamic Refresh Rate, and Direct Storage, but the biggest change the operating system brings could be something that people never see. A recent Microsoft Mechanics video breaks down the performance improvements included in Windows 11. Compared to devices running Windows 10 on the same hardware, PCs running Windows 11 should have better app performance, improved battery life, and quicker resume from sleep times.

Microsoft vice president of enterprise management, Steve Dispensa, explains the under the hood improvements in Windows 11. The new OS prioritizes apps in the foreground, giving them access to more CPU power and system resources. This makes apps more responsive. Programs should also load more quickly on Windows 11 under load.

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Dispensa also highlights the Sleeping Tabs feature in Microsoft Edge. This is already available on Windows 10 but is on by default in Windows 11. The feature puts tabs to sleep after a set amount of time, reducing the amount of system resources a PC uses. Microsoft saw an average savings of 32% for memory usage and 37% for CPU usage when using Sleeping Tabs (note that Microsoft's blog post that includes these figures referred to improvements seen on Windows 10).

Because the changes to Windows 11 allow the OS to use fewer system resources, PCs running the operating system should get better battery life, according to Dispensa.

Windows 11 also resumes from sleep quicker than Windows 10. Dispensa explains that the OS has an "optimized instant-on experience." While asleep, Windows 11 PCs keep the RAM "energized" while many other components are powered down. Microsoft optimized how Windows 11 calls to hardware components and reduced starvation across processing threads. This speeds up resume from sleep by up to 25%.

Code optimizations by Microsoft also improve the speed of Windows Hello for Business logins by up to 30%.

Dispensa also breaks down how Microsoft reduced the disk footprint of Windows 11, including using more compression technologies.

If you'd like to try out Windows 11, you can grab the latest Insider build from Microsoft.