Unit conversion is one of the basic things all of us use routinely for converting currencies, length, temperature, etc. All of us need one or other form of unit conversion regardless of whether you are a student, employee or business owner. For example, you may need this in a classroom for doing your math or need to know the latest currency value for doing business. Fortunately, Windows 11 comes with few options that can help you to do unit conversions quickly. In this article, I will explain how to use three different methods to do unit conversions in Windows 11.
Converting Units Online and Offline
Most mathematical conversions can be done offline like changing Celsius to Fahrenheit. Since this works with fixed formula, you do not need internet connection. However, some conversions need internet connection like currency exchange. So, make sure your computer is connected to internet for using all available features.
1. Using Windows Calculator App for Unit Conversions
Though Calculator app is popular on mobile devices, many users do not aware that Windows 11 also has a similar app. When I checked on my laptop, it is available preinstalled with Windows 11 Pro. However, Calculator app is not there as part Windows 11 Pro Arm installation on my iMac. So, if you are missing the app on your computer, go to Microsoft Store and download it. You will find the app name as Windows Calculator in Microsoft Store, though the name will show only Calculator after installation.
Calculator app in Windows 11 has a dedicated “Converter” section allowing to convert 13 different units. Besides converting currency, length, temperature, energy, etc. you can also do date calculations like addition and subtraction of dates.
- Type “calculator” in the search box in taskbar and open the Calculator app.
- By default, the app will open in “Standard” mode. Click the three horizontal lines (called hamburger menu) showing at the top left corner of the app.
- Scroll down in the menu list and select the converter you want to use under “Converter” section.
- Let me select “Temperature” option as an example. You will see the calculator changed to temperature converter. Select the from and to units and type the number to get the converted value. As you can see, the app also shows the Kelvin unit value when I convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
- As mentioned, some options like “Currency” need internet connection to get the latest rates. When you are doing currency conversion, check the updated date and time showing below the converted value. If it is showing outdated rate, click on the “Update rates” link to get the latest exchange value.
For date calculations, change the mode to “Date calculation” by selecting it from the hamburger menu. Note that Calculator app will remember the mode you have selected and will launch with the same mode every time you open the app.
2. Using Cortana for Unit Conversions
Cortana was supposed to be a virtual assistant in Windows to assist you in various tasks. Though Microsoft literally discontinued the app in favor of Bing AI, you can still use it for unit conversions. The advantage here is that you can you voice commands in addition to typing.
- Type “cortana” in the search box and open the app.
- Type or use voice input and ask Cortana to convert the units. For example, let me type “convert 5000 hours to days” and press enter.
- Cortana will use Bing search and show the answer as 208.3333 days as shown below.
You can do any other calculations in similar manner using Cortana.
3. Using Windows Search for Unit Conversion
Now that Microsoft integrated Bing AI with Windows Search, it is more powerful than ever. It uses Bing web search and shows the conversion results along with options to open the webpages in browser.
- If you are using typable search box in taskbar, simply type your conversion query in the box. If you are using search button, click on it and type your query in the top search box that appears.
- For example, type “10km to m” to get the converted results as 10000 meters using Bing search. Do not press enter after typing, otherwise the results will open from Bing website in your browser.
- You can change the units and values right from the search results and do other conversions without opening web pages.
You can also use Bing AI chat in Windows Search to get the results.
4. Unit Conversions with Bing AI in Edge
When you are using Edge browser, you can use the integrated Bing AI chat instead of searching for unit conversions on the web.
- Click the Bing AI icon showing on top of the sidebar in Edge.
- Go to “Chat” section and type your query, for example, “convert 100 GB to MB” and press enter.
- Bing AI will search the web and show the detailed results like below. It shows the binary value is 102400 MB and decimal value is 100000 MB. You can continue the chat conversation if you like to get more details.
This will be cool when you want to get detailed answer. Otherwise, it will be annoying to get such a lengthy answer for simple conversion.
5. Using Google Search for Unit Conversion
Whether you use Cortana, Windows Search or Bing AI Chat, all these will use Bing web search to get the results. Instead of that you can directly use Google search in your browser to do unit conversion. This is an alternate option especially when you do not want to use Bing and using Chrome browser.
- Simply open google.com in your Chrome browser.
- Type your conversion query in the address bar like “convert 100 square meter to square feet” and press enter.
- Google will show the results in an online converter like below with the answer as 1076.39. You can also find the formula for the conversion as 1 square meter = 10.764 square feet.
- You can change the value dynamically, change to different measurements within the same “Area” unit (like square kilometer to square mile) or change from Area to another converter (like Speed) to do different conversion.
In case if you want to use Bing.com, it will show exactly similar online converter.
6. Unit Conversions with Third-Party App in Windows 11
One problem with all the above options is that you need to manually open the app or type in search box. What if you always want to show a widget with latest currency conversion rate on your desktop? In this case, you need a third-party app that offers widgets to show in your desktop. You can enable the app to launch with startup and show the latest updated values whenever you start the computer.
- Go to Microsoft Store and install “Widget Launcher” app. This is a freemium app offers limited widgets and you can upgrade to get unlimited number of widgets for different categories.
- Open the app and go to “Home > All” section and select “Currency Converter” widget. You can customize the skin, colors, transparency and click “Launch Widget” button.
- This will add the widget on your desktop. You can drag the widget to any position and resize to fit on your display.
- Similarly, insert a “Unit Converter”, “Weather” or any other available widgets and arrange them on your desktop.
For automatically launching the widgets on startup, click “Settings” in the app’s menu and enable “Launch on Startup” option. You can also turn on “Widgets Always on Top” option to keep the converter widgets on top of other app windows.
The “Unit Converter” widget also works offline though weather and currency conversion needs internet connection.
I personally like the Widget Launcher app as you can always keep the widgets on your desktop without manually searching every time. If you do not want to use third-party apps, then the Calculator app is the best option for doing multiple unit conversions. Otherwise, you can use Bing search with Cortana, Windows Search or Edge to do unit conversions in Windows 11 computers.