Previously, when recording audio, the vertical display was very pronounced, as shown in my first attachment. Now, it is very compressed, as per the second attachment and I do not know if this is because of a default setting in the new version of Audacity that needs to be changed, or because something in a Windows 11 update has caused it to change. Can anyone help?
Unlikely, but to confirm this you could try reinstalling Audacity with reset, or simply do Tools > Reset Configuration.
It is much more likely that your audio level is lower because your source gain or volume is lower (or the original audio simply is not as loud or you are recording from a different place than you think you are).
Do Transport > Rescan Audio Devices. What are you recording and where are you recording it from?
If you are recording from your internal microphone, turn up the gain on the microphone. If you are recording from any other microphone, run your fingernail lightly over the grill to be sure you have the correct one.
If you are recording from a USB device, the gain is applied externally, in the device where your audio is digitized, so look there.
If you are recording Stereo Mix, try turning up the volume on your speakers or headphones.
If you are recording WASAPI loopback, you are already getting the maximum volume from the source.