How to Use Task Manager in Windows 11: 7 Tips and Tricks

Task Manager is a handy utility that comes with Windows 11. It allows you to see how your system and apps are performing, and gives you the ability to manage them. You can use Task Manager to monitor your CPU, memory, disk, and network usage, view and end processes, start and stop services, and more.

To open Task Manager in Windows 11, you can use one of the following methods:

  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard.
  • Right-click the Start button and choose Task Manager from the menu.
  • Type Task in the Start menu and click on Task Manager.
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and choose Task Manager from the screen.
  • Type taskmgr in any command prompt

In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best tips and tricks for using Task Manager in Windows 11. Let’s get started!

1. Find Out What’s Slowing Down Your PC

One of the most common uses for Task Manager is to find out what’s causing your PC to run slowly. To do this, you can sort the processes by CPU, memory, disk, or network usage, and see which ones are consuming the most resources. You can also add the GPU column to see how your graphics card is performing.

To sort the processes by a specific column, simply click on the column header. To add the GPU column, right-click on any column header and check the box next to GPU.

2. Shut Down Misbehaving Apps

Sometimes, an app may stop responding or behave erratically, and you may not be able to close it normally. In that case, you can use Task Manager to force it to quit. To do this, select the app from the list of processes, and click on the End task button at the bottom right corner. Alternatively, you can right-click on the app and choose End task from the menu.

example or right-click on Skype with the option to end task

This will bypass any code in the app that prevents it from shutting down, and free up the resources it was using. However, be aware that you may lose any unsaved data or settings in the app.

3. Track Power Usage

If you are using a laptop or tablet, you may want to keep an eye on your battery life and power consumption. Task Manager can help you with that, by showing you how much power each app is using. To see this information, you need to add the Power usage and Power usage trend columns to the processes tab.

To add these columns, right-click on any column header and check the boxes next to Power usage and Power usage trend. The Power usage column shows you the current power consumption of each app, while the Power usage trend column shows you the average power consumption over time. You can use this data to identify and close any apps that are draining your battery.

4. Add More Columns

Task Manager has many more columns that you can add to the processes tab, depending on what information you want to see. For example, you can add columns for PID, command line, description, status, UWP context, and more. To add more columns, right-click on any column header and select hide column or show columns to check the boxes next to the columns you want to see.

You can also resize, reorder, and hide the columns by dragging them with your mouse. To reset the columns to their default settings, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift while opening Task Manager or use the reset option in settings.

5. Change the Default Tab

By default, Task Manager opens with the processes tab, which shows you the list of running processes and their resource usage. However, you can change this setting and choose a different tab to open by default. For example, you may prefer to see the performance tab, which shows you the graphs of your system and app performance, or the app history tab, which shows you the historical data of your app usage.

To set a different page to appear when you launch Task Manager, open the settings menu at the bottom left of Task Manager and select Default Start Page. Then, pick the page you prefer from the dropdown menu.

6. Freeze the Task Manager Values

Sometimes, you may want to pause the Task Manager values and take a closer look at them, without them changing constantly. To do this, you can hold down Ctrl and it will pause until you let go of the button.

7. Change Task Manager Data Update Speed

By default, Task Manager updates the data every two seconds, which may be too fast or too slow for your needs. You can change this setting and choose a different update speed, from high to low. To do this, go to the view menu at the top of Task Manager, and click on Update speed. Then, choose the speed you want from the options.


I hope you found these tips and tricks useful, and learned something new about Task Manager in Windows 11. Task Manager is a powerful tool that can help you optimize your system and app performance, and troubleshoot any issues. I encourage you to try it out for yourself, and see what else you can do with it.

Do you have any other tips or tricks for using Task Manager? Do you have any questions or feedback? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23620 (Dev Channel)

Hi all, last Thuerday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23620 to the Dev Channel.

A small updtae from last week’s build, all quick installs here

Happy Upgrades!

Fixes

[Start menu]

  • Fixed an issue that was causing labels like System in the Start menu’s all apps list to be cut off if text scaling is above 100%.

[File Explorer]

  • Fixed an issue impacting explorer.exe reliability.

[Widgets]

  • Fixed the issue where announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • Fixed the issue where spacing and fonts used in some settings pages were incorrect.

[Task Manager]

  • Fixed an issue impacting Task Manager reliability on the last few builds.

[Accessibility]

  • Fixed an issue which was causing voice access to crash when setting up new languages.
  • Fixed multiple crashes impacting narrator, including one when trying to add new natural voices.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • When first launching or after refreshing Copilot in Windows while using voice access, you’ll need to use “Show grid” commands to click in the “Ask me anything” box for the first time.

[Widgets]

  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26040 (Canary Channel)

Hi all, last Friday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26040 to the Canary Channel.

You can download the ISOs for this build > here <

It took some time to prepare another Canary build for release, with lots of new features in this one!

Hard to pick a favorite, the new Task Manager Icon looks awesome, will be some getting used to for some but I’m a fan

Copilot has moved to the lower right corner very nice, the previous location always felt kind of ‘off’ to me

Happy Upgrades!

What’s new in Build 26040

Instantly access new photos and screenshots from your mobile device

We are also beginning to gradually roll out a new feature for Windows that introduces the ability to effortlessly access and edit your most recent photos and screenshots from your Android mobile device in Snipping Tool on your PC. With this feature, you’ll receive instant notifications on your PC whenever a new photo or screenshot is captured on your Android device.

Windows notification prompting to open capture in Snipping Tool for markup.
Windows notification prompting to open capture in Snipping Tool for markup.

To enable this experience, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Mobile devices (this settings was updated with Build 26016 in the Canary Channel) and choose “Manage devices” and allow your PC to access your Android phone. Your PC will get a Cross Device Experience Host update in the Microsoft Store that is required for this experience to work.

New settings window for managing mobile devices that are allowed to connect to your PC.
New settings window for managing mobile devices that are allowed to connect to your PC.

This new experience replaces the remote capture with Phone Link experience that was announced back in September.

[We are beginning to roll this out to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders just yet as we plan to monitor feedback before pushing it out to everyone.]

Experience crystal clear online communication with Voice Clarity

We are expanding Voice Clarity which has been available on Surface devices and making it available to more people. Voice Clarity is a feature that enhances your audio experience on Windows with state-of-the-art AI technology. Powered by low complexity AI models, Voice Clarity cancels echo, suppresses background noise, and reduces reverberation in real-time. This feature is enabled by default and can be utilized by applications using Communications Signal Processing Mode, such as Phone Link and WhatsApp. No additional hardware is required, as Voice Clarity is supported on x64 and Arm64 CPUs. Apps which use Communications Signal Processing Mode do not need any additional modifications and Voice Clarity will work for them automatically when the OEM device does not offer Communications Mode processing. Similarly, PC games that use Communications Signal Processing Mode for their online communications will also benefit from Voice Clarity. Applications can provide a toggle for the Deep Noise Suppression stream effect to switch between AI models for voice only communications (Deep Noise Suppression enabled, the default setting) and generic audio content (Deep Noise Suppression disabled). With Voice Clarity, you can have confidence that your voice will be clearly heard during online meetings and enjoy smoother and more effective online communications.

Updated Windows Setup Experience

We are refreshing Windows OS Media Setup with a much cleaner and more modern design. All of the same features will continue to be supported in the bare-metal (clean) OS Iinstallation experience, including unattended support, but will now be consistent with the current upgrade and installation experience available for the devices already running the Windows OS.

Refreshed Windows Setup.
Old Windows Setup design and new Windows Setup design.

Windows Insiders who want to try out this refreshed Windows Setup experience can download the ISOs for Build 26040 here and either do a clean install on their PC or do a clean install in a Virtual Machine (VM).

While this change does not affect the DISM OS deployment, it may affect some of your workflow. Please take the time to test these changes on your given scenarios and provide any feedback.

USB 80Gbps

We are excited to announce support for the latest generation USB standard, USB 80Gbps, in this build of Windows. USB 80Gbps support will initially launch on select devices based on the Intel Core 14th Gen HX-series mobile processors, such as the new Razer Blade 18.

This is the first major version update of the USB4®standard and increases performance to 80Gbps from 40Gbps. It enables the next generation of high-performance displays, storage, and connectivity. It is fully backwards compatible with peripherals built for older generations of USB and Thunderbolt™ and works alongside all other USB Type-C features.

Enhanced image consumption experience in Narrator  

We are improving the image consumption experience with Narrator. There are two major changes:

  • We have introduced a new keyboard command for navigating between the images/graphics on a screen/page. Now, you can use the keys “G” or “Shift + G” to navigate forward or backwards between images in Scan mode (Narrator key + spacebar).
  • Recognition of text in images, including handwriting, is improved along with improvements to overall image descriptions. You can try the enhanced experience by navigating to the image and pressing Narrator key + CTRL + D key combination when the focus is on an image. This feature requires an active internet connection, and the setting to get Image Descriptions must be enabled in Narrator Settings.

Improving discoverability of screen casting in Windows 11

Casting from your Windows PC allows you to wirelessly extend your display to another nearby PC, TV, or other external displays. We are introducing improvements that focus on educating users about the Cast feature and improving its discoverability in Windows 11. Those improvements include:

  • When doing multitasking activities on your PC such as often switching between windows to complete a task or using Snap Assist to organize your screen space, we will provide the suggestion to Cast via a notification toast.
  • We have updated the Cast flyout in Quick Settings with additional support for you in case you face any trouble discovering nearby displays, fixing connections, and more.
Cast flyout in Quick Settings now shows link for troubleshooting device discovery and other casting issues.
Cast flyout in Quick Settings now shows link for troubleshooting device discovery and other casting issues.

Windows LAPS: New automatic account management feature

Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) has been improved with a new automatic account management feature. Using this feature, IT admins can now configure Windows LAPS to automatically create the managed local account. You can also configure the name of the account, enable, or disable the account, and optionally randomize the account name for improved security. Improved integration with existing Microsoft local account management policies has also been added.

Here is an image of the new Automatic account management setting:

Policy for configuring automatic account management.
Policy for configuring automatic account management.

The Windows LAPS CSP offers full support for managing these settings. The Windows LAPS CSP documentation will be updated at a later date to reflect the new settings. You can learn more about these features here.

Windows LAPS: improved readability password dictionary (and improved password font)

Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) has been improved with a new PasswordComplexity setting. Using this feature, IT admins can now configure Windows LAPS to generate less confusing passwords. The new setting is similar to the existing complexity setting 4 in that all four character categories are used (upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters). However when PasswordComplexity is configured with the new setting of 5, the most confusing characters are omitted to improve password readability and reduce confusion and wasted time. For example, the number “1” and the letter “I” are never used with the new setting.

When PasswordComplexity is configured to 5, the following changes are made to the default password dictionary character set:

  • Don’t use these letters: ‘I’, ‘O’, ‘Q’, ‘l’, ‘o’
  • Don’t use these numbers: ‘0’, ‘1’
  • Don’t use these ‘special’ characters: ‘,’, ‘.’, ‘&’, ‘{‘, ‘}’, ‘[‘, ‘]’, ‘(‘, ‘)’, ‘;’
  • Start using these ‘special’ characters: ‘:’, ‘=’, ‘?’, ‘*’

The Windows LAPS tab in the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in (via Microsoft Management Console) has also been improved. When the Windows LAPS password is displayed in the clear, the password now uses a new font for improving readability.

Windows LAPS displaying a password using the old and new fonts.
Windows LAPS displaying a password using the old and new fonts.

The Windows LAPS CSP also offers full support for configuring the new PasswordComplexity setting (5). The Windows LAPS documentation will be updated at a later date with additional information on this new setting.

Windows LAPS: New passphrase feature

Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) has been improved with a new passphrase feature. Using this feature, IT admins can now configure Windows LAPS to generate passphrases, for example: “EatsVeganYummyTasty”. Compare this to a more traditional style password like “q6Rgag667Pu23qA886?n:K” – the passphrase is clearly much easier to read, repeat, and type.

With this new feature, the existing PasswordComplexity policy setting can now be configured to select one of three different passphrase word lists. All three passphrase word lists are included as part of Windows, so no additional download is required. A new policy setting “PassphraseLength” is used to control the number of words in a new passphrase.

Construction of a passphrase is simple: the configured number of words are randomly selected from the configured word list and appended together. The first letter of each word is capitalized for easier readability.

Windows LAPS passphrase settings.
Windows LAPS passphrase settings.

The new PassphraseLength policy setting:

Windows LAPS passphrase length setting.
Windows LAPS passphrase length setting.

The new passphrase feature is fully supported when backing passwords up to either Windows Server Active Directory or Microsoft Entra ID.

The passphrase word lists are taken from Deep Dive: EFF’s New Wordlists for Random Passphrases by Electronic Frontier Foundation, and are used under a CC-BY-3.0 Attribution license. You can download the word lists from https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2255471.

The three new PasswordComplexity passphrase settings each correspond to one of the original Electronic Fronter Foundation passphrase word lists.

Windows LAPS does not support either customer-configured word lists or customization of the built-in word lists.

The Windows LAPS CSP offers full support for managing these settings. The Windows LAPS CSP documentation will be updated at a later date to reflect the new settings.

You can learn more about the new Windows LAPS passphrase feature here.

Windows LAPS: New image rollback detection feature

Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) has been improved with a new image rollback detection feature. Using this feature, Windows LAPS will now detect when an image rollback has occurred. When a live OS image is rolled back (regardless of mechanism, for example Hyper-V snapshot reversion, or via image re-deployment products) the result is often a “torn state” situation where the password stored in Active Directory no longer matches the password (hash) stored locally on the device. When this happens the IT admin will be unable to sign into the device using the persisted Windows LAPS password. The problem is not resolved until Windows LAPS rotates the password per the normal password expiration timestamp, which might not happen for days or weeks.

The new feature adds an Active Directory attribute “msLAPS-CurrentPasswordVersion” to the Windows LAPS schema. This attribute contains a random GUID which is written by Windows LAPS every time a new password is persisted in Active Directory, followed by saving a local copy. During every processing cycle, the GUID stored in msLAPS-CurrentPasswordVersion will be queried and compared to the locally persisted copy; if they are different, the password will be immediately rotated.

To enable this feature, you must first run the latest version of the Update-LapsADSchema PowerShell cmdlet. Windows LAPS will note the presence of the new attribute and start using it.

Windows LAPS will log a specific new reason when a rollback is detected, for example:

Windows LAPS event log message when OS rollback is detected.
Windows LAPS event log message when OS rollback is detected.

If you do not run the updated version of the Update-LapsADSchema PowerShell cmdlet Windows LAPS will log a 10108 warning event in the event log, but will continue to function normally in all other respects.

Note that no policy settings are used to enable or configure this feature. The feature is always enabled once the new schema attribute has been added. The Windows LAPS documentation will be updated at a later date with additional information on this new feature.

Changes and Improvements

[General]

  • As we mentioned with Build 26020, WordPad is removed when doing a clean install and now is also removed on upgrade starting with this build.

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • We are making a change where the Copilot icon is shown on the right side of the system tray on the taskbar to make the entry point to Copilot more clear and easily accessible by being closer to where the Copilot pane opens. As part of this change, we have defaulted the “show the desktop” behavior for the far-right corner of the taskbar to off and this can be re-enabled in the taskbar behaviors section under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar (you can simply right-click on the taskbar to get to this). This is just beginning to roll out to Insiders in the Canary Channel so not every will see this change right away.
The Copilot on the right side of the system tray on the taskbar.
The Copilot on the right side of the system tray on the taskbar.

[Taskbar & System Tray]

  • When you hover over the date and time in the system tray, the tooltip will now always show a clock even when you only have a single clock added.

[File Explorer]

  • In addition to the new “Compress To” formats for 7Z and tar, we are adding a new compression wizard that lets you choose even more formats and specify even more details. You can compress individual files with gzip/bzip2 (and more,) or add multiple files to archives in different tar formats with different types of compression. You can also change the compression level and what types of data are stored in each archive.

[Windows Share]

  • For Microsoft Edge and other browsers that invoke the Windows share window, the Windows share window now supports the ability to share website links directly to WhatsApp, Gmail, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and LinkedIn. In Microsoft Edge, you can invoke the Windows share window by clicking the share icon at the top right in the toolbar and choosing the Windows share options.
New share targets for sharing links through the Windows share window.
New share targets for sharing links through the Windows share window.
  • If you’re signed in with a Microsoft Entra ID, in addition to being able to share to your Microsoft Teams (work or school) contacts, you can also now share directly to specific Microsoft Teams Channels and groups chats as well directly within the Windows share window.
  • We have significantly improved nearby share transfer speed for users on same network. Before these changes, users had to be on the same private network but now users just have to be on the same network, which could be public or private. You can quickly turn on nearby share via Quick Settings and simply right-click on a local file in File Explorer, choose “Share”, and choose to share to a device listed under Nearby Share in the Windows share window.

[Task Manager]

  • We have updated the Task Manager icon to match the design of other icons in Windows 11.
The new Task Manager icon.
Behold! The new Task Manager icon.

[Narrator]

  • In Microsoft Word, Narrator will now announce the presence of a draft comment, a resolved comment, a bookmark, or the availability of accessibility suggestions when reading text in the document.
  • Narrator users can now use voice access to open applications, dictate text and interact with elements on the screen using their voice. Narrator users can use voice access to give Narrator commands using their voice. For e.g., “speak faster”, “read next line”, etc. To get started, search for “voice access” in Windows search and set it up.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator was not correctly announcing the selected item in combo boxes when users try to change the combo box value using key combination Control + up or down arrow.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator was announcing old dialog names even after users navigate to new dialog on few web pages.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator was not reading Role of a control in tables on the web while using table navigation commands CTRL + ALT + Arrow keys.
  • Fixed an issue in Microsoft Excel where Narrator was not consistently reading any item in the auto-complete list that comes when writing a formula.
  • Addressed an issue where Narrator was not announcing the selected state of menu items in few applications such as device manager.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator was announcing both the unselected value and the newly selected value in elements such as date fields or any elements that are formatted as tables.

[Input]

  • Added the Colemak keyboard layout. To use you can add it in Settings > Time & Language > Language & region > and select a Latin-script alphabet-based language like English, click on the three dots to open Language Options for that language and then add a keyboard.
  • Added a new Hebrew keyboard layout. To use you can add it in Settings > Time & Language > Language & region > and select Hebrew, click on the three dots to open Language Options for that language, then add a keyboard, and select Hebrew (Standard, 2018).

[Magnifier]

  • Fixed an issue in Magnifier settings page where the text below “voice speed” slider was not following the color contrast guidelines.

Fixes for known issues

  • Fixed an issue causing Settings to not launch for a small number of Insiders on Build 26010+. If you are impacted and aren’t yet on this build, please see this forum post for a workaround.
  • Fixed a high hitting print spooler crash in the last 2 builds.
  • Fixed an issue where hovering over the system tray area wasn’t bringing up the taskbar when set to autohide.
  • Fixed an issue causing some users to see an increase in SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED bugchecks recently.
  • Fixed an issue causing some insiders to see a bugcheck with BAD_POOL_CALLER in Build 26016+.
  • Fixed an underlying issue related to scrollbars which was causing some app crashes in the last 2 builds.
  • Made a change to help fix an issue which could cause the spacing between your desktop icons to become extremely wide.
  • Fixed the issue in Widgets where announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • Fixed the issue in Widgets where spacing and fonts used in some settings pages were incorrect.

Known issues

[General]

  • [IMPORTANT NOTE FOR GAMERS – UPDATED!] Some popular games may not work correctly and cause a bugcheck (green screen) when launched on the most recent Insider Preview builds in the Canary Channel. Please be sure to submit feedback in Feedback Hub on any issues you see with playing games on these builds.
  • [NEW] In some multi-monitor configurations on Build 26040, a display may appear as frozen. If you hit this, you can try CTRL + WIN + Shift + B to restart DWM.
  • [NEW] Content in some video streaming apps from the Microsoft Store may not play. As a workaround, try streaming from a browser.
  • We’re investigating an issue where the print queue is showing a messaging saying it can’t find the app when opened. As a workaround, you can launch the print queue from the Run dialog (WIN + R) and entering: explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\Microsoft.Windows.PrintQueueActionCenter_cw5n1h2txyewy!App.

[Widgets]

  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23619 (Dev Channel)

Hi all, last Thursday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23619 to the Dev Channel.

All smooth upgradeds here, more improvemenets in sharing pictures from you mobile effortlessly.

Upcomming Teams meetings showing up directly in your start recommendations, this is an awesome idea!💡

Happy Upgrading!

What’s new in Build 23619

Instantly access new photos and screenshots from your mobile device

We are also beginning to gradually roll out a new feature for Windows that introduces the ability to effortlessly access and edit your most recent photos and screenshots from your Android mobile device in Snipping Tool on your PC. With this feature, you’ll receive instant notifications on your PC whenever a new photo or screenshot is captured on your Android device.

Windows notification prompting to open capture in Snipping Tool for markup.
Windows notification prompting to open capture in Snipping Tool for markup.

To enable this experience, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Mobile devices (this settings page was updated with Build 26016 in the Canary Channel and Build 23606 in the Dev Channel) and choose “Manage devices” and allow your PC to access your Android phone. Your PC will get a Cross Device Experience Host update in the Microsoft Store that is required for this experience to work.

New settings window for managing mobile devices that are allowed to connect to your PC.
New settings window for managing mobile devices that are allowed to connect to your PC.

This new experience replaces the remote capture with Phone Link experience that was announced back in September.

[We are beginning to roll this out to Windows Insiders in BOTH the Canary and Dev Channels this week, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders just yet as we plan to monitor feedback before pushing it out to everyone.]

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Devices and Drivers > Linked devices.

Changes and Improvements

[Start menu]

  • For people logged into Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise editions with a Microsoft Entra ID account, we are trying out the ability to view and join upcoming Microsoft Teams meetings directly from the Start menu. The next online Teams meeting will show up as a Recommended item 5 minutes before it begins, clicking the meeting recommendation will open the join meeting flow in Teams.
Join upcoming Microsoft Teams meetings directly Start menu.
Join upcoming Microsoft Teams meetings directly Start menu.

Fixes

[File Explorer]

  • Did some more work to help improve the launch performance of File Explorer.

[Task Manager]

  • Fixed an issue where dragging the Task Manager window wouldn’t work if your mouse was on the search box.

[Other]

  • Fixed a crash when you tried to add natural voices for Narrator in Settings.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • When first launching or after refreshing Copilot in Windows while using voice access, you’ll need to use “Show grid” commands to click in the “Ask me anything” box for the first time.

[Widgets]

  • Announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.
  • Incorrect spacing and fonts used in some settings pages.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23615 (Dev Channel)

Hi all, last Thursday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23615 to the Dev Channel.

There are ISOs available for this build – they can be downloaded here.

Upgrades went smooth here physical & Windows 365 pc’s.

Have fun upgrading & make sure you post feedback in the Feedback Hub when you spot any issues.

What’s new in Build 23615

USB 80Gbps

We are excited to announce support for the latest generation USB standard, USB 80Gbps, in this build of Windows. USB 80Gbps support will initially launch on select devices based on the Intel Core 14th Gen HX-series mobile processors, such as the new Razer Blade 18.

This is the first major version update of the USB4®standard and increases performance to 80Gbps from 40Gbps. It enables the next generation of high-performance displays, storage, and connectivity. It is fully backwards compatible with peripherals built for older generations of USB and Thunderbolt™ and works alongside all other USB Type-C features.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Devices and Drivers > Buses. 

Changes and Improvements

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • We are trying out opening Copilot automatically when Windows starts on widescreen devices with some Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. This can be managed via Settings > Personalization > Copilot. Note that this is rolling out so not all Insiders in the Dev Channel will see this right away. [ADDED 1/12] We’re trying this experience out on devices that have minimum diagonal screen size of 27” and pixel width of 1920 pixels and limited to primary display screens in multi-monitor scenarios. As a reminder, we regularly try out different experiences with Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel that may not ever ship, and others could show up in future Windows releases when they’re ready.
New Copilot Settings page.
New Copilot Settings page.

[Windows Share]

  • For Microsoft Edge and other browsers that invoke the Windows share window, the Windows share window now supports the ability to share URLs directly to WhatsApp, Gmail, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and LinkedIn. In Microsoft Edge, you can invoke the Windows share window by clicking the share icon at the top right in the toolbar and choosing the Windows share options.
New share targets for sharing links through the Windows share window.
New share targets for sharing links through the Windows share window.

Fixes

[Task Manager]

  • Fixed an issue which was impacting Task Manager reliability for some Insiders.

[Windows Share]

  • Fixed an issue which was impacting Windows share window reliability for some Insiders.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • When first launching or after refreshing Copilot in Windows while using voice access, you’ll need to use “Show grid” commands to click in the “Ask me anything” box for the first time.

[Widgets]

  • Announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.
  • Incorrect spacing and fonts used in some settings pages.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23612 (Dev Channel)

Hi all, Last Wednesday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23612 to the Dev Channel.

Happy New Year, the 1st flught are here

Happy Updating!

What’s new in Build 23612

Richer weather experience on the lock screen

We are introducing a richer weather experience to your lock screen. This includes dynamic, interactive weather updates. So, as you hover over the weather experience on your lock screen, you will see more information. When you tap or click on the weather card and sign in, Microsoft Edge opens with the full forecast in MSN Weather. If you already use Weather under Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Lock screen status, there is nothing for you to do. Also, this new experience will be on by default. Should you not want to see this experience, you can change your lock screen status to “None.”  This rich weather experience is available when you lock your screen no matter which personalization option you select (Windows spotlight, Picture, or Slideshow).

Richer weather experience on the lock screen.
Richer weather experience on the lock screen.

[We are beginning to roll this out starting with EN-US only, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.]

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Desktop Environment > Lock screen.

Extended languages, multi-display support, and custom commands for voice access

Extended language support: We have extended voice access to support other languages such as French (France), French (Canada), German, Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Mexico).

When voice access is turned on for the first time, you will be prompted to download a speech model to enable on-device recognition of voice data. In case voice access does not find a speech model matching your display language, you can still choose to proceed ahead to use voice access in English (United States).

New languages under settings on the voice access bar.
New languages under settings on the voice access bar.

You can always switch to a different language by navigating to Settings > Language on the voice access bar.

Multi-display support: You can now use all voice access features on multiple displays, including number and grid overlays which were previously unavailable on any display other than the primary one.

The grid overlay feature has been further developed to allow you to not only interact with the screen you are currently using, but also quickly switch to another display. You can also use the drag and drop feature to move files, apps, and documents from one display to another.

You can use either the alphabet or NATO phonetic in your command to shift focus to another display.
You can use either the alphabet or NATO phonetic in your command to shift focus to another display.

After invoking the grid overlay, use to quickly shift to focus to another display. You can use either the alphabet or NATO phonetic in your command; for example, “B” or “Bravo” would both be valid as shown in the above screenshot.

Use mouse grid command to move your mouse to a specific point on a specific display.
Use mouse grid command to move your mouse to a specific point on a specific display.

You can also use the accelerated command “mouse grid ..” to quickly move your mouse to a specific point on a specific display. In this case we used “mousegrid A 114” as shown in the above screenshot.

Voice shortcuts: We are introducing voice shortcuts or custom commands to enable you to create your very own command. This is currently available if you use voice access in English.

Creating commands that map to single action, such as opening a URL, or a series of actions performed in sequence, is easy. To get started, say “what can I say” and click on the “Voice shortcuts” tab on the left panel, or use the command “show voice shortcuts” to directly launch the voice shortcuts page. Then, click on the Create Command button to begin the process.

New voice shortcuts tab for creating custom commands in voice access.
New voice shortcuts tab for creating custom commands in voice access.

Create a command by using either voice or any other input modality. Give it a name, select one or multiple actions, fill in the necessary information and then click “Create”. Your command is now ready to be used.

Creating a new custom command to use in voice access.
Creating a new custom command to use in voice access.
Select one or multiple actions for a custom command in voice access.
Select one or multiple actions for a custom command in voice access.

You can view all the voice shortcuts you have created either from the command help page or by using the command “show voice shortcuts”.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Accessibility > Voice Access.

Changes and Improvements

[Settings]

  • Optional features previously listed under Settings > Apps has moved to its own page under Settings > System.

Fixes

[Start menu]

  • Fixed an issue which was causing the text input indicator to appear floating when you opened Start menu.

[File Explorer]

  • Made a change to help fix an issue which could cause the spacing between your desktop icons to become extremely wide.
  • Fixed an issue which could cause explorer.exe to crash when opening the context menu in file explorer if multiple files were selected.

[Widgets]

  • We fixed the issue causing a loading delay when the Microsoft Start feed is reenabled.
  • We fixed the issue causing the Widgets Board to not automatically close and reopen when enabling or disabling feeds.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • When first launching or after refreshing Copilot in Windows while using voice access, you’ll need to use “Show grid” commands to click in the “Ask me anything” box for the first time.

[Widgets]

  • Announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.
  • Incorrect spacing and fonts used in some settings pages.
  • [ADDED 1/4] Windows Insiders will temporarily see “Windows Widgets” shown as a lock screen status option. This should go away over time and choosing it will not do anything.

[ADDED 1/4] Microsoft Store Update

Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels running version 22312.xxxx.x of the Microsoft Store and higher will see the following improvement rolling out:

Launch Instant Arcade games while browsing: In recent months, we announced Instant Arcade where you can play some games without the need to download them. Now, you’ll be able to launch these games directly while browsing or in search results. Simply hover over the instant arcade game and click the Play Now button.

Notifications for app installations: When you initiate a download from the Microsoft Store, we’ll send you a notification when your app is installed and ready to use. This can be toggled off in the store’s settings page.

Notification from Store when your app is installed and ready to use.
Notification from Store when your app is installed and ready to use.

Performance improvements when installing from search or browsing: We made things a little faster when you install products from the search results page or while browsing. Animations are smoother and more seamless.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26020 (Canary Channel)

Hi all, 1st 2024 flights are here, last Wednesday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26020 to the Canary Channel.

What’s new in Build 26020

Extended languages, multi-display support, and custom commands for voice access

Extended language support: We have extended voice access to support other languages such as French (France), French (Canada), German, Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Mexico).

When voice access is turned on for the first time, you will be prompted to download a speech model to enable on-device recognition of voice data. In case voice access does not find a speech model matching your display language, you can still choose to proceed ahead to use voice access in English (United States).

New languages under settings on the voice access bar.
New languages under settings on the voice access bar.

You can always switch to a different language by navigating to Settings > Language on the voice access bar.

Multi-display support: You can now use all voice access features on multiple displays, including number and grid overlays which were previously unavailable on any display other than the primary one.

The grid overlay feature has been further developed to allow you to not only interact with the screen you are currently using, but also quickly switch to another display. You can also use the drag and drop feature to move files, apps, and documents from one display to another.

You can use either the alphabet or NATO phonetic in your command to shift focus to another display.
You can use either the alphabet or NATO phonetic in your command to shift focus to another display.

After invoking the grid overlay, use to quickly shift to focus to another display. You can use either the alphabet or NATO phonetic in your command; for example, “B” or “Bravo” would both be valid as shown in the above screenshot.

Use mouse grid command to move your mouse to a specific point on a specific display.
Use mouse grid command to move your mouse to a specific point on a specific display.

You can also use the accelerated command “mouse grid ..” to quickly move your mouse to a specific point on a specific display. In this case we used “mousegrid A 114” as shown in the above screenshot.

Voice shortcuts: We are introducing voice shortcuts or custom commands to enable you to create your very own command. This is currently available if you use voice access in English.

Creating commands that map to single action, such as opening a URL, or a series of actions performed in sequence, is easy. To get started, say “what can I say” and click on the “Voice shortcuts” tab on the left panel, or use the command “show voice shortcuts” to directly launch the voice shortcuts page. Then, click on the Create Command button to begin the process.

New voice shortcuts tab for creating custom commands in voice access.
New voice shortcuts tab for creating custom commands in voice access.

Create a command by using either voice or any other input modality. Give it a name, select one or multiple actions, fill in the necessary information and then click “Create”. Your command is now ready to be used.

Creating a new custom command to use in voice access.
Creating a new custom command to use in voice access.
Select one or multiple actions for a custom command in voice access.
Select one or multiple actions for a custom command in voice access.

You can view all the voice shortcuts you have created either from the command help page or by using the command “show voice shortcuts”.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Accessibility > Voice Access.

Natural Voices Previews in Narrator

We are introducing previews for natural voices of 10 new locales launched in September 2023. As a reminder, those natural voices include Chinese, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), Japanese, English (UK), French, Portuguese, English (India),German and Korean.

These previews will allow the users to listen to the natural voices before downloading the voice model. Natural Narrator voices use modern, on-device text to speech and once downloaded are supported without an internet connection. Please note to listen to the previews, an internet connection is required.

To use one of the natural voices, add it to your PC by following these steps:

  1. Open Narrator Settings by pressing the WIN + CTRL + N hotkey.
  2. Under Narrator’s voice, select the Add button next to Add natural voices.
  3. Select the voice you want to install. You can install all voices, but you must install them separately.
  4. The preview will play automatically once you navigate through the list.
  5. If you like the preview , click on “Download and Install”. The new voice will be downloaded and ready for use in a few minutes, depending on your internet download speed.
  6. When the new voice has downloaded, in Narrator settings select your preferred voice from the drop-down menu in Narrator’s voice > Choose a voice.
When you click on a natural voice for Narrator in Settings, a preview will play automatically.
When you click on a natural voice for Narrator in Settings, a preview will play automatically.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (Win + F) under Accessibility > Narrator.

Changes and Improvements

[General]

  • Starting with this build, the WordPad and People apps will no longer be installed after doing a clean install of the OS. In a future flight, WordPad will be removed on upgrade. WordPad will not be reinstallable. WordPad is a deprecated Windows feature. For more information on the future of the People app, click here.
  • Steps Recorder will not receive further updates and is planned for removal in a future Windows release. Starting in this build, Steps Recorder (PSR.exe) will display a new banner notification to guide users towards alternative options. We encourage our users to explore other options in Windows 11 such as Snipping tool, Xbox Game bar or Microsoft Clipchamp. For more, see this article.

[Taskbar & System Tray]

  • For PCs that are plugged in and do not have batteries (such as desktop PCs), when you turn on energy saver, we are trying out a new energy saver icon that is shown in the system tray to indicate energy saver is on. For PCs with batteries, there is no change to the experience, and you will continue to see the leaf icon overlayed on top of the battery icon in the system tray. As a reminder, battery saver is now energy saver with extended capability as of Build 26002.
Energy saver icon shown on the system tray for PCs that do not have batteries.
Energy saver icon shown on the system tray for PCs that do not have batteries.

[Task Manager]

  • [ADDED] We improved process grouping in the processes page for Task Manager.

[Printing]

  • We have added the ability to pause and resume print jobs in print queue for printers under Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners. This allows you to pause printing when maintenance is required for your printer such as replacing a printer cartridge. Jobs submitted are held by the spooler until the print queue is ‘un-paused’ by clicking resume in Settings. The ability to rename your printer directly here in these settings is coming in a later flight.
Pause and resuming print jobs in print queue for printers in Settings.
Pause and resuming print jobs in print queue for printers in Settings.

[Windows Share]

  • The Windows share window will now only show apps under “Share using” that are tied to the account you are signed into Windows with – either Microsoft account (MSA) or Microsoft Entra ID (previously Azure Active Directory). If you are signed in with an MSA, you will see Microsoft Teams (free) instead of Microsoft Teams (work or school) and not both for example.
  • The Windows share window now supports sharing with WhatsApp under the “Share using” section. If you don’t have WhatsApp installed, you can choose to install it from Windows share window directly. Over time, we plan to try this experience out with other apps as well.
Share to or install WhatsApp directly from Windows share window.
Share to or install WhatsApp directly from Windows share window.

[Nearby Sharing]

  • We are introducing the ability to quickly give your device a more friendly name to identify sharing to and from with nearby share under Settings > System > Nearby sharing.
Give your device a more friendly name to identify sharing to and from with nearby share.
Give your device a more friendly name to identify sharing to and from with nearby share.
  • [ADDED 1/4] If you turn on nearby sharing via quick settings or directly in Settings and you have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off, it will turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on so nearby sharing will work as expected. If you turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, it will also turn off nearby sharing.

Fixes for known issues

  • Fixed an issue causing Settings to crash when navigating to Power & Battery in the previous build.
  • Fixed an underlying issue causing the details pane in File Explorer to unexpectedly take keyboard focus sometimes.
  • Copilot will no longer rearrange or push your desktop icons when launched.
  • Fixed an issue where uncombined taskbar icons were cutting off the title instead of adjusting with the title length.
  • Fixed an issue causing Steps Recorder to not launch in the last couple builds.
  • We fixed the issue causing a loading delay when the Microsoft Start feed is reenabled in Widgets.
  • We fixed the issue causing the Widgets Board to not automatically close and reopen when enabling or disabling feeds.

Known issues

[General]

  • [REMINDER] Some popular games may not work correctly on the most recent Insider Preview builds in the Canary Channel. Starting with Build 26016, more games have been impacted by several bugs – if you’re having any issues please submit feedback in Feedback Hub.
  • We’re investigating an issue where the print queue is showing a messaging saying it can’t find the app when opened. As a workaround, you can launch the print queue from the Run dialog (WIN + R) and entering: explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\Microsoft.Windows.PrintQueueActionCenter_cw5n1h2txyewy!App.
  • We’re investigating an issue causing a small number of Insiders to not be able to open Settings after Build 26010 and higher. If you are impacted, please see this forum post for a workaround.

[Widgets]

  • Announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.
  • Incorrect spacing and fonts used in some settings pages.

[ADDED 1/4] Microsoft Store Update

Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels running version 22312.xxxx.x of the Microsoft Store and higher will see the following improvement rolling out:

Launch Instant Arcade games while browsing: In recent months, we announced Instant Arcade where you can play some games without the need to download them. Now, you’ll be able to launch these games directly while browsing or in search results. Simply hover over the instant arcade game and click the Play Now button.

Notifications for app installations: When you initiate a download from the Microsoft Store, we’ll send you a notification when your app is installed and ready to use. This can be toggled off in the store’s settings page.

Notification from Store when your app is installed and ready to use.
Notification from Store when your app is installed and ready to use.

Performance improvements when installing from search or browsing: We made things a little faster when you install products from the search results page or while browsing. Animations are smoother and more seamless.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26016 (Canary Channel)

Hi all, last Wednesday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26016 to the Canary Channel.

This will be the last Canary Channel flight until January 2024.

ISOs for this build are available: they can be downloaded here.

Happy Holidays & see you next year!

What’s new in Build 26016

Windows Protected Print Mode

Windows protected print mode lets your PC exclusively print using the Windows modern print stack which is designed to work with Mopria certified printers only. With Mopria certified printers, users no longer must depend on third-party software installers as well as get additional security benefits. Print devices will “just work” resulting in a safe and streamlined installation and printing process. Read more about the security benefits of switching to IPP printing here.

Here is how you can enable Windows protected print mode. These instructions are also published in a Quest for Insiders in Feedback Hub:

  1. Press Start.
  2. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Printers.
  4. Right click on ‘Configure Windows protected print’ and click ‘Edit’.
  5. Select the ‘Enabled’ radio button.
  6. Click ‘Apply’ and click ‘OK’.
  7. Windows protected print is now enabled.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Devices and Drivers > Print.

Changes and Improvements

[Taskbar & System Tray]

  • Added an icon to the “Diagnose network problems” entry when right clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar.

[Settings]

  • [ADDED] We’re beginning to rollout a change that renames the Phone Link settings page under Settings > Bluetooth & devices to Mobile devices. As part of this change, a new section will appear for allowing a PC to access mobile devices – this section currently does not introduce anything new yet and we’ll have more to share in a future flight. 
The Phone Link settings page is being renamed to Mobile devices.
The Phone Link settings page is being renamed to Mobile devices.

Fixes for known issues

  • Fixed an issue causing WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) to not render correctly in the previous flight.
  • Fixed an issue causing keyboard shortcuts to not work on the desktop – including using the delete key to delete files off of your desktop, CTRL key combos to take action on desktop icons, or using ALT + F4 on the desktop to open the shutdown dialog.
  • Fixed an underlying issue causing the details pane in File Explorer to unexpectedly take keyboard focus sometimes.
  • Fixed an issue causing it to not be possible to save changes to shortcuts (.lnk) in the previous flight, as they would cite something was using the process.
  • We did some work to help improve the performance of loading Settings > Apps > Installed apps.
  • Fixed an issue where Settings was crashing when attempting to navigate to the “System and Reserved” section under System > Storage.

Known issues

[General]

  • [REMINDER] Some popular games may not work correctly on the most recent Insider Preview builds in the Canary Channel. Please be sure to submit feedback in Feedback Hub on any issues you see with playing games on these builds.
  • We’re investigating an issue where the print queue is showing a messaging saying it can’t find the app when opened.
  • [NEW] We’re investigating an issue causing a small number of Insiders to not be able to open Settings after the previous flight. If you are impacted, please see this forum post for a workaround.
  • [NEW] Navigating to Settings > Power will crash Settings on this build. As a workaround, you can use commands to configure power modes on your device. powercfg /overlaysetactive will set the active user configured power mode, powercfg /q OVERLAY_SCHEME_CURRENT will get the active user configured power mode. For more information on using powercfg to adjust these settings, click here.

[Widgets]

  • You may experience a loading delay when the Microsoft Start feed is reenabled.
  • Announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • The Widgets Board should automatically close and reopen when enabling or disabling feeds.
  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.
  • Incorrect spacing and fonts used in some settings pages.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23606 (Dev Channel)

Hi all, last Wednesday Microsof released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23606 to the Dev Channel. 

This will be the last Dev Channel flight until January 2024.

ISOs for this build are available: they can be downloaded here.

Happy Holidays & see you next year!

Changes and Improvements

[General]

  • Windows 11 is transitioning from Windows Speech Recognition (WSR) to voice access. WSR is being deprecated. A dialog will pop up when WSR is opened directing you to try voice access and we have also added a banner under Settings > Accessibility > Speech as well. Voice access, our new assistive technology in Windows 11, uses on-device speech recognition, enabling control of your PC and authoring text without an internet connection. It will support multiple languages and custom commands in a future update. We recommend WSR users try and start using voice access today.
Dialog directing you to try voice access when opening Windows Speech Recognition.
Dialog directing you to try voice access when opening Windows Speech Recognition.

[Settings]

  • [ADDED] We’re beginning to rollout a change that renames the Phone Link settings page under Settings > Bluetooth & devices to Mobile devices. As part of this change, a new section will appear for allowing a PC to access mobile devices – this section currently does not introduce anything new yet and we’ll have more to share in a future flight. 
The Phone Link settings page is being renamed to Mobile devices.
The Phone Link settings page is being renamed to Mobile devices.

Fixes

[File Explorer]

  • Fixed an underlying issue causing the details pane in File Explorer to unexpectedly take keyboard focus sometimes.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing File Explorer to crash when accessing or scrolling Gallery.

[Input]

  • Fixed a high hitting tabtip.exe crash when trying to use pen input in the previous flight.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • When first launching or after refreshing Copilot in Windows while using voice access, you’ll need to use “Show grid” commands to click in the “Ask me anything” box for the first time.

[Widgets]

  • You may experience a loading delay when the Microsoft Start feed is reenabled.
  • Announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • The Widgets Board should automatically close and reopen when enabling or disabling feeds.
  • Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.
  • Incorrect spacing and fonts used in some settings pages.

source: Windows Blogs

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23601 (Dev Channel)

Hi all, last Thursday Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23601 to the Dev Channel.

Some nice updates to Windows 365 boot & switch

Happy Upgrading!

What’s new in Build 23601

New features and improvements for Windows 365 Boot

The following improvements are beginning to roll out for Windows 365 Boot. (Local PC and Cloud PC should be on the same build.)

Dedicated mode for Windows 365 Boot: We are now launching a new mode for Windows 365 Boot – dedicated mode. You can now boot to your Windows 365 Cloud PC from your designated company-owned device. You will be able to seamlessly login to your Windows 365 Cloud PC from Windows 11 login screen using password-less authentication methods like Windows Hello for Business. The new dedicated mode also comes with fast account switcher experience to effortlessly switch profiles to login in, personalized experience with your username and password, display picture on lock and login screen, remember your username, etc.

Login screen showing fast account switching with Windows 365 Boot.
Login screen showing fast account switching with Windows 365 Boot.

[UPDATED] When this blog post was originally published, it referred to the above change as “personal mode” however it should be dedicated mode. 

Customized company logo and name for Windows 365 Boot: In shared mode, organizations can now customize the login page to include their company branding from Intune.

Example of customized logo and name on the login screen.
Example of customized logo and name on the login screen.

Fail fast mechanism for Windows 365 Boot: You no longer need to wait for the sign in process to the Cloud PC to complete only to find out Windows 365 Boot failed due to network issues or incomplete setup. The smart logic proactively informs users to resolve network issues or complete app setup so users can experience a smooth login to their Cloud PC.

Warning at login for setup issues.
Warning at login for setup issues.
Notification when there are network issues trying to connect.
Notification when there are network issues trying to connect.

Manage local PC settings through Windows 365 Boot: With this feature, it is now easier for you to access and manage sound, display, and other device specific settings of their local PC directly from your Cloud PC in under Windows 365 Boot.

Button to open local PC settings while in Windows 365 Boot.
Button to open local PC settings while in Windows 365 Boot.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (Win + F) under Windows 365.

New features and improvements for Windows 365 Switch

The following improvements are beginning to roll out for Windows 365 Switch. (Local PC and Cloud PC should be on the same build.)

Improved disconnect experience for Windows 365 Switch: You can now disconnect from their Cloud PC directly from their local PC. This can be done by going to Local PC > Task view > Right click on the Cloud PC button > Disconnect. We have also added tooltips on disconnect and sign-out options in the Cloud PC Start menu so that you can differentiate between these functionalities.

Disconnect experience for a Cloud PC as shown in Task view.
Disconnect experience for a Cloud PC as shown in Task view.

Desktop indicators to differentiate between Cloud PC and local PC for Windows 365 Switch: You will now see the term “Cloud PC” and “Local PC” on the desktop indicator when you switch between your respective PCs.

Gracefully handling increased connection time for Windows 365 Switch to Frontline Cloud PC: You will now see updates regarding the Cloud PC connection status and the connection timeout indicator while waiting on the connection screen. In case there is an error, you will now be able to copy the correlation ID using the new copy button in the error screen for quicker resolution.

Text indicating the Connection status on the connection screen.
Text indicating the Connection status on the connection screen.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (Win + F) under Desktop Environment > Switch to Cloud PC (From Task view).

Improving discoverability of screen casting in Windows 11

Casting from your Windows PC allows you to wirelessly extend your display to another nearby PC, TV or other external displays. After trying some improvements to this experience out with Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel with Build 23516, we’re making some additional refinement to those improvements that focus on educating users about the Cast feature and improving its discoverability in Windows 11. Those improvements include:

  • When doing multitasking activities on your PC such as often switching between windows to complete a task or using Snap Assist to organize your screen space, we will provide the suggestion to Cast via a notification toast.
  • We have updated the Cast flyout in Quick Settings with additional support for you in case you face any trouble discovering nearby displays, fixing connections, and more.
Cast flyout in Quick Settings now shows link for troubleshooting device discovery and other casting issues.
Cast flyout in Quick Settings now shows link for troubleshooting device discovery and other casting issues.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Display and Graphics > Wireless Display and Casting.

New widgets board settings

We’ve updated the widget settings experience, providing more ways for users to customize their widgets board experience.  One of the new settings enables you to just show widgets on your widgets board and another makes it easier for you to discover how to personalize your feed content.

New widgets board settings.
New widgets board settings.

The new settings experience also allows you to select the account you want to use for your Microsoft Start powered widgets and feeds. This means you are no longer limited to using the account you used to sign into Windows to drive those experiences, just like your other app powered widgets. You can easily manage the account used by Microsoft Start by navigating to ‘Microsoft Start’ settings under the ‘Personalize your content’ section in your widgets board settings. This change allows you to further personalize the experience to your preferences. The new settings experience is not limited by region.

[We are beginning to roll this out to Windows Insiders in the Canary, Dev, and Beta Channels this week, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders just yet as we plan to monitor feedback before pushing it out to everyone.]

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Desktop Environment > Widgets.

Changes and Improvements

[General]

  • Starting early next week, Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel on Build 23601 will be prompted to reboot to install Windows Configuration Update (KB1234567). Windows Configuration Updates are what we use to new features via Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR) technology. Windows Configuration Update (KB1234567) does not enable any new features as we’re testing the delivery of these updates via our servicing pipeline, and the reboot prompt to install them. After rebooting to install this update, it will be listed under “Other Updates” under Settings > Windows Update > Update History.

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • We are trying out the ability to “undock” Copilot in Windows with Windows Insiders. Just click the new icon to unpin the Copilot panel at the top right in the header. While undocked, Copilot can appear above or below other apps in Windows while maintaining its fixed position on the desktop. This allows users to access Copilot while minimizing disruption to other user activities. Additionally, can resize the Copilot window for a more comfortable experience. Simply click-and-drag the edge of the Copilot window to adjust the width to your needs.
Click the new icon to unpin the Copilot panel at the top right in the header to undock Copilot.
Click the new icon to unpin the Copilot panel at the top right in the header to undock Copilot.
  • We are trying out a change where when swiping from the right edge of the desktop on a touch display will open Copilot instead of notifications.

[Windows Share]

  • The Windows share window now supports sharing with WhatsApp under the “Share using” section. If you don’t have WhatsApp installed, you can choose to install it from Windows share window directly. Over time, we plan to try this experience out with other apps as well.
Share to or install WhatsApp directly from Windows share window.
Share to or install WhatsApp directly from Windows share window.

[Nearby Sharing]

  • We are introducing the ability to quickly give your device a more friendly name to identify sharing to and from with nearby share under Settings > System > Nearby sharing. This change originally began rolling out with Build 23545, but we are re-rolling it out with improvements to the experience. Let us know what you think.
Give your device a more friendly name to identify sharing to and from with nearby share.
Give your device a more friendly name to identify sharing to and from with nearby share.

[Narrator]

  • Narrator users can now use voice access to open applications, dictate text and interact with elements on the screen using their voice. Narrator users can use voice access to give Narrator commands using their voice . For e.g., “speak faster”, “read next line”, etc. To get started, search for “voice access” in Windows search and set it up.

Fixes

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • Fixed an issue that was causing full screen apps to minimize on secondary monitors when launching Copilot.
  • [ADDED] Copilot will no longer rearrange or push your desktop icons when launched.

[Start menu]

  • Fixed an issue causing the Recommended section to appear blank for some Insiders.

[File Explorer]

  • Fixed an issue impacting explorer.exe reliability.

[Taskbar]

  • Fixed an issue where uncombined taskbar icons were cutting off the title instead of adjusting with the title length.

[Task Manager]

  • When creating a dump file for a process, the dump file location should be selectable now, so you can copy it out.

[Settings]

  • Fixed an issue where if you go to System > Nearby Sharing it was crashing Settings.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[Copilot in Windows*]

  • When first launching or after refreshing Copilot in Windows while using voice access, you’ll need to use “Show grid” commands to click in the “Ask me anything” box for the first time.

[Widgets]

  • [NEW] The Microsoft 365, Outlook Calendar, and To Do widgets get stuck in an error state when the Microsoft Start feed is disabled. FIXED as of 12/8.
  • [NEW] You may experience a loading delay when the Microsoft Start feed is reenabled.
  • [NEW] Announcements from the Microsoft Start feed are still shown on the taskbar after the feed is hidden.
  • [NEW] The Widgets Board should automatically close and reopen when enabling or disabling feeds.
  • [NEW] Keyboard navigation from settings subpages back to the top-level Settings page is broken.
  • [NEW] Incorrect spacing and fonts used in some settings pages.

Notepad Update

We are rolling out an update for Notepad (version 11.2311.29.0) to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels that introduces the following improvements:

Edit with Notepad: Easily access Notepad for file modifications directly from File Explorer. Just right-click on any file or multiple files in File Explorer to find the [Edit with Notepad] option in the context menu, a quick and streamlined way to open and edit files in Notepad.

New Edit with Notepad option in the context menu in File Explorer.
New Edit with Notepad option in the context menu in File Explorer.

Character Count: Keep track of your document’s length with the new character count display in the status bar.  When text is selected, the status bar shows the character count for both the selected text and the entire document. If no text is selected, the character count for the entire document is displayed, ensuring you always have a clear view of your document’s length.

Character count for selected text in Notepad.
Character count for selected text in Notepad.

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Apps > Notepad.

Microsoft Store Update

Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels running version 22311.xxxx.x of the Microsoft Store and higher will see the following improvement rolling out:

Install as you browse: Introducing another quick way to get your favorite products: you can now install directly while browsing. Simply browse through the Store’s Home, Apps, or Games pages and hover over a product and click the install button. There are now fewer clicks to dive into new apps.

Install an app directly as you browse in the Microsoft Store.
Install an app directly as you browse in the Microsoft Store.

Improving discoverability of instant games: A few months ago, the Microsoft Store introduced games that you can play without downloading. We’re making it easier to discover these games by having a dedicated page you can browse.

Performance while browsing: We’ve made performance improvements in the Microsoft Store that will make it smoother for you to browse and scroll through various pages.

source: Windows Blogs