Last week, Microsoft announced Preview Build 2200.100 for Windows 11 Insiders. Even though the update brought a handful of enhancements and provided an improved user experience, it wasn’t perfect. A prominent reason behind this was the build, along with every other update up until now, was released only in the Dev Channel.
Dev Channel, according to Microsoft, is meant for “highly technical users” that want to test out the latest-and-greatest that Windows has to offer, but are okay with rough, unfinished elements that hinder the overall experience. Mainly, though, it’s meant for developers (duh) and engineers who want to begin working from the very start on a work-in-progress version of the OS, so that they’re ready in time for the public release.
Fast forward to the present, in a recent, rather hilarious tweet, Microsoft finally unveiled the Beta Channel for Windows 11 Insider builds, and its latest 22000.100 build is already up for grabs. While this is exciting news as a lot more people can now experience the early builds, we’re already starting to see some not-so-great turbulence.
Beta Channel – You’re up! #Windows11 preview build 22000.100 is now available to #WindowsInsiders in the Beta Channel. Check out https://t.co/ANDPdtBmJ3 for all the details. ^AL#AreYouFlightingYet pic.twitter.com/5mOmRhn4N7
— Windows Insider (@windowsinsider) July 29, 2021
The Beta Channel for Windows Insider builds is a step above the Dev Channel as it gives access to more routine users to try out the latest features packed into the OS. While it’s still not a finished version, it’s more refined than a Dev Channel release. Hence, a lot of the problems you may see in a Dev Channel release may be solved in the Beta Channel release of the same update.
Bugs Reported While Updating To Beta Release
Being out of the exclusivity of the Dev Channel meant that the build is now more accessible and supposedly less prone to OS-breaking bugs and glitches. However, the Beta Channel brings, perhaps even more issues to surface than any Dev Channel build hitherto. Many users have come forward explaining their issues, documenting their despair in hopes for some remedy of sorts.
Blank Windows Prompt
Reddit user u/transpunk3 reported that they stumbled upon the “What needs your attention” error screen while upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 via the Beta Channel. The issue was that the screen they saw was completely blank and there wasn’t actually anything that required his attention. Fortunately, this issue was resolved after deleting unused registry keys with a third-party utility software.
No Option To Upgrade
Another report from Reddit comes from u/beano311 in which they similarly detailed how the migration from Windows 10 to Windows 11 was problematic. The user was already in the Beta Channel flighting Windows 10 builds, but could not see the option to upgrade to the 22000.100 Windows 11 build, despite their PC qualifying for the minimum specs requirement.
Dev To Beta Channel Fiasco
That’s not all. Beneath the Beta Channel tweet from Microsoft, people accumulated their own problems in installing the latest build. The scariest reply came from Eponine Oler who attached a picture of their Windows Insider Settings page saying that their PC does not meet the minimum requirements for the Beta update. The scary part? Oler was already running the Windows 11 2200.100 Preview Build, just on the Dev Channel.
I'm also not able to switch from Dev to Beta channel. Could that be because my PC apparently doesn't meet requirements? pic.twitter.com/LzVY4xeIMq
— Eponine Oler (@SilverAcute) July 29, 2021
In a reply to Oler, Microsoft explained how older hardware that doesn’t necessarily meet Windows 11’s official hardware requirements was allowed to run Preview builds in the Dev Channel. But, switching over to the Beta Channel removes this exception and enforces the original hardware requirements.
Yes, that is correct. Your hardware doesn't meet the minimum hardware requirements, but was granted an exception for Dev Channel. Please see https://t.co/ny6YiIxVa2
— Windows Insider (@windowsinsider) July 29, 2021
Consequently, it’s important to note that many users who ran Windows 11 in the Dev Channel without issues may not be able to do the same on the Beta Channel. Refer to this handy-dandy guide to learn the apparatus on which Microsoft is allowing exceptions and whether your device falls in this category or not.
So far, all of the aforementioned reports refer to hindrance in installing the latest Insider build through the Beta Channel. The first two issues, along with several others, have been resolved thanks to assistance by fellow users in comment sections. However, be wary that the Beta update not appearing in settings is still a prevalent issue, as reported by various users on Reddit and Twitter.
In addition, many issues are still unresolved and users are in search for solutions to install and update to the Beta release. But, people are not facing problems in only upgrading to the Beta release, oh, that’s far from it. Once you’re actually inside the Beta, that’s where the real horror begins.
Bugs Inside The Windows 11 Beta Release
Now, let’s take a look at issues that arose after users had installed the update and were successfully inside the Windows 11 Beta build. These bugs and glitches aren’t as prevalent as the ones on the Dev Channel, but they’re still there. Part of the reason why Microsoft does early builds is to collect feedback and fix these issues in future releases, so it’s actually a good thing these issues have come to surface.
And, to no one’s surprise, most of these problems are related to the Taskbar.
Unresponsive Taskbar Elements
u/mtratchet6 shared their experience with the latest Beta release by reporting how the Notification Center, Start Menu and the icon flyout in the Taskbar are all broken for them. Clicking on either does nothing, and even the standard affair of restarting, and rolling back and forth between updates turns unfavorable results.
Moving along, u/Supertoad226 posted an image of a crooked Taskbar appearing on their build of the Windows 11 Beta release. They first installed the same build via the Dev Channel and had no issues, but switching to the Beta Channel broke their Taskbar. As you can see in the image below, apart from having its elements displaced, the Taskbar itself is from Windows 10 while the user is flighting Windows 11. Therefore, the user even goes as far as to suggest waiting instead of jumping on the Beta Channel right away, contrary to what Microsoft recommends.
Missing Battery Icon In Taskbar
Furthermore, another broken Taskbar makes an appearance in the Reddit confines. This time, u/avenger2050, outlines how the battery icon in the Action Center is completely gone. What’s left in its place is, well, nothing; it’s just an awkward-looking empty space. You don’t need me to tell you how crucial it is to be able to glance at your mobile device’s battery instead of having to open settings and check from there.
Blacked Out Taskbar
While Microsoft gives you the option to switch between Dark and Light themes in Windows 11, how would you react if they did it for you automatically? Something along those lines happened to u/9xr42 who detailed how, upon changing the theme in the settings, their Taskbar kept frantically switching between Dark and Light modes, and eventually turns completely black.
Frankenstein Taskbar (but there’s more to it)
The strangest among the onslaught of Taskbar-related issues comes from u/JustARandomCock who initially encountered a bug where they updated to Windows 11 Beta build, but their Taskbar didn’t. They were stuck with the Windows 10 Taskbar instead, and even that Taskbar didn’t work; it was completely unresponsive to any keyboard input.
Now, you may be saying this is a pretty common issue with these early builds, but the interesting bit here is, when the user switched accounts on the same build, they were able to see and access the Windows 11 Taskbar and it was working flawlessly. But, when the user switched back to their prior account, they were once again treated to the old Windows 10 Taskbar inside Windows 11.
Taskbar’s Not The Only Thing Broken
Moving away from problems pertaining to the Taskbar, the Beta release brings other OS-breaking issues as well. Even though the Taskbar definitely steals the spotlight for bugs, as we mentioned, there are issues present elsewhere, too. We’ve gathered two instances of starkly different bugs that users encountered within the latest Beta build. These give us a good representation of the kind of work Microsoft still needs to do before Windows 11’s public release.
Snap Assist, Not Assisting
First up, u/Kyahuabhai, posts about how the Snap assist (something that I personally use) is partially broken in the Windows 11 Beta. The snapping functionality in of itself is working fine, but Windows actually recommends other open apps for snapping after you initially snap an application for multi-tasking. This recommendation feature is further improved upon in Windows 11 where the OS now actually recommends snap layouts as well to help you multi-task more efficiently.
For u/Kyahuabhai, unfortunately, this feature no longer works in the latest build, even after doing the “good old, on and off.”
Mic And Camera Not Working
Secondly, a more dreadful issue has been brought up by u/Vansh16 in which they describe that the Beta update has wrecked their mic and camera functionality. They detail that both their microphone and webcam are no longer working in the Beta, and the webcam is being displayed as disabled in the settings irrespective of enabling it several times. So far, they’ve not found a solution despite trying all common fixes.
Guys, It’s Just Not Ready
The Beta release of Windows Insider builds, or anything for that matter, is supposed to represent a more stable, polished, and mature version of, essentially, a prototype. But, we have to keep in mind that Windows 11 is still very much in its infancy, and Microsoft is hard at work to make sure they deliver on all their promises before public release later this year.
As a Windows Insider myself, it’s my responsibility to tell you that most of these issues present on early preview builds don’t make their way over to the official release. The whole point of these builds is to give developers an early hands-on, and make users highlight issues so Microsoft can fix them in time. Hence, there’s no need to worry about Windows 11 as these bugs are not exactly indicative of its final release.