Two weeks after introducing the world to Windows 11’s first-ever beta, Microsoft has just pushed another update for its Insider Program. Preview Build 22000.120, available in both the Dev and Beta channels, comes with a handful of improvements over the previous update, and some nifty changes as well. There’s also a excruciatingly long list of bug fixes so if you were hoping for a more stable flighting experience, you’re in luck.
The most notable addition to come out of the new update is the new Family widget for MSA accounts. The widget shows a picture of a family member (this can be anyone in your family group) with their recent activity right beneath. The whole thing looks sleek and follows the design language of Fluent UI – rounded corners, soft edges, blurred backgrounds, and the likes. Microsoft has made the widget available in all countries along with support for all languages.
Starting with this update, the Chat icon in the Taskbar will get notification badges. This means whenever you have a new notification from the Chat app, a little circle will appear on the Chat icon indicating as such. This feature has started rolling out to different users so expect varied compatibility. “Not everyone will see it right away”, Microsoft adds.
Moreover, the close button on the Taskbar preview windows has been updated to look more in-line with the rest of the OS. Now, it has a distinctive red backdrop that helps highlight and separate it from the rest of the window.
Next up, a very useful change for virtual desktop users. Even if Settings are already open, “Choose Background via Task View” when changing backgrounds for Desktops will now override Settings and shift to the Desktop you’re actually on at the moment. This will help you better navigate between your Desktops when you’re tying a background change.
The Identify button used to detect external or secondary monitors has been moved right under the control for the layout for your monitors. This will make it easier to find the setting and it makes sense to include the Identify button beneath the control for multiple monitor arrangement, as that’s likely two settings you will be adjusting at the same time.
The new context menus inside Windows 11 work perfectly on touchscreen but can be a bit too large for mouse users at times. Therefore, in this update, the context menus inside File Explorer have been shrunk down in size ever so slightly to make them a “little more compact” for users on desktop with mice.
Probably the most major improvement for power users comes in the form of a new button in File Explorer. Now, the toolbar displays a big “+ New” button right next to all the other tools like copy and paste. This literally New button allows you create new folders, shortcuts, documents, and other specific items like a PowerPoint presentation from within a convenient dropdown menu. This is just the “New” option that was included in the context menus in Explorer, now moved to the toolbar, and flaunting a much more sleek and modern look.
Lastly, the Task View UI has gotten a significant uplift thanks to better, much improved Snap assist functionality. Now, when you Alt + Tab, Task View now displays windows in a dynamic arrangement, reflecting the actual size of the windows. So, for example, if you have a smaller window open alongside a fullscreen one, and you go into Task View, it will display both windows according to their actual size. The UI looks elegant and much cleaner due to this change.
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft also deployed a lot of bug fixes, addressing issues such as random app crashing and various Start Menu glitches. For the full list of the fixes, along with the complete changelog on Microsoft’s blog, click here.