Another Windows 11 Insider Preview build has just hit the dev channel. Preview Build 22567 introduces a couple of new features like — auto scheduling Windows Update to prefer renewable energy, phone sync option during initial Windows setup, and a new security feature called Smart App Control. You can read more about the new features below, along with the various fixes.
If you are a part of the Windows Insider program, you can download the latest build here.
Renewable Energy for Windows Update
In the new Windows 11 Insider preview build, during the course of a day, Windows will try to schedule updates when the share of Renewable-energy is higher at the electricity grid. Since many renewable energy sources depend on environmental conditions, the output is never constant and keeps fluctuating, and thus Windows will prioritise updates when more ‘green energy is available.’
One caveat however, this won’t work everywhere. The feature will only be enabled for places where the energy mix for the grids are mapped digitally in real-time, and can be tracked through these services – electricityMap and WattTime.
Microsoft 365 Management
In earlier Windows updates, Microsoft made it easier for users to track their 365 subscription. All the relevant subscription information was displayed in the OS itself, in “Your Microsoft account” under Settings > Account.
Preview Build 22567 now extends this directly under Settings > Account, and the Windows 365 subscription information is displayed right on top of the page. Users without an active Microsoft 365 subscription will see free benefit offers bundled with their Microsoft account.
Phone Sync during Setup
Phone sync really works well with Windows now, with the ‘Your Phone’ companion app. After downloading and setting up the companion app, users can directly reply to text messages or access apps from their PCs, among other things.
With the new preview build, phone linking is now part of device setup (OOBE) in Windows 11. Which means users will get a prompt like the one above, to link up their phones with Windows during initial setup, also known as Out-of-box experience (OOBE).
New Security Feature (SAC)
The preview build also introduces a new security feature for Windows 11, called Smart App Control (SAC). It’s functionality is something akin to Play Protect on Android devices where the system scans for suspicious or potentially dangerous apps, and automatically blocks them. Initially SAC will be configured in evaluation mode where it will “learn if it can help protect you without getting in your way too much.” The system can also be enabled manually from the ‘App and Browser Control’ tab.
“SAC can only be enabled on Windows devices with a fresh install (Build 22567 and higher).”
- The ‘Open With’ dialogue tab now looks better, more in-sync with the Windows 11 UI, and also with dark/light themes.
- New multi-touch gestures for touch-screen devices. Swiping up or down with three fingers, maximises/minimises windows.
- Speech recognition performance has improved for voice typing with new Speech Packs from the Microsoft Store.
- Fixed an issue where users weren’t hearing the startup sound.
- Using the taskbar to bring an already running app to the foreground should work more reliably now.
- Fixed an issue where if you changed time zone the calendar flyout wouldn’t update to reflect a date change.
- Using Narrator key plus Enter or Narrator touch gestures should now work to activate items in the taskbar now.
- Mitigated an issue that was causing windows to be able to draw on top of the taskbar after dismissing one of the taskbar flyouts.
- The taskbar setting has been changed to “Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet”.
- We have improved mouse click reliability of system tray icons.
- Fixed an issue affecting the reliability of the Start menu opening.
- Fixed an issue where dragging a pinned app icon between pages of pinned apps wasn’t working.
- Addressed an alignment issue with the More button.
- Clicking the buttons in the new OneDrive flyout should now bring those objects into foreground focus.
- Star rating supported files (for example mp4 files) should work again now.
- Fixed an issue that could cause explorer.exe to crash when opening the context menu sometimes.
- Improved the performance of displaying the content in the Recycle Bin in cases where there were many files.
- Addressed an underlying crash that was happening when trying to start a search from File Explorer, impacting the ability to search.
- Fixed a rare issue for people with small screens where the context menu in File Explorer would animate in downwards, disappear, then immediately reappear animating upwards.
- Improved input switching responsiveness when using WIN + Space.
- Fixed an issue which was leading to some Insiders seeing black text on a dark background in the input switcher.
- Addressed an issue where the Japanese IME toolbar could become transparent, and the IME candidate window clipped or not displayed at all.
- If you’re using the Japanese IME with a vertical candidate list, the text should now appear written in the correct direction.
- Updated the icon used for hiding key press visuals in the touch keyboard when focus is set to a password field to help make it easier to understand.
- Fixed an issue where the new “Press Backspace” command when voice typing wasn’t working in Japanese.
- Mitigated an issue that was causing Narrator focus to get stuck in the wrong place after inserting an emoji and dismissing the emoji panel.
- Items in the app list under Apps > Installed apps should no longer overlap each other.
- Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to select the restart now button in Settings > Windows Update using touch.
- Explorer.exe shouldn’t crash anymore when dragging a window between monitors.
- If you’re hovering over a Desktop thumbnail in Task View, the tooltip should now actually match the one you’re hovering over.
- Fixed an issue where snap assist might unexpectedly trigger when you already had a window snapped in that area.
- Improved reliability of invoking snap layouts at the top of the screen.
- Task View should now successfully launch if you invoke it while the search flyout from the taskbar is open, rather than invoking and immediately dismissing.
- Fixed an issue that was causing Outlook to scroll to the beginning of your emails if you enabled voice access and started talking.
- Button text in voice access will no longer be cut off when you’ve changed your text size.
- Fixed an issue that was preventing voice access from launching on ARM64 devices.
- Voice access will no longer turn on after you log in unless the voice access setting is also turned on.
- Live captions will now handle you switching audio devices more smoothly.
- Changing the size of live captions will no longer cause white flashes in dark mode.
- You can now search for live captions to find their page in Settings.
- Accessibility home page in Settings now lists “live captions” under Captions.
- Settings flyout can now be light-dismissed in the live captions window.
- Fixed an issue causing high CPU usage while using Narrator.
- Narrator will now read out the theme as well as the selection state in Settings > Personalization > Text input > Theme.
- When a dialog pops up, Narrator will now consistently announce that it’s reading from a dialog when reading its message.
- When using Microsoft Edge’s History page, Narrator will now announce the name of the page and the focused element correctly.
- Fixed an underlying issue which was impacting Narrator keyboard navigation in webview2 in certain apps.
- Updated Braille display input and output table type dropdowns in Settings to have a default value now.
- Fixed an issue that was causing Narrator to hang when using Norton Power Eraser.
- If you Review > Check Accessibility in Excel, Narrator will now read the errors, warnings, tips & intelligent services section correctly.
- The suspended and efficiency mode icons should no longer be clipped in Task Manager at high DPIs.
- Fixed an issue where column preferences weren’t being preserved.
- The default start page and always on top settings should work now.
- When there’s nothing to show under the “…” menu, it won’t display now.
- Mitigated a crash that was happening sometimes when trying to launch Task Manager.
- Fixed an issue where Efficiency mode icons were missing on some child processes.
- Fixed an issue where some settings options were not preserved.
- Fixed an issue where Suspended and Efficiency mode icons were clipped when displayed on monitors with high DPI settings.
[Lock screen and logging in]
- Fixed an issue causing the accessibility flyout on the Lock screen to flicker.
- The accessibility flyout on the Lock screen’s location and spacing should now be centered and consistent with the design of other options on this screen.
- Fixed the border of the accessibility flyout on the Lock screen to show correctly in high contrast mode.
- Addressed an encoding issue in the message text when using a security key to login.
- Mitigated an explorer.exe crash some Insiders were seeing when logging into their PC.
- Notification Center will now close when you start a focus session, and the focus timer opens instead of you having to dismiss it.
- Fixed an issue which was impacting the ability of opening Quick Settings and Notification Center when animations were disabled.
- Quick Settings and Notification Center should dismiss more reliably now if you had used a gesture to invoke them before trying to dismiss them.
- Fixed an issue relating to the UiaDisconnectProvider API which was causing certain apps to crash.
- Mitigated a bug check which was happening in the last few flights for Insiders with more than 8 monitors connected.
- If you have pinned an app to the taskbar within Windows Sandbox, clicking the app to launch it will now actually work.