You can Now Use Voice Access on Your Lock Screen, Thanks to Windows Canary Insider Preview Build 25931

Windows has released the latest Canary Channel Insider Preview Build 25931 for its Users and introduced many new features that were previously released for the Dev channel and have made their way to the Canary Channel. We have compiled the details of all new features including major fixes from Microsoft in this build down below

New Features

Voice Access from Lock Screen

Windows has added support for Voice Access and enabled it for users when they start their PC. You can now use Voice Access before logging in to your account. You can turn on voice access from the accessibility flyout on the Lock screen or have it on automatically every time by checking the setting to “Start voice access before you sign in to your PC” via Settings > Accessibility > Speech.

Updated Voice Access Settings | Windows

You can follow the instructions on the voice access bar to get your focus on the password field and use your voice to dictate your password or PIN. Alternatively, you can say “show keyboard” to bring up the touch keyboard with number labels. You can say the numbers on the keys to enter the letters associated with it. This will mask the password you are entering from being heard by anyone nearby.

Unicode Emoji 15 Support

The Unicode Emoji 15 is beginning to roll out to Windows Insiders in the Canary Channel. Users will now be able to see, search for and insert new emoji from the emoji panel. Here are a few of the Emoji 15 designs which include more hearts, animals and one new smiley face.

Unicode Emoji 15 Sample Designs | Windows

DC location will no longer use NetBIOS\WINS\mailslot-based discovery by default

Due to the deprecation of Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) and Remote Mailslots, the use of NetBIOS, WINS, and mailslot-based methods for DC discovery are disabled by default in Windows 11 builds 25931. The new Group Policy setting (BlockNetBIOSDiscovery) allows users to undo this change in behaviour, the business adds. To restore the original functionality, you must disable the new BlockNetBIOSDiscovery policy and turn on the EnableMailslots SMB configuration option.

We have previously announced the deprecation of both Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) and Remote Mailslots (see this blog post here for information on Remote Mailslots). These deprecations are legacy technologies that are no longer secure in today’s environments. As part of these deprecations, DC location in your environment may be affected mainly because many legacy applications still specify short NetBIOS-style domain names when trying to locate a domain controller (DC). To help ease this transition with these deprecations, we are making two improvements to the DC locator algorithm in Windows.

First, we are blocking by default the use of NetBIOS\WINS\mailslot-based methods for DC-discovery. This behavior can be reverted with the use of a new Group Policy setting (BlockNetBIOSDiscovery). In addition to disabling the new BlockNetBIOSDiscovery policy, reversion to default behavior also requires enabling the EnableMailslots SMB configuration option. (You can query and set the EnableMailslots setting using the Get-SmbClientConfiguration and Set-SmbClientConfiguration PowerShell cmdlets.)

PLEASE NOTE: Reversion should be considered only as a temporary measure while more viable, longer-term solutions are explored.

Screenshot of the BlockNetBIOSDiscovery Group Policy setting | Windows

Second, we have added additional client-side logic to aid in the mapping of short NetBIOS-style domain names to DNS domain names. This improvement consists of two parts:

  1. DC locator will now automatically download additional information about the child domains in trusting forests and use that information as part of the discovery algorithm.
  2. As a last-resort fallback, and to accommodate unforeseen situations, forest administrators can manually configure a set of DNS-to-NetBIOS-domain-name mappings (using the Active Directory Domains and Trusts management snap-in) which are also downloaded and used by DC Locator during discovery.
Screenshot of the DC Locator domain name mappings property page in the Active Directory Domains and Trusts snap-in | Windows

According to the published changes, the “Details” screen in File Explorer now displays more information such as image dimensions for photographs, the number of pages for.docx documents, storage utilization for disks, and more in Windows 11 build 25931. Additionally, you may now synchronize the current accent colour with your RGB devices by selecting “Match my Windows accent colour” from the “Effects” settings on the Dynamic Lighting page.

As part of the Windows Spotlight updates, the functionality may activate by default if you’re using the standard desktop wallpaper or a solid colour after updating to a later version of the operating system. You can prevent the system from overwriting your preferences with future updates by disabling Spotlight in the Personalization settings.

Changes and Improvements


  • Insider Preview Build Expiration: The expiration date for Insider Preview builds flighted to the Canary Channel has been updated to 9/15/2024 starting with Build 25931. Please make sure you are updated to the latest build in the Canary Channel.
  • In addition to the Camera app and Cortana, the Photos app, People app, and Remote Desktop (MSTSC) client can be uninstalled.

[File Explorer]

  • Added more fields to show in the Details pane, including image dimensions for pictures, number of pages for .docx, space used and free information for drives, and many others.

[Dynamic Lighting]

  • You can now instantly sync your Windows accent colour with the devices around you with the “Match my Windows accent colour” toggle under “Effects” for Dynamic Lighting via Settings > Personalization > Dynamic Lighting.

[Windows Spotlight]

  • After doing an OS update, in certain cases such as using the default Windows 11 background or a solid colour – Windows Spotlight may be enabled for you. If you decide you don’t want Windows Spotlight enabled, you can turn it off and in future OS updates, it should not be enabled for you again unless you choose to re-enable the experience.

Fixes for known issues

  • We fixed a major issue where you could no longer connect over SMB to a third-party storage device using guest (no username or password) credentials.

Farhan Ali

Farhan is a passionate writer with an undying love for games, PC hardware, and technology. With nearly 5 years of experience in blogging and over 14 years of experience in gaming, this is what he loves and does best.
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