Windows 11 22H2: The most exciting new features at a glance
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Windows 11 22H2: The most exciting new features at a glance

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Build 22621, which is a major step towards release, has been available in the Release Preview channel since June Windows 11 version 22,H2 (aka Sun Valley 2). We reveal what the first major Windows 11 upgrade will look like based on this RTM version. Windows 11 was released last autumn. Microsoft also violated its promise that Windows 10 would not be the “last” operating platform. The original plan was that the operating system would work as “Windows as a Service” with continuous updates.

Windows 11 introduced a new name and some new features. Windows 11 will receive updates, so the internal naming of Windows 11 will not change. This means that version 22H2 (or a variant thereof) will be released next fall. While it may not bring as many innovations to Windows 11 as the original, it does include many fixes and improvements for “enhanced” features.

Start menu

Windows 11’s most innovative feature was the new start menu. It was both functionally and visually stunning. Although appearance is always a matter for taste, the start menu had very few features. Microsoft 22H2 changes this and allows for much more customization. The start menu now allows you to change the layout or size of featured and pinned items. You can choose “More pinable items” to get the fourth row of apps. With “More recommendation”, the apps are reduced down to two rows, and the recommendations are expanded. Everything remains the same with “Standard”.

App folders are making a comeback with version 22H2. You can now group apps in your start menu. You can drag one app over another, or create a shortcut to an already existing folder.

Taskbar

The taskbar remains essentially unchanged. It allows drag and drop functionality, which many people prefer. App icons can be drag and dropped to the taskbar, which can then be saved as a shortcut. However, this won’t work for Steam games because Windows 11 views them as an Internet connection and not as programs that can be linked in turn.

You can drag files into the programs on the taskbar. This is however less intuitive than you might expect or hope. An image cannot be simply dragged onto Photoshop symbols. The program will then open with the photo. The application should be already running and the window maximized so that you can drag the file to it. This is better than nothing but still cumbersome.

Forced grouping of multiple instances (eg multiple browser tabs) of an application still exists. You can’t click quickly on one browser window, so you must first move your mouse there. The flyout you see when the cursor is over an icon has been modified. Because the desktop background frames the windows, it is easier to identify a “group” of applications such as Word plus browser. A small but useful improvement: The mouse wheel can be used to adjust the volume by moving the mouse to the speaker symbol.

Task management

Perhaps the most innovative functional innovation is the Task Manager. It’s adaptable to Windows 11 and Microsoft’s Fluent Design (for first time, there’s also a Dark Mode), and it also has a clearer and better view. The categories are now on the page and not tabs.

Microsoft also released a new mode called “Efficiency”, which can be found by right-clicking on an app or background process. This reduces process priority and increases energy efficiency. However, it can cause instability in some processes, according to Microsoft’s report.

Notifications and quick settings

Microsoft has made minor visual adjustments to the info center settings and settings. Notifications now have an “acrylic background” and animations are better. You can now muffle or hide notifications by using the “do not disturb” button. You can customize or automate this to suit your needs. This allows you to set specific times and activities when “Do Not Disturb” will run automatically.

The “Focus Mode” button is located below the calendar. This mode is designed to reduce distractions for a time period. However, the how – such as length, notifications, tasks completed via the “To Do” app, etc. – can be customized. You can customize the above. You can also link your Spotify account to this time period to listen to quiet music or download podcasts. 22h2, Windows 11 22H2.

Windows 11 22H2: The most exciting new features at a glance
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