The latest previews of Windows 11 are filled with design changes


Microsoft is still making rapid changes to Windows 11 ahead of the 22H2 update due later this year. Now, a few more design updates have landed in the preview builds.

Microsoft started rolling out three new builds to Windows Insiders today. The most advanced version is Build 25169, now available in the Dev Channel, which adds Windows Spotlight to the system theme switcher. Spotlight is the feature in Windows 10 and 11 that adds a new wallpaper every day to the lock screen, and in June Microsoft added an option in Windows 11 to use Spotlight for the desktop background as well . The new theme option is just a quicker way to activate Spotlight on the desktop, instead of diving into the Background menu.

Windows 11 Spotlight Theme

The new Dev Channel update has a few other improvements. Some tasks for apps that open the old Control Panel, such as uninstalling apps that have dependencies and repairing Win32 apps, now run in the new Settings app instead. Were almost to the point where the Settings app can replace the Control Panel entirely, but Microsoft still has some work to do.

The other two new updates are rolling out to the Insiders beta channel – Build 22622 has new features enabled, while Build 22621 has them disabled by default. There’s the new taskbar overflow menu, which has gone downhill quickly since it arrived in the Dev Channel last week. When the taskbar runs out of space for app icons, a new button with three dots appears that you can click to see the remaining apps – a much-needed improvement for small screens (or people who don’t close anything ).

image of overflow menu on windows 11 taskbar

Microsoft is also testing more content in the taskbar widget button. The company said in a blog post, “In addition to seeing live weather widget content, you’ll also start seeing live sports and financial widget updates, as well as news alerts.” Microsoft says that if you don’t interact with the non-weather options, the taskbar widget automatically reverts to reporting only weather.

Windows 11 actions widget image

Finally, Microsoft is bringing back the new “Open With” dialog, which first arrived in March but was retired shortly after due to “some performance issues.” The current menu is unchanged from Windows 10, while the new design is more in line with Windows 11 and matches the current light/dark theme. The option to change the default application for a specific file type is also clearer, with “Always” and “Just once” buttons, instead of a checkbox and “OK” button. “.


These changes are still being tested in the Windows 11 Dev Channel and Beta Channel, so it’s unclear when (or if) they’ll roll out to everyone. If there are no major issues, they might meet the deadline for this year’s major 22H2 update.

Source: Windows Insider Blog (1, 2)


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