Windows 11 2022 Update: Everything you need to know about Microsoft’s latest OS update

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What do you want to know

  • Windows 11 version 22H2 is the first major OS update for Microsoft’s latest operating system available now.
  • It focuses on continued polish, operating system productivity improvements, and enhancements for tablet users.
  • Version 22H2 is now available as a free update for all Windows 11 users.
  • New features will be added to the 22H2 release over the next year.

Microsoft is now delivering its first big update to Windows 11, known as Update 2022 and Version 22H2, this upcoming release continues the vision that was first introduced with Windows 11 last year with over new features, user interface improvements and more.

The company says it intends to deliver “continued innovation” with Windows 11 version 22H2 by rolling out new features more frequently, outside of the annual fall feature update. We will continue to update this post as new features are revealed. Be sure to check out our roundup of the best Windows 11 PCs in the meantime.

The first feature of Windows 11 22H2 has already started rolling out and includes tabs in File Explorer, a new Suggested Actions feature, and more.

Development on version 22H2 began shortly before Windows 11 was finalized and is now available to all Windows 11 users as a free upgrade, assuming you’re using Windows 11 on a PC that supports it. charge.

Check out our full in-depth review of Windows 11 2022 Update here.

Version 22H2: what’s new? (so far)

Here is the TL:DR:

  • Application Folders in the Start Menu
  • Resizable pinned area in start menu
  • Drag and drop to taskbar
  • Integration of Focus Assist with Notification Center
  • New “spotlight” wallpaper feature
  • New Voice Access accessibility feature
  • New Live Caption Accessibility Feature
  • New gestures and animations for touch users
  • New pop-up layout bar when moving application windows
  • New Task Manager app
  • New “Suggested Actions” feature when copying dates/numbers
  • Tabs in File Explorer
  • Better OneDrive integration with File Explorer
  • Many UI improvements and consistency updates

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a brief overview of the most notable changes and improvements that are delivered as part of the 22H2 release. Keep reading for a more in-depth breakdown of the new features. Of course, there are also hundreds, if not thousands, of under-the-hood fixes and improvements that Microsoft is pushing into the next release that we haven’t detailed.

Version 22H2: Availability

Windows 11 Update Estimated Windowsupdate New Light

(Image credit: future)

Microsoft officially announced the general availability of Windows 11 version 22H2 on September 20. The update is available as a free download for existing Windows 11 users and eligible Windows 10 PCs.

The update is being rolled out in waves, so it may not be immediately available in Windows Update. It should be available to all eligible PCs in the coming days and weeks.

Version 22H2: New features

(Image credit: future)

Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the new features that come with the 22H2 build. Keep in mind that some of the features mentioned here will begin rolling out to users shortly after the 22H2 release as part of its first feature drop in October.

The Windows shell is very popular with the 22H2 version. Microsoft continues to clean up the UI by updating legacy interfaces with more modern and consistent Windows 11 designs. For example, the 22H2 version introduces modern designs for things like the volume and brightness interfaces that appear when adjusting these controls via physical hardware buttons. Focus Assist (now called Do Not Disturb) has been integrated into Notification Center for easy access to this feature.

In the Start menu, Microsoft has added several features present in the Windows 10 Start menu, including the ability to create application folders and adjust the size of the pinned applications area. Now users can choose to have an additional row of pinned apps or reduce the pinned apps area to two rows in favor of a larger “recommended” area.

The taskbar has also been updated with the return of drag-and-drop support, meaning you can drag files into app icons on your taskbar to paste that file there. It’s been a taskbar feature for years, but was missing in the first version of Windows 11. Good to see it’s finally back with version 22H2.

There’s also a new feature called “Suggested Actions” which will present a small menu of options whenever you copy a date or phone number. These options will offer quick ways to create a calendar event or add a phone number to your contact list.

Users will notice a new Snap Layouts menu that drops down from the top of the screen whenever they move through an application window. This provides an easier way to launch Windows snapping in addition to the drop-down menu that appears when you hover over an application window’s maximize button.

Wip 3 Finger Downup Minimizerrestore

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

For those who use a tablet, Microsoft is introducing several important new changes designed to improve the touch user experience on Windows 11. There are new gestures for touch users that allow easy access to common areas of the Windows Shell. Users can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Start Menu, and swipe up from the right corner to access Quick Settings.

A three-finger swipe in the middle of the screen will minimize your apps, and a three-finger swipe left or right will switch between running apps. All of these animations are also fluid, meaning they stick to your finger as they run, thus feeling much more responsive.

Settings

Windows 11 Msa Settings

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

As is the case with every new version of Windows, Microsoft has added several new settings pages to the Settings app with 22H2. There’s a new Microsoft account page in the Accounts area, providing an overview of your Microsoft 365 subscription, with quick access to other settings and online services. There’s also a new Family Safety page in the same area, designed to provide quick access to all of the Family Safety options if you use this service.

Windows Update can now time itself with your local power grid to help reduce emissions. Instead of installing updates when they are available, Windows Update will attempt to time downloads and installations with your power grid to use as much renewable energy as possible.

Other new settings include the ability to adjust the number of pinned or featured rows you see in Start, the ability to set the daily Bing image as your wallpaper, the ability to disable the sidebar overflow menu system status, etc.

apps

Win11 Tabs Dark File Explorer

(Image credit: future)

Microsoft has updated a number of apps and in-app experiences with version 22H2. Starting with File Explorer, which now features a new tabbed interface that runs on top of the app. Much like a web browser, you can now open multiple File Explorer directories under a single window, which should help keep your desktop tidy.

There’s also an updated sidebar navigation UI that better groups various shortcuts to common areas of the file system, such as user folders or OneDrive. Microsoft has also updated the Nearby Sharing feature, which will now show other devices on a private network in addition to devices within Bluetooth range. Additionally, you can share local files directly to OneDrive using the File Sharing UI.

File Explorer also has a new “pinned files” section in the quick access area when you open the app. Users can pin all files in this area and store them permanently for quick access at a later date. File Explorer now has more OneDrive integration, with a new drop-down menu that appears directly inside a OneDrive that shows you how much cloud storage you’re using.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Task Manager has been updated with a new interface that brings it more in line with the rest of Windows 11. It has a new sidebar navigation UI that automatically shrinks when you reduce the size of the window. There is also a new Sound Recorder app which has new output options, an audio visualizer, and a much better user interface.

Two new apps called Clipchamp and Family Safety are preloaded with the 22H2 version. Family Safety is a web-based application that gives you quick access to your family overview, including your children’s locations, upcoming activities in your shared family calendar, and other tools to manage your household. This service is ideal for families using Windows and Xbox PCs, or Android devices with the Microsoft Launcher and Family Safety app installed.

Clipchamp is a new web-based video editor also coming with Windows 11 in the future. The app is free, although there are paid monthly tiers that you can subscribe to if you want access to more effects and rendering options.

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