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Windows 11 version 22H2 update new features, release date: All you need to know


Windows 11 will get an annual update Microsoft confirmed when it made it official in 2021. The Windows 11 update destined to come out next year will be the version 22H2. As per a new report this update will bring much-desired and currently missing Taskbar features back. It may also bring system-wide Dark mode and many other new features and UI changes.

Windows 11 version 22H2 update release date and features:

The Windows 11 version 22H2 update is termed Sun Valley 2 update internally. It may follow the Windows 11 21H2 release date schedule and its public roll-out may begin in October 2022. Currently it is in development with a possible deadline of May 2022. The final Windows 11 22H2 update may be made available to insiders in Summer 202.

Windows 11 version 22H2 major new features/changes:

Start menu:

  • Create and curate folders in the pinned apps area of Start: We’ve heard from many of you that you’d like to customize your pins in Start by organizing them into folders, so we’re introducing the first version of folders in this build. Simply drag an app on top of another to create a folder. You can add more apps to a folder, rearrange apps within a folder, and remove apps from a folder. Keep an eye out for further improvements like the ability to name and rename folders in one of our upcoming builds.
Start showing pinned apps organized into folders.
Start showing pinned apps organized into folders.
  • You can now name your folders of apps in Start. To name a folder, simply create a folder (which will have the default name of “Folder”), open it, click on “Edit name”, and type your folder name. Alternatively, use keyboard focus to open the folder then select the text box and start typing.
  • When you hover one pinned app icon over another, there will now be a small animation to hint that this will create a folder.
  • you can right-click on Start to quickly access Start settings and choose the “More pins” or “More recommendations” layout option to show an extra row of either pins or recommendations, respectively.


  • In ALT + TAB, Task view, and Snap assist, the focus rectangle that shows what is selected will now use your chosen accent color on your PC.
ALT + TAB showing focus rectangle with accent color.
  • If you press WIN + Z to open snap layouts, all the layouts will now show associated numbers, so you can quickly use the number keys to select the desired layout.
  • Continuing our effort to update multi-finger touch gestures to include responsive and delightful animations that follow your finger, try using three fingers to swipe left and right and switch between recently used windows.
  • We’ve added a new way to snap windows into snap layouts that works wonderfully with both touch and mouse! To try it out, just drag a window to the top of the screen to reveal the snap layouts, drop the window on top of a zone to snap it, and use snap assist to finish building your layout.

File Explorer:

File Explorer Tabs & Navigation Updates: To help you work across multiple locations at the same time, the title bar of File Explorer now has tabs. We’d love your feedback on which tabs features you’d like to see next. 

File Explorer with tabs and navigation updates.

File Explorer is also introducing a refreshed layout of the left navigation pane which makes it easy for you to navigate to folders that matter to you. The updated organization provides easy access to your pinned and frequently used folders (Quick access) and your OneDrive cloud profiles added to Windows. OneDrive cloud profiles reflect the user’s name associated with the account.

Known Windows folders which are available by default in the navigation pane are no longer displayed under This PC to keep that view focused for your PC’s drives. When you navigate to folders syncing to OneDrive such as Documents, Pictures, etc., the address bar displays the correct path to help bring clarity when your folders are on the cloud vs when they are local to you.

  • The default homepage of File Explorer is now called Home. The name Quick access has been repurposed for the pinned/frequent folders section and Pinned files is now called Favorites to align with Office and OneDrive.
The default homepage of File Explorer is now called Home with the name Quick access repurposed for the pinned/frequent folders section and Pinned files is now called Favorites.
  • Recent and pinned files displayed in Home are now searchable using the search box in File Explorer even if they are not local files, so you can find Office files recently shared with you.
  • Shift + Right-clicking in File Explorer and the Desktop will now open the “Show more options” context menu.
  • We are rolling out an update to File Explorer’s Quick Access view. First, “Pin to Quick Access” support has been extended from only supporting Folders to now also supporting Files. Pinned files are shown in a new section above Recent files in Quick Access.Next, for users who log into Windows with (or attach as a secondary account) a Microsoft Account or Work/Education account, Pinned and Recent files from Office.com will also be shown in Quick Access. Changes that pin or unpin files hosted in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams will sync and be reflected in Office.com and Office apps. File activity updates from collaborators such as edits, and comments are shown in Tiles view and can also be shown in Details view.
  • Backing up your files and managing your cloud storage is important for the safety of your stuff. To help you have control over storage consumption and ensure your files are syncing, we’ve added OneDrive integration into File Explorer. When browsing your OneDrive folders, you can now see your sync status and quota usage without having to leave File Explorer.

Taskbar changes & new features:

  • Drag and drop is now supported on the Windows 11 taskbar. Quickly drag and drop files between app windows, by hovering over apps in the taskbar to bring their windows to the foreground. Try attaching a file to an Outlook e-mail by dragging it and hovering over the Outlook icon in the taskbar to bring the window to the foreground. Once in the foreground, drop your file into the e-mail to attach it. You can also customize your taskbar with your favorite apps from Start’s All apps list by dragging and dropping over the taskbar to pin them. You can also drag and drop to the desktop via “Show desktop” at the very right corner of the taskbar.
  • The tablet-optimized taskbar feature which began rolling out with Build 22563 is now available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev and Beta Channels. As a reminder, this feature only works on devices that can be used as tablets. It does not work on laptops or desktop PCs.
Updated entry point for Widgets on your taskbar: We are trying out showing the Widgets entry point on the left side of your taskbar with live weather content. You can also open the Widgets board by simply hovering over the entry point. For users who choose to align their taskbar, the Widgets entry point will be to the right of the Task view icon.
We’re trying out showing the Widgets entry point, with weather, on the left side of the taskbar.

Task Manager changes:

  • Task Manager Redesign & Efficiency Mode: We have updated the design of Task Manager to match the new Windows 11 design principles. This includes a new hamburger style navigation bar and a new settings page. A new command bar on each page gives access to common actions. We are also excited to bring dark theme to Task manager and will automatically match the system-wide theme configured in the Settings app.
The updated design of Task Manager in dark theme.
  • Last April, we experimented with a new feature called “Eco mode” in Task Manager and we’re bringing this back with a new brand name: Efficiency mode. This feature is helpful when you notice an app consuming high resources and would like to limit its consumption so that the system gives priority to other apps which will lead to faster foreground responsiveness and better energy efficiency.
The new Suspended and Efficiency mode icons as they appear in Task Manager.

You can apply Efficiency mode either by clicking on the command bar in the Processes page or right click on the process. You can only apply Efficiency mode to single process and not to the entire group process.  If the option is grey out, it generally means that it’s a core Windows process and throttling it might affect the performance of the system. The Efficiency mode process will be marked with a new leaf icon, and we are also introducing new pause icon for Suspended process to indicate the process is in suspended mode


  • We’re expanding Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) experiences on laptops with 120Hz displays beyond smooth scrolling in Office and low latency inking. When you move the cursor, the system will now boost to 120Hz, making your PC feel more responsive. Touch and pen interactions blend into smooth animations in Windows UI and apps UI. Smooth scrolling is now supported not only in Office, but also in Microsoft Edge Canary and Windows UI such as the Settings app. To enable smooth scrolling on Edge Canary you need to enter the following in the address bar of a new tab: “edge://flags/#edge-refresh-rate-boost-on-scroll”, set the highlighted flag to ‘Enabled’ and then restart Edge.
  • The Windows HDR Calibration app is coming to Windows PCs soon – you’ll be able to improve color accuracy and consistency on your HDR display. For easier access, you’ll be able to access this app via the Windows settings under System > Display > HDR You may see an early access point in HDR settings in this build, but as the app is not live yet, it will simply lead you here.
  • This build introduces a feature called Optimizations for windowed games and is designed to significantly improve latency and unlock other exciting gaming features including Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). Latency improvements can benefit all gamers – from improving your input lag to creating a competitive edge in your gaming experience. Go to System > Display > Graphics > Change default graphics settings to enable the feature. Note that this feature may be already on by default and is also required to use other graphics features such as Auto HDR. To learn more, check out https://aka.ms/WindowedGameOptimizations.

UI/UX tweaks:

  • Updated the design of System > Storage > Disks & Volume and Storage Spaces in Settings to align with the overall design of Settings in Windows 11. Certain options for the drive, volume, and space, like properties, are also now directly available inline on these pages as buttons without having to click that entry first.
  • Updated the media controls which appear on the Lock screen when playing music in a supported app. It more closely matches the design shown for the media controls in Quick Settings when signed-in to your PC. The media controls will always use dark theme to complement the rest of the Lock Screen visual style.
  • Updated the flyout design for the hardware indicators for brightness, volume, camera privacy, camera on/off and airplane mode, to align with Windows 11 design principles. These new flyouts will appear when you press the volume or brightness keys on your laptop and will honor light/dark mode to give you a more coherent Windows experience. Brightness and volume indicators continue to be interactive with the update.
The redesigned hardware indicator for volume.
  • When File Explorer is open to This PC, the add media server and (if appropriate) remove media server option is now available when you click the “…” in the command bar.
  • As part of our ongoing effort to bring over settings from Control Panel into the Settings app:
    • Links to Programs & Features in Control Panel will now open to Settings > Apps > Installed Apps. EDIT: In other words, links to the page to uninstall or change programs on your PC.
    • We’re moving Uninstall Updates (for cumulative updates, etc.) from Control Panel to a new page in Settings under Settings > Windows Update > Update History.
  • Updated the context menu in File Explorer to make these options top level based on feedback:
    • “Install” when right clicking on font files and .inf files.
    • “Install certificate” when right clicking on .cer files.
    • “Map network drive” and “Disconnect network drive” when right clicking on This PC.
    • “Disconnect” when right clicking on network drives.
  • For apps that send notifications for calls, reminders, or alarms that leverage Windows notifications in the OS, 3 high priority notifications will now be shown as stacked and shown at the same time. This means at any given time, you might see up to 4 notifications at the same time – 3 high priority notifications and one normal priority notification. [We are beginning to roll this change out, so it isn’t available to all Insiders just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.]
  • As part of our ongoing effort to bring over settings from Control Panel into the Settings app:
    • We have moved the advanced sharing settings (such as Network discovery, File and printer sharing, and public folder sharing) to a new page in Settings app under Advanced Network Settings.
    • We’ve made some updates to the device specific pages under Printers & Scanners in Settings to show more information about your printer or scanner directly in Settings when available.
    • Some of the entry points for network and devices settings in Control Panel will now redirect to the corresponding pages in Settings.
  • Added a new option to the Installed Apps page in Settings to sort the list from Name (Z to A), and accordingly, updated the previous “Alphabetically” option to now be called Name (A to Z).
  • We’ll now remember if you turn on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi while in airplane mode. Next time you use airplane mode, the radios will reflect your preference and stay on to make it easier to keep listening to headphones and remain connected while travelling.
  • Added an option to turn off showing recent searches when hovering over the Search icon in the Taskbar. The option is under Taskbar behaviors in Taskbar Settings.
  • When you have a file or folder selected in File Explorer, you can now use CTRL + Shift + C to copy the path to your clipboard.
  • Rounded the corners of the pop-ups shown when clicking “identify displays” in Display Settings.
  • Made some small adjustments to the contrast theme colors based on feedback, including making hyperlinks a little more distinct on hover when using the desert theme.
  • Added an icon next to the volume slider in Quick Settings to help make the option for managing audio endpoints more discoverable.
  • Updated the Windows Ease of Access folder in Start’s All apps list to now simply be called Accessibility.
  • Added an option to Focus Assist settings so you can choose whether or not you would like Focus Assist to be automatically enabled for the first hour after a Windows feature update.
  • We added a link to the sign-in options under the power menu on Start.
  • Right-clicking on Recycle Bin on the desktop now uses the new modern context menu.
  • We have updated the “Open with” dialog box to align with Windows 11 design principles. The updated dialog box honors light/dark theme. We have also simplified the experience by making it possible to update your default app with just one click. [We are beginning to roll this feature out, so it isn’t available to all Insiders just yet.
  • We have made updates to pages across the Settings app to adopt WinUI controls for consistent look and feel across the app.
  • To make it easier to find settings within the app, we have made improvements to how searching for settings works behind the scenes. These improvements will provide users with a more accurate set of search results as well as bring more relevant search results up to the top of the list.
  • You can now mute and unmute your audio by clicking the volume icon in the hardware indicator for volume.
  • The new Print Queue has an updated design to align with Windows 11 design principles, allow you to easily identify your desired print job, see the status, and manage it. The feature is designed with simplicity in mind, and to allow you better access to your print jobs. To get started, just click print and watch the Print Queue pop up.
A print job showing in the new Print Queue in dark theme.
  • Quick Assist now has a new Fluent-style icon.
The new Fluent-style Quick Assist icon.


  • Building off the Focus changes announced in Build 22557, we have updated the icon for Notification Center when do not disturb is set to on.
Updated icon for Notification Center when do not disturb is on.
  • Windows Sandbox now has a new Fluent-style icon.
New Fluent-style icon for Windows Sandbox.
  • We’ve done some work to generally improve results when searching in Settings, including more relevant results and now have some flexibility for returning results in the case when the search terms have common typos.
  • We’ve increased the size of the icons in the Settings navigation pane to make them a bit easier to see.
  • To help customers give their PC a second life, or recycle it, we are including links in Settings to help customers find available programs. Some articles may not be localized.
  • Storage Sense will now be enabled by default for PCs going through OOBE. Your current settings will be persisted on upgrade. You can configure your Storage Sense settings under System > Storage.
  • Updated Settings Time & Language category and Date & time page to now include a live digital clock and information about currently selected option.
  • Updated the design of Network & Internet > Dial-up when you have a connection set up to align with the overall design of Settings in Windows 11.
  • We’ve made some adjustments to Personalization > Fonts to improve the design of the page, including that the drag and drop area for installing fonts is larger now.
  • We have updated the accessibility flyout on the login screen to align with Windows 11 design principles.
The accessibility flyout on the login screen now matches the Windows 11 design principles.
  • Insiders will notice the Mica material in more title bar surfaces. For example, the Run dialog now utilizes Mica.

Usability improvements:

  • When your laptop is closed, it’s now possible to login to your PC using Facial Recognition (Windows Hello) on a connected external monitor if it has a camera attached that supports it.
  • We’ve made a change to the underlying indexer platform to help improve overall reliability and database size, which should help reduce disk space usage on the system – particularly in cases where users had very large Outlook mailboxes.
  • Scrolling your mouse wheel on the volume icon in the Taskbar will now change the current volume level.
  • Made some small adjustments to the dialog when adding a new language in Settings to make it look a little more modern, including rounding the corners.
  • We’ve added the ability to right-click on either “Recommended” or the “More” button in Start to refresh the items show there.

Do Not Disturb and Focus:

We’ve reimagined focus experiences on Windows. Do not disturb makes it easy to silence notifications. Focus is a new experience that enables everyone to stay in the moment and minimize distractions on their PC. To help you stay on track, focus integrates with the Clock app for other focus tools, such as a focus timer and calming music.

Do not disturb:

It’s now easier than ever to silence notification banners with do not disturb. When you are ready to see the notifications that you may have missed, you can find them in Notification Center.

How do not disturb appears when turned on in Notification Center.

You are always in control of your notifications. Under Settings > System > Notifications, you can set up rules to automatically turn on do not disturb. For example, you could set do not disturb to automatically turn on outside of your work hours. Additionally, you can set priority notifications to control whether calls, reminders, and specific apps break through when do not disturb is on.

You can personalize do not disturb in Settings.

It is easy to start focus right from Notification Center (click on the time and date in the taskbar):

  1. Open Notification Center.
  2. Select the amount of time for your focus session.
  3. Press Start Focus.
Focus session in progress with taskbar badging off, the focus timer on screen, and do not disturb will turn on.

When you start a focus session, taskbar badging will turn off, flashing of applications in the taskbar will turn off, a focus timer will appear on screen, and do not disturb will turn on. Focus in Windows integrates with focus sessions in the Clock app, so you can play calming music and see a task list from Microsoft To-Do. When your focus session ends, you will receive a notification letting you know your focus time has completed. You can personalize your focus experience (Settings > System > Focus).

You can personalize your focus experience under Settings > System > Focus.
Live Captions:

Live captions will help everyone, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing, better understand audio by viewing captions of spoken content. Captions are automatically generated on-device from any content with audio. Captions can be displayed at the top or bottom of the screen, or in a floating window. The caption window can be resized, and caption appearance can be personalized by applying or customizing a caption style. Microphone audio can be included, which can be helpful during in-person conversations. Live captions support English (U.S.) content.

Live captions (launched from Quick Settings Accessibility flyout) generating captions for a video playing in the web browser.

To get started, live captions can be turned on with the WIN + Ctrl + L keyboard shortcut, or from the Accessibility flyout under Quick Settings. When turned on the first time, live captions will prompt for download of the required speech model to enable on-device captioning.

Input features:

  • To further personalize your Windows text input experience, we have expanded the 13 themes for the touch keyboard to now apply to our other input experiences, including IMEs, the emoji panel, and voice typing. Also available for all themed experiences is the theme engine that allows you to create a fully customized theme including background images. You can find all this under the new “Text Input” section under Settings > Personalization. This isn’t available to all Insiders just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.
  • Updated the ADLaM keyboard layout to add access to brackets and ADLaM Hamza. To access these:
    • Right Alt + \ will now input »
    • Right Alt + | will now input «
    • Right Alt + Shift + [ will now input {
    • Right Alt + Shift + ] will now input }
    • Ctrl + Shift + ; will now input the Hamza character
  • Updated the Pashto keyboard layout so that ې and ئ are now directly accessible on the keyboard. Accessing ظ and ط is now done by holding Shift and pressing the aforementioned letters, respectively.

  • Microsoft Journal is now pinned by default on the Pen menu. If you don’t have the app installed, it will be installed from the Microsoft Store if chosen on the Pen menu.
  • To help improve discoverability, emoji that can be personalized (such as the family emoji) now display a small accent colored dot in the bottom corner of their entries in the emoji panel.

Windows Spotlight:

  • View the world on your desktop with Spotlight collection: Keep your desktop fresh and inspiring with Spotlight collection. You will get beautiful new desktop pictures from around the world every day and fun facts about each picture. Here is how you can try out Spotlight collection:
      1. Right-click on your desktop and choose “Personalize”.
      2. On the Personalization settings page, choose “Background”.
      3. Under the “Personalize your background” dropdown, select “Spotlight collection”.

Upon enabling Spotlight collection, you will see an inspiring picture from Whitehaven Beach in Australia on your desktop as well as the Spotlight icon. 

  • We are trying out Windows Spotlight on desktop is on by as the default background for new devices (clean installs using the ISO) and for upgrades where the background the Windows 11 default. We are trying this experience out with a limited number of Windows Insiders at first.
Windows Spotlight showing a beautiful background with the contest menu to like, unlike backgrounds and switch to a different background.
  • We are also trying out displaying 4K desktop backgrounds in Windows Spotlight. We are also trying this experience out with a limited number of Windows Insiders at first.

New inbox apps:

Microsoft Family is now an inbox app:

The family safety features you use on web and mobile are now available on Windows 11 starting with this build with the Microsoft Family app. Set parental controls to filter inappropriate apps and games and set browsing to kid-friendly websites for Microsoft Edge. Help your kids balance their screen time activity on Windows, Xbox, and Android and use activity reporting to better understand your family’s digital activity. Stay connected even when you’re apart with family location tracking.

The Microsoft Family app for Windows 11.

The Microsoft Family app for Windows 11.The Microsoft Family app will only be an inbox app on the Windows 11 Home edition and will be updated via the Microsoft Store. Windows Insiders who are on Windows 11 Pro can go to Settings > Accounts > Family and download the Microsoft Family app from the Store. Let us know what you’d like to see in these updates to help you better care for and empower your family!

Clipchamp is now an inbox app:

Clipchamp is our new video editor focused on making video creation easy, fast, and fun. Clipchamp is equipped with all the basic tools you’d expect, like trimming and splitting, as well as more pro-style features like transitions and animated text. For real-time content capture, there are also built-in webcam and screen recorders.

Clipchamp’s video editing experience with the timeline.

But what really sets Clipchamp apart from other video editors is its timeline. Normally, this is an interface reserved for pros because it offers more control (and complication) than the everyday editor can handle. When it comes to Clipchamp, however, things are delightfully different. We’ve kept all the best parts of timeline editing — the flexibility, the ability to fine tune details — and done away with the rest. The result is a refreshingly simple video editing experience anyone can enjoy.

The highlights don’t stop there — in Clipchamp, users will discover more unique offerings, like a stock library filled with more than a million royalty-free videos, audio tracks, and images that can be added to videos. There’s even an Azure-powered text-to-speech generator capable of creating voice overs in more than 70 languages. And, speaking of Microsoft integrations, Clipchamp also connects with OneDrive, meaning you can import files and save videos quickly and securely.

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