(*11*)Windows 22 version 2H11, the first feature update to Windows 11 since its introduction in October 2021, is expected to officially launch this fall, likely in October. (The "22" represents the year 2022 and "H2" means it will be released in the second half of the year.) Microsoft has already released a build in the Windows 11 Insider Program build preview channel. Build 22621 should be close to release, if not release.
(*11*)When 22H2 has its final release, we'll give it a full review. However, if you want a preview, we have seen the release on the Release Preview channel, as well as some features introduced in later releases published on the Beta and Dev channels that may make it to the final release. Based on that, here's what you can expect when the official version is released.
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New task manager
(*11*)Anyone who tinkers with their system to do things like check memory usage or disable programs that run at startup will find a revamped task manager. Instead of tabs across the top for processes, performance, startup apps, etc., you'll find them as icons running vertically down the left column. The icons are bigger, there's more space between the lists (which are also bigger), and there's also a new dark mode. Now you can also perform new tasks, such as opening a folder or running a program directly from Task Manager.
(*11*)Here is the new look of Task Manager. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
(*11*)In this update, Microsoft continues to tinker with the Start menu. You can create app folders to organize your apps, like you did before in Windows 10, and you can adjust the size of the pinned apps section. There's also a whole new section in settings for customizing the Start menu, including adjusting the number of pinned items to display in it.
(*11*)You will get many new options to customize the Windows 11 22H2 Start menu. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
Drag and drop on the taskbar
(*11*)In build 22H2, Microsoft is bringing back another feature that it removed in the initial release of Windows 11: drag and drop to the taskbar. You can drag a file to an app icon on the taskbar and the file will open in the app, just like in Windows 10.
(*11*)With every new version of Windows, Microsoft tinkers with the Settings menu, and this time it's no different. The Accounts page gets a facelift, offering a surprising amount of information at a glance. In addition to name, email, etc., you'll find information like whether Microsoft 365 is installed and, if so, what version and how much you pay. There's also a list of who you share files with, how much OneDrive storage you've paid for, and how much you've used.
(*11*)The revamped Accounts page includes information about your Microsoft 365 subscription, if you have one. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
(*11*)There are a variety of other settings in the settings, including the ability to disable the system tray overflow menu, have Bing show you a different image every day as your desktop background, and others.
File Explorer redesign
(*11*)File Explorer gets a makeover in Windows 11 22H2, including a cleaner and more useful left navigation pane that lets you access frequently used folders and pinned folders. At the top right is an icon for OneDrive which, when clicked, shows your sync status, total capacity, total space used, and quick access to settings and storage management options. You'll only see this icon if you're currently viewing a OneDrive folder.
(*11*)If you dig deep enough into File Explorer's options, you can make it show OneDrive as the default folder so it opens every time you start File Explorer. It is also possible that File Explorer gets tabs.
(*11*)Here's what you can expect from the new version of File Explorer. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
New apps: Clipchamp and Family Safety
(*11*)There are also two new apps in 22H2: Clipchamp and Family Safety. Clipchamp is a free basic video editor. There will be a paid version, probably available for €19 per month, if you want to work with 1080p resolution videos.
(*11*)Windows 11 22H2 will come with Clipchamp's new free video editor. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
(*11*)Family Safe works with Windows devices, Xbox PCs, and Android devices with software installed to show children's locations. It also has several other features, including a shared family calendar.
New touch screen gestures
(*11*)If you have a touchscreen device, you get several new gestures. You can swipe up to access the Start menu and three-finger swipe to minimize your apps. Swipe in from the right to access quick settings, and use a three-finger swipe left or right to switch between running apps.
(*11*)There are a number of additional minor adjustments to the operating system. One of those tweaks is the Snap Layouts feature, which lets you group your open windows into one of half a dozen predefined screen layouts. In the Windows 11 update, you'll be able to drag a window to the top of the screen and then drop it onto a snap-in layout. Plus, Task View (Windows key + tab) will display your Snap groups so you can easily switch between them.
(*11*)The new Snap designs in action. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
(*11*)Some settings can help you reduce carbon emissions. Depending on where you live, you might see the message "Windows Update is committed to helping reduce carbon emissions" on the Windows Update page. If you do, Windows will try to schedule updates at times that could reduce carbon emissions, such as when your utility company uses more solar or hydroelectric power. Similarly, there will be power adjustments aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
(*11*)System administrators will not be forgotten in the Windows 11 update. They will receive new group policies to control the Start menu, taskbar and system tray for their users.
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