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  1. Microsoft has confirmed another issue in the recently released Windows 11 2022 Update. Ned Pyle, Principal Program Manager in the Windows Server engineering group, has published a post on the Tech Community forums, warning users about performance degradation when copying large files from a remote computer to a system running the latest version of Windows 11. According to Ned, Windows 11 2022 Update users can experience up to 40% less throughput over SMB when copying large files weighing several gigabytes or more. The bug does not affect the initial release of Windows 11, so those sticking to the previous release will not experience issues with copying from a remote computer. Interestingly, the bug is not exclusive to SMB, which means users might notice performance dips even when copying local files. While Microsoft is busy investigating the problem and figuring out the fix, affected customers can use robocopy or xcopy with the /J parameter to restore the lost performance. Expect to hear from Microsoft about this problem soon. Microsoft recently acknowledged another problem exclusive to the latest Windows 11 release. The company said users with specific printer drivers might lose some features, such as color, two-sided printing, paper size settings, etc. The affected devices will not get the update until Microsoft has a permanent fix. Microsoft confirms performance degradation in Windows 11 22H2 when copying large files
  2. Realtek HD Audio Manager is a handy way to control and make quick tweaks on your audio adapters without much effort. Even more, it automatically detects the newly added audio accessories, making audio setups more convenient for you. It also has a bunch of features that music lovers would find useful every single time, from noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation to sound recorder and more. However, it is just like other programs that sometimes face issues. And if you are one of those who recently found it missing on your Windows system, there’s a simple fix for that: download and reinstall Realtek HD Audio Manager in your Windows. Most Windows machines come installed with Realtek HD Audio Manager or driver. You can check it by going to your Device Manager by simply right-clicking the Start button. After opening it, scroll down and look for the “Sound, video and game controllers” option. Click it to expand the list of devices or drivers. If you find the Realtek High Definition Audio, it confirms that your machine indeed has the Realtek HD Audio Manager, and you are just probably encountering a problem with it. Updating Realtek HD Audio is a quick way to resolve your issue. Just right-click on it to get the “update driver” option, select “Search automatically for updated driver software,” and Windows will do the job for you. However, doing this does not guarantee the best results, so manually downloading and reinstalling Realtek HD Audio Manager in your Windows 10 or 11 is much more recommended. The first step is to uninstall the Realtek High Definition Audio from the items under the Sound, video and game controllers option within the Device Manager. It is an important step to ensure the success of the reinstallation of the Realtek HD Audio driver and prevent further problems. So, instead of selecting the update option for the Realtek High Definition Audio, choose “Uninstall device.” Confirm your decision by checking the box that says “Delete the driver software for this device,” and select OK. Follow the steps that will appear in the prompt to complete the process. After that, click the View tab at the top of the Device Manager and select “Show hidden devices” to uninstall other duplicate drivers. Once your PC is clean of the Realtek HD Audio driver, you need to get the suitable Realtek HD Audio driver for your system. Realtek provides a list of different versions of its HD audio codecs software on its download page, including ZIP and executable file versions. Find the one that fits your system and click the download icon beside it. If you are using Intel NUC8i7BE, NUC8i5BE, and NUC8i3BE products, you can check the Realtek High Definition Audio Driver for Windows 10 and Windows 11 on Intel’s site. Intel also offers Realtek High Definition Audio Driver for Windows 10 64-bit and Windows 11 for the 11th Generation Intel NUC11PHKi7C products. You can also try to obtain the latest Realtek HD Audio driver via your motherboard manufacturer’s website. Just get your motherboard manufacturer brand and system model name details by pressing Windows + R and typing the msinfo32 command. After that, visit your manufacturer’s official website and download the Realtek HD audio manager using the information you have. Once you have downloaded the file, locate it within your PC system and start the installation process (if you chose the ZIP version, unzip it first at an easy-to-access location). Run the downloaded file and select Next to confirm your actions. It might take some time, but once the Realtek HD Audio Manager is reinstalled, your PC will ask you for a restart. Do it to complete the steps. After restarting, you can check if the installation is successful by visiting the Device Manager again and looking for the updated Realtek High Definition Audio under the Sound, video and game controllers option. If it is not there, you can simply repeat the process of running the downloaded file until the driver appears in the Device Manager. How to reinstall the latest Realtek HD Audio Manager on Windows 10 and 11
  3. If you follow this site, you know that Microsoft plans to launch the first feature drop for Windows 11 later this month. Included in the package is the long-awaited tab support in File Explorer. Designed to reduce clutter while using the default file browser of the Windows operating system, tabs in File Explorer look like a power user's dream come true on first glance. The core feature works similarly to tabbed browsing in web browsers. There is a plus icon to create a new tab, and a close icon to terminate it. Microsoft added the same keyboard shortcuts that browsers use, meaning that you may use Ctrl-T to open a new tab and Ctrl-W to close the active tab. A right-click menu displays the same options to complement the feature set. Internet users who use browsers that support tabs will feel right at home using the core tabbed browsing functionality. The missing features While you can create and close tabs in File Explorer once the feature lands, you may soon find out that the functionality is limited otherwise. The only other options right now are to drag tabs to reorder them, and to close all other tabs or tabs to the right using the context menu (no shortcuts for these, apparently). Want to drag a tab to create a new File Explorer instance, or drag a tab from one File Explorer window to another? These features are not supported, which means that you can't perform these common operations right now. There is also no history to quickly reopen a tab that has been closed, or an option to add a tab to the Quick Access, sorry Home, menu for permanent access. Lastly, there is no option to push each tab to individual File Explorer instances and display them aligned on the screen. Compared to free alternatives, some of which have been around for decades, Microsoft's implementation of tabs loses out. Programs like Explorer++ or XYplorer, or the "commander" applications, such as Free Commander, Altap Salamander, or Total Commander, offer richer sets of features. Closing Words File Explorer tabs, with all the current shortcomings, is still a work in progress. Microsoft could, in theory, launch the feature this month with the missing options to make it more useful. It seems more likely, however, that tabs will launch exactly the way they work right now in preview builds of Windows 11. It is possible that Microsoft has plans to add missing features at a later point in time. For now, tabs are still a nice-to-have feature to access multiple locations in a single File Explorer window. Now You: what is your view on Microsoft's implementation of tabs in File Explorer? Microsoft's implementation of Tabs in File Explorer is lacking severely
  4. Microsoft has released an update for Windows 11 Build 25211 which was released to Windows Insiders last Thursday. It comes in the form of Cumulative Update Build 252112.1010 (KB5019342) and contains nothing new, as it is designed to test their servicing pipeline. The full announcement says: We are starting to roll out Cumulative Update Build 25211.1010 (KB5019342). This update does not include anything new and is designed to test our servicing pipeline for builds in the Dev Channel. Hence, all the bug fixes and improvements that were announced with the earlier released build 25211 to the Dev Channel are carried over into this. Interestingly, while there are no new changes made in this build, servicing test builds like these before have been known to break some features despite not adding any new features or containing fixes. The official announcement can be found on Microsoft's website here. Windows 11 build 25211.1010 released to Dev Channel to test the pipes
  5. Here is the latest data from Valve, revealing new details about the computers gamers use to access the platform. The Steam Hardware & Software Survey for September 2022 shows Windows 11's continuous and steady climb, and now almost every fourth Steam user runs the latest operating system from Microsoft. Disclaimer: Valve randomly picks users that get offers to participate in the survey. Customers are free to reject data collection, so the final result is not 100% accurate and does not cover 100% of the user base. In September 2022, Windows 11 continued biting off Windows 10's share. The former has reached the 24.84% mark, gaining 1.06 points. Windows 10 lost 0.57%, settling at 68.49%. Although the seven-year-old operating system keeps losing customers on Steam (and will continue doing so), Windows 10 will remain the most popular choice for quite a while. Windows 7 stubbornly refuses to leave the platform and remains the third most popular Windows version on Steam. Valve says the 64-bit version of the thirteen-year-old Windows has 2.40% (-0.20 points in September 2022). All versions combined, Windows holds 96.41% of all Steam users, and the value went up 0.18 points compared to August 2022. Windows 10 64-bit - 68.49% (-0.57) Windows 11 - 24.84% (+1.06) Windows 7 64-bit - 2.4% (-0.2) macOS - 2.36% (-0.14) Linux - 1.23% (-0.04) Now here are the most popular hardware configurations: Steam Hardware Survey - September 2022 Processors Intel AMD Microsoft 68.73% (+0.82) 31.24% (-0.82) 0.02% Physical Cores 6 cores 4 cores 8 cores 33.54% (+0.5) 30.99% (-0.3) 19.19% (+0.22) Memory 16GB 8GB 32GB 53.19% (+1.97) 21.39% (-0.97) 13.04% (-0.09) Graphics Cards Nvidia AMD Intel 76.77% (+0.56) 14.41% (-0.26) 8.61% (-0.31) Graphics Cards Models NVIDIA GTX 1060 NVIDIA GTX 1650 NVIDIA RTX 2060 6.73% (+0.34) 6.11% (+0.08) 5.02% (+0.17) Graphics Cards Memory 8GB 6GB 4GB 25.06% (-0.16) 21.8% (+0.96) 15.97% (-0.12) Monitor Resolution 1920 x 1080 2560 x 1440 1366 x 768 66.38% (+0.64) 11.25% (+0.33) 5.55% (-0.68) As usual, you can find more detailed information on the official Steam Hardware & Software Survey page. Almost every fourth Steam user has updated to Windows 11
  6. Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25211 a few days ago, and it's a significant update not because of the new features it packs, but arguably, for returning a basic functionality that people have been clamoring for since Windows 11 became available. This is the ability to open the Task Manager by right-clicking the Windows 11 Taskbar. Windows 11 has been available for almost a year, and it has become very obvious to its users that while it is aesthetically pleasing, Microsoft has cut a lot of functionalities. One such feature was the ability to open the Task Manager by right-clicking the Taskbar and selecting the option from the associated context. This is how people had been using Windows for years, and suddenly losing access to it for seemingly no reason was a bit jarring. We discussed this in detail in our dedicated Closer Look on Taskbar. The rebuilt Taskbar in Windows 11 is inspired from the now-defunct Windows 10X, an OS that was being designed for dual-screen devices. Following months of complaints all over social media and in the comments sections of Neowin itself, Microsoft has decided to return this relatively basic functionality to Windows 11 users, and there are important lessons in here for everyone. Although the centered Taskbar in Windows 11 is a design that I have become fond of in terms of aesthetic, there is no doubt that this is a significantly pared down version compared to what we had on Windows 10. Assuming that this is a component of what was supposed to be Windows 10X, it's clear that simplification is not always better. To be clear, I'm 100% in support of simplification where it makes sense. For example, the redesigned context menu has lost a lot of options - especially those from third-party apps - and has replaced some textual options with icons instead. This makes sense to me because context menus on Windows have become overly bloated, it's arguably time for a do-over. And Microsoft knows that this is a work-in-progress that will require significant input from both users and developers, which is why the former can easily revert to the classic look by clicking "Show more options". However, it seems like Microsoft threw this strategy out of the window when designing the current Taskbar. It was just simplification for the sake of simplification, and that's never really a good option when your software is going to be used by potentially hundreds of millions of users. Did Microsoft solve any problem by removing the context menu in the Windows 11 Taskbar altogether? I don't think so. It's a bit strange that it expected millions of users to just let go of their muscle memory and adapt to how Microsoft wants them to use its latest operating system. The very purpose of collecting behavior and usage telemetry of customers who use your software is to recognize patterns and adapt your product according to these implicit hints. However, given the backlash over Taskbar simplification along with the fact that Microsoft has at least returned it to the Dev Channel suggests that this factor wasn't initially taken into account. If you're simplifying something, you should ensure that your customers are compensated or offered alternatives for missing functionalities. It shouldn't just be simplification for the sake of simplification. And while I'm glad that Microsoft has finally started to recognize this, it's a bit disappointing that it took the company over a year to reach this decision on such a basic functionality. This is the same stubborn approach Microsoft is taking with the Windows 11 Taskbar's positioning - which is why people are now actually paying for third-party solutions to achieve the same - and the redesigned Start menu, which the company thinks is great. I feel like I circle back to the same foundational thoughts after every few weeks, and those are that getting the basics of Windows 11 right should be a higher priority for Microsoft and that the company needs to have a clearer public roadmap about OS development, even if it's tentative. Until both of these things happen, we'll keep waltzing into the same pitfalls, where new functionalities are being added to the OS while old ones are either being axed or being kept in a crippled state. I like Windows 11 overall, it's my secondary OS after Windows 10, and I only passionately write about it regularly because I want it to be better. Praising new or returning functionalities is fine, but it really shouldn't take Microsoft this long to (re-)implement relatively basic features, especially when they have been removed for no-good-reason in the first place. I'm still peeved about this other axed Taskbar functionality too, and I hope that it will soon follow suit as Microsoft rethinks its Taskbar strategy. And let's not forget, this Taskbar context menu change has only been implemented in the Dev Channel for now. There's no knowing how long it will take for Microsoft to make it generally available (GA), provided that it actually does get out of the Dev Channel at some point. The Redmond tech firm gives no guarantee that Dev Channel features will hit GA and there has been little consistency in features moving between Insider branches too. Software development is tricky, and this is obviously just an outsider's view on how the process inside Microsoft's actual Windows development process can be better. That said, a couple of things that have become abundantly clear over the past year is that simplification for the sake of simplification is never a good idea and that user feedback is the most important factor to consider when you're designing a product for millions of customers. What are your thoughts on the topic? Are you a fan of Microsoft's "simplify everything" approach with Windows 11 or do you prefer the company's older operating systems due to their additional capabilities? Let us know in the comments section below! Microsoft's latest Windows 11 Taskbar update proves that simpler is not always better
  7. KB5017389 is the first preview cumulative update for the recently released Windows 11 2022 Update. It does not contain security improvements and fixes, and Microsoft does not require installing it as soon as possible. KB5017389 introduces Widgets notifications, patches for the Microsoft Store, daylight saving time improvements in Chile, and other enhancements. Here are the highlights in Windows 11 22621.608 (KB5017389) Preview: Addresses issues that cause updates to the Microsoft Store to fail. Updates the start date for daylight saving time in Chile. It will start on September 11, 2022 instead of on September 4, 2022. Addresses an issue that affects the font of three Chinese characters. When you format these characters as bold, the width size is wrong. Addresses an issue that forces the IE mode tabs in a session to reload. Addresses an issue that successfully opens a browser window in IE mode to display a PDF file. Later, browsing to another IE mode site within the same window fails. Adds more dynamic Widgets content to your taskbar with notification badging. When you open the Widgets board, a banner appears at the top of the board. It provides more information about what triggered the notification badge. Addresses an issue that affects Dual SIM calling. If you select no SIM on your phone and initiate a call on your device, Dual SIM functionality does not work. Addresses an issue that affects some apps that were not signed by the Microsoft Store. You must reinstall them after you upgrade the OS. And here is the complete changelog: Addresses an issue that affects some apps that were not signed by the Microsoft Store. You must reinstall them after you upgrade the OS. Addresses issues that cause updates to the Microsoft Store to fail. Addresses an issue that stops you from signing in to various Microsoft Office 365 apps. This affects Outlook, Word, Teams, and so on Updates the start date for daylight saving time in Chile. It will start on September 11, 2022 instead of on September 4, 2022. Addresses an issue that affects the Windows Search service. It causes the indexing progress for the service to be slow. Addresses an issue that affects some processors. This issue occurs when you turn on Hyper-V and kernel Direct Memory Access (DMA) protections. Addresses an issue that affects a network’s static IP. The issue causes the configuration of the static IP to be inconsistent. Because of this, NetworkAdapterConfiguration() fails sporadically. Addresses an issue that affects Task Manager. It stops working when you switch between light and dark mode or change the accent color. Addresses an issue that affects the font of three Chinese characters. When you format these characters as bold, the width size is wrong. Addresses an issue that affects graphics drivers that use d3d9on12.dll. Reduces the power that the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol uses on some devices when they are in Sleep mode. Addresses an issue that affects URLs generated by JavaScript: URLs. These URLs do not work as expected when you add them to the Favorites menu in IE mode. Addresses an issue that forces the IE mode tabs in a session to reload. Addresses an issue that affects window.open in IE mode. Addresses an issue that successfully opens a browser window in IE mode to display a PDF file. Later, browsing to another IE mode site within the same window fails. Addresses an issue that affects the Microsoft Japanese input method editor (IME). Text reconversion fails when you use some third-party virtual desktops. Addrsses an issue that might cause an application to stop responding. This might occur when the input queue overflows. Addresses an issue that affects XML Paper Specification (XPS) viewers. This might stop you from opening XPS files in some non-English languages. These include some Japanese and Chinese character encodings. This issue affects XPS and Open XPS (OXPS) files. Addresses an issue that creates a duplicate print queue. Because of this, the original print queue stops working. Addresses an issue that might bypass MSHTML and ActiveX rules for Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC). Addresses an issue that affects the Miracast UI. Sometimes it closes too soon when you cast to devices that use the DeviceObjectType:Aep. Adds more dynamic Widgets content to your taskbar with notification badging. When you open the Widgets board, a banner appears at the top of the board. It provides more information about what triggered the notification badge. Addresses an issue that affects the SharedPC account manager. The issue stops it from deleting many accounts during cleanup. Addresses an issue that causes LogonUI.exe to stop working. Because of this, you cannot dismiss the lock screen to view the credentials screen. Addresses an issue that affects Dual SIM calling. If you select no SIM on your phone and initiate a call on your device, Dual SIM functionality does not work. Addresses an issue that affects the FindNextFileNameW() function. It might leak memory. Addresses an issue that affects robocopy. Robocopy fails to set a file to the right modified time when using the /IS option. Addresses an issue that affects cldflt.sys. A stop error occurs when it is used with Microsoft OneDrive. Addresses an issue that affects Roaming User Profiles. After you sign in or sign out, some of your settings are not restored. Addresses an issue that affects the LanmanWorkstation service. It leaks memory when you mount a network drive. You can download KB5017389 from Windows Update or the Windows Update Catalog for manual installation. Microsoft will include the fixes in upcoming Patch Tuesday updates, so there is no need to rush installing this release unless you want a specific fix or feature mentioned in the changelog. Windows 11 2022 Update gets Widgets notifications, Store fixes and other improvements
  8. A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft restored the redesigned system tray in Windows 11 preview builds from the Dev Channel. Back then, we called this redesigned a "half-improved and half-crippled" job due to improvements mixing with removed features, such as the ability to drag icons in and out of the taskbar. Microsoft promised to continue improving the system area to address customer feedback, and the company has delivered in a short period. Windows 11 build 25211 has brought a much improved system tray with better visuals and the previously missing features. Icons now have a rounded focus area that matches the rest of the buttons on the taskbar, the overflow menu appears with "delightful" animations, and the tooltips follow the system theme. Although visual changes and consistency are great additions that Windows 11 need a lot, many users seem to care more about arranging icons by dragging them. That feature is also back, and it has a modern-looking divider helping you to place an icon in the right spot. Neat. Old variant New variant Microsoft says the updated system tray is preliminary, which means users should expect more changes and improvements in the future. Besides, it is not available for all. Luckily, if you are running the latest Windows 11 Dev build, you can force-enable the redesigned system tray using the ViveTool app. Here is how. Important: Back up your data before experimenting with early implementations of new features, especially using third-party apps like ViveTool. The safest option is to wait for Microsoft to enable new features on your system "naturally" or not use preview builds at all, although bugs can still hit you hard. How to enable new system tray in Windows 11 build 25211 Before you start, ensure you have enabled the previous set of improvements for the taskbar as described in our separate guide. 1. Download ViveTool from GitHub and extract its files in an easy-to-find folder. For example, in the root of drive C. 2. Launch Windows Terminal as Administrator and switch to the Command Prompt profile using the arrow-down button on the tab strip . 3. Go to the folder containing ViveTool's files using the CD command. For example, CD C:\Vive. 4. Type vivetool /enable /id:38764045 and press Enter. 5. Restart your computer. The redesigned system tray is not the only noteworthy taskbar-related change in the latest Windows 11 Dev build. Microsoft has finally addressed one of the most popular complaints and restored the option to launch Task Manager by right-clicking anywhere on the taskbar. What do you think about the redesigned system area? Share your thoughts in the comments. Source: @PhantomOfEarth Windows 11 gets much improved system tray with previously missing features
  9. Microsoft seems to have bad luck when it comes to printing issues and bugs in Windows. Some users report their network printers disappearing after updating to Windows 11 2022 Update, and now Microsoft has confirmed yet another problem. According to a new post in the official Windows 11 Health Dashboard documentation, systems running Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2) may have problems detecting all the features in printers using Microsoft IPP Class Driver or Universal Print Class Driver. If the operating system cannot connect to the printer, it defaults to a standard feature set. Once the connection is back, a bug prevents Windows from accessing specific features. Microsoft says the problem can cripple printers' ability to use color, two-sided or duplex printing, paper size and type settings, resolutions, and so forth. A printer itself is not a fun or the most stable device, so, naturally, users will not be happy to see Windows 11 2022 Update crippling most of its features. Microsoft applied a compatibility hold to help users keep their sanity, meaning affected systems will not get Windows 11 2022 Update until Microsoft has a solution for the problem. Microsoft says the safeguard currently blocks the update on all computers using the Microsoft IPP Class Driver or Universal Print Class Driver. You will not get the Windows 11 2022 Update, even if your printer works fine. The company is working on more accurate targeting and will provide more information in the future. Meanwhile, users can bypass the problem using the official workaround: To mitigate the safeguard and allow your Windows device to upgrade to Windows 11, version 22H2, you can remove any printers using Microsoft IPP Class Driver or Universal Print Class Driver which you have installed. Once you have removed any affected installed printers, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 11, version 22H2. Please note, if there are no other safeguards that affect your device, it can take up to 48 hours before the upgrade to Windows 11 is offered. Restarting your device and checking for updates might help it to offer sooner. If you have an installed printer which only allows default settings, you can mitigate this issue by removing and reinstalling the printer. For instructions, please see Download printer drivers in Windows. The bug affects only client versions of Windows 11 2022 Update (2022), so users of the initial release or Windows 10 should not worry about this problem. Microsoft confirms even more printing issues, blocks update to Windows 11 22H2
  10. Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25211 just a few hours ago. It contains several new features including more customization options for Widgets and the return of a highly requested Windows 10 capability, which is the ability to open the Task Manager upon right-clicking the Taskbar. Another nifty improvement worth highlighting is one that has been made to Snipping Tool. Basically, the Dev Channel build comes with a new version of Snipping Tool, namely version 11.2209.2.0. It allows the application to automatically save any screenshots you take. Prior to this release, each time you took a screenshot, you would have to click the floppy disk "save" icon in the app and then select the path and name for the file. It seems that this interrupted the workflow of people who take a lot of screenshots so Microsoft is making their lives easier by allowing Snipping Tool to automatically save content. Screenshots can now be found in the Pictures > Screenshots directory of your Windows 11 installation. It's interesting to see that this is now the default behavior of the app. That said, you can change the settings to revert to the previous process of manually saving screenshots. Furthermore, Microsoft has highlighted again that Office Insiders can now try out the new Outlook for Windows experience. In the coming weeks, this will also become available to Windows Insiders using the Mail app, even if they are not Office Insiders. It's important to remember that there is no guarantee that Dev Channel features will make their way to the general release version of Windows 11. There's no word yet on whether the auto-save capability will also be made available to the legacy app on Windows 10 eventually either, but it seems unlikely. Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25211 lets Snipping Tool automatically save screenshots
  11. Microsoft’s latest opt-in update brings some cool new features and bug fixes to the OS, but it has an annoying catch In 2019, Microsoft finally introduced support for Win32 games on the Microsoft Store for Windows. But if you downloaded the games, you might want to hold off on the latest Windows Insider build. The most recent Dev Channel update prevents users from uninstalling Win32 apps, which means many of the games found on the Microsoft Store and Steam will be stuck on your computer for the time being. Microsoft’s Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25211 was recently released to subscribers of the Windows updates Dev Channel. The new build comes with a host of new features, bug fixes, and one big catch. This particular update has only rolled out in the Dev Channel and shouldn’t affect Windows Insider subscribers who use the Beta Channel or Release Preview builds of Windows. Some of the more substantial updates rolled out in Preview Build 25211 include: Behaviors on the Widgets board can now be adjusted. You can now choose whether the Widgets board opens when you hover over it, whether or not the taskbar displays notification badges for Widgets, or whether the taskbar displays rotating updates from your Widgets. The Task Manager can now be summoned by right-clicking on the taskbar, be still my heart. The Snipping Tool automatically saves screenshots now! The new features come alongside a handful of bug fixes as well, but this all comes with an interesting caveat. Machines with this update installed won’t be able to uninstall or repair Win32 apps with interdependencies. In short, this means you won’t be able to uninstall many of the games that run off the Steam client or Steam itself. Fortunately, this appears to be a temporary thing. Since the Microsoft Store began supporting native Win32 apps, it’s become increasingly popular with developers who want more customization and control over their applications and not just game developers. The list of games and applications that are reliant on Win32 is only getting bigger, making the limitations of this build a nuisance. Microsoft has always cautioned that its Dev Channel updates are often very rough and aren’t very stable. While the ability to summon the taskbar without ctrl+alt+deleting your way there is tempting, we wouldn’t recommend installing this update just yet, as rolling back Windows Insider updates without also affecting important apps or documents can be a little difficult. A full list of the features and bug fixes rolled out with Preview Build 25211 is available on the Windows Insider blog. The new Windows Insider build makes it impossible to uninstall some Steam games
  12. Today, the Redmond company has released an update with new builds 22621.730 and 22623.730 (KB5017385). The company writes on its blog post: Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22621.601 and Build 22623.730 (KB5017385) to the Beta Channel. Build 22623.730 = New features rolling out. Build 22621.730 = New features off by default. You may notice that the 22622 build has been changed to 22623. Microsoft elaborated on the change, below: Insiders who were previously on Build 22622 will automatically get moved to Build 22623 via an enablement package. The enablement package artificially increments the build number for the update with new features getting rolled out and turned on to make it easier to differentiate from devices with the update with features off by default. This approach is being used for the Beta Channel only and is not indicative of any changes or plans for final feature rollouts. and without further ado, here's What’s new in Build 22623.730 Tablet-optimized taskbar We’re re-introducing the touch-optimized taskbar that’s designed to make you feel more confident and comfortable using your device as a tablet. Your taskbar will automatically transition to this optimized version when you disconnect or fold back the keyboard on your 2-in-1 device. This feature only works on devices that can be used as tablets. It does not work on laptops or desktop PCs. As a reminder, there are two states of this taskbar: collapsed and expanded. In the collapsed state, the taskbar gets out your way, gives you more screen space, and prevents you from accidentally invoking the taskbar when you’re holding your tablet. In the expanded state, the taskbar is optimized to be easier to use with touch. You can easily switch between the two states by swiping up and down on the bottom of your device. If this feature is available, you will see a new setting at Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors called “Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet” that will be set to on by default. System Tray Updates This update introduces updates to the System Tray that affect all device types — not just 2-in-1 devices. With this change, users will see a rounded focus and hover treatment on all icons in the lower right due to the continued modernization of this experience. You may also notice that it is not possible to drag and drop or rearrange your system tray icons with this change. We heard your feedback on this change earlier this year and are working to address this in a future Insider Preview build. Microsoft notes that these features are still rolling out, so even if you are on the features-enabled 22623.730 build, you might not see them right away. The company says that it plans to monitor feedback and see how both features land before pushing them out to everyone. Microsoft requests that Insiders file feedback in the Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Desktop Environment > Taskbar and Desktop Environment > System Tray respectively. Changes and Improvements in Build 22623.730 [File Explorer] Home now searches more recently opened Microsoft 365 cloud files for users who are signed with their Microsoft account or have their Microsoft account connected to the profile via Settings. Home search now shows recent file activity for cloud files when in details view. Microsoft 365 cloud files can now be searched using additional file properties such as file location, extension, and activity. File Explorer search will now show results as you type. The full search results page will update live without needing to press enter. Here are the fixes in Build 22623.730 [System Tray Updates] NOTE: These fixes will only show if tablet-optimized taskbar with System Tray updates is enabled on your device. Please see above for details on the tablet-optimized taskbar and System Tray updates, which is beginning to roll out to Windows Insiders and not yet available for everyone. The taskbar should no longer flash because of changes in the system tray in non-tablet-optimized scenarios. Fixed an issue that was causing parts of the taskbar or its icons like search to get stuck in the wrong theme’s colors when switching between light and dark themes. Date and time should no longer get stuck cutting off on the side of the screen from system tray changes. [Start menu] Fixed an issue which was causing Start menu crashes for some Insiders. Fixed an issue where the Start menu recommended section might unexpectedly show one column instead of two. If you change the app associated with a particular file type, the icon for any of those file type displayed should now update in the recommended section. Here are the bug fixes for both Build 22621.730 and Build 22623.730: We fixed an issue that affects some processors. This issue occurs when you turn on Hyper-V and kernel Direct Memory Access (DMA) protections. We fixed an issue that affects the Microsoft Japanese input method editor (IME). Text reconversion fails when you use some third-party virtual desktops. We fixed an issue that might cause an application to stop responding. This might occur when the input queue overflows. We fixed an issue that stops you from signing in to various Microsoft Office 365 apps. This affects Outlook, Word, Teams, and so on. We fixed an issue that affects graphics drivers that use d3d9on12.dll. We fixed issues that cause updates to the Microsoft Store to fail. We fixed an issue that affects the LanmanWorkstation service. It leaks memory when you mount a network drive. We fixed an issue that affects the Miracast UI. Sometimes it closes too soon when you cast to devices that use the DeviceObjectType:Aep. We fixed an issue that affects Task Manager. It stops working when you switch between light and dark mode or change the accent color. We fixed an issue that affects the font of three Chinese characters. When you format these characters as bold, the width size is wrong. We fixed an issue that affects input method editors (IME) from Microsoft and third parties. They stop working when you close the IME window. This occurs if the IME uses Windows Text Services Framework (TSF) 1.0. We fixed an issue that affects Microsoft Edge IE mode. It stops you from opening webpages. This occurs when you enable Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) and you do not configure Network Isolation policies. We fixed an issue that affects Microsoft Edge when it is in IE Mode. The titles of pop-up windows and tabs are wrong. We fixed an issue that stops the credential UI from displaying in IE mode. We fixed an issue that affects certificate mapping. When it fails, lsass.exe might stop working in schannel.dll. And finally, here are the known issues: [General] We’re looking into reports that audio stopped working for some Insiders in recent Beta Channel builds. [Tablet-optimized taskbar] The taskbar sometimes flashes when transitioning between desktop posture and tablet posture. The taskbar takes longer than expected to transition to the touch-optimized version when switching between desktop posture and tablet posture. Using the left or right edge gestures can result in the Widgets or Notification Center (respectively) to overlap with or look truncated by the taskbar. When using the bottom right edge gesture to see Quick Settings, the taskbar sometimes stays stuck in the expanded state, instead of dismissing to collapsed state. When there are no running windows on the desktop, the taskbar can sometimes collapse, when it should be expanded. You can find the official blog post here. Windows 11 Beta Build 22623.730 (KB5017385) comes with Tablet-optimized taskbar
  13. Microsoft has released a new Windows 11 Insider build 25211 to the Dev Channel. This is still version 22H2, since the Sun Valley 3 development, which was known as Windows 11 23H2, has seemingly been canceled in favor of releasing a major new Windows version every three years. So for now, the Dev Channel is sticking with version 22H2, which may eventually release sometime in 2023. Here is the full changelog for Build 25211: What’s new Widgets settings In this update, we have separated the widget picker and Widgets settings to make it easier for you to find and interact with each view. Now, the widget picker is opened by the “+” button and Widgets settings is opened by the “Me” button. We re-used the space the picker used to take in Widget settings to cover the highly requested taskbar settings based on Insider feedback to give you control over how the Widgets entry works on your taskbar. The button that shows at the top right of the board to launch Widgets settings. When you open Widgets settings by clicking on the “Me” button shown above, you will see three taskbar behaviors that you can toggle on or off. The Widgets settings page. Please note the wording for the toggles in Widget settings is slightly different in this build over what’s shown in the above screenshot. In a future update, the text for the toggles in Widget settings will be updated to reflect what is in the (above) screenshot. With the toggles in Widget settings, you can: Control whether the Widgets board opens when you hover over the taskbar icon. Control whether Widgets will show notification badging on the taskbar. Control whether live Widget content on the taskbar shows more than weather. [We are beginning to roll this out, so the experience 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.] FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Desktop Environment > Widgets. Here are the changes and Improvements: [Taskbar] Based on your feedback, we’ve added a link to Task Manager when right-clicking on the taskbar. Let us know what you think! Context menu when right-clicking on the taskbar shows link to Task Manager. [System Tray] This build includes preliminary support to rearrange system tray icons for Insiders who have the System Tray updates that began rolling out with Build 25197. Further improvements for this experience are coming soon. As a reminder, these System Tray updates are still rolling out and are not available to all Insiders just yet. If your PC does not have these changes, your System Tray experience will remain the same as before. [File Explorer] Fixed an issue where the top part of File Explorer (with the search and address box) couldn’t be interacted with when File Explorer was in full screen mode (F11). [Settings] For the time being, you will no longer be able to uninstall apps with inter-dependencies (e.g., Steam and gaming apps running on Steam) or repair Win32 apps under Settings > Apps > Installed apps. You will still be able to modify and uninstall Win32 apps without inter-dependencies. Here are the bug fixes: [General] We are beginning to roll out a server-side fix for the issue causing a “date, time and time zone settings are incorrect” message to be improperly displayed, which was also preventing the installation of the latest Insider Preview builds from proceeding. [File Explorer] Fixed the issue where the command bar items like copy, paste, and empty recycle bin were unexpectedly not be enabled sometimes when they have been. Fixed an issue which was causing unexpected black bars on the sides of horizontal scrollbars when using dark mode. [Start] When you have Start set to show more pinned items, the animation for opening folders lower on the page will now appear from the right place. [Taskbar] Fixed a high hitting Shell Experience Host crash in recent Dev Channel builds, impacting Quick Settings launch reliability. [Input] The gripper for moving the emoji panel and touch keyboard should now update color correctly when you switch between dark and light mode. Fixed a memory leak when repeatedly invoking the input switcher. [Settings] Fixed a Settings crash which could happen when changing your mobile hotspot name. Updated the examples used in the Short time selection under Time & Language > Language & Region > Regional Format, to make the 12 hour options (vs 24 hour) a little more obvious by showing morning and afternoon times. [Task Manager] Tweaked the graphs in the Performance page to use a bit more transparency so it’s easier to see the grid lines underneath. Made another fix to improve Task Manager reliability. Fixed a black flash while might be seen when launching Task Manager in light mode. Fixed a few issues where the font color of certain elements wasn’t correct / readable when using a contrast theme. [Other] Fixed an issue where Narrator would read out the details of the calendar that opens from selecting the date and time from the taskbar when it was collapsed. Fixed an issue where explorer.exe was crashing repeatedly in Windows Sandbox for Insiders with the tablet optimized taskbar and updated system tray. Fixed an issue which could lead to hangs in certain apps when opening the Open File Dialog. Fixed an issue which was making the screen go black for some Insiders when enabling HDR recently. Fixed an issue where after using the Open With dialog, the process might stay running even if it wasn’t in use anymore. Fixed an issue which was leading to increased CPU usage for WSL2 users on ARM64 PCs even when WSL was idle. Fixed an issue where closing the print dialog could lead to an app crash in the last couple flights. NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11. Finally we have the known issues: [General] We’re looking into reports that audio stopped working for some Insiders after upgrading to the latest flights. We’re investigating reports of a few different apps having started crashing in recent builds. [NEW] We’re investigating reports that various UI elements in apps appear to be disappearing and reappearing sometimes in recent builds. [Tablet-optimized taskbar] The taskbar sometimes flashes when transitioning between desktop posture and tablet posture. The taskbar takes longer than expected to transition to the touch-optimized version when switching between desktop posture and tablet posture. Using the left or right edge gestures can result in the Widgets or Notification Center (respectively) to overlap with or look truncated by the taskbar. When using the bottom right edge gesture to see Quick Settings, the taskbar sometimes stays stuck in the expanded state, instead of dismissing to collapsed state. When there are no running windows on the desktop, the taskbar can sometimes collapse, when it should be expanded. [Widgets] In right-to-left display languages like Arabic, content animates out of view before the widgets board resizes when clicking to expanded view of the widgets board. Notification badge number may appear misaligned on the taskbar. You can find the official blog post here. Windows 11 Dev build 25211 finally brings Task Manager with a right click, and more
  14. For those that follow Windows news pretty regularly, you are probably aware of the PrintNightmare saga. In a nutshell, it was a security vulnerability in the Windows print spooler service. This service handles print jobs and related protocols on servers and client PCs. Printing issues on Windows 11, and sometimes also in Windows 10, haven't stopped there as there have been bugs outside of the PrintNightmare flaw too. And it looks like reports of first such issues have started coming in. Twitter user and IT engineer Thomas Førde found out their network printers had gone missing after updating to the Windows 11 22H2 feature update. When they tried to manually add back the printers, they were greeted with a "0x00000bc4" error code which typically signifies an "operation could not be completed" message. After digging around the issue, Førde discovered the problem that was preventing Windows 11 22H2 from identifying their network printers. Apparently, the printer policy in the 2022 feature update was set wrong by default. The Remote Procedure Call (RPC) connection settings need to be set to "RPC over named pipes" transport protocol for the printers to be identified. While the workaround works in this case, Microsoft cautions against allowing a large number of idle pending calls on the server while using this protocol. By doing so it can create a high demand for kernel memory. Printer issues are back at it on Windows 11 22H2 as well
  15. Microsoft has finally re-added a link to the Task Manager to the taskbar's contextual menu in the latest Windows 11 Insider preview build. This feature has been a popular entry on the list of user requests since Windows 11 was released almost one year ago, on October 4, 2021. Redmond also confirmed it made the change based on customer feedback and that it's enabled starting with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25211 released to the Dev Channel today. "Based on your feedback, we've added a link to Task Manager when right-clicking on the taskbar," Microsoft's Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc said. Support for rearranging System Tray icons is also rolling out to Insiders who have the System Tray updates from Build 25197. "If your PC does not have these changes, your System Tray experience will remain the same as before," they added. Windows 11 task manager in taskbar (Mirosoft) With today's Dev channel preview build, Microsoft also started rolling out a new settings experience for Widgets allowing users to set the widgets board open on a mouse hover over the taskbar icon. They'll also see toggles for showing notification badges and showing announcements as rotating updates from widgets on the taskbar. In a separate Insider release to the Beta channel (Build 22623.730), the company also re-introduced the touch-optimized taskbar that should make it more comfortable to use Windows 11 devices as a tablet. "Your taskbar will automatically transition to this optimized version when you disconnect or fold back the keyboard on your 2-in-1 device," Langowski and LeBlanc said. "This feature only works on devices that can be used as tablets. It does not work on laptops or desktop PCs." In February, Microsoft also brought back taskbar drag and drop support with the release of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22557 to the Dev Channel. With that change, Windows 11 allowed users once again to drag and drop files between apps by hovering the mouse over their taskbar icons. Microsoft finally adds a Task Manager link to the Windows 11 taskbar
  16. Microsoft has released a new Windows 11 out-of-band (OOB) optional update for version 22H2. The new update is under KB5019311 (build 22621.525), and it is a non-security release which fixes an issue related to the installation media. The update is said to fix localization issues for Windows setup files which was preventing the successful creation of installation media. The release notes for KB5019311 say: Highlights Addresses localization issues for some setup files. These issues might stop you from creating installation media for non-English languages. Improvements This non-security update includes quality improvements. Key changes include: Addresses localization issues for some setup files. These issues might stop you from creating installation media for non-English languages. Since it is an OOB update, it can be downloaded manually on Microsoft's Update Catalog website here. Only, go for it though in case you are facing issues with creating installation media for Windows 11 22H2 on non-English languages. For others, it is not essential. While we are on the topic of Windows 11 22H2 and installation problems, there are also reports of another bug which is interrupting the upgrade process. According to these reports, the 22H2 feature update is failing with an error code "0x800f0806". This is apparently happening when trying to do an in-place upgrade via Windows Update in Settings due to some compatibility issue or something similar. A clean install is seemingly working fine. In case you are facing a similar problem, you can try some of the workarounds outlined in the article. KB5019311 (build 22621.525) OOB update fixes Windows 11 22H2 installation media issue
  17. Windows Auto Dark Mode is one of those small ingenious apps that fix what Microsoft refuses to do on a system level for some reason. It automatically switches between dark and light modes depending on specific time or geolocation. Due to changes in the Windows 11 2022 Update, the app suffered from various issues and graphical glitches. Luckily, the latest update is here to fix that. Auto Dark Mode X 10.2.0 is now available for download from the app or its GitHub repository. According to developer notes, version 10.2.0 aims to fix Windows 11 2022 Update-related issues by rewriting the entire theme logic. There still might be some problems to resolve, but the overall experience should be much better. In addition, the latest release adds the option to postpone theme switching when the device is in use. Here is the full changelog: New Features: Postpone theme switch when your computer is in use! Improvements: Windows 11 22H2 compatibility by rewriting the entire theme logic Ability to set custom script timeout on a per-script basis. This is a potential breaking change and requires reconfiguration of scripts Hotkeys now support using the Windows key Unwanted theme changes are now tracked via WMI instead of a timer that only checks every few minutes You can download Windows Auto Dark Mode X from the Microsoft Store or GitHub, where people with the right skills can contribute to the app's development. Auto Dark Mode is free and has no ads or bloat. Windows Auto Dark Mode gets fixes for Windows 11 22H2 and other improvements
  18. As reports had suggested, Microsoft released Windows 11 version 22H2 to the general availability channel on September 20. You can read all about the new exciting stuff in these articles here. A few days before that, some users received the 2022 feature update early with new devices. The machines were shipping with build 22621.521 (KB5017321) which was indeed the 22H2 update as confirmed later by Microsoft. However, as can happen, the new update is not without its issues. Previously, we reported about a problem related to updating to this new feature update. The update process is failing for many with the error code "0x800f0806". Luckily, there are a couple of fixes available that we have outlined in this article. For those that managed to update, there were other problems for users who had Nvidia graphics cards in their rigs. There have been reports of unstable framerates and stuttering, and lower than typical CPU usage in games. Nvidia was quick to look into the complaints and confirmed that the issues were an outcome of new graphics debugging tools in Windows 11 22H2 that were accidentally getting triggered. Earlier today, Nvidia released a GeForce Experience (GFE) beta update with version 3.26 that resolves the problems. The company has outlined two ways in which users can update to this version of GFE. It can either be done manually by downloading and installing it from the link below, or by enabling the "experimental features" option inside the GFE app which will allow the installation of beta updates. Issue: Some users may observe lower performance in games or applications after updating to Microsoft Windows 11 2022 Update Solution: Update to the latest NVIDIA GeForce Experience v3.26 BETA by choosing from one of the two methods below: a) Manually download the NVIDIA GeForce Experience v3.26 installer from the URL below. Once downloaded, proceed with the installation. https://us.download.nvidia.com/GFE/GFEClient/3.26.0.131/GeForce_Experience_Beta_v3.26.0.131.exe b) From within the GeForce Experience app, open up “Settings” in GeForce Experience and select “Enable Experimental Features”. Then close GeForce Experience. Wait 30 seconds and then re-open GeForce Experience. The app will automatically update to the latest version. In case you are facing such issues on Windows 11 version 22H2 on your Nvidia-based system, you should proceed with this update to see if your problems are fixed. Source: Nvidia Nvidia releases emergency GeForce Experience update to fix Windows 11 22H2 issues
  19. As reports had suggested, Microsoft released Windows 11 version 22H2 to the general availability channel on September 20. You can read all about the new exciting stuff in these articles here. A few days before that, some users received the 2022 feature update early with new devices. The machines were shipping with build 22621.521 (KB5017321) which was indeed the 22H2 update as confirmed later by Microsoft. However, like it's usually the case, the new update is not without its issues though. Last night, we reported about a problem related to updating to this new feature update. The update process is failing for many with the error code "0x800f0806". Luckily, there are a couple of fixes available that we have outlined in this article. For those that have managed to update, there are other problems for users who have Nvidia graphics cards in their systems. There are reports of unstable framerates and stuttering, and lower than typical CPU usage in games. Users across Reddit and Microsoft forums have echoed similar sentiments. Reddit user ChoPT says the issues were present in insider builds too. They write: I was having serious performance hitches, both on the desktop and especially in gaming (this completely broke gsync as well). Drops to ~30fps randomly from ~120, in non-graphically intense tests. Screen tearing like crazy. I have a VERY powerful system (12700k, 3080 Ti, DDR5 ram), so it's not a hardware issue, and I tried turning all the new graphics settings off as well, so it wasn't that either. [..] I'm a pretty big gamer, so this is unfortunately a deal-breaker until it can be fixed. But the performance issues on the desktop also just made everything feel a bit sluggish. These same problems were present in the insider build I tried months ago, and I am very disappointed they are still present at release. Rolled back, and all the problems went away. Another user Nahett77 says their CPU usage dropped from around 80% down to just around 5%: I have been experiencing insane stuttering in games. My CPU usage in games have dropped down significantly, in some from 80% to 5%. Just went back to the last update and my in game experience is much better. Fortunately for those experiencing such problems, Nvidia has confirmed that it is looking into the matter. Manuel Guzman, Software QA at the company has requested for more feedback from the affected users on the Reddit thread. In case you are reading the article and are facing similar issues, you can provide feedback to Nvidia using this form. Source: Reddit (1, 2, 3), Microsoft forum via How-To Geek Edit: Updated with quotes from users experiencing the issues for additional context. Windows 11 22H2 apparently causing problems on Nvidia graphics cards
  20. Windows 11 will mark its first anniversary next month. The operating system has already received its first feature update, and Microsoft plans to drop another set of new capabilities next month. The 2022 Update and its feature improvements are enough for some users to finally pull the trigger and upgrade to Windows 11, while others keep using good-old Windows 10 as they see no solid reasons to migrate or are unable to. Microsoft has received a fair amount of complaints for controversial feature changes (primarily for crippled taskbar). As most Windows users discuss new capabilities and things Microsoft has taken away (without intent to bring them back), one question remains unanswered: what about energy efficiency? Does Windows 11 give you better battery life? Test configuration Like our recent browser efficiency test, it's time to look at how identical hardware behaves when running four different operating systems: Windows 11 21H2 (original release) Windows 11 2022 Update (version 22H2) Windows 11 Dev (build 25201) Windows 10 (version 21H2) To make the test as accurate as possible, we have clean-installed each system on four different partitions before looping PCMark10 Extended three times from 100% to dead battery. We have signed into our Microsoft account and installed the latest drivers available for each version. Each installation had no extra third-party software. Here is the test device (upgraded from 8GB to 16GB of RAM since the browser efficiency test): HP Pavilion 14 x360 Processor 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1125G4 at 2.00 GHz RAM 16GB DDR4 3200 MHz Storage 500GB PCIe SSD Screen 14-inch touchscreen. 1920x1080 pixels at 40% brightness Power Mode Balanced, Battery Saver at 20% Standard Windows configuration Battery 43Wh with 50 cycles, 0% wear reported We have picked PCMark10 Extended to simulate the standard home and office use that includes video conferencing, office apps, photo/video editing, gaming, browsing, etc. Some might argue that PCMark10 might be unoptimized for Windows 11, but remember that not every software you use has already received updates for the newest OS (some never will). We try to see how a single set of software affects battery life in different operating systems. Before you grab your torch and pitchfork: You might get slightly different results depending on your software and hardware configuration, battery capacity, battery wear, drivers, brightness, power mode etc. Consider this more an experiment rather than a scientific claim. Testing It appears that those wanting to get the most out of the battery inside their Windows laptop or tablet might want to stick to Windows 10 for some time. Three Windows 11 versions showed the more-or-less identical result, achieving about three hours of life under strain of the PCMark10 Extended benchmark. As for Windows 10, Microsoft's "previous-gen" operating system showed a notably better result, surviving for an extra 18 minutes. That might sound not-so-impressive to you, but it is an 11% uplift under a stress test. An 11% worse battery life is nothing to scoff at, especially for the operating system that many consider just a Windows 10 reskin. Windows 10 - 3 hours 12 minutes Windows 11 Dev - 3 hours 3 minutes Windows 11 2022 Update - 3 hours 2 minutes Windows 11 21H2 - 2 hours 54 minutes A part of our browser efficiency test also proves that Windows 10 is better at giving you the best battery life. Running a 1080p YouTube video in Microsoft Edge has revealed similar results—when running Windows 10, our laptop lasted 35 minutes longer than Windows 11. Windows 10 - 5 hours 24 minutes Windows 11 Dev - 4 hours 55 minutes Windows 11 21H2 - 4 hours 53 minutes Windows 11 2022 Update - 4 hours 50 minutes Conclusion Windows 11 is arguably a good operating system, and its latest feature update makes it even better. Still, even one year after the initial release, many users consider Windows 11 raw, and not without reasons. Besides missing some capabilities Microsoft should not have removed, Windows 11 appears to be worse at energy efficiency on some hardware configurations. Microsoft itself says Windows 10 is "a great place to be," so you will be excused for wanting to keep using the old operating system for a bit longer. On the other side, the 10% difference does not seem like unrepairable damage. You can mitigate the loss by adjusting the display brightness, tweaking your power mode, or using extra features in specific apps like battery saver in Microsoft Edge, which proved itself quite an efficient way to improve battery time. Windows 11 also has the Dynamic Refresh Rate feature on devices with high refresh rate displays that can save some battery juice by reducing the refresh rate without a perceivable downgrade in image smoothness. Finally, there are customers who love Windows 11 and its features, so a slightly worse battery life is an acceptable trade-off for running the latest operating systems with a much better UI, Android apps support, improved consistency (Windows 8-styled volume/brightness slider is finally gone), new productivity features, significantly improved accessibility, and gaming enhancements. Windows 11 will not make your battery life twice as worse than Windows 10, so it may be worth a try. Although there are scattered complaints about battery life downgrade, we have not heard any wide-spread reports of Windows 11 causing critical damage to a device with an otherwise decent battery life. Those on the verge of upgrading should also remember that Microsoft allows going back to Windows 10 without reinstalling the operating system and all the apps (unless you perform a disk cleanup). But if you think that Windows 11 currently does not provide a killer feature, there is another reason to stick with Windows 10. Microsoft will keep supporting Windows 10 until October 2025, so you have three more years to decide, and Microsoft has three more years to make Windows 11 (or whatever comes next) better at battery management. Have you noticed any difference in battery life after upgrading from Windows 10 to 11? Would you accept a slightly worse battery life for a fancy UI, animations, and new features? Share your thoughts in the comments. Is Windows 11 more energy efficient than Windows 10?
  21. The Windows 11 2022 Update (version 22H2) started rolling out earlier this week and while it introduced lots of gaming, security, and accessibility features, among others, Microsoft also confirmed that it will be releasing even more capabilities next month. This is a continuation of its latest approach to not tie feature availability to annual feature updates, and I think that this is a really good move. Although many believe that this is a new approach to delivering Windows updates that Microsoft is introducing under its "Moments" engineering effort of rolling out features every few months, the company has actually been working on this publicly since February. Almost eight months ago, Microsoft released AirShare, a public preview for the Amazon Appstore, and Taskbar enhancements as "new experiences", and it is continuing with this delivery mechanism moving forward too. There are a couple of major reasons why I think that this is exactly the right thing to do. When Microsoft committed to a biannual update cadence for Windows 10, it dug a bit of a hole for itself. While getting two major updates per year sounds great on paper and gets consumers excited, it's close to impossible to deliver significant features within these timelines, especially when every new feature has to go through weeks or months of testing in the Windows Insider Preview program along with development iterations too. What this meant was that we sometimes got massive updates, but on most instances, we just had to settle for relatively insignifcant "enablement packages". Enablement packages don't download any new features to your computer, they just switch some existing features from a dormant to active state, which isn't really that exciting. As a result, Windows 10 updates became more of a formality with little fanfare since it became very unlikely that the next feature update to Windows would be drastically different than what you had already. And to me, and likely Microsoft (given that it changed this approach), this is a problem because it kills any excitement behind the Windows update process for consumers. It becomes difficult to even convince people to upgrade to the next version of Windows, because there's nothing really new in it either way so why not stick to your "stable" OS? With its recent approach of releasing annual updates for Windows 11 along with other "new experiences" (Moments?) spread throughout the year too, Microsoft is remedying this situation. The Redmond tech firm knows that it can obviously deliver one major feature update per year but it's also leaving the door open for any other functionalities that it can deliver to consumers outside of this cadence too. The benefits of this approach are most evident in the latest Windows 11 2022 Update where Microsoft has rolled out capabilities like a Controller Bar, Smart App Control, better touch navigation for Snap Layouts, and separate Focus and Do not Disturb functionalities, among many other things. And at the same time, the company has also committed to bring tabbed File Explorer, Suggested Actions, Taskbar Overflow, improved Nearby Sharing, and a new Photos app for preview next month followed by general availability in November. This gives Microsoft some time to test new features in Insider rings for a few months without worrying about delivering them in September of each year. The firm is being careful about the overall mechanism too though, it has clarified that moving forward, it will only announce timelines for new features when it's ready, so don't expect brand-new stuff to be delivered every October or every other month. In a press release sent to Neowin a few days ago, Microsoft mentioned that: We are committed to delivering continuous innovation by releasing new features into Windows 11 with increased frequency via our servicing technology (like a monthly update) and Microsoft Store updates, in addition to our annual update process. Our goal is to provide you with the best experiences year-round, when new features are ready based on quality and reliability, via our familiar processes. Today we are also announcing that a new set of experiences including the Tabbed File explorer, considered a component of the 2022 Update for all editions, will be ready this October. We will share more information and documentation when we initially make these features available. We plan a phased rollout timed with the October optional non-security preview release for these features and then they will be made broadly available in the November 2022 security update release. Going forward we will continue to announce, document and deliver new features and experiences when they are ready. This solves another problem for general users too. If a feature is ready, consumers won't have to wait for the next feature update to land to get their hands on that specific functionality. An example is tabbed File Explorer, which has been available to Insiders since build 22572 (albeit as a hidden UX) back in March. While Microsoft clearly isn't ready to ship it in the Windows 11 2022 Update this month, it seems like it's confident that it will be able to push it out to consumers in October/November after some more time in the oven. As such, there is less of a chance that a half-baked implementation of a functionality (looking at you, Taskbar) will become available to general consumers. Microsoft isn't bound to the annual update timelines externally and while it may have internal deadlines, I'm sure they are more malleable than the public deadlines that were in place for feature updates. All in all, I think that this flexible approach to Windows updates is a win for both Microsoft and its customers. Of course, no mechanism is perfect - especially not on the software side -, so I'll emphasize that I don't believe that this is a silver bullet, I just believe that it's significantly better than what consumers and Microsoft had to deal with before. It makes Windows updates exciting for the end-user again while giving Microsoft the space it would need to further polish functionalities instead of rushing them out the door. What do you think of the more flexible Windows update process and release cadence? Let us know in the comments section below! Microsoft's latest approach to Windows 11 updates is a smart move
  22. Windows 11 22H2 was just released, and with it comes a new security feature called Enhanced Phishing Protection that warns users when they enter their Windows password in insecure applications or on websites. Windows login credentials are valuable to threat actors as they allow them to access internal corporate networks for data theft or ransomware attacks. These passwords are commonly acquired through phishing attacks or by users saving their passwords in insecure applications, such as word processors, text editors, and spreadsheets. In some cases, simply typing your password in a phishing login form, and not submitting them, is enough for them to be stolen by threat actors. To combat this behavior, Microsoft introduced a new feature called 'Enhanced Phishing Protection' that warns users when they enter their Windows password on a website or enter it into an insecure application. "SmartScreen identifies and protects against corporate password entry on reported phishing sites or apps connecting to phishing sites, password reuse on any app or site, and passwords typed into Notepad, Wordpad, or Microsoft 365 apps," explains Microsoft Security Product Manager Sinclaire Hamilton. "IT admins can configure for which scenarios end users see warnings through CSP/MDM or Group Policy." This new feature is only available in Windows 11 22H2 at this time, and it is not enabled by default. It also requires you to log into Windows with your Windows password rather than use Windows Hello. So if you use a PIN to log in to Windows, this feature will not work. When enabled, Microsoft will detect when you enter your Windows password and then issue a warning prompting you to remove the password from an insecure file or, if entered on a site, to change your Windows password. Alert when entering Windows passwords in an insecure application How to enable Enhanced Phishing Protection While Windows 11 22H2 has Phishing protection enabled by default, the options to protect your passwords are disabled. To enable these options, go to Start > Settings > Privacy & security > Windows Security > App & browser control > Reputation-based protection settings. Under the Phishing protection section, you will see two new options labeled 'Warn me about password reuse' and 'Warn me about unsafe password storage.' When enabled, the 'Warn me about password reuse' option will cause an alert to be displayed when you enter your Windows password on a website, whether it's a phishing site or a legitimate site. The 'Warn me about unsafe password storage' option will warn you when you type your password into an application like Notepad, Wordpad, and Microsoft Office and then press enter. To protect your passwords, put a checkmark in both options to enable them, as shown in the image below. When you enable each option, Windows 11 will display a UAC prompt, which you should accept. Enabling password protection in Windows 11 22H2 Source: BleepingComputer BleepingComputer created a test account on our Windows 11 22H2 device and entered our password into Notepad to test this feature. As you can see below, once we typed the password and pressed enter, Windows 11 displayed a warning stating, "It's unsafe to store your password in this app," and recommended we remove it from the file. Windows 11 warning when you enter your password in Notepad Source: BleepingComputer We also tested this feature in other applications, such as WordPad, Microsoft Word 2019, Excel 2019, OneNote, and Notepad2. We were not able to test this in Microsoft 365, which Microsoft claims is supported by the feature. While Windows 11 warned us about our password in WordPad and Microsoft Word, it surprisingly did not warn us when typing it into Excel, OneNote, and Notepad2, which should be fixed. This is especially true for Microsoft Excel, as it's known to be used to create password lists. We also tested the password reuse feature by trying to log in to Twitter with our Windows password using Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Once we entered our password, Windows 11 displayed the following alert warning us to change our Windows password. Windows 11 warning about password reuse on a website Source: BleepingComputer However, the Enhanced Phishing Protection feature did not work when testing Mozilla Firefox. Overall, this is an excellent new security feature for Windows users, and it is strongly recommended that you use it to protect yourself from phishing attacks and from saving your passwords in insecure files. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement, with Microsoft needing to expand the security feature to support more browsers and applications. Windows 11 now warns when typing your password in Notepad, websites
  23. Intel has released its latest Windows DCH beta driver version 31.0.101.3430 for Arc graphics cards as well as for its Xe LP based integrated graphics. The biggest highlight of the new release is support for Windows 11 version 22H2 feature update. Aside from that, it also brings support for a couple of games including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Beta, which is currently in early access. Find the full changelog below: GAMING HIGHLIGHTS: Intel® Game On Driver support on Intel® Arc™ A-series Graphics for: The DioField Chronicle* (DX12) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II* (DX12) Beta Early Access NOTES: The Intel® Arc™ 101.3430 BETA driver is bundled with the latest version of Intel® Arc™ Control 4765 to streamline installation experience, resulting in a larger driver package file size. FIXED ISSUES: Marvel’s Spider-Man* (DX12) may exhibit an application crash when loading into the game with Ray-Traced Reflections enabled. Total War: Warhammer III* (DX11) may exhibit color corruption on certain regions of the overworld map. Call of Duty: Vanguard* (DX12) may exhibit lower than expected performance in the main menu. Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy* (DX12) may exhibit flickering texture corruption game certain areas Horizon Zero Dawn* (DX12) may exhibit texture and color corruption on some terrain and skyboxes. Overwatch* (DX11) may experience lower than expected performance may be observed within certain map environments Metro Exodus* (DX11) may exhibit a CTD or application hang during gameplay. Conqueror’s Blade* (DX11) may exhibit an application crash during game launch. League of Legends* (DX11) may experience lower than expected performance when using the DX11 option in on some Intel® Arc™ A730M series graphics products. Movies and TV* Application may experience a hang during HDR video playback and changing video to Fullscreen. Blender* may exhibit OpenGL rendering errors with certain Intel® system configurations. Some Intel® Arc™ A380 series graphics cards may intermittently reboot the system when resuming from S3 sleep. INTEL® ARC™ CONTROL FIXED ISSUES: Recording with Arc Control Studio Capture and “In Stream” mode enabled may not save the output video file at the desired length. Streaming with Arc Control Studio Capture and “In Stream” mode enabled may cause unexpected connection instability to the desired platform. Some image types may not load when using Arc Control Camera “Background Replacement” option. Arc Control may incorrectly be invoked during the login screen. Arc Control may incorrectly close automatically when Arc Control is invoked, and system is left idle. KNOWN ISSUES: Marvel’s Spider-Man* (DX12) may experience shadow corruption when using FSR 2.0 upscaling. Marvels’ Spider-Man* (DX12) may exhibit scene corruption when Ambient Occlusion is disabled or set to HBAO+ Sniper Elite 5* (DX12) may experience an application crash on some Hybrid Graphics system configurations when Windows® “Graphics Performance Preference” option for the application is not set to “High Performance”. Some Intel® Arc™ A380 series graphics product fans may continue running when the graphics card or system is idle. INTEL® ARC™ CONTROL KNOWN ISSUES: Windows UAC Admin is required to install and launch Arc Control. Arc Control may fail to correctly update. A workaround is to uninstall Arc Control from Add or Remove programs before updating. Some applications may exhibit a transparent or blank window when CMAA is set to “Force ON” globally. Some applications may exhibit pixel corruption when Sharpening Filter is enabled globally. Opening Arc Control in some game titles with ALT+I during gameplay may not correctly appear. Using Arc Control Studio Capture with “In Stream” mode enabled may not correctly record entire clip when under a 1080p resolution setting. A 1440p resolution selection in Arc Control Studio Capture may be unavailable when the display native resolution is 4K. Arc Control Studio Camera overlay position may not retain desired position and size after a system restart. Hot-plugging peripheral devices such as cameras, microphones, or displays while Arc Control is open may cause Arc Control to become unresponsive. Arc Control may not scale automatically when changing from a 1080p resolution to a 4K resolution. Some Arc Control Telemetry metrics may not align with 3 rd party applications or built-in OS functions. The Arc Control Studio Camera tab may take longer than expected responsiveness upon the first navigation. Hot-plugging a secondary display with Arc Control invoked may cause Arc Control to be unresponsive. Hot-plugging a display with Arc Control Studio Capture audio device set to display audio may cause an error when attempting to capture or broadcast. Intel® Arc™ Control Performance Tuning (BETA): Intel® Arc™ Control Performance Tuning is currently in Beta. As such, performance and features mmay behave unexpectedly. Intel® will continue to refine the Performance Tuning software in future releases. You can download the driver by heading over to Intel's official website at this link. The driver is compatible with Intel Arc discrete graphics cards alongside Intel 11th and 12th Gen processor graphics. Intel Arc, 11th Gen, 12th Gen now ready for Windows 11 22H2 with 31.0.101.3430 beta driver
  24. Several days ago, Microsoft started rolling out the Windows 11 2022 Update, the first feature update for its operating system. Confusingly, not all features are available right now: Microsoft plans to ship another update next month to enable a bunch of new capabilities, such as tabbed File Explorer, the redesigned "Open With" dialog box, suggested actions, taskbar overflow, and others. If you have a hard time waiting for the sweetest parts of Windows 11 2022 Update, here is the good news: you can enable them right now. Windows enthusiasts discover experimental configurations and hidden features every time Microsoft pushes a new preview build. Often, stable Windows versions get new features disabled by default, just waiting for Microsoft to release an enablement package. That is the case with the Windows 11 2022 Update and its upcoming "moment 1" update. Tabbed File Explorer, new taskbar overflow, and other goodies are already on your computer if it runs the Windows 11 2022 Update or 22H2. All you need to do is enable them using the ViveTool app, as described in one of our numerous how-tos. Here are the ids for each upcoming feature: Suggested Actions: id:34592303 Taskbar Overflow: id:35620393 Redesigned "Open With": id:36302090 Tabbed File Explorer: id:36354489 id:37634385 id:39145991 As usual, remember that the safest option is to wait for Microsoft to ship you the new features via Windows Update. Enabling hidden features using the ViveTool app can sometimes lead to unexpected behaviors, bugs, and unwanted software weirdness. If you are not ready to troubleshoot your system or uninstall Windows in the worst-case scenario, sit back and wait for Microsoft to do the job for you. Will you force-enable the upcoming Windows 11 "moment 1" features? Via: PhantomOcean3 (Twitter) You can already enable new Windows 11 features Microsoft plans to ship next month
  25. Microsoft has released a new build for Windows 11 Insiders on the Release Preview Channel. The new build, 22621.607 (KB5017389), brings a very long list of bug fixes, which is generally the case. There are no new feature additions in this build. The full changelog is given below: We fixed an issue that affects some apps that were not signed by the Microsoft Store. You must reinstall them after you upgrade the OS. We fixed issues that cause updates to the Microsoft Store to fail. We fixed an issue that stops you from signing in to various Microsoft Office 365 apps. This affects Outlook, Word, Teams, and so on. We updated the start date for daylight saving time in Chile. It will start on September 11, 2022 instead of on September 4, 2022. We fixed an issue that affects the Windows Search service. It causes the indexing progress for the service to be slow. We fixed an issue that affects some processors. This issue occurs when you turn on Hyper-V and kernel Direct Memory Access (DMA) protections. We fixed an issue that affects a network’s static IP. The issue causes the configuration of the static IP to be inconsistent. Because of this, NetworkAdapterConfiguration() fails sporadically. We fixed an issue that affects Task Manager. It stops working when you switch between light and dark mode or change the accent color. We fixed an issue that affects the font of three Chinese characters. When you format these characters as bold, the width size is wrong. We fixed an issue that affects graphics drivers that use d3d9on12.dll. We reduced the power that the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol uses on some devices when they are in Sleep mode. We fixed an issue that affects URLs generated by JavaScript: URLs. These URLs do not work as expected when you add them to the Favorites menu in IE mode. We fixed an issue that forces the IE mode tabs in a session to reload. We fixed an issue that affects window.open in IE mode. We fixed an issue that successfully opens a browser window in IE mode to display a PDF file. Later, browsing to another IE mode site within the same window fails. We fixed an issue that affects the Microsoft Japanese input method editor (IME). Text reconversion fails when you use some third-party virtual desktops. We fixed an issue that might cause an application to stop responding. This might occur when the input queue overflows. We fixed an issue that affects XML Paper Specification (XPS) viewers. This might stop you from opening XPS files in some non-English languages. These include some Japanese and Chinese character encodings. This issue affects XPS and Open XPS (OXPS) files. We fixed an issue that creates a duplicate print queue. Because of this, the original print queue stops working. We fixed an issue that might bypass MSHTML and ActiveX rules for Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC). We fixed an issue that affects the Miracast UI. Sometimes it closes too soon when you cast to devices that use the DeviceObjectType:Aep. We added more dynamic Widgets content to your taskbar with notification badging. When you open the Widgets board, a banner appears at the top of the board. It provides more information about what triggered the notification badge. We fixed an issue that affects the SharedPC account manager. The issue stops it from deleting many accounts during cleanup. We fixed an issue that causes LogonUI.exe to stop working. Because of this, you cannot dismiss the lock screen to view the credentials screen. We fixed an issue that affects Dual SIM calling. If you select no SIM on your phone and initiate a call on your device, Dual SIM functionality does not work. We fixed an issue that affects the FindNextFileNameW() It might leak memory. We fixed an issue that affects robocopy. Robocopy fails to set a file to the right modified time when using the /IS We fixed an issue that affects cldflt.sys. A stop error occurs when it is used with Microsoft OneDrive. We fixed an issue that affects Roaming User Profiles. After you sign in or sign out, some of your settings are not restored. We fixed an issue that affects the LanmanWorkstation service. It leaks memory when you mount a network drive. You can find the official blog post here. Windows 11 Release Preview build 22621.607 (KB5017389) fixes d3d9on12, Hyper-V issues
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