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After months of waiting, Microsoft finally confirmed that it is now rolling out the first big update of its latest OS to more than 190 countries. Windows 11 version 22H2 brings numerous new features and details, improving not just the appearance of the OS but also its other sections, including accessibility, security, productivity, and even gaming and apps.
Here are some of the prominent features to check.
Main Windows 11 version 22H2 Features and Improvements
- Start menu folders and an adjustable pinned area
- New gestures for touch screen devices: swipe up from the bottom of the screen to summon the Start menu, swipe from the right corner to open the Quick Settings, swipe down with three fingers on the middle of the screen to minimize apps, and swipe left or right with three fingers to switch between running apps
- Adjust the number of pinned or recommended rows in the Start menu
- Taskbar drag-and-drop ability for files and apps, allowing opening of files within apps
- Ability to snap multiple browser tabs in Microsoft Edge, a new Snap bar for easier snap layout selection, Snap layouts drag and drop interface, and other new actions
- New “Spotlight” wallpaper feature
- Improved Task Manager interface
- Better Windows Shell with new modern interfaces
- System-wide live captions that apply to all videos or audios (Winkey+CTRL+L) and Voice Access for keyboard- and mouse-free control of the device
- Natural Voices for Narrator
- New Smart App Control for blocking untrusted or unsigned applications, script files, and malicious macros from running on Windows 11 (only available on clean Windows 11 installations)
- Updated interfaces (e.g., Run dialog uses Mica transparent element)
- Focus sessions and Do Not Disturb: Focus integration in the Clock App and the Do Not Disturb button on Notification Center
- New Windows Studio camera and audio featuring Voice Focus, Background Blur, Eye Contact, and Automatic Framing
- Tabbed File explorer (coming in October)
- OneDrive integration and pinning files (Quick Access area) in File explorer
- Improved local and current events coverage in your Widgets board
- Improved file sharing in File Explorer through more sharing suggestions
- Ability to compose an email message via share window sharing a local file in File Explorer to Outlook
- Improved Quick Settings with options to connect, disconnect, and view Bluetooth devices
- New Microsoft Account page in the Accounts area for quick checking of Microsoft 365 subscription details
- New Family Safety page
- Option to set the Bing daily image as a desktop wallpaper
- New Print Queue, Print Dialog, automatic network printer discovery, and more details on the Printers & Scanners page
- New power management and changes to the default power setting for Sleep and Screen off
- New Windows 11 inbox app movie editor “Clipchamp” for mixing clips or editing media
- New “Uninstall updates setting” option in the “Update history” page of the “Windows Update” section to allow uninstallation of updates within the Settings app
The update can now be installed via Windows Update by those eligible users. Nonetheless, Microsoft said it would only be possible once your device is ready. “We will initially ramp up the offering availability in the first weeks as we monitor quality signals,” Microsoft added. “If we detect that your device may have an issue, such as an application incompatibility, we may put a safeguard hold in place and not offer the update until that issue is resolved.”
For Windows 11 users, just go to Windows Update settings (Settings > Windows Update) and select Check for updates. Windows 10 users, meanwhile, will have to first check their machines’ eligibility using the PC Health Check app. If the requirements are met, and the device is ready, version 22H2 should be available in the Windows Update settings with the “Download and install” option.