Microsoft first launched Windows 11 about a year ago, in October 2021, with a huge rollout for all users. Now, if you don’t know, the company has moved to an annual update cadence with Windows 11, which means we’re the only ones. Big OS update in one year. And well, ready to send the next big Windows 11 update. Microsoft has released the Windows 11 22H2 update for Insiders on the Release Preview Channel. A few months later, in September or October, users will get the new Windows 11 features, and we’re excited about all these upcoming changes. That’s why we’ve created 20 great new Windows 11 22H2 features that you can choose from in the taskbar and start upgrading the menu to the redesigned Task Manager and Focus mode. Let’s take a look at the new features of the 11 22H2 update.
On September 20, Microsoft made the Windows 11 2022 update available as a free upgrade to those already running Windows 11 21H2 which is known to have a smooth upgrade experience. Over time, the update will continue to roll out to more devices based on hardware qualification, reliability metrics, hardware age and other factors. Then sometime in the first half of 2023, Windows 11 22H2 will be fully available.
As with previous releases, you will be prompted by Windows Update to manually download the new version. If you’re a “seeker”, you can force an upgrade in the Windows Update settings by clicking the Check for Updates button and then clicking the Download and Install button. Alternatively, you can install new updates using a USB installation media or ISO file to perform an in-place upgrade or clean installation. Additionally, you can use the installation assistant to upgrade.
Top New Windows 11 22H2 Features:-
We’ve added 20 great Windows 11 22H2 features, including start menu changes, taskbar improvements, new accessibility enhancements, and more. You can expand the table below and go to the section of your choice.
The next stable build of Windows 11 will finally bring the app folders to the Start menu. It was one of the most sought-after features of the Windows community and was well received by Microsoft. You can now drag an app to another app in the Start menu to create an app folder. You can rename the folder as you would in Windows 10. So this is one of the new features of the Windows 11 22H2 update.
More Pins, Fewer Recommendations:-
Another great feature of Windows 11 22H2 is that you can now add more pinned apps to the Start menu and reduce the suggested items. This was again one of the biggest frustrations of the new Start menu and Microsoft made a necessary change.
To pin more apps, you’ll need to open the Settings app and start adding Personalization -> More PINs. If you like Microsoft’s smart recommendations, you can add more space to the Start menu. And if you don’t like the recommendations, you can remove the ‘Recommended’ section from the Windows 11 Start menu.
The Windows 11 22H2 update brings up “Search Highlights” in the Start menu. When you click on the search icon in the taskbar, it will now show you recent applications and important events from around the world, including your personal calendar, trending searches, and more.
Enterprise users will see the latest Microsoft 365 activity, your organization’s profile, and more. This seems like a meaningful addition to the Windows 11 Start menu so you can keep up to date with all the events in the world. If you don’t like the feature, you can disable search highlights in Windows 11 using the linked guide.
Drag and Drop Support:-
Many users were annoyed that you could no longer drag files to the taskbar. It was a nifty way to easily open files in a dedicated program. However, this has changed with the Windows 11 22H2 update. Now, you can drag and drop files into apps pinned to the taskbar This will be useful for users who want to edit a media file or share a code snippet with a code editor.
Windows 11 22H2 updates are still months away for stable users, you can now enable drag and drop support for Windows 11 taskbar using third-party programs
Quick Bluetooth Settings:-
The new Quick Bluetooth Settings menu is one of my favorite additions to Windows 11 22H2. Like Wi-Fi, you can now quickly choose your Bluetooth device from Settings. You do not need to open the settings page to connect to a paired device this taskbar update is going to be helpful for users who use wireless Bluetooth devices on their Windows 11 PCs.
Share Any App Windows:-
Another great addition to the Windows 22H2 update is the ‘Share This Window’ feature. Currently, though, it is only used by Microsoft teams and enterprise or education accounts. Basically, you can now share any app window with the Microsoft team from the taskbar.
Here’s how it works. In the taskbar, hover your cursor over the content of the app you want to share in the meeting. You’ll see the “Share this window” option with the team logo, which when clicked will share the window in the video conferencing app. Microsoft noted that the API will also be open to developers and that video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet will be able to take advantage of this feature.
Global Shortcut to Mute Microphone:-
In addition, to ‘Share this window’, Windows 11 22H2 has a new feature that lets you mute the microphone with a global shortcut. Just press “Windows + Alt + K” and the microphone will be muted immediately. Press the same shortcut key and it will be unmuted.
This is one of the hidden Windows 11 features, and you should definitely use it. The feature currently only works with Microsoft Groups, but third-party developers use the API, you will find this shortcut to work on other apps as well. You can also mute/unmute the microphone from the taskbar and check out apps that use the microphone with mice history.
If you want this feature right now, follow our guide on how to get a universal mute switch for video calls in Windows 11/10. It uses Microsoft PowerToys, one of the best Windows 11 apps, and lets you configure your own hotkey. To mute the mice. The best part is that it works on all apps.
New Icons for Charging and Casting:-
In addition, Microsoft is working on minor issues to improve the integrity of Windows 11 As part of the Windows 11 22H2 update, you’ll get a new charging icon that is clear and readable. It shows a small lightning bolt pointer for charging so that it is more visually pleasing. On the other hand, if you cast your Windows 11, a ‘Cast’ icon will appear in the taskbar. Quite cool, isn’t it?
Vivid Color Profile Toggle:-
In the Windows 11 22H2 build, if you have a laptop or desktop with multiple color profiles, you can apply “Vivid” color profiles directly from Windows 11’s Quick Settings panel. You can quickly click the pen icon in the settings and add “Vivid” tiles. This will boost the colors on your display with a single click.
Quick Access is Now Home:-
Although File Explorer didn’t get the tab feature with the Windows 11 22H2 update, it did get a few changes to make the default Explorer better. First, Quick Access is now called Home on the left sidebar. As usual, you can quickly add folders to Access.
Favorites are one of the best Windows 11 22H2 features, and if you like it in the home view of File Explorer, you can now pin files for quick access. Right-click on a file that you use frequently and select “Add to Favorites” from the context menu and you’re done.
These files will be displayed in the Quick Access folder on the homepage and in the recent file One Drive and Office documents of Microsoft 365. Basically, File Explorer in Windows 11 22H2 is now well integrated with your web files.
One Drive Integration:-
File Explorer also got OneDrive integration on Windows 11 22H2. In the upper-right corner, you’ll find an OneDrive icon that lets you view sync status and storage information with just one click.
Folder preview is one of the new features of the Windows 11 22H2 update, and it basically shows a preview of the files before opening a folder. This is a small change but a quality update in File Explorer 7 I would have liked it if the folders followed the system’s accent color, but this is something that Microsoft could bring to future updates.
Copy as Path Shortcut:-
You already know that you can right-click on any folder or file and select “Copy as Path” to copy the path of the folder/file. But with the Windows 11 22H2 update, you can select the file and press “Ctrl + Shift + C” to copy the path instead of the folder. This is again a minor update but will be very helpful for those who use ADB, Command Prompt, or Power Shell.
Redesigned Task Manager:-
A meaningful update to Windows 11 22H2 is the new Task Manager, updated almost a decade later. Task Manager in Windows 11 now follows the language of the new smooth design and is built on the WinUI3 and XAML islands. The new Task Manager looks and behaves like a modern app and follows system accents.
Note that the new Task Manager in Windows 11 22H2 supports both light and dark modes. Also, Task Manager has an efficient model that will force you to use the offensive app to use less power and offer better battery life. You can right-click on any app and choose ‘Skill Mode’ to consume less power. Note that you cannot use efficiency model for system processes.
Snap Layouts Improvements:-
Snap layouts are already one of the best features of Windows 11, and it’s going to get better in Windows 11 22H2. You can now drag the title bar of a window to the top-center of the screen and all snap layouts will appear there. You can drag the app to the layout of your choice and it will snap there.
Alternatively, if you press the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut “Windows + Z” to open the snap layout, you will now receive a numeric label for each snap location. You can press a specific number and it will move the window to its desired position. It’s cool, isn’t it? This is one of the best new features of Windows 11 22H2, and you must like the changes.
New Volume and Brightness Fly out UI:-
Among the many UI changes in Windows 11 with the 22H2 update, I prefer the updated Fly out UI to adjust the volume and brightness. You will no longer find the Metro-style Fly out UI when changing volume and brightness. The new flout slider follows Windows 11 aesthetics and is beautiful to look at.
Mica Effect in Legacy Apps:-
Microsoft is slowly fixing UI inconsistencies in Windows 11 and this has brought Mica effects to legacy apps. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a run prompt or a fuzzy control panel window, the title bar will have a Mica effect. It is beautiful to look at and makes Windows 11 more integrated with look and feel.
We hope that Microsoft has now introduced Dark Mode in legacy windows and apps. If you want to try a modified version of Windows 11 that fixes all major UI incompatibilities, go ahead and try Rectify11.
Focus and DND Integration:-
One of the best new things about the Windows 11 22H2 update is that Focus and DND have now come together, giving you a simple one-click option to start a focus session from the taskbar. This will disable all notifications and add an overlay focus window to your desktop to keep track of your progress.
You can also add your custom timer, integrate Spottily, and add a Microsoft to-do list to find your works in one place. To learn more about focus sessions in Windows 11, follow our linked article.
New Touch Screen Gestures:-
Touch screen devices running Windows 11 will get some useful gestures with the 22H2 update. Microsoft has added new touch screen gestures to make its latest desktop OS more fluid and intuitive. You can now swipe up from the taskbar to open the Start menu and swipe down to dismiss it. Also, swipe left and right in the Start menu to open “All Apps” and Pinned Apps, respectively.
Also, swipe down the bottom-right corner to quickly open the settings panel. My favorite touch gesture is to minimize all apps that swipe down from a 3-finger. You can also swipe left and right with 3 fingers to switch between apps. These entire gestures make Windows 11 22H2 a responsive and fluid OS for touch screen devices.
The most talked-about live caption feature is now live in the Windows 11 22H2 build. This is an upcoming Windows 11 feature, already in Dev and Beta builds, and now release preview channel users will be able to enjoy system-wide accessibility features. Just open Windows Settings and go to Accessibility -> Captions. Here, you can enable “Live Caption”. Next, press “Windows + Ctrl + L” to turn on the live caption while watching a video or listening to a podcast.
This feature will accurately replicate the speech in real-time while playing audio on your Windows 11 PC. And it works even when you’re offline. We have been using this feature for quite some time now and we can say that it is fast and accurate.
Having said that, keep in mind that live captions are only available in English at the moment. To learn how to use live captions in Windows 11, follow our linked guide.
Voice Access: Natural Narrator:-
Voice access is another accessibility feature of the Windows 11 22H2 build that lets you navigate Windows 11 with your voice. And again, this would mean that you have to spend for these processes. You can basically control and interact with every UI component of Windows 11 using your voice.
Currently, as expected, this feature only supports English. To turn on voice access, open the Settings app and enable Accessibility -> Speech -> “Voice Access”. You can learn more about voice access in Windows 11 from our linked article.
One of the new features of the Windows 11 22H2 update is Windows Spotlight. It brings Bing wallpapers to your desktop and the feature is integrated into the settings app. You can enable Windows Spotlight from Settings -> Personalization -> Background -> Personalize your background.
In the drop-down menu next to it, select “Windows Spotlight”. It will add a Windows Spotlight shortcut to your desktop where you can randomize new images and learn more about images.
Better Support for Air Pods:-
Windows 11 22H2 brings advanced support for several Apple Air Pods models. On the Dave Channel, Microsoft has added Apple’s wideband speech support to improve the quality of voice, and the feature has now moved to the release preview channel. This means that stable users will soon get this useful feature. If you’re new to Windows 11, here’s how to integrate Air Pods into Windows 11.
Lock Screen Improvements:-
In the Windows 11 22H2 update, the lock screen received a minor update. It now features media control in an updated design language that is compatible with the aesthetics of Windows 11. In addition, the lock screen accessibility has received new updates to the design of the flyout menu.
Better Animations on High Refresh Rate Displays:-
Better Animations on High Refresh Rate Displays:-Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) was one of the most talked-about features when Windows 11 was launched, but it only works with certain UI elements, such as interacting with Office files and touchscreen apps. Now, the DRR is being rolled out to Windows 11 22H2 and will work when switching between scrolling, apps, system windows, and more.
Basically, animation on a high refresh rate display will make Windows 11 look more fluid. So if you own a high refresh rate laptop or monitor running Windows 11, the next big update will make your experience even better.
Microsoft Subscriptions in Windows Settings:-
The settings page has been slightly improved on Windows 11 22H2 and now includes a Microsoft subscription. The Account Settings page will now show your Microsoft 365 subscription details, billing information, family sharing settings, and more. You can manage your family membership plan with all new changes under Settings -> Accounts.
Air Plan Mode Improvements:-
Some improvements in quality of life have made their way into the Windows 11 22H2 update and that’s great. If you turn on Airplane mode in Windows 11 and then enable Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, it will remember your choice. So the next time you turn on airplane mode, it will not disable Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. That’s pretty cool, and I love how Microsoft takes care of the little things.
More Control Panel Migration to Settings App:-
As part of an ongoing effort to move away from the control panel, the company has taken great steps to move the functionality of the original control panel to Windows settings. And with the Windows 11 22H2 update, more tools and features have been moved from Control Panel to Settings, which is great for new users. You can now uninstall Windows Update from Settings. Also, advanced network settings have been completely migrated to Windows settings.
Also, the Settings app now has controls for network discovery, file and printer sharing, and public folder sharing. Not to mention, when you press “Windows + X” to open the Quick Links menu, you’ll have the “Installed Apps” option instead of “Apps & Features”. This will redirect you to the settings app and not to the control panel.
After all, Microsoft has done a great job of transferring key features from Control Panel to Windows settings.
Updated Print Queue:-
In addition to all the major things, Microsoft is also working to improve the lesser-known and obscure parts of the OS. And in that effort, the company has updated the print row UI to match the design language of Windows 11. The Windows 11 22H2 update brings a new UI for print work. Not only that, the print dialog interface has been updated with a new color quote based on the WinUI framework.
Security and Privacy Upgrades:-
Smart App Control:-
Smart app control is probably one of the best Windows 11 22H2 features when we consider security. We already have a smart screen feature that asks you to reconsider your decision before opening an unsigned app from an unknown publisher. However, most users ignore warnings and run untrusted apps by clicking “More info”. It carries malware and viruses on the user’s PC, which Microsoft aims to fix through Windows 11 22H2 update. A new smart app control feature that sits inside Windows Security, analyzes malicious apps using AI and code certificates and prevents them from running on your PC.
David Weston, vice president of Microsoft’s OS Security and Enterprise, says smart app controls can even block malware if antivirus is disabled. The best part is that if you have Windows 11 22H2 newly installed then Smart App Control is enabled by default. The weird part is, that if you disable this feature, you can’t turn it on until you reinstall Windows 11.
Those who have upgraded to the 22H2 build will not be able to turn on this feature until Windows 11 22H2 is reinstalled. However, to protect your Windows 11 PC from malware and malicious apps, Smart App Control is an excellent security feature of the Windows 11 22H2 build.
Core Isolation is Turned on by Default:-
In a major effort to improve security in Windows 11, Microsoft is taking some bold decisions and enabling core isolation by default. If you have performed a new installation of Windows 11 22H2, Core Isolation will be enabled by default. However, if you upgrade your PC by turning off Core Isolation, it will keep the settings as they are.
We recommend that you enable Core Isolation to protect your PC from sophisticated malware attacks. Performance effects are negligible if you have a supported CPU to run Windows 11. You can enable Core Isolation from Windows Security -> Device Security.
Eco-Conscious Windows Update:-
Microsoft is working to reduce carbon emissions when installing the Windows 11 update and is taking this initiative with the Windows 11 22H2 update. Windows 11 will use data from ElectricityMap or Wartime to find regional carbon intensity data at your location and will update your PC when your local power grid is using one of the renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, or hydroelectricity.
If your Windows 11 PC is plugged in and your local power grid uses renewable power, you’ll see the highlighted text in the screenshot on the Windows Update Settings page. Since Windows 11 is slowly climbing the charts with a 10 percent market share, it’s best for Microsoft to make Windows updates energy-efficient.
Hopefully, through this post, I have been able to tell you the 20 Best New Windows 11 22H2 Features You Should Know. If you have any questions you can ask in the comment below.