How to enable new Spotlight dashboard on Windows 11

Windows 11 gets an updated version of the Spotlight desktop dashboard, and here are the steps to enable it.

Windows 11 Spotlight dashboard
Windows 11 Spotlight dashboard

Microsoft is building a new interface for the Spotlight desktop feature on Windows 11 build 25197, but the feature is currently turned off by default. Although the way you configure the feature hasn’t changed, when you right-click the Spotlight icon on the desktop, you will now access a new experience to switch images and learn more information about the wallpaper. You can also use the collapse mode with only controls to navigate the images.

Since this is still a feature under development, it doesn’t work as expected, but it gives us an early look at changes that may be coming if future updates on Windows 11 for customization.

If you want to get hands-on with the new dialog interface, you can use a third-party tool known as “ViVeTool” created by Rafael Rivera and Lucas on GitHub to enable the new experience (via @FireCubeStudios) on your computer.

This guide will teach you the steps to enable the redesigned interface to choose the app to open an application on Windows 11.

Enable new Spotlight dashboard on Windows 11

To enable the new Open With dialog on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open GitHub website.

  2. Download the file to enable the new Open With dialog.

  3. Double-click the zip folder to open it with File Explorer.

  4. Click the Extract all button.

    Extract ViveTool files

  5. Click the Extract button.

  6. Copy the path to the folder.

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  9. Type the following command to navigate to the Vivetool folder and press Enter:

    Cd C:\FOLDER\PATH\ViveTool-v0.3.1

    In the command, change the path to the folder with your path.

  10. Type the following command to enable the new Spotlight dashboard on Windows 11 and press Enter:

    Vivetool /enable /id:39710659
    Vivetool /enable /id:40268500
    Vivetool /enable /id:39880030

    Vivetool enable new Spotlight dashboard

  11. Restart the computer.

  12. Open Settings.

  13. Click on Personalization.

  14. Click the Background tab.

  15. Select the Windows spotlight option in the “Personalize your background” setting.

    Windows 11 enable Spotlight desktop

  16. Right-click the Spotlight icon on the desktop.

Once you complete the steps, you notice the new dashboard interface with some placeholder images and information. Clicking the image will open the web browser to show you more details about the wallpaper. Also, you can click the down-arrow button on the right to use the collapse mode experience.

Spotlight UI on build 25197
Spotlight UI on build 25197

If you don’t have Windows 11 build 25197, you need to enroll in the Dev Channel using the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Windows Update” section. Once you enroll the device in the program, you can download build 25197 from the “Windows Update” settings by clicking the Check for Updates button, and then you can follow the steps outlined above.

If you change your mind, you can revert the changes with the same instructions, but on step No. 10, make sure to run the same commands, but change “enable” to “disable” and then restart the device.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].