UPDATED 3/14/2023: After releasing the first “Moment” update in October, Microsoft plans to roll out another scope of features for Windows 11 22H2 in March 2023 during the monthly Patch Tuesday. (The update is also available as an optional update since February 28.) However, they are not exactly brand-new features. Instead, they are updates that bring new functionalities to existing features.
For example, the next feature drop for Windows 11 22H2 will include a new version of the Taskbar optimized for tablets, an updated design for the System Tray, and new Bing Chat integration inside the Taskbar search box. The update also brings various updates for some of the built-in apps, including Notepad, Phone Link, Snipping Tool, and Task Manager.
If you are unfamiliar, “Moments” are new kinds of updates that enable the Windows team to roll out new features and improvements as soon as they are ready outside major releases. You can think of it as “feature drop” updates for mobile devices. However, the operating system will continue to have yearly feature updates, and the company plans to release new versions every three years.
The update doesn’t have an official name, but it’s described as update KB5023706 and bumps the version number to 22621.1413. This release doesn’t require reinstallation. Once available, it’ll download and install automatically through Windows Update as a regular monthly update.
These are the new features for Windows 11 22H2 Moment 2 update:
- New Bing Chat integration in the Taskbar.
- New Taskbar designed for tablets.
- Updated search box design in Taskbar and Start menu.
- Redesigned System Tray to match the Windows 11 design.
- Revamped Chat (Microsoft Teams) feature in Taskbar.
- Quick Assist discoverability improvements.
- New Notepad app with support for tabs.
- New Phone Link app that supports iPhone devices.
- New Snipping Tool app with screen recording feature.
- New Task Manager app with an updated interface, including a new search feature.
- New Energy Recommendations settings to save energy and lower carbon footprint.
- Voice Access and braille improvements.
- New Windows Update settings for commercial customers.
- Studio Effects settings are now available from the Quick Settings flyout.
- Widgets now support full-screen mode and third-party widgets.
Windows 11 22H2 Moment 2 update new features
These are the new features and changes for the next feature drop:
Taskbar search with Bing Chat
In this update, Windows 11 brings the new Bing Chat to the search box in the Taskbar, giving you quick access to the chatbot service using natural language from the desktop.
The chat experience hasn’t been modified to AI to search or interact with your files or settings. Instead, when typing a question, you will see the Chat button to complete the request with Bing. (So, this is a shortcut rather than an integration.)
Although this feature will be available to everyone, you will still need to sign up to get early access to the Bing Chat experience.
Taskbar design for tablet
The next feature drop (Moment 2) for Windows 11 will introduce a new Taskbar design for tablets that will automatically transition to tablet mode when disconnecting or folding the keyboard on a convertible device. (The feature won’t be available on laptops or desktops.)
The Taskbar offers two modes: “collapsed” and “expanded.” The “collapsed” state hides all the icons except those essential ones from the system tray, giving you more space and preventing you from accidentally invoking the Taskbar when holding your tablet.
In the “expanded” state, the Taskbar is optimized for touch with bigger icons. You can easily switch between the two states by swiping up and down on the bottom of your device.
You can always control these experiences on Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors with the “Automatically hide the taskbar when using your device as a tablet” setting.
File Explorer live search
This update also will bring the ability to show results as you type in File Explorer. The full search results page will update live without pressing the Enter key.
System Tray design update
As part of the Taskbar’s System Tray experience, you will now find a modern design for the flyout interface, and hovering over visible icons will show an updated tooltip.
In addition, you can now drag and drop icons in the tray.
Search box design update
Microsoft continues improving the search box in the Taskbar with a new design with more rounded corners.
In addition, the Taskbar settings page receives an update that enables you to change the design style of the search box through the “Taskbar Items.” Using the new setting, you can show the search icon only, the search icon and label, or the full search box.
In the “Taskbar” settings page, the “Touch keyboard” setting has been converted to a drop-down menu with new options, including “Never,” “Always,” and “When no keyboard attached.”
Start menu website suggestions
In the Start menu, the March feature drop update introduces a visual update to the search box with more rounded corners to reflect the design of the new search box in the Taskbar.
You can expect suggestions for your frequent websites under the “Recommended” section, in addition to the recent files and recently installed apps. You can always control the websites in the “Recommended” section by right-clicking the item and selecting the “Remove from list” option, and you can also choose to stop showing the website entirely.
Windows 11 brings AI to the Start menu to recommend content. After updating to “Moment 2,” the Start menu will use AI to show related content to help you prepare for upcoming meetings, quickly access files you’re collaborating on, and more. (This feature is only rolling out for devices that were joined to Azure Active Directory (AAD).)
Taskbar Chat (Microsoft Teams)
According to the company, the Chat feature has been revamped to make it easier to preview your video, jump straight into a call, or share a call link through any app with other people.
Quick Assist improvements
This update moves the “Quick Assist” feature out of the Windows Tools folder to display it directly in the Start menu’s “All apps” list and is easier to find.
Also, you will now find an option to start remote assistance on Settings > System > Troubleshoot.
Taskbar search tips
Microsoft is now experimenting with new ways to show tips in the Taskbar to make it easier for users to use the Search feature with shortcuts.
After updating to the next feature drop, you may see popup suggestions for using the search experience with shortcuts.
Accounts with subscription information
Also, the “Accounts” settings section now includes new visual elements to show a storage usage warning as you reach your OneDrive subscription quota and more details on how the storage is being utilized, including Outlook attachments.
The “Power & Battery” settings page now includes “Energy Recommendations” with suggestions to configure features to save energy and lower your carbon footprint.
On the About page, under the “Related” section, Windows 11 now has a “Trade-in or recycle your PC” option with information on how to get rid of the device safely with links to pages to help you back up your data, remove your data, and more.
Windows 11 is also rolling out an updated version of Task Manager with a new filter feature to search processes using the binary name, PID, or publisher name.
The filter algorithm matches the context keyword with all possible matches and displays them on the current page. The filter is also applied as you switch between pages. You can also use the keyboard shortcut “ALT + F” to focus on the filter box.
Microsoft is also improving the theming experience with a new option that allows you to change the color mode regardless of the system color mode you use.
In addition, Task Manager now supports themes for in-app dialogs. All dialog except for the “Run new task” and “Properties” dialog now supports themes.
Finally, this version of the app makes it easy to apply efficiency mode and offers the ability to opt-out of the confirmation dialog. You can change the “Efficiency mode” dialog box by unchecking “Don’t ask me again,” or you can disable it from the Task Manager settings.
Studio Effects on Quick Settings
The “Quick Settings” flyout (Windows key + A) now includes quick access to the Windows Studio effects for devices with support for Neural Processing Unit (NPU). The features available for Studio Effects will depend on the hardware. However, they can include camera effects, such as Background Blur, Eye Contact, and automatic framing, and audio effects, such as Voice Focus.
Widgets in full-screen
The Widgets board will get an update to expand the experience to full-screen mode.
In addition, this update opens up the Widgets dashboard to third-party widgets, including Messenger, Spotify, Phone Link, and Game Pass.
Notepad with tabs
The Notepad app now features tabs that allow you to work with multiple text files through one window. The feature for Notepad works exactly as in File Explorer, you will be able to create and close tabs with dedicated buttons in the interface above the file menu. You can also duplicate and rearrange tabs using the mouse. And you can use keyboard shortcuts like “Ctrl + N” to create or “Ctrl + W” to close tabs.
In addition, the update also brings other improvements to managing unsaved files, such as automatically generating the file name and tab title based on content and a refreshed unsaved changes indicator. And in the settings, there’s a new “Opening files” option that allows you to choose where your files are opened, including in a new tab or new window.
Microsoft is also revamping the Phone Link app with the ability to connect iPhone mobile devices directly to Windows 11. This means you can now receive and send iMessage text, emails, and other features without having to open your phone.
This feature is still under development, meaning you have to install the preview version of the app.
If you have an Android phone from Samsung, you can now enable the hotspot feature with a single click from within the Wi-Fi network list on your computer. Also, with the “Recent Websites” feature, you can transfer your browser sessions from your smartphone to your device.
Snipping Tool with screen recording
This feature drop also introduces an updated version of the Snipping Tool that adds the screen recording feature with the ability to pause while recording.
Voice Access improvements
The “Moments 2” update will also make Voice Access more flexible, and the addition of interaction with interface controls having different names:
- Names that contain numbers in them, for example, the Calculator app where you can now directly say “Click 5”.
- Names without any whitespaces between them, for example, in Excel, under the Insert tab, you can interact with UI controls like “PivotTable” and “PivotChart” directly by saying “click pivot table” or “click pivot chart.”
- Names with special characters in them, for example, items like “Bluetooth & devices” or “Dial–up.” You can now say, “click Bluetooth and devices” or “click dial hyphen up” and interact with these UI controls.
In addition, Voice Access now supports horizontal scrolling to the extreme left and right, and you can perform a continuous scroll left and right.
Microsoft also added support for interface controls such as spin controls, thumb control, and split buttons, enabling you to interact with these controls with a “click” command or by using number overlays. Commands that move the cursor in a text box now execute instantly, and this update also fixes issues with snapping commands that snap a window left or right.
Some new commands for Voice Access include:
- To close the voice access application, say “Close voice access,” “Exit voice access,” or “Quit voice access.”
- To open a new application, say “Show [application name],” for example, “Show Edge.”
- To close an application, say “Exit/Quit [application name],” for example, “Exit Word,” “Quit Edge.”
- To show grid overlay on your screen, say “Show window grid.”
- To pull up the command help list, say “Show command list,” or “Show commands.”
- To release a held-down key, say “Release.”
- To move the cursor in a text box, say “Move forward five characters,” “Go back two lines,” “Go to start of document,” “Move to beginning of line.”
- To select the desired no. of characters/lines, say “Select forward/backward [count] characters/lines,” for example, “Select forward five characters.”
- To delete selected text or the last dictated text, say “Strike that.”
- To paste text in a text box, say “Paste here,” “paste that.”
- To apply bold formatting to specific text, say “Boldface [text],” for example, “boldface hello world.”
- To capitalize selected text or the last dictated text, say “Cap that.”
Windows Update (commercial)
Commercial customers can now configure Windows 11 to enable or disable feature drops outside of the annual feature update through the Windows Update for Business or on-premises with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
These are only a few of the new improvements that Microsoft plans to roll out through a non-security update sometime in March 2023. However, since the company still hasn’t shared any official details, it’s unclear what the update will include in the final release.
In this update, you will also find enhanced support for braille devices. For example, devices now will continue to work while you switch between Microsoft Narrator and third-party screen readers. Also, Windows Narrator will automatically change braille drivers.
Windows 365 app
If you use the Cloud PC service, you can now install the Windows 365 app from the Microsoft Store to access your computers in the cloud from your desktop.
Windows 11 22H2 March update fixes
In addition, the Windows 11 “Moment 2” update introduces these fixes:
- Implements phase three of Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) hardening.After you install this update, you cannot turn off the changes using the registry key.
- Addresses an issue that affects a computer account and Active Directory. When you reuse an existing computer account to join an Active Directory domain, joining fails. This occurs on devices that have installed Windows updates dated October 11, 2022 or later. The error message is, “Error 0xaac (2732): NERR_AccountReuseBlockedByPolicy: ‘An account with the same name exists in Active Directory. Re-using the account was blocked by security policy.’”
- Fixed an issue that affected the Color filters setting. When you selected Inverted, the system set it to Grayscale instead.
- Adds the new Tamil Anjal keyboard for the Tamil language. To add it, make sure Tamil (Singapore), Tamil (Malaysia), Tamil (Sri Lanka), or Tamil (India) appears in Settings > Time & Language > Language & Region. Select the ellipses (…) next to the language. Select Language Options. Add Tamil Anjal (QWERTY) to the list of keyboards.
- Improved the reliability of Windows after you installed an update.
- Supported the United Mexican States’ daylight-saving time change order for 2023.
- Fixed a date information issue. It affected the format of dates sent between Windows and some versions of the Heimdal Kerberos library.
- Fixed an issue that affected IE mode. The text on the status bar was not always visible.
- Fixed compatibility issues that affected some printers. Those printers used Windows Graphical Device Interface (GDI) printer drivers. Those drivers did not completely adhere to GDI specifications.
- Fixed an issue that affected the software keyboard. It did not appear in the Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) after a Push-button reset (factory reset). This type of reset required an external keyboard to be attached to provide credentials.
- Fixed an issue that displayed a blue screen during video playback. This occurred after you set high dynamic range (HDR) on your display.
- Fixed an issue that might have affected the touch keyboard and the PIN entry keyboard. You might not have been able to use them to enter text when you signed in to your device.
- Fixed an issue that affected AppV. It stopped file names from having the correct letter case (uppercase or lowercase).
- Fixed an issue that affected Microsoft Edge. The issue removed conflicting policies for Microsoft Edge. This occurred when you set the MDMWinsOverGPFlag in a Microsoft Intune tenant and Intune detected a policy conflict.
- Fixed an issue that affected provisioning packages. They failed to apply in certain circumstances when elevation was required.
- Fixed an issue that affected Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Using a provisioning package for bulk provisioning failed.
- Fixed an issue that affected Universal Print’s Configuration Service Provider (CSP). A command prompt window appeared when you installed a printer.
- Fixed a reliability issue that occurred when you used Task View.
- Fixed an issue that affected which folders appeared in the Browse for Folder picker.
- Fixed an issue that affected File Explorer. When you used Shift +Tab or Shift+F6, the input focus did not move.
- Fixed an issue that affected the user interface (UI). The volume up and volume down commands from a Bluetooth keyboard did not display.
- Fixed an issue that affected Xbox subscribers. If you purchased an Xbox subscription using the “Redeem code” option, the Xbox subscription card did not appear on the Settings Accounts page. This occurred when recurring billing was off.
- Fixed an issue that might have affected lsass.exe. It might have stopped responding. This occurred when it sent a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) query to a domain controller that had a very large LDAP filter.
- Fixed an issue that affected the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS). LSASS might have stopped responding. This occurred after you ran Sysprep on a domain-joined machine.
- Fixed an issue that affected copying from a network to a local drive. Copying was slower than expected for some users.
- Fixed an issue that affected parity virtual disks. Using Server Manager to create them failed.
The new features are now available for devices starting March 14, 2023, through Windows Update. If you are still in the original version of Windows 11, you can use these instructions to upgrade to version 22H2.