Windows 11 22H2 October update brings new features (preview)

Microsoft rolls out a preview of the first moment update for Windows 11 with new features, including tabs for File Explorer.

Windows 11 22H2 October features
Windows 11 22H2 October features

Microsoft begins testing the features expected to arrive with the October moment update for Windows 11 22H2. The update is available as the KB5017389 (build 22621.608) in the Release Preview Channel and enables the tabs for File Explorer, Suggested Actions, Taskbar Overflow menu, and the share to more devices enhancement for the Nearby sharing feature.

In addition, the update KB5017389 includes a slew of fixes and improvements that the company announced on September 22 with the same update number but with the build number set to 22621.607.

It’s important to note that not all Insiders will see the features immediately since Microsoft will enable them gradually. In the meantime, you can use these instructions to enable tabs in File Explorer and other features.

Windows 11 22H2 October update features

These are the features available with the first moment update for the Windows 11 2022 Update.

Tabs in File Explorer

File Explorer is finally getting support for tabs. The new tabs system work like the experience in the web browser. Instead of having multiple instances of the app, you can now use one instance of the app to navigate multiple folders and drive locations. (This guide highlights all the new features and changes available with version 22H2 for File Explorer.)

File Explorer tabs (moment feature)
File Explorer tabs (moment feature)

When you open the file manager, you will find a plus (+) button to create a new tab in the title bar. Or you can right-click a folder and select the option to open in a new tab.

When comparing the old and new designs, we can see some improvements. For instance, you can now right-click a tab to access a context menu with the options to close the current, close all others, or close tabs on the right. You can also rearrange the tabs as needed using the mouse.

File Explorer even includes some keyboard shortcuts to work with tabs. You can use the “Ctrl + T” keyboard shortcut to create a new tab, the “Ctrl + W” keyboard shortcut to close a tab, and you can use the middle button of the mouse to close a tab.

The file manager for Windows 11 also comes with a redesigned navigation pane. The new visual changes provide easy access to pinned and frequently used folders and OneDrive cloud profiles, which now reflect the user’s name associated with the account.

The known folders (Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, etc.) are no longer displayed under “This PC” to keep that view focused on the drives.

Finally, on the “Home” page, you will now be able to see suggested files and your colleagues’ actions on your shared files from your OneDrive account

Suggested Actions

Suggested Actions is a feature that brings up inline suggestions to create a calendar event or make a phone call when copying a date, time, or phone number.

Suggested actions moment feature
Suggested actions moment feature

If you copy a phone number, the inline flyout would suggest making the call with Microsoft Teams or other apps available on the computer.

Coping a date or time will suggest creating a calendar event, and when you choose the app, an event will be created with all the information already filled in.

If this feature isn’t for you, it’s possible to disable Suggested Actions with these instructions.

Taskbar Overflow

Taskbar Overflow makes it easier to switch and launch apps when you don’t have a lot of space in the Taskbar. 

Taskbar Overflow
Taskbar Overflow (Source: Microsoft)

When the Taskbar reaches its maximum capacity, it will automatically transition into this new Overflow mode. While in the Overflow mode, Taskbar will offer an entry point to an overflow menu that allows viewing the apps in one space.

The overflow menu features many Taskbar behaviors, including support for pinned apps, jump lists, and an extended interface. After invoking overflow, the menu will quietly dismiss once you click outside of it or navigate to an application.

Nearby sharing to more devices

As part of the October update, Windows 11 22H2 also improves the Nearby sharing feature with the use of the UDP protocol (in private networks) and Bluetooth to discover even more devices, including desktop computers.

The new features are now available for devices enrolled in the Release Preview Channel. However, the company says the update will roll out to everyone later in October. If you are still in the original version of Windows 11, you can use these instructions to upgrade to version 22H2.

Update October 13, 2022: Microsoft is now testing the enablement package to turn on these features. The update is available through the Dev Channel as build 22621.675 (KB5019509).

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].