Windows 11 build 22538
More tweaks

Windows 11 build 22538 outs with subtle changes

Windows 11 build 22538 brings minor visual changes, an updated Voice Access app, and a lot of fixes.

  • Microsoft releases Windows 11 build 22538 in the Dev Channel.
  • The new update brings minor visual changes for Task View, Snap Assist, and Alt + Tab experiences.
  • The Display settings page gets some tweaks for HDR-capable displays.

As part of the active development of Windows 11, Microsoft is now rolling out build 22538 for devices enrolled in the Dev Channel. This is yet another minor update that introduces a slew of fixes and some visual changes and improvements.

Windows 11 build 22538, according to the official notes, ships with an updated version of the Voice Access app. The updated app adds voice access to use the touch keyboard. For example, you can spell words, enter numbers, punctuations, and emojis. 

Some of the new commands include, “Show keyboard” to open the touch keyboard, “Hide keyboard” to close the touch keyboard, “Click number” to type a key.

The selected item in “ALT + TAB,” “Task View,” and “Snap assist” will now use the system accent color.

Alt + Tab with item colored selection
Alt + Tab with item colored selection (Source: Microsoft)

The new touch keyboard and IMEs designs will now show on the Lock screen and where you enter your account information.

New touch keyboard in the Lock screen
New touch keyboard in the Lock screen (Source: Microsoft)

The new Widgets button with weather information is now available for all users. Also, on supported hardware, the display calibration is now directly available under Settings > Display > HDR instead of opening a separate Settings page.

Elsewhere, build 22538 adds support for HTTPS boot for Hyper-V Generation 2 virtual machines and enables the feature by default. You can access “ncpa.cpl” directly again. In addition, Windows 11 now includes the ability to download Speech Packs for Voice Typing from the Microsoft Store.

Windows 11 build 22538 fixes

As part of the fixes, this flight addresses a number of issues with File Explorer, Search, Taskbar, Settings, Input, windowing, Widgets, Voice Access, and Task Manager. 

File Explorer

  • Folders named Advanced should no longer unexpectedly open the Advanced Sharing Settings page in Settings.

Search

  • Done some work to address an issue wherein typing when using Search from Start or after clicking the Search icon Taskbar would not actually start a Search, as no text was input.

Settings

  • There should no longer be a random blank entry under Bluetooth & Devices.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator was reading the Resume updates button as “Check for updates” in the Windows Update page.
  • Settings should no longer crash when going to System > Display > HDR.
  • Fixed an issue believed to be the root cause of Settings crashing sometimes when using the clear location history option.
  • Mitigated an issue that was causing Settings to crash for some Insiders when viewing the properties of a Wi-Fi network.
  • The “private” and “public” controls in network properties should no longer flicker for people with dual network cards.
  • If you search for “network reset” the Settings page for doing that will now appear in the search results.
  • When viewing the list of available Wi-Fi networks in Quick Settings, the signal strength indicators should now reflect the correct signal strength instead of all showing full strength.

Input

  • Removed the “try out your setup” box from Personalization > Text Input > Custom Theme, since it didn’t work.
  • The customized text color from Settings > Personalization > Text input > Custom theme” should actually apply to the text in the candidate window / clipboard history/ emoji panel now.
  • Mitigated an issue that was impacting the performance for Insiders with the new input switcher when rapidly switching input back and forth.
  • Tapping the search box in the expressive input area of the touch keyboard should no longer cause the touch keyboard to immediately dismiss the first time you do it after switching input language.
  • Fixed an unexpected 1-pixel gap between the side of the touch keyboard and the edge of the screen when docked.
  • Adding missing inverted interrobang (⸘) to the general punctuation section of Windows + Period.

Windowing

  • When using the custom mode in Settings > Personalization > Colors, the background of ALT + Tab, Task View, and Snap Assist should now follow the default Windows mode for light or dark and not the default app mode.
  • Dragging and dropping windows in Task View while using an Arabic or Hebrew display language should drag in the correct direction again now.
  • The exe executables shouldn’t crash now when closing snap groups which include 3 or 4 apps.

Widgets

  • Fixed the issue where if you changed the taskbar alignment, it would cause the Widgets button to disappear from the Taskbar.
  • Widgets content on the Taskbar should not get out of sync between monitors when multiple monitors are connecting to your PC.

Voice Access

  • Fixed an issue where recently removed microphone shows up as the selected microphone.
  • An issue was addressed to ensure the microphone state changes are announced for screen reader users.
  • Fixed an issue to ensure microphone names are read out for screen reader users on the microphone selection page while setting up voice access for the first time.
  • Fixed an issue to ensure microphone labels communicate the current microphone state for screen reader users.
  • Fixed an issue where duplicate number labels were showing up on Microsoft Edge home page with the command “show numbers”.
  • Fixed an issue where the command “lowercase previous character” was not working as expected.
  • Fixed an issue where voice access would give an incorrect message to say “voice access wake up” even when no microphone is connected.
  • Fixed an issue where the command “switch to Edge” was not prompting for input when two Microsoft Edge windows are open with one of them maximized.
  • Fixed an issue where the command “go to font” didn’t give expected results in Microsoft Word.
  • Addressed an issue where the command “voice access wake up” was not activating voice access microphone when you speak continuously without any pauses.
  • Addressed an issue where dictation was not working as expected on the desktop and File Explorer.
  • Addressed an issue where the command “show numbers” was not showing number labels on the window in focus.

Task Manager

  • Fixed an issue that was impacting Task Manager reliability.
  • Update App History tab column name in Task Manager from “Tile updates” to “Notifications”.

Taskbar

  • The date and time in the long format should no longer be cut off on secondary monitors.

General fixes 

  • Pressing the hardware buttons for volume up/down should no longer cause explorer.exe to crash for some Insiders.
  • We believe that the issue causing some Insiders to see text in Settings and other places mixed up in the previous flight should no longer repro in this build.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing the Narrator to crash in text boxes when using scan mode.
  • Mitigated an issue where for some PCs, after resuming from sleep or hibernate, video playback would resume instantly but the audio could take 10 seconds to start playing.

Finally, Microsoft also notes that this release has several known issues that everyone should know before upgrading regarding Taskbar, Search, Input, and Widgets.

Install Windows 11 build 22538

If you want to download and install the Windows 11 build 22538, you need to enroll your device in the Dev Channel using the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Update & Security” section.

Once you enroll the computer in the program, you can download build 22538 from the “Windows Update” settings by clicking the Check for Updates button. However, you will need a device that meets the minimum system requirements to receive the update if you are new to the Windows Insider Program.

You can also read this guide with all the new features Microsoft has been working on for the next version of Windows 11 (22H2).

Update January 21, 2022: Microsoft is now rolling out build 22538.1010 as update KB5010882. However, the update does not include anything new, it’s only designed to test the update mechanism through the Dev Channel.