Windows 11 build 23403 rolls out new features in Dev Channel

Microsoft pushes the first preview in the Dev Channel with the 23xxx series designation, and here's all that is new with the flight.

Windows 11 build 23403
Windows 11 build 23403
  • Windows 11 build 23403 is now rolling out in the Dev Channel.
  • The update brings various improvements for the new version of File Explorer.
  • Microsoft is also rolling out changes for Voice Access, Settings, Live Captions, Windows Narrator, and Kiosk mode.

Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 11 build 23403 for devices enrolled in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. This is a significant update that packs some interesting new features, improvements, and fixes.

Build 23403 for Windows 11, according to the official changes, introduces changes for the new version of File Explorer, including key shortcuts for the context menu and file recommendations. Voice Access gets a revamped command help page, introduces new commands, and expands the feature of English dialects. The Live Captions feature expands to more languages. Also, this flight ships with new changes for the Touch Keyboard settings, Outlook support in Windows Narrator, adds multi-app Kiosk mode support, changes to the Taskbar, and more.

It’s important to note that this is the first build in the 23xxx series available through the Dev Channel as the company has created a new Canary Channel to test new features and changes coming in future releases of Windows (such as Windows 12).

Windows 11 build 23403 changes

Here are all the new features and improvements for the latest release of Windows 11 in the Dev Channel:

File Explorer

As part of the File Explorer improvements, Microsoft adds access key shortcuts into the XAML context menu to quickly execute a command. You can access the shortcuts view by selecting the file and pressing the “Menu” key on the keyboard or using the “Shift + F10” keyboard shortcut.

File Explorer context menu shortcuts
File Explorer context menu shortcuts (Source: Microsoft)

The “Home” page is also introducing the ability to suggest the relevant files under the new “Recommended” section. This is in addition to the “Recent” files that are still available on the same page.

File Explorer recommended files
File Explorer recommended files (Source: Microsoft)

According to the company, the feature is available to users signed into Windows with an Azure Active Directory (AAD) account. Files that are recommended will be cloud files associated with that account, either owned by the user or shared with the user.

Voice Access 

On build 23403, Windows 11 revamped the command page in the Voice Access app to make the feature more user-friendly. For example, the search bar allows users to quickly find commands and the various categories on the left provide further guidance. Also, every command now has a description and examples of its variations, making it easier to understand and use.

Microsoft is also expanding Voice Access to other English dialects, including English -UK, English – India, English – New Zealand, English – Canada, and English – Australia.

Finally, the feature also includes some new commands:

  • To select a range of text in the text box – say “Select from [text 1] to [text 2]”, or “Select from have to voice access.”
  • To delete all the text in a text box – say “Delete all.”
  • To Apply bold/underline/italicize formatting on the selected text or last dictated text – say “Bold that,” “Underline that”, “Italicize that.”
  • To remove all whitespaces from the selected text or last dictated text – say “no space that.”
  • To insert “text” at the cursor and capitalize the first letter of each word – say “Caps [text],” “Caps hello world.”
  • To insert “text” at the cursor without any whitespace before “text” – say “No space [text],” “No space Davis.”

Touch Keyboard settings

After installing this update, the “Typing” settings page will now include a new touch keyboard setting that replaces the “Show the touch keyboard when there’s no keyboard attached” that includes the following options: 

  • Never – suppresses the touch keyboard even when no hardware keyboard is attached.
  • When no keyboard attached – will show the touch keyboard only when the device is used as a tablet without the hardware keyboard.
  • Always – will show the touch keyboard even when the hardware keyboard is attached.

Windows Narrator 

Windows 11 build 23403 also comes with changes for the Windows Narrator. For example, the feature will now retrieve updates to its Outlook support when Windows Narrator is started. Also, Narrator’s Outlook support is limited to U.S. English only. Other languages will be supported in a future flight.

Kiosk mode with multiple apps

This flight ships with changes to Kiosk mode to allow network administrators to configure access to multiple apps while blocking all other system functionalities. 

In this release through the Dev Channel, the multi-app kiosk mode can be enabled using PowerShell and WMI Bridge. Support for Intune/MDM and provisioning package configuration will be coming in future updates.

Taskbar 

Other minor changes can be found in the Taskbar. For instance, you will now have a copy button for quickly copying two-factor authentication (2FA) codes in notification toasts from apps installed on the computer or from phones linked to the device.

The network icon in the System Tray now shows a VPN shield badge icon when connected to a recognized VPN profile. 

The search box in the Taskbar will now render the box with a lighter color when using a custom color mode, including dark mode.

Fixes and improvements

This flight also ships with a bunch of fixes and improvements for Taskbar, Input, Settings, File Explorer, and more.

Taskbar 

  • Fixed rendering issues when using the touch keyboard with the search box on the Taskbar.
  • Fixed an issue when double-clicking the search highlight glyph in the search box makes it disappear.
  • Fixed an issue where the search box would randomly disappear.
  • Fixed an issue where the search icon flips incorrectly for right-to-left (RTL) languages.
  • Fixed an issue where you might have seen some text flicker in the search box when you click into it.
  • Fixed an issue where the search box might disappear on one monitor if you are using multiple monitors.
  • Made some accessibility fixes to the settings for search under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.

Input 

  • Updated the Simplified Chinese handwriting recognition engine to be faster and more accurate as well as supported characters defined in GB18030-2022.

File Explorer

  • Fixed an underlying issue believed to be the cause of File Explorer unexpectedly jumping into the foreground sometimes.

Settings

  • Right-clicking on a Win32 app in Start, or searching for the app, and choosing “Uninstall” will now take you to the Settings to uninstall the app.

Windowing

  • Fixed an issue where if you maximized a window and then dragged it along the top of the screen into the corner could result in the app getting stuck and not being able to resize.
  • Apps like Microsoft Edge should no longer unexpectedly show thick lines on the side of the windows.
  • Fixed a DWM crash which was introduced in the latest Dev Channel flights.
  • If you have two monitors on top of each other, the Desktops list in Task View should no longer appear floating in the middle of Task View.

This release also has known issues with the File Explorer, Live Captions, and Voice Access.

Install build 23403

If you want to download and install the Windows 11 build 23403, enroll your device in the Dev Channel using the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Windows Update” section.

Once you enroll the computer in the program, you can download build 23403 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.

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 About.me. Email him at [email protected].