- Windows 11 build 23466 is now rolling out in the Dev Channel.
- The update introduces a new Dev Drive feature built upon Resilient File System (ReFS), Taskbar labels, and new Backup and Restore app.
- Also, this release brings improvements for notifications, the Start menu, File Explorer, and more.
- Microsoft is also rolling out various other improvements and fixes.
Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 11 build 23466 for devices in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. This is a not-so-minor rollout that includes various visual changes, fixes, and new features and improvements.
Build 23466 for Windows 11, according to the official changes, introduces a new “Dev Drive” page in the Settings app to create special virtual drives for developers using the Resilient File System (ReFS). This flight also makes improvements to the process of switching computers with an enhanced experience to back up and restore applications.
Furthermore, the company is rolling out two new experiences to make text authoring easy with voice access and add new natural voices in Chinese that allow Narrator users to comfortably browse the web, read and write mail, and perform more tasks.
As part of the notification changes, whether the user interacts or not with the toast notification, the system will suggest turning off that banner for that specific application.
Finally, Windows 11 build 23466 is the release that officially brings the ability to show labels for apps in the Taskbar, the new File Explorer using the Windows App SDK is fully available to everyone, and you’ll find several networking changes.
Windows 11 build 23466 new features
Here are all the new features and improvements for the latest release of Windows 11 in the Dev Channel:
Taskbar labels for apps
Starting with build 23466, Windows 11 introduces an updated version of the Taskbar that features the “never combined” mode to ungroup and show labels for apps. You can find this feature by navigating to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors.
In addition, the Windows Search now opens automatically on mouse hover, but you can change this behavior from Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
Start menu recent files ranking
The Start menu isn’t not receiving new visual changes, but the ranking for sowing the most recently used files has been updated and now considers when the file was last used, the file extension, and more.
As part of the notification changes, the system will now detect if the user is interacting with toasts or not and provide a suggestion to turn the toast banners off for such apps to reduce distractions. The company explains that this option will only stop the banners, and you will still be able to find the toasts in the notification center.
New File Explorer
The File Explorer based on the Windows App SDK is now available to everyone with devices enrolled in the Dev Channel.
As part of the changes and new features for the Settings app, the “Disks & volumes” page introduces the “Dev Drive” feature that allows developers to create spacial virtual drives using Resilient File System (ReFS) technology and includes file system optimizations and features that enable developers to better manage their performance and security profile.
According to the company, this feature isn’t not designed for general workloads such as document libraries, installing packaged applications, or non-developer tools. Instead, it’s been designed specifically to meet the needs of developers to host project source code, working folders, and package caches.
You will find this feature on Settings > System > Storage > Advanced Storage Settings > Disks & Volumes, or through Command Prompt or PowerShell. As a requirement, the Dev Drive must be at least 50GB (or higher) in size, and the computer must have at least 8GB of memory.
Backup and Restore apps
On Windows 11, you can already restore apps from an old to a new device, but on build 23466, Microsoft is introducing additional backup and restore capabilities in this build to make moving to a new computer easier than ever and to help app developers retain users across this new device transition.
In this release, there’s a new “Windows Backup” app to quickly get your current computer backed up and ready to move to a new device.
Also, the apps from the Microsoft Store already pinned in the Taskbar and Start menu will now appear on your new device during the restore process. In addition, settings from your previous device will restore to your new computer.
Once the apps and settings are backed up using the “Windows Backup” app or through the “Windows Backup” settings page, you can restore them during the out-of-box- experience (OOBE) when setting up a new computer or by resetting an existing device.
On build 23466, Windows 11 is introducing various networking improvements, including support for bridging adapters through the netsh command.”Passpoint” Wi-Fi networks will now support enhanced connection performance and will display a URL in Quick Settings to provide information to users about the venue. And the instant hotspot feature available with Phone Link now supports WPA3.
Inside the “Advanced network settings” page, you will now be able to open the advanced properties for network adapters and internet properties available through Control Panel.
Windows 11 also added a way to view Wi-Fi passwords for your known networks on Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi and “Manage known networks.”
You now have the ability to join Bluetooth Personal Area networks from Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Devices. This option will appear for paired devices like Phones that are sharing the internet over Bluetooth.
In this release, the operating system adds extra options to the “Data Usage” page that allows for daily and weekly data limits. The page will also now show how far a data limit has been exceeded.
Furthermore, this update redesigns the lists displayed on Settings > Apps > Startup Apps and Settings > Apps > Advanced App Settings > App Execution Alias pages to be more consistent with other Settings pages. And on Settings > Apps, the “Startup” page receives an update to make it easier to access more information about the apps listed.
Finally, the “For Developers” page is now located on Settings > System.
Voice Access update
Windows 11 build 23466 ships with two new experiences to make text authoring easy with voice access. Users can now use “correction” commands to correct words that are misrecognized.
You can say “correct (text)” or “correct that” to correct a specific piece of text or last dictated text. The correction window appears with a list of options labeled with numbers.
In addition, you can say “click (number)” to select any option from the list. If you choose an alternate word from the window, the selected text will be replaced by the word. Also, it’s possible to say “spell that” to dictate the correct spelling of the text or “spell that” or “spell out” command to dictate the right spelling of non-standard words such as usernames or topics.
A spelling window appears where you can dictate letters, numbers, symbols, and phonetic alphabet. You will receive suggestions as you spell out the text. You can say “Click 1” to enter the text you spelled out or say “Click (number)” to pick a suggestion.
Finally, every word and phrase dictated using spelling experience is added to the Windows dictionary and shows up as suggestions when you try to spell the text next time.
Chinese natural voice
Windows 11 is also introducing new natural voices in Chinese that allow Windows Narrator users to browse the web, read and write mail more easily.
In addition, Natural Narrator voices use modern, on-device text-to-speech and, once downloaded, are supported without an internet connection.
Microsoft is also updating some of the system emojis and the Windows Security (firewall) notification dialogs to match the operating system visuals.
Fixes and improvements
This flight also ships with a bunch of fixes and improvements for Taskbar, Input, Settings, File Explorer, and more.
Taskbar and Start
- Fixed an issue where the taskbar in multi-monitor setups would show the indicator for an app window having focus on your screen when it actually didn’t.
- Fixed an issue which could cause File Explorer or the Control Panel to become unresponsive to clicks after invoking the context menu.
- Fixed an issue where File Explorer and taskbar weren’t responding to light and dark mode changes (until explorer.exe was restarted) if you had this version.
- Added icons for the entries in the Collection dropdown in Gallery.
- Fixed an issue where Narrator wasn’t saying anything when opening and closing the details pane.
- Fixed the issue causing some users to see content flicker before the content finishes loading when the search flyout is opened.
- Fixed an issue causing search to crash on launch for some Insiders in the previous build.
- Fixed an issue which was making the Notification Center and Notification page in Settings crash when switching do not disturb status for some Insiders in the last few flights.
- The search icon should be easier to see now when using a contrast theme.
- Pressing enter when keyboard focus is on one of the sections (like Memory) in the Performance page should now actually switch sections.
- Made the navigation pane a bit narrower. As part of this change, when necessary, the text will be wrapped now.
- The creation of live kernel memory dump file submenu has access keys now.
- Resizing Task Manager from the top of the window should work now.
- Fixed an issue which was causing Settings to crash randomly sometimes when navigating away from certain pages.
- Fixed an issue which was causing explorer.exe to crash when selecting “learn more about this picture” in the previous flight.
This release also has known issues with the File Explorer and Taskbar.
Install build 23466
If you want to download and install the Windows 11 build 23466, 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 23466 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.