Windows 11 build 23493 brings Copilot AI and RAR support in Dev Channel

Microsoft pushes one of the biggest preview for Windows 11 yet with Copilot AI, support for RAR and 7-Zip, new Settings homepage, and more.

Windows 11 build 23493
Windows 11 build 23493
  • Windows 11 build 23493 is now rolling out in the Dev Channel.
  • The update introduces a preview of the Windows Copilot.
  • Also, this release brings support for archival formats, such as “.rar” and “.7z.”

Windows 11 build 23493 is now rolling out for devices in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. In this release, Microsoft is making available for testing a slew of new features, changes, and improvements.

Build 23493 for Windows 11, according to the official changes, introduces the first public preview of the Windows Copilot AI chatbot. As part of the Settings improvements, the app is getting a new Home page that offers a dynamic and personalized experience. And the operating system now includes native support for archival file formats, such as RAR and 7-Zip.

The Quick Settings flyout introduces a new enhanced volume mixer, the Windows Narrator brings natural voices in Japanese and English (Great British), and this flight delivers various changes and improvements for the Taskbar, Snap Layouts, and more.

Windows 11 build 23493 new features

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

Windows Copilot

Starting with build 23493, Windows 11 is finally introducing a preview of the Windows Copilot. The company notes that this release aims to present the interface, but “additional functionality is coming down the road in future previews.”

To get started with the Windows Copilot, you only have to click the new “Copilot” button in the Taskbar or use the “Windows key + C” keyboard shortcut. The experience uses “the same Microsoft account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory (AAD) account used to sign in to Windows.”

Windows 11 Copilot (preview)
Windows 11 Copilot (preview)

The chatbot appears as a sidebar docked to the right where it won’t overlap with your desktop content and runs unobstructed alongside your apps. 

In this flight, you can ask the Windows Copilot things, such as: “Change to dark mode,” “Turn on do not disturb,” “Take a screenshot,” “Summarize this website” (Active tab in Microsoft Edge), “Write a story about a dog who lives on the moon,” and “Make me a picture of a serene koi fishpond with lily pads.”

The feature relies on Microsoft Edge, so the device must have version 115.0.1901.150 or higher in addition to build 23493.

If the feature isn’t available on your installation, you can enable the Windows Copilot with these instructions.

Settings Home

As part of the Settings app experience, the development team is introducing a new “Home” page with interactive cards representing various device and account-related settings grouped by commonly accessed functions.

Settings new Home
Settings new Home / Image: Microsoft

Here’s an overview of the current cards:

  • Recommended settings: Adapts to your specific usage patterns, providing timely and relevant settings options.
  • Cloud storage: Offers an overview of your cloud storage use and lets you know when you’re nearing capacity.
  • Account recovery: Provides recommendations for your Microsoft account security with options to add additional recovery info.
  • Personalization: Surfaces customization with one-click access to update your background theme or change color mode.
  • Microsoft 365: Provides a quick glimpse of your subscription status and benefits and the ability to take key actions.
  • Xbox: Offers a view of your subscription status and options to manage the subscription.
  • Bluetooth Devices: Simplifies your Bluetooth device management experience.

This release includes seven cards, but the company will add more in future releases.

Backup and restore 

The Windows Backup app adds support for more types of apps. You’ll now see pins for your desktop app restored on the Taskbar and Start Menu, including desktop apps that were not installed from the Microsoft Store.

If you have desktop apps available in the Microsoft Store, you can restore them by clicking on the app pin to get started. For apps that aren’t available in the Microsoft Store, you’ll be directed to the web to download the installer.

Native support for RAR and 7-Zip

Starting on the Windows 11 build 23493, the development team is integrating the libarchive open-source project to add native support to open and extract “.tar,” .tar.gz,” “.tar.bz2,” “.tar.zst,” “.tar.xz,” “.tgz,” .tbz2,” “.tzst,” .txz,” .rar,” and “.7z” archival file formats from File Explorer. 

Quick Settings new volume mixer

Windows 11 also ships with a new enhanced volume mixer in Quick Settings. The new experience brings a modern volume mixer that allows quick audio customization per app, with additional control to swap devices on the fly.

New volume mixer
New volume mixer / Image: Microsoft

In addition, the company has added a new “Windows key + Ctrl + V” keyboard shortcut to open the volume mixer for faster control of the experience.

Furthermore, the development team made enabling the Windows Sonic experience easier with a quick access list of installed spatial sound technology.

Windows Narrator

Build 23493 also introduces new natural voices in Japanese and English (Great British), allowing Windows Narrator users to comfortably browse the web, read and write mail, and do more.

Snap Layouts

On this flight, Windows 11 adds suggestions in Snap Layouts to help you snap multiple apps together. When hovering over the “Minimize” or “Maximize” button on an app (or “Windows key + Z” shortcut) to launch the layout box, you will see app icons displayed in various layout options to help recommend the best layout option that works best.

Snap Layouts suggestions
Snap Layouts suggestions / Image: Microsoft

Other changes

As part of the Taskbar experience, the company has updated the API for pinning, added new functionality for mitigating unrequested modifications for app defaults, and you will notice performance improvements during archive compression.

Fixes and improvements

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

Dev Drive

  • Fixed an issue where symbolic links might not work correctly when using Dev Drive.

File Explorer

  • Fixed an issue where the count shown for selected files in the details pane may have been extremely large.
  • Fixed an issue where the details pane was flashing white in dark mode when navigating or resizing the File Explorer window.
  • Fixed an issue where the delete key was sometimes not working in File Explorer (including when doing Shift + Delete).
  • File Type icons were displayed in place of file thumbnails for ‘Recommended’ section (applicable to Enterprise users).
  • Insiders signed in with an AAD account and try to navigate the Recommended section on File Explorer Home with the tab key on the keyboard may have experienced an explorer.exe crash.
  • When navigating from another group to the Recommended section using a keyboard, focus did not appear on the group header or files appropriately.

Taskbar

  • Fixed multiple explorer.exe crashes that were impacting taskbar reliability.
  • Fixed an issue when using uncombined taskbar that was causing focus to get lost when moving from the taskbar previews back to the taskbar icons.
  • Fixed an issue impacting search reliability for some Insiders in the last 2 flights.

Task Manager

  • Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to move the Task Manager window with touch or pen.

Dynamic Lighting

  • Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to move the Task Manager window with touch or pen.

Windows Ink

  • Fixed an issue where users were unable use handwriting to erase text in Microsoft Edge.

This release also has known issues with the Dev Drive, File Explorer, Notifications, Dynamic Lighting, Windows Ink, and Taskbar.

Install build 23493

If you want to download and install the Windows 11 build 23493, 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 23493 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.