Windows 11 build 25281 outs with new Spotlight and Graphics settings

A new preview build of Windows 11 arrives with updates for Graphics settings and a new Spotlight UI for the desktop.

Windows 11 build 25281
Windows 11 build 25281
  • Windows 11 build 25281 is now rolling out in the Dev Channel.
  • The update introduces changes to the Spotlight feature and Graphics settings.
  • The flight also brings various fixes and improvements for existing features.

Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 11 build 25281 for devices enrolled in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. This is a minor update, but it includes some interesting new updates for existing features, improvements, and fixes.

Build 25281 for Windows 11, according to the official changes, introduces visual changes for the Windows Spotlight feature on the desktop with a new interface to show more details about the background and description. In addition, the company is trying a new way to switch between different images with previews, full-screen experience, and minimized experience. 

Also, the Graphics settings page has been redesigned to match the design language across the application. Furthermore, the “Optimization for windowed games” option is now located on the main page.

Finally, this flight removes the paired Bluetooth device from Settings > Bluetooth and Devices, it will no longer show up a prompt to confirm before removing it.

Windows 11 build 25281 changes

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

Windows Spotlight for desktop

On build 25281, Windows introduced a new Spotlight interface for the desktop to show more details about the wallpaper and richer information. In addition, Microsoft is testing a new way to switch between different images with previews, full-screen experience, and minimized experience.

Desktop Spotlight new UI
Desktop Spotlight new UI (Source: Microsoft)

Graphics settings

The Graphics settings page is also getting visual changes to match the design across the Settings app. However, the functionality won’t change from the previous version change, as everything will be kept the same. However, the “Optimization for windowed games” option can now be found on the main page, instead of on a different page.

Windows 11 new Graphics
Windows 11 new Graphics (Source: Microsoft)

Fixes and improvements

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


  • Updated the printer icon in the system tray when printing something, so it better aligns with other modern icons.
  • When navigating the taskbar using WIN + T and arrow keys, the position of the app icon should now be called out by Narrator (for example, File Explorer might say “one out of fifteen”, if it’s in the first position and there are 15 app icons on your taskbar).


  • Right clicking a snap group in Task View and selecting “show this group on all desktops” shouldn’t crash explorer.exe anymore.

File Explorer

  • Updated the error dialog when network discovery is off so that it points to the correct location to enable it.
  • Fixed an explorer.exe crash which could happen when closing File Explorer.


  • Fixed an issue where SSID wasn’t being populated on the properties page for your Wi-Fi in Network & Internet Settings.
  • In the scenario where you are prompted with the UAC dialog when switching a network between private and public, that UAC dialog should now come to the foreground rather than being behind other windows.
  • Fixed an issue where Quick Settings might not be able to re-open after going to the Wi-Fi section and closing the flyout.

Other fixes

  • Fixed an issue where Narrator wasn’t announcing when the @ mentions window popped up in Outlook.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause some app uninstalls to get stuck and fail the uninstall in the last few builds.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing the Windows print queue window to crash sometimes in recent builds.
  • Fixed an issue which could cause SQL Server Management Studio to fail to launch.

This release also has known issues with the Taskbar, Task Manager, Search, and more.

Install build 25281

If you want to download and install the Windows 11 build 25281, 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 25281 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 Email him at [email protected].