- Microsoft releases the two final previews of Windows 11 for 2023.
- Build 26016 introduces the new universal printer driver and brings improvements to the Taskbar.
- Build 23606 deprecates WSR in favor of Voice Access and fixes issues with File Explorer.
- The company is making available ISO files for both flights.
Build 26016 for Windows 11 is now rolling out for users enrolled in the Canary Channel, part of the Windows Insider Program, with new features and several changes and improvements.
According to the official changes, Windows 11 build 26016 represents the last preview the company will release in 2024, but the flights will resume in January 2024. As part of the changes, this update introduces protected print mode, which allows computers to print using the system’s new universal modern print stack (driver) designed to work with Mopria printers only. This feature allows you to connect a printer to Windows 11 without the need for third-party software. Now, the printer will just work.
On build 26016, if you have a Mopria printer, you have to enable the printer stack manually on Local Group Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Printers by setting the “Configure Windows protected print” to “Enabled.”
In the Taskbar, when you right-click the Wi-Fi icon, you will now find a new “Diagnose network problems” option to troubleshoot and resolve problems with the connection quickly.
Finally, the company is making the ISO file for Windows 11 build 26016 available to perform a clean installation or in-place upgrade.
Windows 11 build 26016 fixes
These are the known issues with build 26016 for Windows 11:
- Fixed an issue causing WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) to render incorrectly in the previous flight.
- Fixed an issue causing keyboard shortcuts to not work on the desktop – including using the delete key to delete files off of your desktop, CTRL key combos to take action on desktop icons, or using ALT + F4 on the desktop to open the shutdown dialog.
- Fixed an underlying issue causing the details pane in File Explorer to take keyboard focus sometimes unexpectedly.
- Fixed an issue causing it not to be possible to save changes to shortcuts (.lnk) in the previous flight, as they would cite something that was using the process.
- Improved the performance of loading Settings > Apps > Installed apps.
- Fixed an issue where Settings was crashing when attempting to navigate to the “System and Reserved” section under System > Storage.
Microsoft also notes some known issues regarding some games not working correctly, printing queue issues, crashes with the Settings app, and problems with the Widgets experience.
Windows 11 build 23606 changes
The development team is also making build 23606 for Windows 11 enrolled in the Dev Channel available as the last preview of 2023. You can download the ISO file for this preview from this Microsoft support page.
This is a minor update that removes the Windows Speech Recognition (WSR) as the default feature in favor of Voice Access. After installing this flight, when trying to open the legacy application, you will notice a notification banner letting you know that the experience is now decorated. The banner will also be available on the “Speech” settings page.
File Explorer receives a couple of fixes to address issues with the “Details” pane and the scrolling action causing crashes. Also, the company has fixed a crash issue with the “tabtip.exe” service for input.
Finally, the company notes a few known issues with Copilot and Widgets.
Install build 26016 and 23606
To download and install the Windows 11 build 26016 or 23606, enroll your device in the Canary or Dev Channel through the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Update & Security” section. Once you enroll the computer in the program, you can download the build from the “Windows Update” settings by clicking the “Check for Updates” button.