Windows 11 build 26090

Windows 11 redesigns the Widgets dashboard (build 26090)

A new preview of Windows 11 24H2 is now available with various changes and improvements.

  • Microsoft rolls out build 26090 for Windows 11 with a few new changes.
  • This update update introduces visual changes for the Widgets dashboard.
  • It also rolls out changes for Copilot and the SMB protocol.

On March 28, 2024, Microsoft began the rollout of the Windows 11 build 26090 for devices enrolled in the Canary and Dev Channels of the Windows Insider Program. This is a minor update that introduces various changes for existing features and temporarily removes the watermark from the bottom right corner.

As part of version 24H2, the official notes for build 26090 state that the development team is now in the rolling out process for the redesigned Widgets dashboard. In addition, you will find even more changes in the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Copilot now works without a Microsoft account and more.

What’s new on Windows 11 build 26090

These are the new changes and improvements rolling out on March 28 for Insiders.

New Widgets dashboard

In this release, the new interface retains most of the previous visuals, but now a new navigation bar on the left allows you to switch between your widgets and the news feeds (Discover).

Widgets left pane
Widgets left pane / Image: Mauro Huculak

Server Message Block protocol

In previous builds of the operating system, the development introduced various changes for the SMB protocol, and in build 26090, you will find even more changes.

For example, network administrators can now turn off the SMB over QUIC clients with Group Policy and PowerShell, and they can turn on auditing of the SMB server and client for support of signing and encryption. Finally, successful Server Message Blocks over QUIC client connection events will now appear in the event logs.

Copilot improvements

Starting with build 26090, you can interact up to ten times with Copilot with a local account before requiring a Microsoft account or Entra ID.

This particular functionality is not only available in the Dev and Canary Channels, but the company is also rolling it out to everyone with the Moment 5 update.

Issues fixed with build 26090

The development team also points out several fixes as part of this update:

  • Taskbar: Fixed an explorer.exe crash that was impacting Taskbar reliability.
  • File Explorer: Fixed tab system disappearing.
  • Task Manager: Fixed processes not stopping.
  • Windowing:  Fixed problems with second monitors and explorer.exe crashing.

Although Microsoft was already deprecating the WordPad app, the company has now quietly announced that it will remove it with the rollout of version 24H2.

In addition, the company notes that this preview finally removes the watermark from the bottom right corner, and this is significant because it usually means that the development of the new version is close to being complete.

Although this is the case, as I previously wrote about the software giant getting closer to reaching the Windows 11 24H2 RTM milestone, it doesn’t mean the feature update is complete. Microsoft says that the watermark will become available again in future releases.

However, most of the new features and changes for version 24H2 have already been implemented, and while we’ll continue to have more features likely to ship in future builds, the company is slowly shifting focus to fixing bugs and making sure that the operating system is ready for the final release.

Finally, this update includes some known issues regarding Copilot.

Install build 26090

To download and install the Windows 11 build 26090, enroll your device in the Dev or Canary 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.

Microsoft is not offering an ISO file for build 26090, but you can download the files and build a custom image file to perform a clean install of Windows 11 using the UUP Dump script.

Update March 29, 2024: Microsoft is rolling out the build 26090.112 (KB5037477) in both channels, but this update doesn’t include anything new, as the company is simply testing the update services.

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 15 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 21 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].