Windows 11 Settings brings new USB4 controls, Cloud PC, Dev Drive, Depth effects

Microsoft is experimenting with a lot of changes for the Settings app on Windows 11.

Windows 11 new Settings changes
Windows 11 new Settings changes
  • The Settings app on Windows 11 is about to receive several improvements.
  • Some of these changes include new settings to manage USB 4.0 devices.
  • New Cloud PC with TaskView integration, Dev Drive settings, and backgrounds with depth effects.
  • Windows 11 will also offer a new way to reinstall the operating system and more.

Alongside the official changes, in the latest preview of Windows 11, the Settings app reveals several other improvements that Microsoft is not mentioning, including a new page to manage USB4 devices and Cloud PC with TaskView integration settings.

The latest preview of Windows 11 also hides the ability to create virtual drives using the Dev Drive option, Depth Effects for new wallpaper effects, a new way to fix problems by reinstalling the operating system, and the VBScript becomes an optional feature.

USB4 Hubs and devices

On build 25314, the Settings app includes a new “USB4 Hubs and devices” settings page on Settings > Bluetooth & devices > USB, allowing you to view and manage USB 4.0 devices. Although there are not too many devices using this technology, it appears that the company is planning in advance and building the necessary settings to control these devices from the Settings app.

USB4 settings
USB4 settings (Source: @thebookisclosed)

Cloud PC with TaskView integration

Microsoft’s Cloud PC is a service that allows businesses to create and use virtual machines in the cloud from the desktop using a remote connection, allowing employees to work from anywhere.

Cloud PC in Task View
Cloud PC in TaskView (Source: @thebookisclosed)

Currently, you have to install the Cloud PC app to access Windows 11 or 10 devices in the cloud, but the company is now working to integrate the Cloud PC experience with TaskView.

The new option hides on Settings > System > Cloud PC, and this integration aims to make the Cloud PC experience another virtual desktop within TaskView, allowing you to seamlessly switch between your local desktop and cloud device instead of switching between the desktops like any other app in the Taskbar.

Dev Drive settings

On Windows 11, the software giant is also working on porting the ability to create Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs) to the Settings app, more specifically on Privacy & security > For developers > Create a Dev Drive.

Dev Drive
Dev Drive (Source: @thebookisclosed)

On the new page, you will be able to create and manage VHDs and Dev Drives, in addition to managing other settings and resizing existing volumes.

Create VHD from Settings
Create VHD from Settings (Source: @thebookisclosed)

Depth effects for backgrounds

As part of the personalization improvements, Microsoft seems to be testing a new “depth effects” feature o the “Background” page in the “Personalisation” section of the Settings app. The feature is thought out to add a parallax effect to background images using AI.

Background depth effects
Background depth effects (Source: @thebookisclosed)

It’s still unclear how this feature will be implemented, but parallax scrolling consists of adding different layers in the background that move at different speeds to give you a sense of depth effect.

The option is known as “Depth effects,” and the description reads, “when available, use AI to add depth effects to background images.”

VBScript goes optional

In future releases, Windows 11 will make the VBScript platform an optional feature you can add or remove from Settings > Apps > Optional features.

VBSCript optional
VBSCript optional (Source: @XenoPanther)

VBScript is a popular scripting engine that allows you to create and automate routines to start apps, change Registry settings, manage files, and more.

Although VBScript is still around, PowerShell is now the preferred method to create, run, and automate routines. However, instead of removing the scripting engine altogether, Microsoft plans to make it an optional install.

Reinstall option

Windows 11 already provides a way to reset your computer by reinstalling the operating system keeping your files, settings, and apps, or erasing everything to start fresh with a clean installation. However, it seems that a new reinstall feature is on the way.

Windows 11 new reinstall option
Windows 11 new reinstall option (Source: @thebookisclosed)

The feature is known as “Fix problems using Windows Update,” and it was originally discovered on build 25284, but on build 25314, you can open the feature from Settings > System > Recovery, which gives you a glimpse of how it will work.

According to the description, the feature will attempt to fix system component corruptions by reinstalling the current version of Windows and preserving your apps, files, and settings.

The description suggests that the feature will work exactly as the “Reset this PC” feature using the option to preserve your files, apps, and settings. This indicates that Microsoft may be planning to split the reset feature into two separate options.

Although most of these improvements are available on build 25314, some others (such as depth effects, VBScript, and Dev Drive) have been spotted on build 25309. Also, remember that these are experimental features. As a result, they are hidden and disabled from the regular installation. If you want to try these features, you have to use third-party tools, such as ViveTool.

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.