Microsoft released the first significant update for Windows 11, version 22H2 or the “2022 Update.” This update builds on the foundation in the initial Windows 11 release, introducing new features, enhancing the user interface, and making various quality-of-life improvements.
In addition to these changes, Microsoft plans to continuously innovate Windows 11 version 22H2 by introducing new features, not just through the annual fall feature update. This approach aims to provide users with more frequent updates and improvements.
The development of version 22H2 started just before the finalization of Windows 11 and is now accessible to all Windows 11 users as a free upgrade, provided your PC supports it. Stay tuned for further updates on new features as they are unveiled. And if you’re in the market for a Windows 11 PC, check out our list of the best ones available.
Whats New in Windows 11 22H2
Here’s a rundown of the new features in the initial release of Windows 11 version 22H2:
- App Folders in Start Menu: You can now organize your apps in folders directly in the Start menu for better accessibility.
- Resizable Pinned Area in Start Menu: The pinned area in the Start menu is now resizable, allowing you to customize it according to your preferences.
- Drag and Drop on the Taskbar: This feature enables users to rearrange their taskbar icons by dragging and dropping them.
- Focus Assist Integration with Notification Center: Focus Assist is now integrated into the Notification Center, providing better control over notifications.
- New “Spotlight” Wallpaper Feature: A new feature brings dynamic and changing wallpapers to your desktop.
- New Voice Accessibility Feature: A new accessibility feature aimed at enhancing voice control and accessibility for users.
- New Live Captions Accessibility Feature: Live Captions now provide real-time text captions for various media content.
- New Gestures and Animations for Touch Users: Touch users will experience new gestures and animations, improving the overall touch interface.
- New Snap Layouts Bar When Moving App Windows: When moving app windows, a new Snap Layouts bar appears, facilitating easy organization on your desktop.
- New Task Manager App: A revamped app with new features and functionalities.
- New “Suggested Actions” Feature When Copying Dates/Numbers: A helpful feature that suggests actions when copying dates or numbers.
- Tabs in File Explorer: File Explorer now supports tabs, allowing for a more organized file management experience.
- Better OneDrive Integration with File Explorer: Improved integration of OneDrive with File Explorer for seamless file access and management.
- Numerous UI Improvements and Consistency Updates: Several user interface improvements and consistency updates to enhance the overall visual experience.
Upcoming Features in the Next Windows 11 Version 22H2 Feature Drop:
- Tablet-Optimized Taskbar: An optimized Taskbar for tablet users.
- System Tray Updates: Enhancements and updates to the System Tray.
- More Taskbar Search Bar Options: Additional customization options for the Taskbar search bar.
- Energy Recommendations in Settings: Energy recommendations to optimize your device’s power usage in Settings.
- Search in Task Manager: The ability to search within Task Manager for easier navigation.
- Full-Screen Widgets Panel: A full-screen widget panel for a more immersive experience.
- Studio Effects in Quick Settings: Studio Effects for improved audio control.
- Voice Access Enhancements: Further enhancements to the Voice Access accessibility feature.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and numerous fixes and under-the-hood improvements are likely included in this release that haven’t been detailed.
Windows 11 22H2 Release Date
On September 20, 2022, Microsoft officially rolled out the Windows 11 version 22H2. This update is free for Windows 11 and eligible Windows 10 PCs.
Initially, users could choose whether to upgrade to version 22H2. However, Microsoft has recently decided to automatically install this update on Windows 11 PCs in the coming weeks. So, if you’re currently using Windows 11 version 21H2, you’ll soon receive a prompt to upgrade.
With the release of Windows 11 version 22H2, Microsoft has committed to ongoing updates throughout the next year. This means users of Windows 11 version 22H2 can expect new features and changes every few months, with the next feature drop just around the corner.
Microsoft is actively testing these new features with Windows Insiders, aiming to finalize the next update by the end of March. The anticipated updates include an optimized Taskbar for tablet users, a revamped System Tray overflow menu, the addition of Search in Task Manager, and several other smaller improvements.