Microsoft hints at modern volume controls for Windows 11

Windows 11 design

Windows 11 comes with a new Start Menu, new notification
center,
modern taskbar and more, but it will still use Windows
8-era flyouts for volume, brightness and more. For those
unaware, volume or brightness flyout is a pop-up that appears
on the top-left corner of the operating system.

The volume flyout appears when you change the volume on your
device and it also shows media controls for video or audio
playing on apps like Spotify or Chrome. On Windows 10 and
especially Windows 11, the flyout looks out of place and it’s
not possible to disable the feature.

Although Windows 11 is a significant release over previous
Windows 10 updates, it still needs additional refinements. In
regards to these flyouts, a post in the Feedback Hub already
has more than 700 upvotes, with users explaining that volume
and brightness flyouts should be updated with a “more modern
design”.

Fortunately, Microsoft is working on a new design for these
flyouts, but it won’t ship with Windows 11’s version 21H2
update. During the Windows Insider webcast,
Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc confirmed that they’re considering
a new design for volume, brightness flyout.

Microsoft feedback

Way back in 2019, Microsoft employees said that they were
testing a new design and experience for media controls on
Windows, but the experiment was later abandoned.

Thankfully, Microsoft hasn’t given up on the idea of a new
flyout experience and Windows 11 21H2 does include the code
required to enable modern volume flyouts. In other words, the
design components are present in the operating system, but they
cannot be enabled by users.

Windows 11 volume flyout update
A prototype of new volume flyout

According to sources familiar with the development, modern
volume and other flyouts could appear in the upcoming builds
from the Nickel branch.

Regarding the general availability, we’re expecting modern
flyouts with Windows 11 version 22H2 (October/September 2022).

In addition to new flyouts, users want Windows 11 to come with
more customization options for the Start menu, including a way
to completely hide a recommended section and resize the Start
window.

Microsoft isn’t offering any options to change the size of the
Start menu and make more room for desktop on devices with low
resolution. Users have argued that Windows 11 Start Menu needs
additional refinements, including the ability to remove the
‘Recommended’ or a way to display search results within the
Start menu.

Microsoft hasn’t revealed when it plans to test additional
design improvements with Insiders, but it’s likely that more
details will be shared after Windows 11 is released to
consumers on October 5.

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