Windows 11 Build 22557 released with tons of new features

Windows 11 Build 22557 is now available with tons of new
features, including app folders in the Start Menu, drag and
drop for the taskbar, and more. Today’s preview update also
brings support for folder preview in File Explorer and adds a
bunch of new features, improvements on top of Build 22000.

The update is called “Windows 11 Insider Preview 22557
(NI_RELEASE)” and it has been released from the Nickel Release
branch, an active development branch not associated with any
version of the OS. Changes included in today’ preview update
may or may not ship in the Windows 11 version 22H2, a big
update scheduled to launch in the fall of this year.

Unlike previous updates, Build 22557 is actually the first big
preview update for Windows 11. It comes with tons of features,
such as
drag and drop for the taskbar, a new privacy feature to
highlight app windows being shared in Teams meetings, a new
experience for “Focus Assist”, and much more.

Microsoft’s decision to remove drag and drop features from the
Windows 11 taskbar was controversial and it has been heavily
criticised by the community. As mentioned, this feature is now
being restored, allowing users to easily share their media
contents between apps by dragging and dropping over open apps
on the taskbar.

Taskbar drag feature

Microsoft says the feature is particularly useful when you need
to quickly attach a file in email clients like Outlook.
Additionally, you can drag and drop apps onto the taskbar to
pin apps without manually tapping on the app icon. You can also
directly pin apps to the taskbar by dragging icons from the
Start menu and dropping them on the taskbar.

What’s new in Windows 11 Build 22557

In addition to major taskbar improvements, Windows 11’s Start
Menu is also getting support for folders, similar to what we
have on Windows 10 or smartphones.

Start menu folders

With folders, you can easily organize a messy Start menu and
this also gives you the benefit of having more app icons on the
Start. To create a folder, simply select and drag/drop an app
onto another app in the Start Menu. Rearranging apps in the
Start is also quicker if you have a bunch of things in app
folders, according to Microsoft.

Folders can have a name and users can also rename folders
later.

Do Not Disturb and Focus

Windows comes with a Focus Assist feature to make it easier to
silence notifications and stay focused. Focus Assist is quite
useful if you know how to use it properly and it is getting a
big update as part of Windows 11 version 22H2 “Sun Valley 2”.

Do not disturb

Focus Assist is now called “Focus” and it allows users to
minimize distractions on their devices. Focus comes with
features like “Do not disturb” and “Focus Sessions” in apps
like Clock, which includes a focus timer as well as calming
music from Spotify.

As the name suggests, Do not Disturb feature makes it easier
than ever to reduce notifications on Windows. To use Do not
Disturb mode, open Settings > System > Notifications and
set up rules for it. It is similar to Focus Assist and it can
be turned on automatically during your work hours.

If you don’t want to miss certain notifications, you can set up
exceptions for calls, reminders, emails or certain apps.

Live Captions

For people with disabilities, Microsoft is finally adding
support for live captions, which should help users better
understand audio. As the name suggests, the Live Captions
feature would display captions from any content with audio.

The captions appear at the top or bottom of the screen, or they
can be configured to appear in a floating window as well.

Users can also resize the caption window or customize the
caption style.

File Explorer is getting new features

Build 22557 adds a new option called “Pin to Quick Access” for
files. The pinned files will appear in a new section in Quick
Acces, similar to how pinned folders currently do.

File Explorer Quick Access

If you use a Microsoft account or work account with Windows 11,
you can now discover Pinned and Recent files from Office.com in
Quick Access. You can even view edits, comments, and other
activities of files in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams from the
OS’ Details view tab.

File Explorer OneDrive tab

For those who prefer OneDrve over other apps, it is now
possible to backup and manage cloud storage directly from the
File Explorer. This new integration promises better privacy and
security for files stored in OneDrive, and it will also ensure
that your files are syncing correctly.

Microsoft is adding OneDrive tab to File Explorer, so you can
view status and quota usage without navigating to the OneDrive
web or its native app.

Snap Layouts updated with new design, animations

There is a new way to use snap layouts by dragging an app’s
window to the top of the screen. When you hold and drag a
window to the top of the screen, a new zone would appear and
you can drag the window to the zone to snap the app and add it
to existing snap layouts.

Snap layouts

For the rest of the snap layouts, Microsoft has made
improvements to animations to animate the snapping experience
seamlessly for a delightful end-to-end experience.

New Task Manager

The leaked Task Manager is now available for everyone with
Build 22557!

Task Manager efficiency mode

The most useful tool
Task Manager is finally getting the Fluent design makeover
everybody has been waiting for. The updated Task Manager
features Mica, Fluent Design, WinUI buttons, rounded corners, a
new layout for process, and dark mode.

At the same time, the Task Manager is also getting an
efficiency mode to reduce the power consumption of selected
processes, something that Microsoft promised for Windows 10
last year.

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