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New Windows 11 update rolling out now – here’s what’s new

Windows 11 gets some new tricks.

Windows 11 logo

Microsoft rolled out the first major Windows 11 update. The Windows 11 2022 Update, as it’s imaginatively called, brings some excellent productivity and gaming features.

On top of that, users are getting some new security and accessibility tools that help improve their experience across the board.

Once you’ve updated, you’ll probably be wondering what’s new. We’re going to run down all the new features that you’ll want to check out.

Here’s what the Windows 11 2022 Update contains

Screenshot of windows 11 snap layouts
Image: Microsoft

Windows 11 has new ways to use Snap Layouts, which automatically arrange the windows you have open on your desktop. They’re also easier to use with touch controls, and you can snap multiple browser tabs in Microsoft Edge.

One of the most requested features is tabs in File Explorer. Microsoft says it wasn’t quite ready for the major update but will get added in October.

The Start Menu is also improving, including grouping apps into folders, then pin the folders. A new Focus mode silences notifications when on, so you can get work done without interruption.

The Clipchamp video editor is now available, as well. This is an in-browser creation tool that Microsoft purchased last year.

Accessibility options

Screenshot of windows 11 captioning
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is making an effort to make computing easier for everyone. One part of this is through system-wide captioning.

That’s a big thing to improving accessibility on Windows and will work even if the app playing video doesn’t support captions. If you have a microphone set up, the captioning even works with in-person conversations.

It’s also got more natural-sounding voices for Narrator, the built-in screen reader. Many common tasks can also be done via voice commands.

Better gaming

Screenshot of microsoft edge gaming page
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Edge now has a gaming hub, which has personalized news, your gaming history, and access to Xbox Cloud Gaming. Your PC is getting closer to being an Xbox every day.

Windows 11 is also adding a new feature to the Xbox Game Bar, the “controller bar.” It shows your most recently played or installed games when you’re not already in a game. When in a game, the Xbox Game Bar still appears as normal.

The update also improves Auto HDR and Variable Refresh by enabling them in windowed mode and boosts gaming performance by reducing display latency.

If you’re using an HDR monitor, there is a new HDR Calibration tool you’ll want to check out.

Other features you might want to know about

Image of laptop displaying the windows 11 2020 update on office desk
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft already packed tons of features into the first Windows 11 feature update. But there are a few more coming in October.

For one, more context-sensitive options when copying data is on the way. One example is if you select a phone number, Windows might ask if you want to make a Teams call.

Then, a new menu in the taskbar will hold additional apps, so you don’t get a crowded jumble at the bottom of your screen.

Finally, a revamped Photos app that supports auto backup to OneDrive is coming, and a new Memories feature to surface older images.

So, the question is: are you going to upgrade? If you are still on Windows 10, is this laundry list of new features enough to get you to make the switch finally?

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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