Microsoft is rolling out two Windows 11 Beta Channel builds today. The first, build 22623.730 is for those who have new features turned on, and the second, build 22621.730 is for those with new features off by default. The highlight in this release for Windows Insider Beta channel testers with new features enabled is the return of the tablet-optimized taskbar. Otherwise speaking, both builds are picking up some smaller fixes.
Starting first with Windows 11 build 22623.730 for those with new features enabled, Microsoft is re-introducing the touch-optimized taskbar. This was previously in testing with Dev Channel and Beta Channel Windows Insiders a few months ago, but Microsoft removed the feature with a previous release. Now, it’s back. This means that your taskbar will automatically transition to this optimized version when you disconnect or fold back the keyboard on your 2-in-1 device.
The taskbar will have either a collapsed or expanded state, where collapsed will give you more screen space, and expanded will feature bigger icons for touch. Similar to Android 12L, you can pull up or down on the taskbar to switch between those states. You can tweak this setting if you don’t like it by going to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors. Then look for “Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet.”
Also in this Windows 11 beta release, Microsoft introduced some updates for the System Tray. The company says that users will see a rounded focus and hover treatment on all icons in the lower right. As a result, it might not be possible to drag and rearrange system tray icons. Microsoft is working on a fix for this and notes that not all Windows Insiders will have this system tray update. The other changes in build 22623.730 can be seen below. Keep in mind these are all smaller fixes for File Explorer, the System Tray.
Changes and Improvements in Build 22623.730
- Home now searches more recently opened Microsoft 365 cloud files for users who are signed with their Microsoft account or have their Microsoft account connected to the profile via Settings. Home search now shows recent file activity for cloud files when in details view. Microsoft 365 cloud files can now be searched using additional file properties such as file location, extension, and activity.
- File Explorer search will now show results as you type. The full search results page will update live without needing to press enter.
- The taskbar should no longer flash because of changes in the system tray in non-tablet-optimized scenarios.
- Fixed an issue that was causing parts of the taskbar or its icons like search to get stuck in the wrong theme’s colors when switching between light and dark themes.
- Date and time should no longer get stuck cutting off on the side of the screen from system tray changes.
- Fixed an issue which was causing start menu crashes for some Insiders.
- Fixed an issue where the Start menu recommended section might unexpectedly show one column instead of two.
- If you change the app associated with a particular file type, the icon for any of those file type displayed should now update in the recommended section.
For the second release, Windows 11 beta build 22621.730, and for those with new features off by default, there are not any new features. Instead, Microsoft points to the following fixes. There’s a lot covering many core areas of Windows 11.
Fixes for BOTH Build 22621.730 & Build 22623.730
- We fixed an issue that affects some processors. This issue occurs when you turn on Hyper-V and kernel Direct Memory Access (DMA) protections.
- We fixed an issue that affects the Microsoft Japanese input method editor (IME). Text reconversion fails when you use some third-party virtual desktops.
- We fixed an issue that might cause an application to stop responding. This might occur when the input queue overflows.
- We fixed an issue that stops you from signing in to various Microsoft Office 365 apps. This affects Outlook, Word, Teams, and so on.
- We fixed an issue that affects graphics drivers that use d9d9on12.dll.
- We fixed issues that cause updates to the Microsoft Store to fail.
- We fixed an issue that affects the LanmanWorkstation service. It leaks memory when you mount a network drive.
- We fixed an issue that affects the Miracast UI. Sometimes it closes too soon when you cast to devices that use the DeviceObjectType:Aep.
- We fixed an issue that affects Task Manager. It stops working when you switch between light and dark mode or change the accent color.
- We fixed an issue that affects the font of three Chinese characters. When you format these characters as bold, the width size is wrong.
- We fixed an issue that affects input method editors (IME) from Microsoft and third parties. They stop working when you close the IME window. This occurs if the IME uses Windows Text Services Framework (TSF) 1.0.
- We fixed an issue that affects Microsoft Edge IE mode. It stops you from opening webpages. This occurs when you enable Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) and you do not configure Network Isolation policies.
- We fixed an issue that affects Microsoft Edge when it is in IE Mode. The titles of pop-up windows and tabs are wrong.
- We fixed an issue that stops the credential UI from displaying in IE mode.
- We fixed an issue that affects certificate mapping. When it fails, lsass.exe might stop working in schannel.dll.
Across both releases, there will be some known issues. Microsoft is looking into reports that audio is not working right in these new Beta builds. As for the issues in build 22623.730, these can be seen below. It’s mainly related to the new Taskbar experience.
Known issues with tablet-optimized taskbar
- The taskbar sometimes flashes when transitioning between desktop posture and tablet posture.
- The taskbar takes longer than expected to transition to the touch-optimized version when switching between desktop posture and tablet posture.
- Using the left or right edge gestures can result in the Widgets or Notification Center (respectively) to overlap with or look truncated by the taskbar.
- When using the bottom right edge gesture to see Quick Settings, the taskbar sometimes stays stuck in the expanded state, instead of dismissing to collapsed
When there are no running windows on the desktop, the taskbar can sometimes collapse, when it should be expanded.
While not related to this release, Microsoft is also asking Windows Insiders to try out the new Outlook app in Windows 11. You’ll know when you have it if you see a new “Try the New Outlook” toggle in the upper-right corner of your classic Outlook for Windows. The new app brings an improved user interface, but it is still a work in progress.
If you’ve been keeping track of these releases, you also might have noticed that the build number on one of today’s builds has gone up by 1. Previous releases were numbered 22621 and 22622, the latter of which had features for the incoming October feature drop for the Windows 11 2022 update. We’re now hitting 22623, and this could be a hint that Microsoft is now moving towards testing the next feature drop beyond that.