Here are the list of hidden features you can enable in Windows 11 Build 23435. It was released today for Insiders in the Dev channel. Besides the officially announced File Explorer Gallery (available to select users), it includes a few more hidden changes. You can now make Search open on hover, turn on different Start menu badge notifications, and "smart layouts" for Snap Assist. Here we go.
Before you start, I would like to mention that enabling work-in-progress features may cause various issues with the OS. This may affect its stability, reliability, and performance. Don't enable them if you have any mission-critical task for your Insider Preview OS instance.
- First of all, download the ViVeTool freeware app from GitHub.
- Extract the files from the downloaded ZIP archive to the c:\vivetool folder.
- Now, press Win + X and select Terminal(Admin) from the menu.
- In either PowerShell or Command Prompt tab, type one of the commands reviewed below.
- Restart Windows 11 to apply the change.
File Explorer Gallery
The new Gallery feature shows all the image & photo collection you have on your device with a convenient UI. It is also accessible from the 'Open file' dialog, making easier to quickly find an image and load it say into an image editor. The Gallery is highly likely hidden on your PC, as Microsoft is collecting feedback on it from a small select group of Insiders.
But you can enable it with the following ViVeTool commands.
- Firstly, run this one:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40729001,42105254. It will activate the new WinSDK-based File Explorer, and Moment 3 features.
- Secondly, activate the Gallery with this command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:41040327 /variant:0. The
variant:0argument will make it appear above OneDrive in the Navigation pane of File Explorer.
- Finally, the
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:41040327 /variant:1command places the Gallery item below the OneDrive in the left pane.
- Restart the operating system to apply the changes.
To undo the change, substitute /enable with /disable in each of the commands and run the modified commands.
Open Search on hover
This feature allows opening the Search pane when you hover over the search taskbar icon with your mouse pointer. There is a hidden option in Settings that enables the new behavior.
To make it visible, run the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:43572857,43572692
Restart Windows 11, and navigate to Settings (Win + I) > Personalization > Taskbar. Under the Search section, you will find the new option.
The undo command that hides the new option is
c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:43572857,43572692
Don't forget to run the command in the Terminal app that you have earlier opened as Administrator.
Restart the operating system to apply the changes.
Not sure if one wants to enable these, but let's mention them for the sake of completeness sake. In Windows 11 Build 23435, you can enable the two notification badges that will appear in the user icon menu on Start.
The first one suggests using Microsoft 365. It can be enabled with the following command.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:36435151 /variant:1 /variantpayloadkind:1 /variantpayload:2880
The other one suggest the user to backup their files. The command to enable it is
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:36435151 /variant:1 /variantpayloadkind:1 /variantpayload:3008
Finally, you can disable any of Start menu badge notifications with the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:36435151
Restart Windows 11 to apply the changes.
Smart Snap Assist layouts
Microsoft is currently testing an innovative window snapping feature that enables the window manager to remember user-established layouts for specific groups of applications. This way, users can easily restore the placement of apps on the screen, even after restarting their computer. This addition is particularly beneficial to individuals who work with multiple applications simultaneously on a daily basis. There are plenty of other interesting snapping features that we should see in Windows 11 in the near future.
Windows 11 build 23435 makes the first step in this direction by adding improved Snap Assist layouts. They appear for both maximize button and the snap bar that appear at the top of the screen.
You can enable them with the following command.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:41863571,42589465
Respectively, the undo command is
c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:41863571,42589465.
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