Windows 11 Build 22581 (Dev, Beta) brings the new tablet taskbar to everyone

Microsoft today released build 22581 to Insiders in both Beta and Dev channels. By updating both channels with the same build, Microsoft makes it possible to easily switch from the Dev channel to Beta and vice versa. Features wise, Microsoft noted some experiments coming to Windows Search and fixes to the Settings app, Start, and the taskbar.

What's new in Windows 11 Build 22581

  • Microsoft is rolling out some "new concepts" for Windows Search (Win + S) to a small select group of Insiders. The new features, thought not specified which exactly, should improve the discoverability of web content people care about via Search.
  • The tablet-optimized taskbar is now available to everyone. The new taskbar supports two modes, collapsed and expanded. The first one gives more screen space for apps, while the other one makes it easier to tap app icons on tablets.
  • The system tray icon flyout for hidden icons has got a new style to match the appearance of the OS. It is also possible to hide the "show hidden icons" button in the system tray.

Important fixes

  • Drag and drop to taskbar should now work with auto-hidden taskbars.
  • Fixed taskbar previews that could use the wrong fonts for the window title in languages other than English.
  • The search box in the Start menu should no longer flicker.
  • Renamed “Move to top” to “Move to front” in the Start menu's context menu for pinned apps.
  • The Clock app is updated to version 11.2202.24.0 that fixes integration with Windows Focus.
  • File Explorer has got more polished icons here and there. Also, it now shows  an icon with a slip of paper for folders that has no documents but include subfolders.

Other fixes include improvements made to Settings, input, and gestures, and some of the built-in apps, such as the new Task Manager. Traditionally for pre-release builds, there are known issues. You will find more details in the official announcement.

If you are interested in changing the Insider channel, it is the right moment to switch between Beta and Dev. This ability only exists when both channels receive the same build. Once the Dev channel will get a higher build number, it will disappear.

E.g. to switch from Dev to Beta, do the following.

  1. Open Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program.
  2. Select Choose your Insider settings.
  3. Select Beta Channel.
  4. The next time you receive an update, it will be for your new channel.

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