The latest Dev channel release, Windows 11 Build 23466, comes with plenty of hidden features. With little effort, you can enable taskbar button ungrouping and labels, new File Explorer design, suggestions to disable notifications for select apps, and even the ability to get rid of the Chat app. While some features have been announced in the official change log, Microsoft rolls out most of them gradually. So there is a high chance that they remain hidden for you.
To activate a desired feature, follow these simple steps. First, download ViVeTool, which is a free and open-source feature management application. Next, place the app in a convenient location and issue a command to activate the feature.
- 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.
Dynamic Lighting (RGB) page in Settings
The options there will enable users to modify the RGB lighting of their peripheral devices, such as keyboards, mice, and headsets, without requiring additional software installation. This functionality is accessible through the Windows Color System, which is integrated into the Settings app.
To enable Dynamic RGB Lighting, run the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:35262205
The undo command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /reset /id:35262205
Smart Snap Assist Layouts
Microsoft is working on different "smart" treatments for snap layouts. The company tries to improve the accessibility and availability of window management.
In Build 23466, run the following command to enable the new Snap Layouts:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:42500395
/reset to get the undo command.
Highlight of the day in taskbar search box
An interesting change is present in Build 23466. The taskbar's search box now has the capability to display text related to the current day's highlight, instead of only showing 'Search'. This attribute was tested in a prior version of the search box.
To enable the Highlight of the day feature, run the following ViVeTool command.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:41950597
Similarly, the undo command that restores defaults it vivetool /reset /id:41950597.
Taskbar ungrouping (never combine) and labels
If the taskbar button grouping feature is turned off, individual buttons will appear on the taskbar for every open window. Along with the application icon, the name of each window will also be shown to assist users in recognizing and transitioning between multiple open windows.
To enable the never combine option and text labels for taskbar buttons, run the following command.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:29785186
The undo command is
c:\vivetool\vivetool /reset /id:29785186
New File Explorer design
The File Explorer app in build 23466 comes with the updated address bar, search box and moved action buttons.
Everything is hidden by default, but you can use the following command to enable it.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40950262,40729001,42105254
Windows 11 has introduced a feature that helps reduce the distraction caused by notification toasts while working. It can now identify if a user is engaged with notifications from particular apps. If not, the system will suggest disabling pop-up notifications for those apps. However, users can still view notifications in the Notification Center.
The following ViVeTool command enables this feature:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:23214784,41967741
The command to restore defaults in your Windows 11 is as follows.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /reset /id:23214784,41967741
The latest build, 23466, brings in a new feature named RemoveChat (43088148). This feature eliminates the chat option for Teams for Consumers that appears on the taskbar in Windows 11.
Run the following command to remove the Chat button and its settings:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:44520430
Windows might add a consumer Teams shortcut to your taskbar as a replacement, so the attempts to promote Teams are not entirely abandoned. Nonetheless, it appears that direct integration into the shell has been discontinued.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /reset /id:44520430
Open Search on hover over its taskbar icon
Windows 11 Build 23466 allows opening Open Search on hover over its taskbar icon. Search only opens on hover when you hover over the highlight image.Microsoft believes that this interaction model is more convenient. Users can disable this feature by right-clicking on the taskbar, selecting "Taskbar settings," and choosing their preferred mode for Search.
You can enable the new taskbar search on hover feature with the following command.
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:43572692
Here's how it works.
Build 23466, has now provided complete support for the latest Emoji 15.0. Most applications will display these emojis by default, but to access them via the emoji picker, users must activate a special option with the ViVeTool command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40213648
To undo the change, replace
As you remember, Windows 11 includes a hidden option to kill the apps from the taskbar context menu. The entry "End task" is finally working in this build, and actually force-closes the apps. Earlier, it did nothing.
Despite the progress, it still remains hidden. To enable the "End task" taskbar context menu in Windows 11 Build 23466, do the following.
- Open the Terminal app as Administrator.
- Type the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:42592269,42105254
- Restart Windows 11, and open Settings > For Developers. You will see the new End task option, but it will appear grayed out.
- Enable the Developer Mode option, so the End task switch will become accessible.
- Finally, enable the End task switch.
- Right-click any running app in the taskbar. You now have the new context menu item.
You are done.
If you aren't happy with the idea of enabling the Developer mode option, you can apply a simple Registry tweak instead. It will allow you to have End Task visible in the taskbar right-click menu, but keep the Dev mode off.
For that, run Terminal, this time not as Administrator but a regular instance, and execute the following command:
reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DeveloperSettings /v TaskbarEndTask /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
Bonus: New Spotlight Animation
The latest Desktop Spotlight experience has a cool animation when switching from one image to another, which is available in Windows 11 Build 23466. Users don't have to enable an additional ID with ViVeTool; they only require the new Spotlight UI.
It is worth noting that some of these features where officially announced at the Build 2023 event. Check out the key Build 2023 announcements.
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