Microsoft Announces Windows 11 Insider Build 22557 with Start Folders, Do Not Disturb Mode, A New Task Manager, And More

 After two weeks of waiting, this week Microsoft released a new Windows 11 Insider Preview build for the Dev channel, with a huge set of new features and changes in one go. This week's build is named Windows 11 build 22557, and we will cover in this article most of the features this build brings to users.

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Start Menu:

First of all, version 22557 finally provides the ability to create folders in the Start Menu. This feature helps users customize their installed apps on startup by organizing them into folders.

To create a folder, drag an app on top of another. You can then add more apps to the folder after creating it, rearrange the apps within it, and remove apps from it as well.

Task Bar:

Drag and drop is now supported on the Windows 11 taskbar. Quickly drag and drop files between application windows, by hovering over apps in the taskbar to bring their windows to the foreground.

You can now also customize the taskbar with your favorite apps from the Start's All apps menu by dragging and dropping over the taskbar to pin them. You can as well, drag and drop to the desktop via Show Desktop in the exact right corner of the taskbar.

For users who use Microsoft Teams, Microsoft has added a new visual indicator to the taskbar indicating which window is being shared. This is especially important when you have many applications running or where your attention is divided across multiple monitors.

Do Not Disturb and Focus:

Windows 11 now also has a "Do Not Disturb" feature, which enables users to silence all system and app notifications. The notifications you receive after turning on this mode are collected in the Control Center, and you can view them at any time.

You can customize this feature under Settings, where you can set up rules to turn on "Do Not Disturb" automatically (you could set do not disturb to automatically turn on outside of your work hours, for example), and set priority notifications so you don't miss an important notification.

In addition to "Do not disturb”, Microsoft adds a "Focus" feature to Windows 11 to enable users to stay in the focus and minimize distractions on their PC. This new feature can be turned on via the control center (click on the time and date in the taskbar > Select the amount of time for your focus session, and Press Start Focus). When you start a focus session, taskbar badging will turn off, flashing of applications in the taskbar will turn off, a focus timer will appear on screen, and do not disturb will turn on.

 Focus on Windows integrates with focus sessions in the Clock app, so you can play calming music and see a task list from Microsoft To-Do. When your focus session ends, you will receive a notification letting you know your focus time has been completed.

Live Captions:

Live captions are another new feature included in this build that will help people who are deaf or hard of hearing, better understand audio by viewing captions of spoken content. Captions are automatically generated on-device from any content with audio.

 Captions can be displayed at the top or bottom of the screen, or in a floating window. The caption window can be resized, and the caption appearance can be personalized by applying or customizing a caption style. Microphone audio can be included, which can be helpful during in-person conversations. Live captions support only English (U.S.) content for now.

File Explorer:

In File Explorer, "Pin to Quick Access" support has been extended to also support pinning of files instead of just folders. Pinned files appear in a new section above recent files in Quick Access.

For users who log in to Windows with a Microsoft Account or Work/Education account, Pinned and Recent files from will also be shown in Quick Access, and file activity updates from collaborators such as edits, and comments are shown in Tiles view and can also be shown in Details view.

Additionally, Microsoft has integrated OneDrive into File Explorer, so that when browsing OneDrive folders, you can now see sync status and quota usage without having to leave File Explorer.

Gestures and Snapping Windows:

This build also includes some new touch gestures and updates to existing gestures to make it easier to navigate Windows 11 on a PC with touch:

  • Swipe with your finger from the middle of the taskbar to invoke the Start menu and swipe back down to dismiss it.
  • Within Start, swipe right to left from Pinned to get to All apps and left to right to get back to Pinned. The same gesture works for Recommended/More.
  • Swipe with your finger from the bottom right of the taskbar to invoke Quick Settings and swipe back down to dismiss it.
  • The animation when swiping to invoke and dismiss Notification Center from the right edge of the screen has been updated so that it’s more responsive and follows the user's finger.
  • In full-screen touch-oriented apps and games (e.g., Solitaire), a new gripper will appear if you swipe from the edges of the screen. This feature is designed to keep you in your app if you accidentally swipe near the edges.

Microsoft added also a new way to snap windows into snap layouts in Windows 11. Drag a window to the top of the screen to reveal the snap layouts, drop the window on top of a zone to snap it, and use snap assist to finish building your layout.

New Task Manager UI and Efficiency Mode:

The Task Manager design has been updated to match the new Windows 11 design principles. This includes a new hamburger-style navigation bar and a new settings page. A new command bar on each page gives access to common actions. Task Manager supports dark theme now as well and automatically matches the system-wide theme configured in the Settings app.

Moreover, a new feature called Efficiency Mode has been added to the task manager, a useful feature that helps users to reduce the consumption of a particular application of their hardware resources when they notice that it is consuming high resources so that the system prioritizes other apps which will lead to faster foreground responsiveness and better energy efficiency.

Other improvements:

This build also includes the following changes and features:

  • The Narrator has been enhanced to provide more useful information when navigating the web, make navigating dialogs a natural thing, and edit the text to be more reliable.
  • On PCs with more than one color profile, you will be able to add a quick setting to switch more easily between these modes.
  • When casting (WIN + K) from your PC, a Cast icon will appear at the lower-left corner of your taskbar to show you are casting.
  • The battery charging indicator has been changed to a lightning bolt instead of a power cable.
  • File Explorer will now show previews of items within folders.
  • Snap group visuals have been updated to include the desktop wallpaper to make it easier to differentiate your groups from normal windows.
  • Added the ability to choose which microphone to use for voice typing if you have multiple microphones connected to your computer.
  • Extending Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) experiences on laptops with 120Hz screens.
  • Updated some of the emojis.
  • Increased the size of the icons in the Settings navigation pane to make them a little easier to see.
  • Update the accessibility flyout on the login screen to align with Windows 11 design principles.
  • The Mica material in more title bar surfaces (the Run dialog, for example).
  • TKIP and WEP are deprecated security standards and Windows 11 will no longer allow connections to those types starting with this build.

Microsoft will test all these features with Insiders in the coming months to ensure that they are bug-free errors and work as expected, and it is assumed that these features will arrive at a later time in the public version of Windows 11 either within its first annual update expected sometime the next fall or in the form of monthly updates as is the case for the February non-security update that was released in the past days with a set of changes and useful features.

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