What you need to know
- Windows 11 version 22H2 is the next major update coming to Microsoft’s operating system in the second half of this year.
- Its main focus is on continuing to polish, enhance OS productivity, and improve for tablet users.
- Version 22H2 will be offered as a free update to all Windows 11 users.
Microsoft is currently hard at work on the next major version of Windows, which will also be the first major operating system feature update of Windows 11. Currently known as “version 22H2” and codenamed “” Sun Valley 2″, this follow-up release is set to continue the vision that was first introduced with Windows 11 last year, with a continuation of new features, user interface improvements, and more. so again.
Development on version 22H2 began shortly before Windows 11 was finalized, and it is currently being tested with participants in Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, which views “developing” builds. active” weekly with new features that we expect to ship as part of the 22H2 version release.
We will continue to update this post as new features are revealed. Be sure to check out our roundup of the best Windows 11 PCs in the meantime.
Version 22H2: What’s New? (hitherto)
Here is the TL:DR:
- Applications folder in Start menu
- Resizable pinned area in Start menu
- Drag and drop on the Taskbar
- Integrate Focus Assist with Notification Center
- New “focus” wallpaper feature
- New Voice Access accessibility feature
- New Live Caption accessibility feature
- New gestures and animations for touch users
- New snap layout bar when moving app window
- New Task Manager App
- Better OneDrive integration with File Explorer
- Many UI improvements and consistency updates
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a quick recap of the most notable changes and improvements expected to ship as part of version 22H2. Keep reading for an in-depth breakdown of the new features. Of course, there are also hundreds, if not thousands, of hidden fixes and improvements that Microsoft is rolling out in the next release that we haven’t detailed yet.
Version 22H2: When will it arrive?
Windows 11 version 22H2 is expected to ship in the second half of this year. Our sources tell us that version 22H2 is expected to hit a “final build” around May, with work continuing throughout the summer on bug fixes and other improvements to be made. It is made available through cumulative updates to Insiders and will eventually go public once the 22H2 version is ready to go live, probably in the September or October timeframe.
Version 22H2: New Features
Here’s a closer look at some of the new features included in version 22H2.
Windows Shell is getting a lot of love with version 22H2. Microsoft is continuing to clean up the user interface by updating older interfaces with a more modern and consistent Windows 11 design. For example, the 22H2 version introduces modern designs for things like the volume and brightness interfaces that pop up when adjusting those controls via physical hardware buttons. Focus Assist is now integrated in the Notification Center for easy access to that feature.
In the Start menu, Microsoft has added back some of the features that were present on the Windows 10 Start menu, including the ability to create application folders and adjust the size of the pinned application area. Users can now choose to have pinned apps add one more row, or reduce the pinned app area to two rows in favor of a larger “Recommended” area.
The Taskbar has also been updated with drag and drop support back, which means you can drag files onto your Taskbar app icon to paste it there. This has been a Taskbar functionality for many years, but it was missing from the first version of Windows 11. It’s nice to see it’s finally back with version 22H2.
For touch users, Microsoft is introducing some significant new changes designed to enhance the touch-first user experience on Windows 11. There are new gestures for touch users that allow ease of use. Easy access to Windows Shell common areas. Users can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Start menu and swipe in from the right corner to access Quick Settings. A three-finger swipe down the center of the screen minimizes your apps, and a three-finger swipe left or right switches between running apps. All of these animations are also very smooth, which means they stick to your fingers as they’re performed, so it feels much more responsive.
As is the case with every new version of Windows, Microsoft has added several new settings pages to the Settings app with 22H2. There’s a new Microsoft Account page in the Accounts area, providing an overview of your Microsoft 365 subscription, with quick access to other settings and online services. There’s also a new Family Safety page in the same area, designed to provide quick access to all the Family Safety options if you use that service.
Windows Update can now automatically time itself with your local grid to help reduce emissions. Instead of installing updates as they become available, Windows Update will try to time download and install with your grid to use as much renewable energy as possible.
Other new settings include the ability to adjust the number of pinned or suggested rows you see in Start, the ability to set Bing daily images as desktop wallpaper, the option to disable the System Tray add-on menu , etc
Microsoft has updated some of the apps and experiences out of the box with version 22H2. Starting with File Explorer, there’s now a new “pinned files” section in the Quick access area when you open the app. Users can pin any files to this area and store them permanently for quick access at a later date. File Explorer now also has OneDrive integration, with a new drop-down menu that appears when inside OneDrive directly telling you how much cloud storage you’re using.
Task Manager has been updated with a new look that’s more in line with the rest of Windows 11. It features a new sidebar navigation UI that automatically collapses when you minimize the size of a window. There’s also a new Voice Recorder app coming soon with new output options, an audio visualizer, and a much better user interface.
Preloaded with version 22H2 are two new apps called Clipchamp and Family Safety. Family Safety is a web app that gives you quick access to a family overview, including your child’s location, upcoming activities in your shared family calendar, and other tools. to manage your family. The service is great for families with Windows PCs and Xboxes, or Android devices with Microsoft Launcher and Family Safety apps installed.
Clipchamp is a new web-based video editor that will also be released with Windows 11 in the future. Although it has a basic free tier, it does require a monthly fee, if you want to display videos above 480p. It’s a weird app that feels like it’s primarily designed for classroom kids, costs $19 a month if you want to display video in 1080p.