Skip to main content

Windows 11 makes some noise with oft-requested design change

Microsoft is making a long-requested design change to Windows 11. As part of the latest Windows Insider Dev Channel build, the company is beta testing an updated volume slider, which now matches up with the look and feel of the rest of the operating system.

A change from the previous versions left over from Windows 8, the Windows 11 Dev Channel beta editions of the hardware indicators (sliders) for brightness, volume, camera privacy, camera on/off, and airplane mode now look more modern. These are the flyouts that appear as you click the volume or brightness keys on your laptop and will even honor the dark mode or light mode settings of your system.

The new Windows 11 Volume Slider.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Microsoft moved these sliders from the top-left corner of the screen to the bottom. All of the sliders now float on top of the taskbar, appearing as a round shape with a blue level in the middle to indicate a specific percentage (see above for an example).

It’s important to note that this change is still in beta testing in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program, so it’s not linked to a specific Windows 11 release. This means that it might not be until late this year until everyone gets to see it for themselves.

It’s not only the big change that Microsoft is testing in Windows 11. After users complained that a full-screen Alt + Tab experience in the operating system is too distracting, Microsoft responded with yet another beta test of a new experience. In the current Dev Channel version of Windows 11, Alt + Tab now summons a thin strip with a slightly blurred background.

It’s looking as though it is a big goal for Microsoft to clean up Windows 11 so that the visual looks of apps and other experiences are more in sync with each other. For example, today’s Windows 11 Dev Channel build also improves the call experience with the Your Phone app. The call-in-progress window now includes new fonts, icons, and design changes that match Windows 11’s user interface. Rumor has it that cleaning up dark mode in Windows 11 is another focus for Microsoft this year.

Editors' Recommendations

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
I’m a Windows power user — here are the shortcuts I use the most
Keyboard on the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i.

Windows 11 is chock-full of shortcuts that can help you work more efficiently and effectively. Some of them are unique to Windows, and some are common to most operating systems. But if you're a Windows user, then you'll want to keep each of these in mind.

There are too many shortcuts to cover, so I'm focusing on the ones that I use the most. I'm a writer who uses a variety of systems to get my work done, so my favorite shortcuts are specific to what I do the most. You may come across some other shortcuts that are more relevant to your workflow, but these are the ones I reach for constantly.
The basics

Read more
Windows 11 will finally respect your default browser — in Europe
Microsoft Edge appears on a computer screen with plants and a window in the background.

Microsoft makes it easy to change the default browser in Windows 11. That's important if you require special features specific to one of the many web browsers that are available on a PC. Unfortunately, it's not as simple to be rid of Edge entirely.

Microsoft Edge will still load to open some other file types. When opening a link from Windows Settings or other system components, the webpage will load in Edge. That's now about to change, however, according to a recent Windows blog post.

Read more
Windows just gave us another reason not to download fresh updates
Windows 11 blue error crash screen.

As if we needed another reason to hold off on downloading the latest patches before they've been tested by a considerable number of people, Microsoft's most recent Windows Update comes with an unfortunate side effect -- it causes blue screens for some users. The blue screen shows up right at boot, citing the "UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR" error as the stop code. Here's what we know, and more importantly, how to make sure this doesn't affect your PC too.

The issue started popping up right after the latest Windows 11 update, KB5029351, which brought the operating system up to version 22621.2215. The build addresses some issues and brings minor improvements, such as adding a new hover behavior to the search box gleam and improving the reliability of the Search app.

Read more