Skip to main content

Windows 11 update: New gestures, Start menu changes, and more

Microsoft has released a new preview of an upcoming update to Windows 11, and it showcases some great new features and changes that many will be excited about.

To be specific, this is Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22557, and testers in the Dev Channel will get access to the latest Windows 11 software, which includes new touch gestures, live captions, a new experience called ‘Focus,’ and much more.

Related Videos

Hey Folks – We have a fresh #Windows11 build with all sorts of new experiences to try out for #WindowsInsiders in the Dev Channel. Check out Build 22557 and all the details in the blog post –

— Windows Insider Program (@windowsinsider) February 16, 2022

The new touch gestures are particularly interesting, and now include swipes directly from the taskbar. A swipe up from the right side of the taskbar brings up Quick Settings, while a swipe up from the middle of the taskbar launches the Start Menu.

Similarly, Microsoft has improved the animation of the Notification Center gesture, which is a swipe from the right of the screen. It now follows your finger rather than just triggering.

An animation showing the new Start Menu gesture in Windows 11.

There’s an interesting new productivity feature included in the build as well. You can now set your desktop to Do Not Disturb, or a new experience called ‘Focus,’ which in addition to DND (Do Not Disturb), integrates with focus sessions in the Clock app. This allows you to play calming music or view your task list from the To-Do app. Focus will also flash applications in the taskbar during timed sessions, all of which can be personalized within settings.

Beyond those two features, here are some other highlights in the Windows 11 Build 22557 changelog:

  • Live captions can be turned used as an accessibility tool for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, through audio or video content. It can be accessed via the WIN + Ctrl + L keyboard shortcut or through the Accessibility section of Quick Settings.
  • Drag and drop apps together to create folders in the pinned apps area of the Start Menu. Then organize folders by adding, removing, or arranging apps in folders according to preference. Future build might add the ability to name and rename folders.
  • Pinned files are now shown above Recent files in File Explorer for easier access.
  • Integration of OneDrive cloud storage, synced right into File Explorer

The Windows 11 public build is expected to become available later this month; however, there is no guarantee that features showcased in the developer build will make it to the official version.

Microsoft released the Windows 11 Build 22000.526 (KB5010414) to Windows Insiders users in the beta and release preview channels last week. That preview is expected to be one of the last before the public build is released.

Editors' Recommendations

The most common Chromebook problems and how to fix them
A person working on a Toshiba Chromebook.

Chromebooks are great alternatives to MacBooks and Windows 10 laptops, but they aren’t perfect. Any laptop computer is bound to have issues, and some of the most common problems faced by Chromebook users can feel difficult or even impossible to solve on their own. 

From issues with updates to internet connectivity, troubleshooting common Chromebook problems doesn’t have to ruin your day. Read on to discover easy fixes for the most frequent issues Chromebook users face. 
The Diagnostics app

Read more
Ranking all 12 versions of Windows, from worst to best
Windows 7 desktop.

You can tell a person's age by which version of Windows is their favorite. I have fond memories of XP and Windows 98 SE, so you can take a guess at mine, but I have colleagues who are much more enamored with Windows 7, or Windows 95. We all have something disparaging to say about Windows 8 though, and the less said about Windows Vista the better.

Ranking the different versions of Windows is about more than what era of computing you grew up in, though. There are some very serious duds in Microsoft's back catalog, just as there are a few wins too. But whether you can look back on some of Microsoft's disastrous releases with rose-tinted glasses, or have some genuine love for Microsoft's missteps, here's every version of Windows ranked from best to worst.
12. Windows ME

Read more
MacGPT: how to use ChatGPT on your Mac
The MacGPT app for macOS Monterey and Ventura.

Apple might not officially be in the AI space, but a developer has created a legitimate way to bring ChatGPT to macOS and make the chatbot accessible from your menu bar.

The aptly named MacGPT is an application developed by Jordi Bruin that allows you to install ChatGPT as a remote browser on your Mac desktop. The application has been available since the 2022 holiday season and has garnered over 370 ratings, many of which are five stars. MacGPT is currently free, however, Bruin accepts donations. Once out of beta, he will make MacGPT available at the App Store, where it will sell for $5.

Read more