You can now install Windows 11’s next big update a little early

Microsoft is releasing its next big Windows 11 update to the Release Preview ring of final testing today. Windows 11 22H2 is expected to be available in the coming months and will include a number of big changes to the operating system, including new Start menu folders, updated touch gestures, and drag and drop for the taskbar.

While you can wait for Microsoft to officially roll out the update through Windows Update, you can grab the final version, build 22621, through the Windows Insider option inside the Windows Update section of Windows 11. Just follow the prompts to sign up for the Windows Insider Program, and make sure you select Release Preview.

Windows 11’s new Start menu folders.
Image: Microsoft

Windows 11 22H2 includes a new spotlight wallpaper feature, which cycles through the beautiful wallpapers you typically find on the lock screen. Live Captions are also built into Windows 11 22H2, and they’re great for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or anyone who wants to caption audio automatically. Captions can be generated on-device from any audio content, and captions can float in a window or be displayed at the top or bottom of a screen.

The Task Manager is also getting a big overhaul in Windows 11 22H2, with a new dark mode and a much-improved layout. It includes a new command bar to match the dark theme, alongside an efficiency mode that lets you limit apps from consuming system resources. If you’re a fan of Snap Layouts in Windows 11, they’re being improved in this update to let you drag an app to the top of a window and reveal all the layouts you can use. Microsoft is also improving its Focus feature to include a Do Not Disturb mode. It makes it a lot easier to quickly silence notifications so you only see really important ones.

Live Captions are a great new addition.
Image: Microsoft

Hello dark mode Task Manager.
Image: Microsoft

Most Windows 11 users will be happy to hear drag and drop is returning to the taskbar, allowing you to drag files into apps like Photoshop. The new Start menu folders will also allow Windows 11 users to customize the pinned section of the Start menu into a neat selection of folders.

Windows 11 22H2 will officially launch on devices later this year, likely in the September timeframe, but the update is big enough to install early – especially for Live Captions alone.

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