Can you believe it’s been almost a year since Windows 11 was released? Back then, I was surprised that Microsoft practically released a new version of Windows. But, as I pointed out, Windows 11 ended up refining Microsoft’s desktop formula quite nicely. My opinion hasn’t changed much since then (and yes, I’m still frustrated by the cleaner but less useful taskbar). Today, Microsoft will begin rolling out the Windows 11 2022 Update, the first major revision to the operating system, which brings increased security, accessibility, and a handful of improvements to gaming. For the most part, however, it will make it easier for you to get future updates more quickly.

How do I get the Windows 11 2022 Update?

Don’t be surprised here: Head to Windows Update in your Settings app and see if your computer is eligible for an update. As usual, Microsoft says it’s taking a “measured and staged” approach, which means there’s a chance you won’t see the update right away. The company will also highlight possible conflicts in your system, for example, an incompatible application, an outdated driver, which will prevent you from getting the updated operating system. This tip applies to both Windows 11 and Windows 10 users, though Windows 10 users should double check their computer with the to make sure your hardware is compatible. (See our Windows 11 review for more details on upgrading from Windows 10.)

What is that faster updates?

Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, that the company aimed to deliver “continuous innovation” and more frequent Windows 11 updates outside of the main annual release. That starts with the 2022 update. The company has “significantly reduced” the size of updates (around 450MB for many people) as well as reduced their installation time, said John Cable, head of Service and Delivery of Windows, in a blog post.

The Windows 11 2022 Update will also be more carbon-conscious, allowing you to schedule installations for times when your local grid relies on cleaner energy sources like wind, hydro, and solar. This functionality won’t be available everywhere, and we’re still waiting to hear more about how Microsoft will track power grid statistics. But in theory, it’s a clever way to reduce extraneous carbon emissions (and it’s something I’d love to see in phones, tablets, and other devices).


So where are the new features?

At first glance, it will be hard to tell that you are running the new update. It doesn’t bring any major UI changes, though Microsoft says it will add tabs to File Explorer in October. I’ve been using an older version of that feature, and it definitely helped reduce my window clutter when moving between SD cards, OneDrive, and my Downloads folder. (Don’t worry, you can still fill your screen with multiple Explorer windows if you prefer.)

You’ll also be able to further modify the Start menu by adding more pinned apps or more recommendations. Also, Microsoft is bundling the , which seems like a huge improvement over the existing Windows tool (and certainly light years ahead of Movie Maker).

Clipchamp Video Editor in Windows 11 2022 Update


Like the improved Windows Update experience, the vast majority of the new features in the 2022 update are under the hood. These include a host of accessibility updates that – system-wide live subtitles, which will initially appear at the top of the screen to help you feel engaged during video chats; natural-sounding voices for screen reader Narrator; as well as a preview of enhanced voice commands for using your PC and transcription.

More so than most tech companies, Microsoft has been for the past decade. That includes launching the , setting up a , and announcing a five-year commitment to bridge the “disability gap.” The features debuting in this Windows 11 update are powered by members of the Windows Accessibility team, giving them a personal touch.

The new Focus Sessions experience, for example, is spearheaded by Alexis Kane, a product manager who has ADHD. She realized that notifications were making her more anxious and disrupting her workflow, so she helped create a way to minimize them without turning notifications off entirely. Focused Sessions cuts down on the noise of those alerts, but it also turns off taskbar badges and lets you time work sprints with the clock app.

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