Microsoft changed how the Start menu works in the latest beta of Windows 11, an update that also adds the performance power slider in Windows 11.
The latest Windows 11 Insider build, Build 22000.65, is available through the Windows Insider development channel for those who want to download Windows 11. (Do you want? Here is how to get Windows 11 Insider builds.) Although the version downloads automatically, it can also be requested through Windows Update.
We have already reviewed this version and can tell you what we see. Interestingly, on our test system, the update appeared as a “cumulative update” for Windows 11, rather than a traditional Insider release. Microsoft appears to refer to these incremental updates as “quality updates” in Windows Update history.
Microsoft has detailed its latest changes in a blog post, which includes both “new” updates as well as the ability to add features that were left out in the original Windows 11 Insider Official Preview. After Windows 11 features announced, but they haven’t been officially previewed yet.
The Start menu leads to search
It would be true to say that the Windows 11 Start menu now includes a search box, but not all of it. Clicking on the new search box in Start now opens the search box … which is located right next to the Start menu icon anyway. It feels less like a bait and a switch that your cursor just went through a teleporter in Windows. Anyway, this is a new modification of Windows 11.
It should be noted that there is another search bar at the top of the Widgets menu, as before.
The power mode performance slider is coming back, sort of
If you’re like us, Windows 10’s Performance Power Slider is one of its most intriguing features for laptops. This makes a difference, because just selecting the performance slider, hidden in the battery icon in the Windows 10 taskbar, can boost your laptop’s performance for free. (Reducing the power / performance slider may also extend your laptop battery life.) For an example of what it can do, check out our Surface Pro 7 review, in particular the performance section.
In Windows 11, however, clicking the battery icon in the taskbar simply opens the Quick Settings menu. The cursor itself was removed from the first official version of Windows 11. Now it’s back, sort of: in the Settings> System> Power and battery menu, there is a drop-down list where you can select different performance levels, depending on how your laptop’s OEM has configured the system. However, there is no explanation on how this will affect your laptop battery, it is just a performance booster. Plus, there’s no slider per se – it’s just a power mode drop-down menu.
We haven’t tested the effects of Power Mode or Performance Slider yet, but we expect them to be the same as in Windows 10.
Vertical hanging arrangements
One of the coolest features of Windows 11 has been the new PowerToys Style Instant layouts, which allow windows to be organized in columns rather than corners. Microsoft changed them, so tablets held in a vertical orientation should show new vertical Snap options. However, trying the new version we couldn’t get them to work – the cursor just disappeared when we tried to hover over the “maximize window” icon.
New volume behavior
Here’s a small change: Right-clicking on the volume icon in the taskbar includes an option to fix sound issues.
New GIFs for Chinese users
If you are a GIF fan and kaomoji in Windows 10, you might be happy to hear that Microsoft is teaming up with Chinese GIF maker, weshineapp.com, to bring GIFs to Chinese audiences.
Microsoft made a few more changes to Windows 11, as well as some bugfixes – “show desktop”, for example, should work fine now. Microsoft has a full list in their blog post.