Skip to content

New Windows 11 Build 23493 – New Settings Homepage, New Windows Copilot AI

  • by

IN THIS ARTICLE WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE NEWEST WINDOWS 11 INSIDER PREVIEW BUILD FOR THE DEV CHANNEL WHICH IS BUILD 23493. IN THIS BUILD WE CAN SEE A FEW CHANGES AND A LOT OF FIXES TO ISSUES REPORTED IN THE PREVIOUS BUILD

Windows Copilot Preview 

Back in May at the Build conference, we introduced Windows Copilot for Windows 11. In today’s flight we are offering an early look of Windows Copilot to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel via a controlled feature rollout. This first preview focuses on our integrated UI experience, with additional functionality coming down the road in future previews. To use Copilot in this flight you must have Windows Build 23493 or higher in the Dev Channel, and Microsoft Edge version 115.0.1901.150 or higher.  

To get started, just click on the new button on the taskbar (or WIN + C) to launch Windows Copilot. Windows Copilot will use the same Microsoft account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory (AAD) account used to sign-in to Windows.  

Click the new button on the taskbar to launch Windows Copilot. 

Windows Copilot will appear as a side bar docked to the right where it won’t overlap with your desktop content and will run unobstructed alongside your open app windows, allowing you to interact with Windows Copilot anytime you need.  

Windows Copilot docked with Microsoft Edge in the foreground and showing a summary of a website.

In this first preview, you can ask Windows Copilot a range of questions or to take actions such as:  

  • “Change to dark mode.” 
  • “Turn on do not disturb.” 
  • “Take a screenshot” 
  • “Summarize this website” (Active tab in Microsoft Edge) 
  • “Write a story about a dog who lives on the moon.” 
  • “Make me a picture of a serene koi fishpond with lily pads.” 

Just click the “…” icon at the top right of the side bar in Windows Copilot to submit feedback on any issues you run into. We’ll have more to come including expanding the preview to more Windows Insiders in other channels over time and adding policies to allow IT admins to manage this experience in their organizations.  

Windows Copilot with Bing Chat generates responses that are contextual and improves your experience in Windows. You may see inline recommendations we think are relevant through ads in Bing. We’ll continue to learn and listen to customer feedback. Understand what Bing does with your data by visiting Microsoft Privacy Statement. Read more about our responsible AI journey, the ethical principles that guide us, and the tooling and capabilities we’ve created to assure that we develop AI technology responsibly at Microsoft’s commitment to responsible AI.  

Please note that not everything shown at Build for Windows Copilot is included in this first, early preview. For example, Windows Copilot has a basic set of Windows settings plugins but no third-party plugin support yet. Over time, features will be added as we refine the Windows Copilot experience with Windows Insiders.  

[We are beginning to roll this out, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.]  

Introducing the new Settings homepage 

We’re introducing a new homepage in Settings that offers you a dynamic and personalized experience. It provides an overview of your device, quick access to key settings, and helps manage your Microsoft account.   

New Settings homepage.

We created interactive cards that represent various device and account related settings, grouped by commonly accessed functions. Each card is optimized to offer the most relevant information and controls at your fingertips. In this release, you’ll see up to seven cards, with more coming soon.  

Here’s an overview of each card: 

  1. Recommended settings: This card adapts to your specific usage patterns, providing timely and relevant settings options. It’s designed to streamline your settings management and save you time. 
  2. Cloud storage: Gives you an overview of your cloud storage use and lets you know when you’re nearing capacity. 
  3. Account recovery: Helps keep your Microsoft account more secure by helping you add additional recovery info so you never get locked out of your account, even if you forget your password. 
  4. Personalization: Brings customization to the forefront by offering one-click access to update your background theme or change your color mode. 
  5. Microsoft 365: Provides a quick glimpse of your subscription status and benefits, along with the ability to take some key actions right in Settings instead of going to the web. 
  6. Xbox: Similar to the Microsoft 365 card, you’ll be able to view your subscription status and manage the subscription from the Settings app. 
  7. Bluetooth Devices: To simplify your Bluetooth device management experience, we’ve brought this to the forefront so you can quickly access and connect to your favorite Bluetooth-enabled devices. 

You can take swift actions directly from this page with just a click, making device and account management seamless and efficient. What sets the homepage apart even further is that it’s more than just a landing page—it evolves and learns with you. As you use your device, it’ll adjust to provide the most relevant and useful information based on your usage and preferences.  

NOTE: This experience will only be available on Windows 11 Home and Pro editions and not on devices managed by organizations. 

[We are beginning to roll this out, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.]  

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Settings > Settings Homepage. 

Restore for more apps 

Adding to the capabilities of the backup and restore improvements we announced in May, this build extends support to even more types of apps. Users will now see pins for their desktop app restored on the taskbar and Start Menu, including desktop apps that were not installed from the Microsoft Store. 

Desktop apps that are available in the Microsoft Store can be restored by clicking on the app pin to get started.  For apps that aren’t available in the Microsoft Store, you’ll be directed to the web to download the installer. 

Screenshot showing a dialog box to install an app from the web.

To try out this experience, both the backup and restore devices need to be updated to this build.  Once you’re backed up either via the new Windows Backup app or by visiting Accounts/Windows Backup in settings, you can try out the new restore during the out-of-box-experience (OOBE) when setting up a new PC or by resetting an existing PC (Settings > System > Recovery > Reset this PC) with this build. 

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Install and Update > Backup and Restore. 

Native support for reading additional archive file formats 

As announced at the Build conference back in May, this build adds native support for reading additional archive file formats using the libarchive open-source project such as  

  • .tar  
  • .tar.gz  
  • .tar.bz2  
  • .tar.zst  
  • .tar.xz 
  • .tgz  
  • .tbz2  
  • .tzst 
  • .txz 
  • .rar  
  • .7z 
  • And more!  

Please note we are aware of some performance issues with some archive file formats – see the known issues below.  

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (Win + F) under Files, Folders, and Online Storage > File Explorer. 

New volume mixer experience in Quick Settings 

We’re introducing a new enhanced volume mixer into Quick Settings! The updated audio quick settings experience brings a modern volume mixer that allows for quick customization of audio on a per-app basis, with additional control to swap devices on the fly. We’ve also added a new keyboard shortcut (WIN + CTRL + V) to bring you directly to the volume mixer for faster control of the experience. With this change, you can now tailor your audio experience better with more control and fewer clicks to better manage your favorite apps. 

New volume mixer experience in Quick Settings.

In addition, we’ve made it easier for users to enable their Windows Sonic experience with a quick access list of installed spatial sound technology. You can visit the Microsoft Store to find additional spatial sound technology to choose from such as Dolby and DTS. 

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Desktop Environment > Quick Settings. 

Narrator natural voices in Japanese and English (Great British) 

We are introducing new natural voices in Japanese and English (Great British) that allow Narrator users to comfortably browse the web, read, and write mail, and do more. Natural Narrator voices use modern, on-device text to speech and once downloaded are supported without an internet connection. 

To use one of the natural voices, add it to your PC by following these steps: 

  1. Open Narrator Settings by pressing the WIN + Ctrl + N hotkey. 
  2. Under Narrator’s voice, select the Add button next to Add natural voices. 
  3. Choose the language for which you want to install Natural Voices. List of available voices will be displayed. 
  4. Select the voice you want to install. You can install all voices, but you must install them separately.
    • The new Japanese voices are Microsoft Nanami (Female) and Microsoft Keita (Male) 
    • The new English (Great British) voices are Microsoft Sonia (Female) and Microsoft Ryan (Male) 
  5. To start the download of the selected voice, select Install. The new voice will download and be ready for use in a few minutes, depending on your Internet download speed. 
  6. When the new voice has downloaded, in Narrator settings select your preferred voice from the drop-down menu in Narrator’s voice > Choose a voice. 

Note: If your display language is not set to Japanese and English (Great British), then in step 3 you will first need to select “Choose a different language” and select the appropriate language followed by the specific voice. 

FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (Win + F) under Accessibility > Narrator. 

Changes and Improvements 

[General] 

  • New functionality for mitigating unrequested modifications for app defaults as mentioned in this blog post are included in this build. 

[Taskbar & System Tray] 

  • The updated API for pinning as mentioned here in this blog post are now included in this build for preview. 
New dialog that is displayed based on the updated API for pinning apps to the taskbar.

[Snap Layouts] 

  • We are trying out suggestions in Snap Layouts that help you instantly snap multiple app windows together. When hovering over the Minimize or Maximize button on an app (or WIN + Z) to launch the layout box, you will see app icons displayed in various layout options to help recommend the best layout option that works best. This experience is beginning to roll out so not all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel will see it right away.  
Suggestions in Snap Layouts.

[File Explorer] 

  • We’ve done some work to improve the performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows. 

Fixes 

[General] 

  • Fixed an underlying issue which was causing explorer.exe crashes when doing a variety of things in the last 2 builds, including when uninstalling apps.  

[Dev Drive] 

  • Fixed an issue where symbolic links might not work correctly when using Dev Drive. 

[File Explorer] 

  • Fixed an issue where the count shown for selected files in the details pane may have been extremely large. 

We fixed the following issues for Insiders with the modernized details pane in File Explorer: 

  • Fixed an issue where the details pane was flashing white in dark mode when navigating or resizing the File Explorer window. 

We fixed the following issues for Insiders with the modernized address bar in File Explorer: 

  • Fixed an issue where the delete key was sometimes not working in File Explorer (including when doing Shift + Delete).  

We fixed the following issues for Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer Home: 

  • File Type icons were displayed in place of file thumbnails for ‘Recommended’ section (applicable to Enterprise users). 
  • Insiders signed in with an AAD account and try to navigate the Recommended section on File Explorer Home with the tab key on the keyboard may have experienced an explorer.exe crash. 
  • When navigating from another group to the Recommended section using a keyboard, focus did not appear on the group header or files appropriately. 

[Taskbar & System Tray] 

  • Fixed multiple explorer.exe crashes that were impacting taskbar reliability. 
  • Fixed an issue when using uncombined taskbar that was causing focus to get lost when moving from the taskbar previews back to the taskbar icons. 

[Search on the Taskbar] 

  • Fixed an issue impacting search reliability for some Insiders in the last 2 flights.  

[Task Manager] 

  • Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to move the Task Manager window with touch or pen. 

[Dynamic Lighting] 

  • Fixed an issue where device icons were missing from the device cards in Settings. 

[Windows Ink] 

  • Fixed an issue where users were unable use handwriting to erase text in Microsoft Edge. 

You can see the list of known issues in this article from the Microsoft Blog.

For a more in-depth look over this new Build, you can watch the video below from the youtube channel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *