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📢 Windows 11 Build 22518 adds several new features

Windows 11 Build 22518.1000 is now rolling out to the Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel with the following new features and improvements. - Story published by Kunal Chowdhury on .

Microsoft announces a new Windows 11 Build for the testers. The latest build is now rolling out from the active development (RS_PRERELEASE) branch to the Windows Insiders who are on the Dev Channel. Unlike the previous few updates, Windows 11 build 22518 comes with several new features and improvements.


If you are a Windows Insider in the Dev Channel, can grab this update by simply checking for updates. The latest build will be labeled as “Windows 11 Insider Preview 22518.1000 (rs_prerelease)”. Here's everything that you would like to know about this build.


Windows 11 Build 22518 adds several new features


What's new and improved in Windows 11 Build 22518

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22518.1000 adds a bunch of new features and improvements which include Spotlight collection backgrounds, an updated entry point for Widgets with the weather, and voice access. This new build will make it easier to install WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) from the Microsoft Store. It also adds some general changes including updates to the input switcher and a list of other new improvements.



Spotlight collection backgrounds

Windows 11 Build 22518 brings Spotlight collection backgrounds which will daily provide you beautiful new desktop pictures from around the world. To set the new spotlight backgrounds, right-click on your desktop and choose “Personalize” | “Background” | “Spotlight collection”.


Once you enable the Spotlight collection backgrounds, you will now see your Windows 11 desktop background automatically refreshed with new pictures every day.


Microsoft is currently testing this feature on Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK, US, and will add to many other countries over time.


Spotlight collection experience is not yet localized and will show text in English only, says Microsoft. To see a more localized version of the spotlight collection experience, you will have to wait for a few months.



An updated entry point for Widgets on your taskbar

In this build, Microsoft is trying out showing the Widgets entry point on the left side of your taskbar with live weather content. You can also open the Widgets board by simply hovering over the entry point. For users who choose to align their taskbar to the left of the screen, the Widgets entry point will be to the right of the Task view icon.


Updated entry point for Windows 11 Widgets on your taskbar


Voice Access

With the Windows 11 Build 22518, Microsoft introduced a new Voice Access experience for Windows 11 that enables everyone, including people with mobility disabilities, to control their PC and author text using their voice.


Based on machine learning and on-device speech recognition technology, Windows 11's new Voice Access feature will allow users to open and switch between apps, browse the web, and read/compose emails.


Voice Access experience for Windows 11


You can find voice access in "Settings" | "Accessibility" | "Speech". When you turn on voice access for the first time, it will prompt you to download a speech model for the on-device speech recognition. Once it is downloaded, you can choose a microphone you want to use with voice access and start using your voice to control your PC.


Microsoft also makes it possible for you to choose voice access to auto-start the next time you sign in to your PC. You can use voice commands or keyboard shortcuts (Alt + Shift + C and Alt + Shift + B) to control whether voice access is listening or not listening.



Install the Windows Subsystem from Linux (WSL) from the Microsoft Store

With the new Windows 11 build, Microsoft now makes it easier to install the Windows Subsystem from Linux (WSL) from the Microsoft Store by changing the 'wsl.exe –install' command to install WSL from the Microsoft Store by default.


Additionally, the company now added some additional arguments to the 'wsl.exe –install' command to make it easier to configure your install, such as 'wsl.exe –install –no-launch' which will install a new WSL distro without immediately launching it.


To see a full list of available commands, you can run the 'wsl –help' command in console. If you already have installed the Windows Subsystem for Linux on your system, but want to get started with the Store version right away, just run the 'wsl –update' command.



Other changes and improvements in Windows 11 build 22518

  • Starting with today’s build we’re rolling out an underlying platform change to improve the overall performance and reliability of the input switcher for Insiders using multiple keyboard languages and layouts. In addition to this, we’re updating the input switcher to now have an acrylic background. If you have any feedback for the input switcher, please file it in the Feedback Hub under Input and Language > Keyboard and language switching.
  • Updated the context menu in File Explorer to make these options top level based on feedback.
  • The ability for personalized combinations of emoji based on face and skin tones of family members, couples with heart, kissing, and people holding hands which we began rolling out with Build 22504 is now available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • Starting with Build 22509, we began rolling out a change to display your clock and date will now also be displayed on the taskbars of the secondary monitor or monitors. This is now available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • We’ve added a new extra-large candidate height option for Simplified Chinese IME users under Personalization > Text Input in Settings.


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