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Microsoft has announced a new Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23451 for the Dev Channel, packed with exciting new features and enhancements. The latest build introduces a modernized details pane in File Explorer, a new Windows Spotlight treatment, improved Narrator support in Excel, and a new Facebook widget, among other changes.


The update is currently being rolled out to Insiders in the Dev Channel, and Microsoft is closely monitoring feedback before pushing it out to everyone. Let's dive into the latest features and see what's in store for Windows 11 users.


Get a Glimpse of the Future of File Explorer with Windows 11 Dev Channel Build
Microsoft Continues to Modernize File Explorer with Windows 11 Build on Dev Channel


What's new and improved in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23451?

Modernized Details Pane in File Explorer

The new modernized details pane in File Explorer (ALT + Shift + P) is aimed at providing users with easy access to related content, file activity, and collaboration without even opening a file. The pane displays contextual information about the file, including file thumbnail, share status and button, file activity, related files and emails, and other information.


To enable the pane, select 'Details pane' in the View menu and then toggle the pane with an easy-access button located on the right side of the command bar. The modernized pane replaces the legacy details pane in File Explorer.



Windows Spotlight Improvements

In Build 23451, Microsoft is experimenting with two different treatments for how Windows Spotlight looks. Both treatments share existing core Windows Spotlight features, such as hovering over the icon on the desktop, right-clicking on the icon on the desktop, and double-clicking on the icon on the desktop.


Windows Spotlight Improvements


One treatment includes a richer UI, full screen, and minimized experience, while both treatments include 4K portrait images and the ability to learn more about each desktop image.



Narrator Enhances Interaction with Excel

Microsoft has also made improvements to the Narrator feature, providing a more succinct and efficient reading experience while working in Microsoft Excel. Announcements are prioritized based on the information needed to skim a workbook and can be customized using convenient keyboard shortcuts. The updated experience will be available through the Microsoft Store.


New Widget: Facebook

Facebook is rolling out a preview version of its widget. To give it a try, download the Facebook app from the Microsoft Store or update it to the latest version of the app. Then, open the widgets board and navigate to the widgets picker by clicking the “+” button at the top-right of the board to pin your widget.


New Facebook Widget for Windows 11



Other changes and improvements in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23451

Notification Badging for Microsoft Accounts on Start Menu

Microsoft has announced that it is expanding the rollout of notification badging for Microsoft accounts on the Start menu. With this feature, users can quickly access important account-related notifications such as backups and subscription management.


Notification Badging for Microsoft Accounts on Start Menu


These notifications can be managed by going to Settings > Personalization > Start. The feature will apply to users who have opted into sharing browsing data with Microsoft and have visited enough websites in Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.



Recommended Section in the Start Menu

Microsoft is continuing to add more valuable content to the Recommended section in the Start menu by re-introducing websites after trying this out with Insiders last fall. One improvement Microsoft has made is to recommend more useful and personal websites based on users' browsing history instead of generally popular websites.


Insiders can right-click on a website and choose to remove it individually at any given time. As a reminder, users can adjust the settings for what is recommended on Start via Settings > Personalization > Start. Commercial customers can manage this experience via policy.


Updates to File Explorer

For Windows Insiders who have Gallery in File Explorer, Microsoft has updated the icon for Gallery. This update began rolling out with Build 23435.



New Widget Picker Experience and Animated Icons

Microsoft is beginning to roll out a new widget picker experience with a visual preview of the widget before pinning. Additionally, it offers a deep linking ability that allows users to jump directly to the picker from the provider app/service, as well as a link to the widgets Store collection page where users can discover more apps with widgets.


Furthermore, animated icons for Widgets on the taskbar have been introduced, which triggers when a user hovers or clicks on the Widgets taskbar entry-point, or when a new widget announcement is displayed on the taskbar. Currently, only a few weather and finance icons are supported.



Expanded Language Support for Live Captions

Languages support for Live captions has been expanded to include Danish, English (Ireland), French (Canada), Korean, and Portuguese (Portugal). This will make it easier for users who speak these languages to use Live captions.


End Task by Right-Clicking on an App for Developers

Enabling end tasks by right-clicking on an app on the taskbar under Settings > Privacy & security > For developers now work in this build. The setting for this first showed up with Build 23430 but the feature was not working.


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