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In a fitting conclusion to the year 2023, Microsoft has released the latest Windows 11 Build 26016 to its dedicated community of Windows Insiders in the Canary Channel. Packed with notable features and improvements, this build marks a significant step forward for the evolving Windows 11 operating system.


Let's delve into the key highlights of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26016 to learn what has been newly added to the system.


What's new and improved in Windows 11 Build 26016?
Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26016



  • Microsoft's latest Windows 11 Build 26016 introduces Windows Protected Print Mode, enhancing security and simplifying printing with Mopria-certified printers.
  • Users can activate this feature through a straightforward process in the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • The update also includes UI improvements, such as adding an icon to the Wi-Fi taskbar entry for diagnosing network problems.
  • Fixes for known issues, including WinRE rendering problems and desktop keyboard shortcuts for a smoother user experience.



What's new and improved in Windows 11 Build 26016?

Windows Protected Print Mode: A Leap Towards Security

Among the key additions in this update is the introduction of Windows Protected Print Mode. This feature empowers your PC to exclusively print using the Windows modern print stack, specifically designed to seamlessly integrate with Mopria-certified printers. By leveraging Mopria certification, users can bypass the need for third-party software installers, ensuring a more secure and streamlined printing process.


The benefits extend beyond mere convenience. With Windows Protected Print Mode, users gain additional security advantages, making the entire printing experience safer. This move underscores Microsoft's commitment to enhancing both user experience and system security. For further insights into the security benefits of transitioning to IPP printing, users are encouraged to explore additional information available on this topic.



Enabling Windows Protected Print Mode is a straightforward process:

  1. Press Start.
  2. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Printers.
  4. Right-click on 'Configure Windows Protected Print' and select 'Edit'.
  5. Choose the 'Enabled' radio button.
  6. Click 'Apply' and then 'OK'.


With these simple steps, Windows Protected Print Mode is now active, providing users with a safer and more efficient printing experience.



Changes and Improvements: Enhancing User Interface and Connectivity

This build introduces a series of changes and improvements aimed at refining the user interface and connectivity options:

  • An icon has been added to the "Diagnose network problems" entry when right-clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar.
  • The Phone Link settings page under Settings > Bluetooth & devices has been renamed to Mobile devices. This change paves the way for future enhancements related to PC access to mobile devices, promising exciting developments in subsequent updates.



Fixes for Known Issues: Enhancing Stability and Functionality

Addressing user feedback and concerns, Microsoft has implemented fixes for various known issues in Build 26016, including:

  • Resolution of WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) rendering issues from the previous flight.
  • Restoration of keyboard shortcuts functionality on the desktop, ensuring a seamless user experience.
  • Correction of an underlying issue causing File Explorer's details pane to unexpectedly take keyboard focus at times.
  • Rectification of the problem preventing the saving of changes to shortcuts (.lnk) in the previous flight.


Additionally, efforts have been made to enhance the performance of loading Settings > Apps > Installed apps, providing users with a smoother navigation experience.



A Year-End Gift to Insiders

As Microsoft bids farewell to 2023, the release of Windows 11 Build 26016 serves as a year-end gift to Windows Insiders. With enhanced security features, refined user interfaces, and a commitment to resolving known issues, this update showcases Microsoft's dedication to delivering a robust and user-friendly operating system.


Windows 11 continues to evolve, and with each build, it brings us one step closer to a more secure, efficient, and enjoyable computing experience.


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