Windows 11 Build 22518 is now available to all testers in the dev channel. Unlike previous updates, Build 22518 actually comes with new features and a long list of improvements for key areas of the operating system, including File Explorer, navigation, and more.
This update is titled “Windows 11 Insider Preview 22518.1000 (rs_prerelease)” and users can get it from Microsoft’s servers simply by checking for updates. It is worth noting that the new preview features in this version are not tied to a specific version of Windows such as 22H2 (October 2022 update).
This is because the Dev Channel is used for the active development branch, which is currently codenamed “Nickel”. It is important to understand that these test builds are generally buggy and you will have the opportunity to leave the beta program and revert to the stable version of Windows when the changes you are testing become part of a specific version.
If it has been more than 10 days since you joined the program and it is no longer possible to return to the stable version, you will need to reinstall the operating system using Windows 11 ISO images or the media creation tool. Microsoft warns that a clean installation will erase applications and some files on your computer.
Spotlight Collection on Build 22518
As we reported earlier this year, Microsoft has been working on Windows Spotlight support for the desktop. Right now, you can use the Spotlight collection to update your lock screen art regularly with new beautiful images from around the world, and also see fun facts about each image.
With Windows 11 Build 22518, Microsoft brings the same experience to the desktop. To get started, you will need to right-click on the desktop and select “Personalize.”
This will open the “Personalization” tab in the Settings app, and you’ll need to choose “Background” from the “Customize your background” drop-down menu. If you followed the steps correctly, you should be able to enable Spotlight collection now.
Once this is done, the Windows desktop will automatically update with new desktop images. At the end of the day, Microsoft will replace the image with a collection of up to five images from around the world.
Like the lock screen, you can also hover over the Spotlight icon on the desktop to get more information about the image. You can even right-click on the Spotlight icon to post comments or change the image.
For more information on the subject, just double-click the Spotlight icon to launch the knowledge panel in Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft is currently testing the feature in the following locations: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, with more countries to be added over time.
Microsoft introduces a new Voice Access experience for Windows 11.
Based on the company’s machine learning and on-device speech recognition technology, Windows 11 Voice Access will allow users to open and switch between applications, browse the web, and read emails.
Microsoft says it will only support US English. Windows display language must be set to US English for this feature to work. If your device is located in a different region or if you use UK English, this feature may not work properly.
Other improvements in Windows 11 Build 22518:
- Microsoft is launching new custom emoji. These new emojis will be based on the skin and face tones of the family members, and the user will be able to customize them. Microsoft is also releasing emojis for couples with hearts, kisses, and people holding hands.
- You can now display the clock and date on the secondary monitor’s taskbar.
- Microsoft is adding a new Extra Large Candidate Height option for IME users.
- Microsoft is making some changes to address an issue where an invisible window frame could prevent search entries. In some cases, recent Windows Search searches might get stuck on the screen.
- The Windows Search results search drop-down menu will now have a tooltip describing its purpose.
- Fixed issues causing Windows search to fail.
How to install Windows 11 Build 22518
To install Windows 11 Build 22518, try these steps:
- If you have a stable build or Windows 11 or Windows 10, visit Windows setup and open the Windows Insider Program tab.
- Switch to the development channel.
- Click on “Search for updates“.
- The update will appear downloaded. Click the “Download and Install” button.
- Once done, click “Restart Now”.
Known Issues in Build 22518 for Windows 11
Microsoft is aware of these known issues in build 22518:
- An error could block DWM. When this happens, your screen will flash repeatedly.
- The network icon will automatically disappear from the taskbar. This can be fixed by restarting Explorer.exe.
- Windows Search Panel may not open. Restart the “Windows Explorer” process to get it working again.
- The widget board may appear black or render at the wrong resolution.
In addition to the new preview update, Microsoft has also released a new version of Notepad with support for darker and other improvements.