Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Meet Windows 11

Windows 11: Microsoft is fixing more key bugs ahead of October 5 release

But more fixes are needed and some might be released after October 5 Windows 11 release date.

Windows 11: Everything you need to know

Microsoft continues to deal with bugs to do with Start, Taskbar and Search in Windows 11 before it releases the next Windows to mainstream users on October 5. 

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Windows 11: Here's what you need to know

Windows 11 is an upcoming release of Microsoft's flagship operating system and the successor to Windows 10.

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The software giant has released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22468 to the Dev Channel, the channel in its testing forum where updates may or may not arrive in the version of Windows 11 on October 5.

SEE: Can your PC upgrade to Windows 11? This Microsoft app could help you find out

In Microsoft's assessment, this build provides a "good set of improvements and bug fixes" for those on Dev Channel releases and follows yesterday's release of the Paint app redesigned for Windows 11.  

Microsoft highlights two key improvements: 

  • When you click a VPN connection in VPN Settings, you can now see some stats about the connection.
  • Added an option to turn off showing recent searches when hovering over the Search icon in the Taskbar. The option is under Taskbar behaviors in Taskbar Settings. 

But the remaining list of fixes reveal Microsoft's efforts to whittle down key problems affecting the Windows system and user interface (UI) that need tidying up before October 5. With such little time, it looks like a matter of prioritizing fixes on a tight deadline rather than fixing everything before that date.  

For example, Microsoft says some fixes listed in this Dev Channel build won't actually arrive until after the official Windows 11 release. 

"Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the active development branch may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11 after general availability on October 5th," Microsoft states. 

Not everyone will see existing bugs or the fixes on October 5 because it will be gradually rolled out anyway. 

The key areas Microsoft has been working on over the past few weeks include the Windows 11 Taskbar, Search, File Explorer, and Settings. Microsoft knocked off several issues affecting Taskbar, Start and Windows Sandbox a week ago, and the latest build takes it a step further. 

The Taskbar has now received a fix for a "rare explorer.exe initialization hang", while Search has gained reliability improvements to flyouts when hovering over or navigating to the Search icon in the Taskbar. 

Search visuals should work better when hovering over the Search icon in the Task bar as should flyouts when navigating to or away from the Search icon. 

These are minor issues that shouldn't stop anyone from upgrading to Windows 11 over the longer term, assuming their hardware supports it, but they're issues that Windows users shouldn't expect to face after installing the new OS. 

There are also Dev Channel-specific fixes for MDM enrolled PCs, a fix for a bug affecting Edge and other apps in multi-monitor scenarios, and a vanishing Windows Update icon in the Taskbar when hovered over. 

Microsoft highlights that many of these issues it has fixed are "rare issues", signaling the types of problems it's now fixing as it approaches the Windows 11 mainstream release. 

Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, there remain several issues affecting Start, Taskbar and Search that still remain unresolved. 

One affects energy consumption, and some users might still find it impossible to enter text when using Search from Start or the Taskbar. On top of that, the Taskbar flickers when switching between, for example, a mouse and keyboard. 

SEE: Windows 11: Here's how to get Microsoft's free operating system update

And the empty Widgets board problem still lingers. Microsoft's only answer to this problem is for users to sign out and then sign in again. And don't be surprised if widgets appear in the wrong size on external monitors. 

Microsoft reiterated that releases in the "Dev Channel no longer match the Windows 11 experience that will be released to customers on October 5th."

In other words, it's working on these improvements but don't assume they will be there on October 5. 

"These builds are also not matched to a specific release. New features and OS improvements from these builds could show up in future Windows releases when they're ready, and we may deliver them as full OS updates or servicing release," Microsoft says.