The Windows 11 2022 update is here, but should you care?

Can you believe that almost a year has passed since the launch of Windows 11? At the time, I was surprised to see Microsoft practically storming out a new version of Windows. But as I noted earlier, Windows 11 refined Microsoft’s desktop formula pretty well. My opinion hasn’t changed much since then (and yes, I’m still frustrated with the clean but less usable taskbar). Today Microsoft begins rolling out the Windows 11 2022 Update, the first major overhaul to the operating system, bringing increased security, accessibility, and a handful of gameplay improvements. Most of the time though, it makes it easier for you to get future updates faster.

How to get Windows 11 2022 update?

No surprise here: Go to Windows Update in your Settings app and see if your computer is eligible for an upgrade. As usual, Microsoft says it’s taking a “measured and phased” approach, meaning there’s a chance you won’t see the update right away. The company also points out potential conflicts on your system – e.g. B. an incompatible app, an outdated driver – preventing you from getting the updated operating system. This advice applies to both Windows 11 and Windows 10 users, although the latter should check their computer with the to ensure their hardware is compatible. (For more information on upgrading Windows 10, see our Windows 11 review.)

What’s the deal with faster updates?

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay said the company aims to provide “continuous innovation” and more frequent Windows 11 updates outside of the annual major release. That starts with the 2022 update. The company has “significantly reduced” the size of the updates (around 450MB for many people) and cut installation time, John Cable, the head of Windows Servicing and Delivery, said in a blog post.

The Windows 11 2022 Update will also be more carbon conscious, allowing you to schedule installations for times when your local grid relies on cleaner energy sources like wind, hydro and solar. This functionality won’t be available everywhere, and we’re still waiting to hear more about how Microsoft will be tracking power grid statistics. But in theory, it’s a smart way to reduce external carbon emissions (and it’s something I’d love to see on phones, tablets, and other devices).

Explorer window with tabs in Windows 11 2022 update


So where are the new features?

At first glance, it’s difficult to tell that you’re running the new update. It doesn’t bring any major UI changes, although Microsoft says it will add tabs to File Explorer in October. I used an early build of this feature, and it definitely helped reduce my window clutter when switching between SD cards, OneDrive, and my Downloads folder. (Don’t worry, you can still fill your screen with multiple Explorer windows if you prefer.)

You can also further tweak the Start menu by either adding more pinned apps or more recommendations. On top of that, Microsoft bundles the , which looks like a huge improvement over the existing Windows tool (and which Movie Maker is certainly light years ahead of).

Clipchamp video editor in Windows 11 2022 update


Much like the improved Windows Update experience, the vast majority of new features are under the hood in the 2022 update. This includes a number of accessibility upgrades that include: system-wide live closed captions that initially appear at the top of your screen to help you feel engaged during video chats; natural sounding voices for narrator voice acting; as well as a preview of improved voice commands for using your PC and transcription.

Microsoft has been more than most tech companies over the past decade. These include launching the , establishing a , and announcing a five-year commitment to bridging the disability divide. The features introduced in this Windows 11 update are all driven by members of the Windows Accessibility Team, adding a personal touch to them.

For example, the new Focus Sessions experience is led by Alexis Kane, a product manager with ADHD. She noticed how notifications made her more anxious and disrupted her workflow, so she helped find a way to minimize them without disabling notifications entirely. Focused Sessions reduces the noise of these alerts, but it also disables taskbar badges and allows you to schedule work sprints using the Clock app. The Windows 11 2022 update is here, but should you care?

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