Windows 11 Preview Build 23481 enhances the Windows Ink experience, File Explorer, and more

Microsoft has just released a new Windows 11 Insider Preview Build for the developer channel, labeled with the 23481 build number. The newest developer beta builds comes out one day after the release of this month’s Tuesday patch. Microsoft is seeding the new Windows build to insiders with a better Windows Ink experience, Folder options changes in File Explorer, a new Focus Session widget, and more.

Microsoft pushes the new build to the developer channel with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481.1000 (rs_prerelease) build number. If you are a tester, you may have already received the new update. As it is an incremental upgrade, you can quickly install it on your Windows 11 PC.

Windows Ink becomes even more powerful with today’s update, users with a stylus/pen or ink can easily handwrite anywhere they can type on their Windows device such as a search box in Settings and other places. Moreover, Microsoft has made improvements to the accuracy of the handwriting recognition technology. The new improvements are limited to English (US) only and will be expanded to other languages in the future.

Windows 11 Preview Build 23481

The next notable change coming with today’s update is the removal of old folder options in File Explorer, the list includes following changes:

  • Hide Folder Merge conflict.
  • Always show icons, never thumbnails.
  • Display file icon on thumbnails.
  • Display file type information on Folder tips.
  • Hide protected OS files.
  • Show drive letters.
  • Show popup description for Folder and Desktop items.
  • Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color.
  • Use sharing wizard.

Microsoft is pushing the new Windows 11 insider preview build with the new Focus Session widget, Never combined mode for Taskbar which allows you to see each window of your applications, Chat gets a new name – Microsoft Teams, users can tear out and merge tabs in File Explorer, new text authoring experiences in voice access, and more.

Windows 11 Preview Build 23481

Now let’s take a look at the complete list of improvements and fixes coming with today’s update.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 – Changes and Improvements

  • Taskbar & System Tray
    • Never combined mode, which enables you to see each window of your applications on the taskbar individually, and which began rolling out with Build 23466, is now available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.
      Windows 11 Preview Build 23481
    • Starting with his build, Chat is now Microsoft Teams – Free. Microsoft Teams – Free is pinned by default to the taskbar and can be unpinned like other apps on the taskbar. Stay tuned for more enhancements as we continue to enhance Microsoft Teams – Free with more features and improvements.
  • File Explorer
    • The ability to tear out and merge tabs in File Explorer, which began rolling out with Build 23471, is now available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • Voice Access
    • The new text authoring experiences in voice access that began rolling out with Build 23466 is now available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 – Fixes

  • Dev Drive
    • Fixed an issue where filters beyond AV might be attached to your Dev Drive on reboot.
    • Fixed an issue which could cause a bugcheck when using Dev Drive.
  • File Explorer
    • Fixed an issue where the icons in the File Explorer context menu could be blurry.
    • Fixed an issue where sync status icons for files backing up to a storage provider were not reliably displayed.
    • Fixed an issue for authentication errors on File Explorer Home where the ‘Please Sign-in’ button appeared but clicking on it did not pop-up the authentication dialog.
    • Updated “Show files from” text in folder options to “Include account-based insights, recent, favorite, and recommended files”.
    • Using CTRL + V to paste an image in Gallery will now paste the image into your default pictures folder (the default folder can be configured under Collection > Manage Collection in Gallery).
    • If you hover your mouse over the details button in File Explorer, the tooltip should no longer block the close button for the window.
  • We fixed the following issues for Insiders with the modernized address bar in File Explorer:
    • Fixed the direction of the search icon within the tab when doing a search in File Explorer.
    • Fixed an issue where tabbing or Shift + tabbing from the command bar wouldn’t land focus inside the current folder.
    • Fixed an issue where if you set focus into the address bar (to edit the path), you wouldn’t be able to use tab to move focus out of it.
    • If the current path is longer than the available space in the address bar, a bit of room now has been added so you can still click and go into edit mode.
  • We fixed the following issues for Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer Home:
    • Fixed an issue where hovering over folders in the Quick Access section of Home was causing the name to disappear and the icon to slide to the side if you had checkboxes enabled.
    • Dragging and dropping into the Favorites or Quick Access sections should work again now.
  • Search on the Taskbar
    • Fixed an issue where navigating the search flyout on the taskbar with the keyboard arrow keys did not work as expected.

If your PC is running on Windows 11 with the dev channel in Windows Insider Preview Program, then you can install the new release preview build on your system. You can check for the new update by visiting Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates.

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Haneet Singh

Haneet is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of YTECHB. He has a huge passion for tinkering with latest smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, smart TVs, and more. As an avid Apple Ecosystem user, he loves customizing his iPhone and iPad to suit his needs. For tips, you can connect Haneet at In 2019, Haneet and the YTECHB team exclusively shared the wallpapers of iPhone 11 right before the launch event. In 2020, Haneet alongside his team members shared exclusive renders and official photos of two Samsung Galaxy smartphones - the Galaxy M11, and Galaxy M21. Later, the YTECHB team leaks information about Motorola's feature phones and Razr 3. In the last few months, our team shared Galaxy S24 Ultra leaks and more. You may come across with our work getting mentioned in The Times of India, India Today, Hindustan Times, NDTV, TechRadar, Digital Trends, Yahoo News, GSMArena, Android Authority, Android Central, Android Headlines, SamMobile, XDA, 9to5Google, and many other publications. He works across news, updates, features, guides, and more. If YTECHB writes about it, you can expect him to be involved in some way.

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