Last month at the annual Build conference, Microsoft introduced Windows Copilot for Windows 11. Although, it was already available for users running on Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 or newer with ViveTool. Today, Microsoft officially rolls out the Windows Copilot Preview to users on the developer channel with the build number 23493.
If you are a developer tester in Windows Insider Preview Program, then your PC will receive the new update with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23493.1000 (rs_prerelease) build number. Just like the preview updates, you can quickly update your system to the new build and try out the Copilot preview along with the other features.
Windows Copilot preview isn’t the only change coming with today’s release. The update brings the all-new Settings app homepage, better support to restore apps, new volume mixer now available in Quick Settings, Narrator natural voices in Japanese and English (Great British), and more.
Windows Copilot Preview is the key attraction of today’s update. Microsoft said, “This first preview focuses on our integrated UI experience, with additional functionality coming down the road in future previews. To use Copilot in this flight you must have Windows Build 23493 or higher in the Dev Channel, and Microsoft Edge version 115.0.1901.150 or higher.”
To get started, just click on the new button on the taskbar (or WIN + C) to launch Windows Copilot. Windows Copilot will use the same Microsoft account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory (AAD) account used to sign-in to Windows.
Talking about the new Settings app, then the homepage gets a number of shortcuts including recommendations, cloud storage, account recovery, personalization, Xbox, Microsoft 365, and more.
Here’s the list of improvements coming with today’s build.
Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23493 – Changes and Improvements
- New functionality for mitigating unrequested modifications for app defaults as mentioned in this blog post are included in this build.
- Taskbar & System Tray
- The updated API for pinning as mentioned here in this blog post are now included in this build for preview.
- Snap Layouts
- We are trying out suggestions in Snap Layouts that help you instantly snap multiple app windows together. When hovering over the Minimize or Maximize button on an app (or WIN + Z) to launch the layout box, you will see app icons displayed in various layout options to help recommend the best layout option that works best. This experience is beginning to roll out so not all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel will see it right away.
- File Explorer
- We’ve done some work to improve the performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows.
Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23493 – Fixes
- Fixed an underlying issue which was causing explorer.exe crashes when doing a variety of things in the last 2 builds, including when uninstalling apps.
- Dev Drive
- Fixed an issue where symbolic links might not work correctly when using Dev Drive.
- File Explorer
- Fixed an issue where the count shown for selected files in the details pane may have been extremely large.
- We fixed the following issues for Insiders with the modernized details pane in File Explorer: Fixed an issue where the details pane was flashing white in dark mode when navigating or resizing the File Explorer window.
- We fixed the following issues for Insiders with the modernized address bar in File Explorer: Fixed an issue where the delete key was sometimes not working in File Explorer (including when doing Shift + Delete).
- We fixed the following issues for Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer Home: File Type icons were displayed in place of file thumbnails for ‘Recommended’ section (applicable to Enterprise users).
- Insiders signed in with an AAD account and try to navigate the Recommended section on File Explorer Home with the tab key on the keyboard may have experienced an explorer.exe crash.
- When navigating from another group to the Recommended section using a keyboard, focus did not appear on the group header or files appropriately.
- Taskbar & System Tray
- Fixed multiple explorer.exe crashes that were impacting taskbar reliability.
- Fixed an issue when using uncombined taskbar that was causing focus to get lost when moving from the taskbar previews back to the taskbar icons.
- Search on the Taskbar
- Fixed an issue impacting search reliability for some Insiders in the last 2 flights.
- Task Manager
- Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to move the Task Manager window with touch or pen.
- Dynamic Lighting
- Fixed an issue where device icons were missing from the device cards in Settings.
- Windows Ink
- Fixed an issue where users were unable use handwriting to erase text in Microsoft Edge.
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.