Windows 11 Build 22616 is now available to Insiders with one new feature and a host of improvements. This preview update to Dev and Beta includes a new Controller Bar for Windows 11, but we don’t know if the experimental feature will be included in the 22H2 release.
The preview release is titled “Windows 11 Insider Preview 22616 (NI_RELEASE)” and comes with a list of improvements. We expect the 22H2 version to be ready for RTM users in a few weeks. Therefore, there are no significant changes in the new version.
Build 22616 You can try the experimental feature called Controller Bar with it. The Controller Bar is active when the controller is connected to the Windows 11 computer running the latest Insider Preview build. As a matter of fact, it will be possible to access your latest games and game platforms installed on the system with a single button. You can invoke this feature by pressing the Xbox button on your controller when you’re not already in a game. When you’re in a game, the Xbox button will take you directly to the Xbox Game Bar and game widgets.
Requirements for Early Access to Controller Bar Feature
- You need to be on one of the Dev and Beta Channels and running the latest Insider Preview (Build 225xx).
- Download the Xbox Insider Hub from the Microsoft Store.
- Open Xbox Insider Hub and sign in with your Microsoft Account. If you’re not already an Xbox Insider, you’ll be asked to join.
- After logging in, go to “Previews” and join the Windows Gaming preview.
- Check for updates in the Microsoft Store and make sure you have the latest version of Xbox Game Bar (Version 5.722.5022.0 or higher).
- Restart your PC (this is important for the Controller Bar update to kick in for the controller).
- After that all you have to do is pair your controller or connect it to the computer.
- Additionally, you can provide feedback to Microsoft regarding the feature.
Windows 11 Build 22616 Enhancements
As a reminder, the build watermark in the lower right corner of the desktop is no longer available in this build. But that watermark will return for Insiders in one of the future builds.
- Changes to the system tray introduced in Build 22581 are disabled for now. The system tray and especially the “Show hidden icons” popup will work the same as the original version of Windows 11, including the ability to rearrange the icons in the window. These changes will be made available again in the future, along with feedback and various improvements.
- We mentioned earlier that when installing in Windows 11 Pro, an internet connection and Microsoft Account are required. Windows Insiders on Windows 11 Pro edition will now have to use a Microsoft Account and internet connection during initial device setup (OOBE) when setting up for personal use only. If you choose to set up the device for work or school, you will not encounter any changes.
- Fixed an issue in the latest Insider Preview releases where the performance and reliability of explorer.exe could degrade over time, eventually causing a bugcheck.
- Fixed an issue that caused the “Show hidden icons” popup in the system tray to disappear completely for some Insiders, even though it was “open” under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar and “Other system tray icons”.
- Fixed an issue that caused some apps to crash when pressing the half-width/full-width key while using the Japanese IME.
- Fixed an issue that caused the widget panel to open and close immediately when you tried to open the widget panel from the side of the screen.
- Fixed an issue that caused users to be unable to use the swipe functionality to reliably invoke Widgets.
- Fixed an issue that could cause Quick Settings to crash when mirroring to certain wireless devices.
- Addressed an issue where using the 3-finger on-screen tap gesture for minimizing would cause animations to stop working system-wide.
- Fixed an issue affecting DWM (Desktop Window Manager) reliability in recent builds.
- Fixed an issue that caused some apps, such as Settings, to open blank when reopened during an upgrade or reboot.
- Fixed an issue where clicking on Productivity mode from the command bar caused the process list to fluctuate between Applications and Background groups.
- Fixed a core issue that could cause some text in Windows Sandbox to appear as black boxes in certain situations.
- Fixed an issue where Windows Update notifications were sent from “Windows.SystemToast.WindowsUpdate.MoNotification” instead of “Windows Update”.
Fatih, who has been intertwined with technology and games from a young age, is happy to conduct research and convey his experiences to people.