The newest version of Windows 11, version 22H3, will be out in a few weeks. Unlike the previous version which only contained improvements for the most part, v23H2 has several new features that add and improve the overall Windows 11 experience.
In this article, let’s go through all the major new features of Windows 11 version 23H2.
Windows Version 23H2: New Features
Here’s a list of all the new features in Windows 11 version 23H2:
- New File Explorer UI
- Photo Gallery in File Explorer
- Support for 7Zip and RAR Archive Formats
- Native Support for RGB Peripherals
- Windows Backup Tool
- Taskbar Ungrouping & Labels
- Windows Dev Home
- Windows Dev Drive
- More Widgets
- Paint Dark Mode
- Windows AI Copilot
Let’s see each new v23H2 feature in detail:
1. New File Explorer UI
Microsoft is making constant changes to the File Explorer with each new Windows version, v23H2 is no different. In this version, File Explorer has a major redesign with a new header UI, a new content preview panel with consistent UI, and more. In addition to these, you can also drag File Explorer tabs outside to create new File Explorer instances or windows.
2. Photo Gallery in File Explorer
In addition to the UI changes in File Explorer, v23H2 also includes a Photo Gallery in File Explorer. This new gallery feature scans your system or added folders and displays photos and images found in a tiled/galley view in a timeline. Since the File Explorer Gallery uses a timeline view, you can quickly scroll back in time to find the photos of your choosing.
3. Support for 7Zip and RAR Archive Formats
For a long time now, Windows only supports ZIP archive format out of the box. In fact, you can only compress in ZIP natively. In the newest version, Windows 11 v23H2 natively supports 7z, RAR, TAR, and many other open-source archive formats. That means, you no longer have to install third-party archive software to create or open file archives.
4. Native Support for RGB Peripherals
If you have RGB peripherals like CPU cabinets, keyboards, mice, etc., you might have faced the annoyance of using bloating third-party software to control the RGB lighting.
With the newly added Dynamic Lighting feature in Windows 11 version 23H2, you can easily control any RGB device/peripheral as long as it supports the open HID LampArray standard.
5. Windows Backup Tool
One of the things missing in Windows 11 is the ability to backup settings, files, and apps locally or OneDrive. That changes with this new version. In Windows 11 version 23H2, there is a new cloud backup tool that lets you automatically backup settings, files, and apps to your OneDrive account.
The next time you log into a new Windows computer or when you reinstall the OS, Windows backup will ask if you want to restore the settings, apps, and files as soon as you you sign in to your MS account.
6. Taskbar Ungrouping & Labels
In Windows 11 version 23H2, you can now ungroup taskbar icons and show labels with just a few clicks. If you remember, this is a pretty old yet very useful feature in older Windows versions like 7 and 8 that Microsoft removed while redesigning the taskbar for Windows 11.
7. Windows Dev Home
The newest version of Windows 11 has a new Home for developers. As you’d expect, it is called Windows Dev Home. It makes it easy to configure your developer environment, add dev-specific widgets, connect to GitHub, and more.
8. Windows Dev Drive
Along with Dev Home, developers can also create a new Dev Drive for development purposes. Unlike the regular partitions, the Dev Drive will be in ReFS file format and offers better performance while handling hundreds and thousands of files. In addition to better performance, the new file format also offers better security to protect your files from corruption.
9. More Widgets
As with each release, the Widgets board in Windows 11 v23H2 has some minor UI changes and a few new widgets. It also has new layouts. In addition to that, the Widgets board finally allows the user to show it with or without the MSN news feed. As you might have expected, removing the new feed from the widgets board has been one of the most requested features in Windows 11.
10. Paint Dark Mode
If you use the Paint app, you’d be happy to know that the Paint app now supports the dark mode. It’s a pretty minor change but a welcome one nonetheless, especially if you like to use dark mode or schedule dark mode on Windows 11.
11. Windows AI Copilot
Last but not least, Windows 11 v23H2 has a built-in copilot that you can open as a sidebar. Once opened, you can ask and interact with the AI (ChatGPT v4). If you are wondering, the new ChatGPT AI is nothing like Cortana. In fact, it is miles ahead and pretty revolutionary in terms of AI capabilities.
That is all. These are the major new features in Windows 11 version 23H2.