Windows 11 gets better with Windows Ink and File Explorer Improvements

Windows 11

Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 to the Dev Channel. The build includes Windows Ink improvements. The accuracy of the recognition technology has been improved. The flight has added a scratch out gesture for users to simplify the overall editing experience.

The purpose of Windows Ink is to enable users to make use of their pen and handwriting anywhere on their Windows device. The new Windows Ink improvements provide support for English (US) but you can expect the addition of additional languages. You can manage Windows Ink options by navigating to Settings | Bluetooth and devices | Shell Handwriting | Pen and Windows Ink. This feature is currently being rolled out to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel in a phased manner.

The Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 has removed a wide range of old settings located under Folder Options in File Explorer. This is part of an effort to clean up the number of settings for File Explorer. These legacy settings have been around for several years and are rarely used by Windows 11 users. The following settings will not appear located under Folder Options in File Explorer.

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.

The Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 has started to push a new Focus Session widget as part of a Clock app update via the Microsoft Store to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels. You will be able to quickly start and stop focus sessions on your device with the help of the new widget. This new feature has started to roll out in a phased manner for all Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels.

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Microsoft also added new changes and improvements. The Never combined mode enables you to view individual windows of your apps on the Taskbar is now available to all Dev Channel Windows Insiders. This feature was rolled out in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23466.

After the installation of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481, you will notice that Chat will be Microsoft Teams – Free and is pinned to the Taskbar by default. You will be able to tear out and merge tabs in File Explorer that were initially launched with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23471. The new text authoring experiences in voice access that were pushed with Build 23477 are now made available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com

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