It looks like Windows 11 could finally get a fix to improve the performance of its File Explorer app, but at the moment this is only available to people who have signed up for the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft’s official community for trying out new Windows features currently being considered for future updates.
The preview (named Windows 11 build 23545) is available in the Insider Program’s Dev Channel, one of the program’s four preview channels. Microsoft has described the update as including fixes for performance issues, addressing crashes, a new dark theme, and more. Taskbar search is also changing.
Microsoft provides a full rundown of the updates coming to Windows 11 in a changelog in this blog post.
File Explorer is the feature seeing the most changes. Many of them are addressing issues that would cause File Explorer to get stuck or crash. There are also a number of other fixes like those to File Explorer’s launch performance, including a leak that could worsen performance as time went on.
This update to File Explorer comes not long after Neowin and MSPoweruser reported on tricks that you can do in Windows 11 to make it run better and faster, including File Explorer by exploiting certain bugs. It seems like Microsoft is aware that users are willing to try homebrewed fixes (within reason, of course) to speed up Windows 11’s performance, and wants to offer an official fix.
Loading and processing speeds in Windows 11 have been a topic of discussion ever since its release, often being compared to its predecessors like Windows 10 and Windows 7, and a significant chunk of this new build looks like it’s specifically aimed at reducing crashes and loading times. It will be interesting to see if this build passes testing and if any of it ends up in a future Windows 11 update.
Testing out Microsoft Copilot
Microsoft is also pushing forward with the development and testing of its new AI voice assistant, Windows Copilot. It was released earlier this year and is currently only available for business Microsoft 365 subscribers and Windows Insider Program members as a preview feature.
In the blog post about Windows 11 Build 23545, Microsoft states that it’s actively listening to feedback about Copilot, and making changes based on that feedback. For example, Microsoft will restore availability of Copilot in certain regions where it was temporarily unavailable.
Other improvements in the works include Microsoft experimenting with different Taskbar experiences, added utilities to Windows Share (Microsoft’s new feature to share material to and from your device), and fixes for input issues.
Hopefully, this is evidence that Microsoft is still committed to improving Windows 11’s usability - which in my opinion is a good move, as Windows 11 is supposed to be Microsoft’s flagship product, but it’s far from perfect. If you’d like to get involved in trying out and giving your own feedback on any of these future Windows 11 features, you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program and upgrade your Windows 11 to Build 23545.