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Windows 11 2022 update live blog: This is everything you need to know

It's a big update

Windows 11 start menu
(Image: © TechRadar)

The first major update to Windows 11 is here. Microsoft announced today (September 20) that this feature-packed Windows 11 2022 update is arriving on your Windows 11 PC very soon. In fact, if you open Windows Update right now, it might be waiting for you.

Windows 11 2022 update, (or 22H2) brings refinements to Start and the taskbar but also a wealth of new features across the operating system. These include tabs on the venerable File Explorer, a controller bar for your games, and Live Captions that can be used all over Windows.

Prior to this launch, Microsoft was seeding insiders with updates that gave us all a glimpse of what was to come. Now, however, the latest Windows 11 is open to all. In fact, you may already be downloading it without knowing how it will benefit your PC, laptop, or another device like a Surface.

With this in mind, we'll be live for the next few hours to keep track of the latest update to Windows 11, and all its new features.

Currently running this live blog is:
Daryl Baxter headshot
Currently running this live blog is:
Daryl Baxter

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related.

In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and is usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything software-related, drop him a line.

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We are live with the first major update to Windows 11 since its release last year. But is it showing for you?

Windows 11 Live Captions in 2022 update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

A big feature of the new update is better Accessibility options. Live Captions can finally be used across the operating system, from Teams calls to when you play a video.

File Explorer with tabs in Windows 11 2022 update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

While the update isn't showing on my Gaming PC just yet, I've had the Insider program enabled for it, so tabs in File Explorer has been something I've been using for weeks. Microsoft tells us that the feature is launching next month.

Without sounding dramatic like a soap show on TV, this one feature has changed how I manage files and content on my PC, and it's been a long time coming.

Windows 11 start menu

(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you're struggling to see the new update on your PC in Windows Update, we've created a guide to help try and push the process along.

Windows 11 2022 update available

(Image credit: TechRadar)

And like clockwork, the update shows as available on my Gaming PC.

Windows had to install another update first, and after a restart and going back to Windows Update in Settings, the 22H2 update suddenly appeared.

And yes, that is Tomb Raider 2 in the background, arguably one of the greatest games of all time.

Windows 11 Controller bar in 2022 update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

One of our fantastic freelancers Darren Allan has written up a great new feature in the update - a Controller Bar.

Allan describes this as a way of launching a game by pressing the 'Xbox' button on an Xbox Controller, making it easier to get to your games much more quickly than before.

There's also greater support for Auto HDR, and if you're not sure what that is, we've put together a handy guide all about it.

Android apps in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Another write-up from Darren, where Microsoft has announced that Android apps are faster in this 2022 update.

Apps now launch 'two to three times faster performance in terms of graphics, and better input for touch controls, plus mouse and keyboard for that matter'.

There's also greater availability for this feature, with it coming to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

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If you've been waiting for a calibration app for your HDR monitor, then the wait is over.

A tweet announces the availability of one, where you can easily configure how best the image will look on your monitor when you're watching content or playing games.

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Our friends over at TechRadar Pro have highlighted the security features for this new update, spanning areas such as identitypatch managementmalware protection and more.

A big new feature is called Smart App Control, a new AI-enabled system that can stop users from running malicious applications in Windows 11.

Windows 11's new Task Manager

(Image credit: TechRadar)

We came across a redesigned Task Manager in a previous Insider build, and it's finally arrived in the new update.

Alongside dark mode, you can create crash logs to further look into why an app crashed, and there's a new 'Efficiency Mode', which can limit how apps use your PC in memory and processor usage to better control your laptop's battery life for example.

Mario waves goodbye

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Looks like the Windows 11 2022 update hype is calming down for its first day, and so I'm signing off.

If you'd like to get in touch about anything you've found about the new update so far, my contact details are here.


Windows 11 Snap layouts

(Image credit: Future)

Hi there, TechRadar US Editor in Chief Lance Ulanoff here, picking up with Daryl Baxter left off.

There's a lot to digest in this Windows 11 update, but I find myself focusing on the minutia.

For example, Microsoft says that the latest Windows offers enhancements to Snap layouts that should make you more productive. I often use these tools to manage as many as six windows across two screens but have found some of the controls less than intuitive. I'm hopeful that these updates will make them, as Microsoft promises, more versatile, but also easier to use.

However, what really intrigues me is the promise of Snap Layouts within the Microsoft Edge browser.

You see, I'm an "Edgey" (yes, I just made that up), which means I use Microsoft Edge as my default browser. It's better, faster, and lighter than Chrome. It also has cool tools like Collections and vertical tabs. Now, with Windows 11, it has Snap Layouts. That could be a real game changer, especially with the number of tabs I manage and how often I need to reference multiple web pages at once.

Microsoft's Eye Contact demo

(Image credit: Future)

As this Windows 11 update rolls out, it pays to read the fine print on what's supported "out of the box" and what might need that extra bit of hardware to make it so.

Windows Studios Effects, for instance, sounds like it could super-charge video meetings with AI-enhanced voice focus (cuts out all the background noise) and background blur to cut out the unmade bed behind you. Microsoft also mentions "Eye Contact" an AI-powered feature that makes it appear as if you are always looking at the camera - even when you're not. 

The idea is that it will look to your video call recipient as if you are making intense eye contact with them. It's a cool and slightly weird feature that I saw in action once, right after the launch of Microsoft's Surface Pro X convertible laptop.

In fact, that was the only device that supported it at the time. Since then, there's been more hardware support. That said, there's no guarantee that your laptop's camera and subsystem will support the feature. So, yes, be thrilled if it does, but not too disappointed if you can't maintain artificial eye contact with your updated Windows 11 PC.

Microsoft Windows 11 Update

(Image credit: Future)

One thing not many people are talking about is Windows 11's new environmentally-friendly features, specifically, the ability to be carbon-aware.

With the right data, Windows 11 can operate in a more environmentally responsible way, scheduling Windows updates at times when doing so might result in lower carbon emissions.

This doesn't just work, though. First, the computer needs to be plugged in and connected to the Internet - a reasonable assumption. Secondly, it needs data from your power grid that describes current levels of regional carbon intensity. Smart grids do have this, though it may not be immediately clear if they are or can feed that info back to your home or office and for Windows 11 to use.

Still, we appreciate the effort in a world where the climate is changing fast and every little bit may count. At least we hope so.

That's gonna do it for me and this Windows 11 Update live blog. Be sure to check out all of TechRadar's coverage of the major update.

Windows 11 Controller bar in 2022 update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Hello there, Daryl here. We're on day 2 of the first major update to Windows 11 being rolled out, so we wanted to ask - have you installed it yet?

What's your thoughts on it so far?

Or are you holding out until tabs in File Explorer arrive next month?

Do let me know, or on TechRadar's Twitter.

Windows 11 2022 update available

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Before bed yesterday, I spent a couple of hours arranging some files for my Steam Deck that's since shipped, and I noticed how much faster everything felt.

From copying files to loading up some Windows apps, it all felt much zippier. Have you experienced the same on the 22H2 update?

Windows 11 start menu

(Image credit: TechRadar)

One feature that's a big finally from me, is the ability to create folders within the Start menu. This is as easy as holding down on an app, dragging it over another, and hey presto, both will be in a folder.

Now let's see an option for the 'Recommended' section to disappear forever Microsoft.

Mario waves goodbye

(Image credit: Nintendo)

We'll be back for another day, but do let me know if you're having issues with the new update, or on TechRadar's Twitter.

Until next time!