Windows 11 could soon run better on less powerful hardware

Windows 11 logo on a blue, folded backdrop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is preparing an update for Windows 11 that could prove popular among owners of older and cheaper hardware.

Currently available to members of the Insider early access program, Windows 11 Build 22526 introduces a number of fixes and enhancements, many of which are relatively minor.

Notably, however, Microsoft is using the latest build to experiment with a new approach to indexing file locations, which the company hopes will help users hunt down important files more quickly in File Explorer.

Windows 11 performance boost

Although Windows 11 brought with it a number of performance improvements, File Explorer (an absolutely essential feature) remains just as sluggish and prone to crashes as ever.

One of the most frustrating issues arises when utilizing the search functionality, which can take aeons to return relevant results, especially if the user stores a large number of files on their local hard drive.

In theory, the latest update should make sifting through large quantities of files much faster, with obvious benefits from a productivity perspective. Presumably, the change will be particularly beneficial for users running Windows 11 on older, less powerful hardware, who are more likely to suffer performance dips and longer load times.

But superior file indexing is not the only change included in the latest Windows 11 build. As per the release notes, other upgrades include support for wideband speech when using Apple AirPods products (which should improve audio quality for voice calls) and a new  “windowed” approach to the familiar Alt + Tab functionality.

For enterprise customers, meanwhile, Microsoft has enabled its Credential Guard service by default, which shields sensitive data behind a layer of virtualization-based security.

Given the latest Windows 11 build is currently only available to members of the Dev Channel, who have opted to receive the most unstable features in advance, it is unclear precisely when the new features will make their way into a public build. However, the signs are promising for those of us struggling with File Explorer-related issues.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.