In 2023, many innovations will appear for Windows 11 with so-called moment 3 updates. What can users look forward to? And is there still a Windows 11 23H2?
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
In the fall of 2021, Windows 11 was released, followed a year later by version 22H2, the first feature update for the current operating system from Microsoft. Among other things, it contained new Start menu options, context menu optimizations, and a new Task Manager. Since the end of 2022, a group from Redmond (USA) has been releasing new features with Moment updates at irregular intervals – on May 24, 2023, they released the Moment 3 update with numerous innovations for Windows 11. We tell you what’s inside and how you can use.
Windows 11 moment 3 Update: everything is fine
In addition to numerous bug fixes and a decent performance boost, the Moment 3 update brings a whole host of improvements to everyday work—especially in the much-maligned new taskbar. After a successful upgrade (see below), the following new features are available:
VPN indicator in the taskbar
Do you sometimes surf the web unrecognized with a VPN client? Now check whether the connection is secure by looking at the taskbar. With an existing VPN connection, Windows 11 shows a small padlock on the WLAN symbol. Activate and deactivate the function via the quick settings (Windows key + A). Also new is a toast notification that you can use to copy codes for two-factor authentication (2FA). However, this feature is initially only available to English-speaking users.
Second display in the taskbar
If you want to see not only the date and time, but also the seconds in the information area of the taskbar, you had to resort to a registry hack. Thanks to the moment update, Windows 11 now supports this natively. How to turn it on:
1. Right-click an empty space on the taskbar, and then click Taskbar Settings.
2. In Settings, click Taskbar Behavior.
3. Check Show seconds in taskbar clock (consumes more power).
Print key launches snipping tool
If you want to create a screenshot with the snipping tool, you have to open the program from the start menu. From now on, this also works by pressing the print key. If you want to go back to the previous behavior (save screenshot to clipboard), proceed as follows:
- Open Settings from the Start menu.
- Click Accessibility & Keyboard.
- Set the “Use the push button to open the Snipping Tool” switch to “Off”
The live subtitles (live captions) introduced with the 22H2 update are now available in German and other languages in addition to English. Windows 11 does not retrieve this from the Internet, but generates it in real time on the device. To show the subtitles during a video, simply press the key combination Windows key + Ctrl + L or open the quick settings with Windows key + A and activate the “Live subtitles” switch under Accessibility. In order for this to work, the appropriate language pack may have to be downloaded in advance:
- Open Settings from the Start menu.
- Click Time and Language and Language and Region.
- After clicking Add language, select the desired package, click Next and Install.
New photos app with slideshow function
Since Microsoft removed the slide show from Windows 11’s photo viewer in autumn 2022, many users have been requesting the feature back via the operating system’s feedback hub. Microsoft shows understanding and even delivers an improved photos app. Not only can it play back images as a slide show, it also shows them again in the popular timeline view. To update Windows Photo Viewer, which is called Microsoft Photos in the store, open the Microsoft Store app, click Library, Get Updates, and Update All.
Browser tab cap on Alt+Tab
As is well known, the key combination Alt + Tab not only switches between open windows, but also between open tabs in the Edge browser. Previously, Windows offered the option of displaying five or even all tabs instead of the default three tabs. With Moment 3, Microsoft is replacing this openness with an upper limit of 20 tabs – possibly for performance reasons. How to change the default:
- Open Settings from the Start menu
- Click System and Multitasking.
- In the “Show tabs from apps when docked or pressed ALT+TAB” list, select an option between 3 and 20 tabs or Don’t show tabs.
New privacy settings win update
For devices with sensors for presence detection (presence sensor), there are new options in the Windows settings under under Privacy & security. The screen can be locked as soon as the user leaves the workplace. In addition, the automatic waking and locking of the screen when arriving or leaving work can be switched on and off, and you can deny individual apps access to the sensor.
Live kernel dumps via task manager
The Moment 3 update also brings a new Task Manager. This creates Live Kernel Dumps, which take snapshots of kernel memory for diagnostic purposes without causing the system to crash like previous methods. And so it goes:
- Start the task manager, for example with the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift key + Escape.
- Under Processes or Details, right-click the System process.
- Now select Create Live Kernel Dump File and then either Full Live Kernel Dump or Kernel Stack Dump.
- After clicking on Open file location and Continue you will see the livedump.DMP file.
Content dependent brightness control
The “Content Adaptive Brightness Control” (CABC) feature, which dims areas of the screen based on their content, is now also available on devices with a plugged-in power supply. It can be controlled in the Windows settings under System, Screen and “Brightness and Color”; the options “Off”, “Always” and “Only with battery operation” are possible. Important: The new brightness control is only available if the PC manufacturer has enabled it.
Subscription display in account settings
In Windows Settings under Accounts, Windows 11 now shows the storage capacity and current usage of all your Microsoft OneDrive subscriptions. It may also display information about your Microsoft 365 Office subscription and Xbox “PC Game Pass” subscription plan. Previously, Microsoft only displayed information on external websites.
Bluetooth Low Energy
Windows 11 now supports Bluetooth Low Energy Audio (BLE) wireless technology. Compared to conventional Bluetooth, BLE features improved sound with lower power consumption when compatible headphones and headphones are connected. For this to work, the PC must also support this technology.
Windows 11 Moment 3: How to get there
Although the Moment 3 Update has been released for all supported devices, some Windows 11 users have to be patient until the new features arrive automatically. As usual, Microsoft is gradually distributing the initially optional update over the coming weeks in order to be able to react to any problems. To speed up the process:
- Click Start, Settings and Windows Update.
- If necessary, click Check for Updates. If update KB5026446 is available for your PC as shown in the image above, install it by clicking Download and Install.
- If you are not yet offered the update, turn on the new update turbo. To do this, set the “Get the latest updates as soon as they are available” switch to “On” and repeat step 2.
More innovations for 2023
Microsoft has been testing numerous new functions for a few weeks, and it is not yet clear whether and with which update they will appear.
Windows 11 Copilot
At the start of the Build developer fair on May 23, 2023, Microsoft presented a whole bundle of innovations for Windows 11. The highlight was of course the Windows 11 Copilot based on ChatGPT, which also integrates artificial intelligence (AI) into Windows 11 Moment 3 Update according to Bing, Edge and Microsoft 365. Instead of the previous “emergency solution” using the Bing button in the start menu, the new copilot can be found directly in the taskbar and opens a sidebar on the right edge of the screen, which you can use to type in questions or copy text and ask the AI for a summary. In the live demo, the copilot also accessed Windows functions, starting focus sessions and playing music. In June 2023, the function should initially be available in a Windows preview version, in autumn it could then open up to all Windows users with Windows 11 23H2 or the Moment 4 update, see below.
AI in the Microsoft Store
Microsoft not only integrates artificial intelligence into its services, but also wants to promote corresponding third-party apps. That’s why the Microsoft Store will have its own area for AI applications in the future, which Microsoft also showed at the Build fair. In the area marked with two asterisks, interested parties will in future find all apps that use artificial intelligence, such as Luminar Neo from Skylum.
Built-in support rar and 7-zip format
On the sidelines of the Copilot presentation, Microsoft announced a small sensation: in addition to Zip, Windows 11 will soon support many other archive formats such as Tar, 7-zip, Rar and gz. This was made possible by directly integrating the open source libarchive project into the operating system . The formats mentioned can be extracted as usual via the context menu – so the corresponding packer is no longer needed.
According to The Verge, the feature should be available to all Windows 11 users in September 2023. According to the report, the ability to create the mentioned archives with Windows is scheduled for 2024. Until then, you still need an appropriate packer.
Windows Explorer: New design
At the beginning of January 2023, Microsoft tested a secret gallery view in Windows Explorer as part of the Windows Insider program. It’s part of a major Explorer update that wasn’t officially revealed at Build 2023, but was briefly featured in a video. It shows the Windows file manager with a fresh Windows look including rounded buttons that now appear just below the address bar. Windows 11 moment 3
Additional information about autorun
Programs often start unnecessarily with Windows, then run in the background and constantly load hardware resources. However, many users who weed out such troublemakers through Windows settings after clicking on apps and autorun are overwhelmed by the decision of what is useful and what is not. Windows should help better here: after clicking on an app’s entry in the Microsoft Store, the operating system will display the app’s details page in the future. In commonly installed programs, so-called Win32 applications, clicking on the name leads to the corresponding storage location where informative text files can be found. Twitter user PhantomOcean3, who noticed the innovation, presents it in a short video.
Jump List for the Microsoft Store
The jump lists in the taskbar have been around since Windows 7: If you right-click on a taskbar icon, a list with frequent actions in the respective program, recently used files or pinned items appears. The Microsoft Store icon will soon also have a jump list. After right-clicking on it, you can jump back to recently visited store pages and to category pages such as “Apps”, “Games” or “Movies & TV” with one click.
App folders on the desktop in Moment 3 Update
In March 2022 there was good news for Windows 11 users who missed this feature: the Start menu folders are coming back. Since version 22H2, shortcuts in the Windows 11 start menu can again be dragged together with the mouse, after which Windows groups them in a folder to save space. Most users are familiar with this function from the home screen of their smartphone. Later, a user in a Microsoft video noticed a related innovation that is not yet official, but could appear in 2023: program icons grouped into a folder on the desktop.
A reader provided the Windows Latest blog with a still from a live Microsoft event, see the image above. It shows icons on the desktop that have been combined into a folder. Microsoft has not commented on this. It is therefore not clear whether the manufacturer has intended this function for Windows or whether it has already been discarded.
Schedule: Windows 11 22H3 and Moment 4
Microsoft’s new update schedule ensures that Windows 11 users get new features and notable changes every few months. The first momentary update followed in November 2022 to version 22H2 and, among other things, delivered the tab function in Explorer. The Moment 2 update was released at the end of February 2023 as an optional update and was automatically distributed to millions of users starting with the March patch day on March 14, 2023. It brought further innovations such as the AI-supported Bing search in the taskbar and new functions for Smartphone-Link. Before Windows 12 may follow, there should also be the 23H2 function update in September or October 2023.
Because according to the current status, Microsoft is sticking to the rhythm with an annual feature update despite the momentary updates. The company announced in a blog post in late February 2023 that there will be a major update for Windows 11 in the second half of the year. Windows Latest suspects that it will appear in autumn 2023 and will be called 23H2. However, the US company will probably deliver it as a momentary update. So it’s conceivable that 23H2 and Moment 4 are two names for the same update.