Windows 11 build 25197 brings back the tablet-optimized taskbar and redesigned system tray
Microsoft has released a new build of Windows 11 to Insiders enrolled in the Dev channel, as tends to happen every week. This time, we’re getting Windows 11 build 25197, and it’s arriving a day later than the usual Wednesday schedule because of the Labor Day holiday this past Monday. As per usual, this new build doesn’t include a ton of big new changes, but it does bring back some things we’ve seen in the past that were later removed, such as the tablet-optimized taskbar.
If you don’t remember it, the tablet-optimized taskbar is a version of the taskbar that’s much smaller to make more room for the main content on the screen and improve touch navigation. With this redesigned taskbar, icons for apps are no longer visible, and you can only see basic information such as the internet and battery icons. If you want to see the full taskbar, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring it up. Of course, this design only appears when using a touch-enabled device without a keyboard connected, so if you have a laptop or desktop PC, this won’t affect you.
Microsoft actually tested this change for a while during the development cycle for Windows 11 version 22H2, but it was removed before making it to the finalized version of that specific update. Microsoft said it was going to make improvements and hopefully bring it back later, and indeed, that seems to be the case.
Another change that’s being brought back has to do with the system tray next to the taskbar, and this change affects all devices. These are mostly visual changes, with a rounded focus and hover effect on all the system tray elements. But they also come with a big downside, which is the inability to drag and drop icons in the system tray area into the overflow menu. This was already a problem with the previous implementation, and Microsoft says it’s working to make improvements, so hopefully that will be addressed in a future build.
Finally, one last visual improvement has to do with the Settings app. When you switch between the categories on the left-side menu, you’ll now see that the icons are animated for a couple of seconds, making the experience a bit more lively.
While it’s not necessarily part of this build, Microsoft also noted that it’s rolling out a couple of app updates for Inisders in the Dev channel. For one thing, the Calculator app now runs natively on Arm64 devices like the Surface Pro X and Lenovo ThinkPad X13s. Meanwhile, the Media Player app now has an option to edit a video with Clipchamp when you right-click a video in your library or use the “more options” button in the corner while playing a video.
Aside from that, this build is mostly about fixes, though Microsoft does note that a previously-announced improvement to the touch keyboard, which increases the key repeat rate when holding a key, is now available to everyone after an initial phased rollout. The full list of fixes in this build is below:
Fixes in Windows 11 build 25197
[System Tray Updates]
NOTE: These fixes will only show if tablet-optimized taskbar with System Tray updates is enabled on your device. Please see above for details on the tablet-optimized taskbar and System Tray updates, which is beginning to roll out to Windows Insiders and not yet available for everyone.
- The taskbar should no longer flash because of changes in the system tray in non-tablet-optimized scenarios.
- Fixed an issue that was causing parts of the taskbar or its icons like search to get stuck in the wrong theme’s colors when switching between light and dark themes.
- Date and time should no longer get stuck cutting off on the side of the screen from system tray changes.
- Fixed a crash that users were seeing when using Start’s recommended section.
- Fixed an issue leading to a small set of Insiders with “launch folder windows in a separate process” not being able to launch File Explorer in the last two flights due to an explorer.exe crash.
- Did some work to help improve the performance of deleting files via File Explorer (when emptying the recycle bin or using Shift + Delete) in the case where there are a large number of files being deleted at once.
- Fixed an issue causing ctfmon.exe crashes for some Insiders in recent flights when words were added to your spelling dictionary.
- Dragging the voice typing window to another monitor which has a different scaling than the originating monitor should work now instead of bouncing back.
- Fixed a sporadic crash in recent builds when using the input switcher.
- Fixed an issue which could lead to voice typing and other input features hanging on initialization.
- Fixed an issue with displaying certain Sinhala words, where they were unexpectedly overlapping.
- Updated the design of the lists displayed Apps > Startup Apps and Apps > Advanced App Settings > App Execution Alias pages to be more consistent with other Settings pages.
- Fixed an issue which could lead to Settings crashing when removing devices.
- Updated the Personal Dictionary section under Privacy & Security > Inking & Typing Personalization to now say “Custom word list”.
- Fixed an issue which was making the weather icon in the taskbar draw too high and with no text in recent flights.
- Clicking the title bar portion of a preview thumbnail in Task View should now actually switch to that app, instead of just closing Task View.
- Fixed a sporadic explorer.exe crash which could happen when using ALT + Tab or Task View.
- Fixed an issue impacting Task Manager reliability.
- If graphs have been hidden on the Performance page, the circles used to identify each of the different sections should be less blurry now.
- Fixed an issue which could lead to hangs in certain apps when attempting to print if an IPP printer took too long to respond to the print request.
- Fixed an issue where EnumPrinters wasn’t always returning the correct size for pcbNeeded, which could lead to hangs in certain programs.
- Fixed a typo in the dialog displayed when Smart App Control blocked an app.
- Fixed an issue where certain characters were missing in the boot environment when using the Chinese (Simplified) or Korean display languages, leading to square boxes in the text.
And of course, there are still some known issues, which you might want to take a look at before upgrading:
Known issues in Windows 11 build 25197
- We’re looking into reports that audio stopped working for some Insiders after upgrading to the latest flights.
- We’re investigating reports of a few different apps having started crashing in recent builds.
- We’re investigating reports that Insiders are experiencing a bugcheck when moving their mouse in certain games
- We’re investigating reports that some Insiders are seeing OneDrive setup asking for permission to set up every time their PC reboots.
- We’re working on the fix for an issue where command bar items like copy, paste, and empty recycle bin may unexpectedly not be enabled when they should be.
- [NEW] We’re investigating some issues where uninstalling certain apps using Settings > Apps > Installed apps isn’t working correctly.
- [NEW] The taskbar sometimes flashes when transitioning between desktop posture and tablet posture.
- [NEW] The taskbar takes longer than expected to transition to the touch-optimized version when switching between desktop posture and tablet posture.
- [NEW] Using the left or right edge gestures can result in the Widgets or Notification Center (respectively) to overlap with or look truncated by the taskbar.
- [NEW] When using the bottom right edge gesture to see Quick Settings, the taskbar sometimes stays stuck in the expanded state, instead of dismissing to collapsed state.
- [NEW] When there are no running windows on the desktop, the taskbar can sometimes collapse, when it should be expanded.
- Notification badge number may appear misaligned on the taskbar.
- In some cases, the notification banner for some badging will not appear in the widgets board.
Since Microsoft has been reported to be changing the release schedule for Windows 11 feature updates, you can probably expect these changes to arrive a few months after Windows 11 version 22H2 launches. They’ll likely be included in what we currently know as “moment” updates, though there are still no details as to how often these updates will happen or how big they will be.