By Delia / Last update March 25, 2022

Microsoft has pushed the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22581 update to the Dev channel, and also to Beta channel. This means that the Dev and Beta channels receive the same version, and Windows Insider program members can switch channels now.

windows 11

At this point, Windows 11 Build 22581 is not a major release, and most of the improvements were already in the Dev release. But Beta channel testers can now try out new features like live captions, Start menu folders, a redesigned Task Manager, taskbar optimized for tablets, etc.

If you check for updates now, you may detect the "Windows 11 Insider Preview 22581 (NI _ RELEASE)" release, which is a smaller version of the Nickel branch, but also contains all the improvements and features associated with Sun Valley 2 (22H2).

windows 11 build 22581

How to install Windows 11 Build 22581

Open the Windows Settings page, and select Windows Update on the left panel.

Click on Check for updates > Download & install > Restart Now.

How to switch from Dev channel to Beta channel

1. Open Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program.

2. Select Choose your Insider settings.

3. Select Beta channel.

4. The next time you receive an update, it will be your new channel.

choose dev channel or beta channel

Note: This window will close once Microsoft has released a higher version of the build to the development channel. If your device stays on the development channel and receives a higher build number than the one in the Beta channel, you will have to do a clean install of the released version of Windows 11 on your device to switch to the Beta channel.

Changes and improvements in Windows 11 Build 22581


  • Windows Insiders in the Dev channel may try out new ideas, longer lead features, and experiences that may never be released.
  • In this release, some Insiders will see the first of these experimental features as we explore more ways to help people on the web discover and quickly access the content they care about through the Windows search box. If you see some of these concepts, be sure to let us know what you think by going to the Feedback Center (Win + F) and selecting the category Desktop Environment > Search.


  • The tablet-optimized taskbar feature, available since Build 22563, is now available to all Windows Insiders in the development and beta channels. As a reminder, this feature is only available for devices that can be used as a tablet. It does not work on laptops or desktop computers.

tablet optimized taskbar

  • Some fixes to the taskbar, such as the top border line that now extends across the taskbar and is visible to everyone regardless of device type.
  • The Win32 system tray icons for keyboard focus and mouse hover and the "Show hidden icons" flyout have been updated to match the rest of the visual style of the taskbar.
  • You may also notice that drag and drop is no longer supported to fix/unfix these items - you can show/hide these icons by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Taskbar Settings". We've also introduced an optional setting to completely hide the "Show hidden icons" button for those who want a simpler taskbar.


  • In Build 22557, new links have been introduced in Settings to help customers give their PC a second life or recycle it. These links will disappear when upgrading to the latest version (Build 22581 and above) and will return later.

Bug fixes in Windows 11 Build 22581


  • A fix has been made for another issue that caused the taskbar preview to use the wrong font as the window title in languages other than English.
  • Drag-and-drop to the taskbar should now work with an auto-hiding taskbar.
  • When dragging something to the taskbar, the message on the dragged item (e.g., show an X if not supported) now has rounded corners.
  • Alleviates an issue where swiping to collapse a tablet-optimized taskbar could accidentally invoke the widget palette.

Start Menu

  • Fixed an issue that would sometimes cause the search box at the top of Start to flicker.
  • Mitigated a potential issue where if you swiped to open the All Apps list, it would sometimes think you had clicked on a letter title in the All Apps list.
  • Updated the right-click menu when right-clicking on a pinned app to "Move to front" instead of "Move to top" so it's clearer what happens.


  • An update to the Clock app (version 11.2202.24.0 and above) has been released that fixes an issue with the Clock app not updating the Windows focus state when configuring a focus session in the Clock app.

File Explorer

  • Fixed some cases of missing icons next to entries in the right-click menu and command bar (e.g., if you right-click on the desktop while using the background slideshow, the next desktop background entry in the right-click menu).
  • Some minor tweaks to some of the icons used in the context menu and command bar, including the copy icon.
  • Folders with only other folder contents will now display an icon with a note to indicate that the folder contains contents, rather than an empty folder icon.
  • Resolved a potential issue that could cause File Manager to crash when using the Group By option.


  • Fixed an issue where the conversion option in the Hanwyn IME context menu did not work.
  • Resolved an issue where the IME toolbar did not show/hide correctly if you chose to use a previous version of Japanese IME.
  • Improved the reliability of displaying the touch keyboard on the login screen after clicking the PIN or password area after a reboot or upgrade.
  • Fixed an issue where some text on the touch keyboard was hard to read when using the "Black and White" text input theme.
  • Another fix for an issue where the Size and Themes link under Settings > Time and Language > Typing > Touch Keyboard did not work.
  • Mitigated an issue where the touch keyboard still displayed the previous text candidates when you switched to voice input.
  • The "Press Enter" and "Press Tab" commands should now work when using voice input for Chinese (Traditional Chinese).
  • Fixed an issue where adjusting your audio volume with a 3 or 4 finger touchpad gesture did not work on some paired Bluetooth audio devices.


  • Changes in sound-to-program events (e.g., turning off certain system sounds) should persist after the upgrade.
  • Improved visibility of the battery icon in the Bluetooth section of Quick Settings when Contrast Mode is enabled.


  • If you set the keyboard focus to desktop in task view, the border displayed around the thumbnail will now have rounded corners.
  • Fixed an issue where hovering over the Task View icon on the secondary display would not result in a desktop flyout when using the Arabic or Hebrew display language.
  • Fixed an issue where a window would animate from the wrong position if you selected one of the Microsoft Edge tabs displayed in Snapshot Assist.
  • If you drag a window over the corner of a snapshot layout, the snapshot layout should now be properly minimized.
  • Fixed an issue where the snapshot layout would unexpectedly display immediately when dragging a window, instead of only showing hints for insiders using Arabic or Hebrew display languages.
  • Addressed an issue where rotating the tablet before the previous screen rotation animation ended would cause the rotation animation to break abruptly.
  • Mitigated an issue where quickly minimizing all applications using a three-finger touch gesture could cause the window to stay in a reduced state.
  • Reduced the size of the area above the notification, which is the same size as the side of the notification because the tap is not passed to the underlying window.
  • Mitigated an issue that caused dragging the title bar of maximized windows with touch.
  • Fixed an issue where keyboard focus could be lost if an open or save dialog was opened in an application and you used ALT + Tab to switch away from that application and then back.

Voice Access

  • Fixed an issue that caused Voice Access to crash when using commands to capitalize text in an Office application.


  • Narrators now correctly tell you if a narrator is necessary.
  • Narrator now correctly tells you if an image is present in a table cell in an Office application.
  • When Narrator is read in Microsoft Edge using scan mode, it will no longer stop reading when reaching some embedded links and buttons in the middle of the text, for example on

Task Manager

  • Fixed an issue where the tooltip did not accurately display the preferred visual settings when Task Manager was configured to Dark Mode.
  • Fixed an issue where Task Manager did not populate the status bar details in the launch application page.


  • Fixed an issue that caused volume flyouts to be stuck on the screen when using the hardware keys.
  • Mitigated an issue that could cause explorer.exe to get stuck and not fully initialize on first login.
  • Fixed some other issues that affected the reliability of explorer.exe.

Known Issues in Windows 11 Build 22583


  • Windows Insiders running Windows 10 who join the development or test channel to receive the latest version may encounter download error code 0xc8000402 when trying to download the latest version. as a workaround, join the Release Preview channel first, install Windows 11 (Build 22000.xxxx) from there, and then switch to the development or test channel to receive the latest Insider Preview release. This issue is understood and will be fixed in an upcoming release.


  • The taskbar does not always automatically collapse outside of the taskbar when launching an application or clicking on an extension on a 2-in-1 device.
  • Some areas of the operating system do not yet track the height of the extended taskbar on 2-in-1 devices, so you may see overlapping components, such as Widgets overlapping the taskbar.
  • Microsoft is investigating reports of increased reliability issues when launching Notification Center.

File Explorer

  • When entering a search term in the search box in File Explorer, the suggested results that open the display may not work.
  • Microsoft is fixing issues related to icon size, visual errors, and displaying fly-out text clippings from OneDrive storage.


  • Microsoft is investigating reports of issues with displaying input UI surfaces - including the emoji panel, candidate window, and clipboard history.


  • Sometimes when pinning from Feed, the pinned widget is placed at the top instead of underneath other pinned widgets. If this happens, this will be automatically corrected within 30 minutes by moving the most recently pinned widget to the expected default position. Or you can log out of your widget panel and log back in immediately, which should correct the problem.
  • After rearranging the widgets in the widget board, some users have experienced problems with the pinned section of the widget rendering incorrectly. If this happens, signing out of your widget board and signing back in immediately should correct the issue.
  • The widget panel may not load as expected when using the swipe from the left edge of the screen touch action. You can launch it by tapping the Widgets icon or by using the Win + W key combination.


  • In the latest version, natural speech breaks sporadically. Restart Narrator to fix this issue.
  • Certain full-screen applications (such as video players) prevent the display of live subtitles.
  • Certain applications located near the top of the screen, which are closed before running live captions, will restart behind the live caption window located at the top. When the application has focus, use the system menu (ALT + Spacebar) to move the application's window further down.
  • When the live caption is at the top, the topmost part of the maximized application (for example, the window management button in the title bar) is not reachable by touch.