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Windows 11's huge 2023 Update is available now: Here's what's new

Windows 11 Copilot on a laptopImage: Microsoft (edited)

Mere days after Microsoft released the Moment 4 Update for Windows 11 users, adding numerous new features and improvements to Windows 11 version 22H2, the company also unleashed the huge annual Windows 11 2023 Update (also known as Windows 11 version 23H2).

“Because Windows 11, version 23H2 shares the same code base and servicing branch as Windows 11, version 22H2, this feature update will be delivered via Windows Update (as with the monthly update process) to enable a quick installation,” Microsoft explains.

Windows 11 22H2 Moment 4 Update vs. Windows 11 Version 23H2: What’s the difference?

Somewhat confusingly, Windows 11 users will receive most of the new features of Windows 11 version 23H2 with the Moment 4 Update for Windows 11 version 22H2, which is already available as a preview update via KB5031455. To install it, the option “Get the latest updates as soon as they are available” must be activated in the Windows Update settings.

The Moment 4 update will then be delivered to all Windows 11 users on November’s “Patch Tuesday” on November 14. Over the next few weeks, there will then be another, smaller update that will increase the version number of Windows 11 from Windows 11 version 22H2 to Windows 11 version 23H2 and add a handful of other features.

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Microsoft didn’t reveal when the 2023 Update will be delivered to all Windows 11 users worldwide. Experience shows that it should take several weeks, if not months, until it’s pushed to every PC. OEM manufacturers will be the first to receive the new Windows 11 version in order to install it on the PCs and laptops they manufacture.

Microsoft will not deliver the 23H2 update if your system is still incompatible with some of the new or changed features — for example because a hardware driver or an installed application still requires adjustments on the part of the manufacturer. Only when these problems have been solved will the system receive the 23H2 update via Windows Update.

What’s new in Windows 11’s 2023 Update

In addition to the flood of Moment 4 features, Windows 11 version 23H2 comes with some new enhancements. According to Microsoft, this includes that instead of “Chat,” “Microsoft Teams (free)” will be pinned to the taskbar in future.

Under “All Apps” in the Start menu, all system components of Windows 11 are labelled “System.”

Windows 11’s 2023 Update also includes a sensible tweak that can help you stay organized: In Settings -> Apps -> Installed Apps, only applications and games installed by you will be shown. Any components installed and required by Windows 11 will be split out to Settings -> System -> System Components.

Moment 4 innovations and improvements

The “Moment 4” update that makes up most of the Windows 11 2023 Update is the most extensive update since the release of Windows 11. A look at this support article from Microsoft shows how extensive the update is, where all the highlights are listed separately according to categories such as “Start Menu”, “Taskbar”, “File Explorer”, “Security” and “Settings and Bluetooth”. These highlights include, for example

native support for the “rar”, “7z” and “tar” pack formatsImprovements in the start menua beefed-up volume mixer that can be called up via “Ctrl + Windows key + V”“Catalogues” in the file explorerthe new Windows Backup appsupport for passkeys (which are supposed to replace passwords)an extended phishing protectionthe possibility of hiding the display of the time in the bottom right-hand cornerthe completely revised start page of the “Settingsthe control of devices with dynamic lighting (such as mice, keyboards, etc)and much more.

This article was translated from German to English and originally appeared on pcwelt.de.

Panagiotis “Takis” Kolokythas schreibt seit über 20 Jahren News, Ratgeber und Tipps zu fast allen IT-Themen.

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