Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21337: Updated Explorer layout + Customizable Virtual Desktops

  • Microsoft releases Insider Preview Build 21337 to its Dev channel.
  • The update brings new features like a revamped layout of File Explorer, adjustable and customizable virtual desktops, auto HDR capabilities, and much more.
  • You can update to build 21337 by subscribing to the Dev channel and downloading the update using Windows Update.
  • If you have an issue with the known issues, you can revert to your old build using the steps given.

Microsoft released another Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21337 to its Dev channel this week. This update brings loads of new features to the OS as well as fixes some previously-recognized issues. Even so, there are some known issues with this release which have been discussed further in the post.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21337
Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21337

Microsoft has made a few changes to the File Explorer layout to make it more consistent with the modern XAML experience while preserving the option for users to revert back to the classic mode if they would like to have a more detail-oriented experience. Moreover, customization and reordering of virtual desktops have also been revamped to add more flexibility for the users.

Installing this Preview Update will update your OS build to 10.0.21337.1000.

What’s new in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21337

Customize virtual desktops

Windows 10 comes with a built-in feature of virtual desktops. It is a neat feature to separate your tasks and not create clutter by opening many windows on the same desktop. Virtual desktop allows you to open and create different tasks on different desktops, while allowing you to move windows in between.

With build 21337, you can now rearrange your virtual desktops from the bar above by pressing the Windows key + Tab shortcut keys. This can be done either by the drag-and-drop method or by right-clicking a virtual desktop and selecting the move option from the context menu. Furthermore, you can also change the order for the virtual desktops by selecting the one you want to move with the arrow keys on the keyboard, then keep holding down the Alt + Shift key and use the arrow keys to move it.

vd move
Source: Microsoft

Moreover, you can now also change the desktop background for each individual virtual desktop. This way, it will be easier for you to navigate between multiple desktops by recognizing the customized background while switching between the desktops, as well as in the thumbnails for the virtual desktops.

different backgrounds
Source: Microsoft

To check out this new feature, open the Background page in the Settings app and click the background you want to apply to your current, active desktop. To change the background of another virtual desktop, right-click the background and select the option to change the background for a specific virtual desktop from the context menu.

Layout changes for File Explorer

File Explorer is perhaps the most-used tool in a Windows environment. Microsoft has changed the default layout for Explorer by adding additional padding between elements to make it more convenient for the touch-screen users as well as in tone with a more modern look.

Having said that, Microsoft highlights the fact that the UX design is still not final. Hence, expect some further changes to the layout in the upcoming releases.

exp
Source: Microsoft

However, if you do not like the new layout, you can still revert back to the previous layout by clicking the Use compact mode in the View Options menu.

Auto HDR for PC

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a technique where an image or a video is rendered to reproduce the light and the dark portions to present a more refined and detailed display. Auto HDR is now enabled with this build for computers and users will now get to enjoy this feature on thousands plus DirectX 11 and 12 games.

To learn how to enable this feature and use it to its maximum capacity, refer to this Microsoft blog post.

Updated caption settings

Microsoft has also made a few changes to the Captions settings in the Settings app. To see these changes, open the Caption settings.

However, Microsoft warns that discarding any changes made to these settings may not work in this build. Hence, we suggest that you make the changes wisely until Microsoft works on a fix for this issue.

Updates to various inbox apps

Notepad: The Notepad now has a new icon. Not only that, the application is now updatable through Microsoft Store and now has its own place in the Start Menu.

notepad
Notepad icon – Source: Microsoft

Windows Terminal: The Windows Terminal is a powerful tool that serves multiple purposes in the Windows environment. The app is now included as an inbox app and will continue to receive updates through the Microsoft Store.

terminal
Window Terminal icon – Source: Microsoft

Power Automate Desktop: The Power Automate Desktop is now also made an inbox app. This app allows you to automate applications on your computer by mimicking actions. Note that the application is still not available for ARM devices.

automate
Power Automate Desktop icon – Source: Microsoft

Word/Notepad as text editor of choice

Microsoft has given users the option to make Microsoft Word or Notepad the text editor app of choice. However, if you are still using WordPad as a text editor of choice, it will still be available.

Other changes and improvements

Aside from the changes in features, here is a list of other improvements that have been made by Microsoft in this build:

  • Microsoft is now rolling out the new IME candidate window design to everyone on the Dev channel. This feature was first introduced in Preview Build 21313.
  • The emoji panel will now support searching in more languages, including the following:
    • Amharic
    • Belarus
    • Cherokee
    • Filipino
    • Faroese
    • Icelandic
    • Khmer
    • Mongolian (Cyrillic script)
    • Burmese
    • Sindhi
    • Serbian (Cyrillic script)
    • Serbian (Latin script)
    • Swahili
    • Thai
    • Turkmen
    • Tonga
    • Uzbek (Latin script)
    • Cantonese (Traditional)
  • Websites pinned using Microsoft Edge will now have live previews in the Taskbar.
  • The settings for Windows Ink Workspace have been moved to: Settings -> Personalization -> Taskbar

Fixes

Here is a list of the issues fixed with this build:

  • A DWM memory leak has been fixed that was discovered in the recent flights.
  • The issue resulting in errors when Insiders were trying to access certain pages in the Settings app using URIs has been fixed.
  • The problem resulting in the Settings app crashing when trying to access the Advanced Options menu from the Windows Update page has been resolved.
  • A set of issues have been resolved that resulted in many x64 apps crashing on ARM devices.
  • An issue with the Windows Security icon in the Taskbar saying that action was needed, but the application had no action to take has been fixed. The problem of the icon being unresponsive was also fixed.
  • The issue of the game in full-screen mode freezing when locking and unlocking the PC has been addressed.
  • The problem of screen flickering has been fixed when hovering over the icons in certain apps.
  • An issue for some Insiders that had their devices joined to domains where the credentials for apps and websites would be lost after installing an update has been fixed in this release.
  • An issue with the System File Checker (SFC) saying that it found some corrupted files the first time it was run after an update, whereas it didn’t, has been fixed.
  • An issue causing certain UPS to show up in Device Manager with error code 43 has been addressed.
  • An issue resulting in the system crashing with the source file as werfault.exe has been fixed.
  • The issue of some insiders not being able to wake their machines from sleep mode or experiencing an IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) has been fixed.
  • The issue of some users experiencing a Bitlocker recovery screen after upgrading to recent builds has been taken care of.
  • The ctfmon.exe crash impacting the reliability of voice typing and switching to a Microsoft IME while in a third-party IME reconversion session has been fixed.
  • The issue in the recent builds of the search not opening when clicking on the Search Box in the Taskbar has been fixed.

Known issues

Here are the issues Microsoft is currently aware of in this new release:

  • Microsoft is aware that the update process hangs for extended times while attempting to install the new build.
  • Microsoft is currently working on enabling a new taskbar experience for insiders. However, users can unpin the pinned sites from the taskbar, remove them from Microsoft Edge by going to the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the sites.
  • News and Interests:
    • Often the News and Interests window cannot be closed using a pen.
    • News and Interests may not be available when signing into Windows with no internet connection. It does however return when the device comes online.
  • Insiders using ARM64 architecture who had installed Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver on their Surface Pro X may experience lower brightness levels. Microsoft says that this issue has been resolved through a preview update for the graphics driver that you can download by clicking here.
  • Some devices with Realtek network adapters with the driver version 1.0.0.4 may experience frequent network disconnections, which Microsoft is working on fixing.
  • Some display devices with a high refresh rate and correctly configured settings are still displaying games at 60 Hertz.
  • You will no longer be able to access the network flyout from the login screen after installing this build. Microsoft suggests that if you absolutely need to connect to a new network from the login screen, you can use a wired network, or take your computer closer to another wireless network that has been preconfigured so it will connect automatically.
  • Some users with devices with certain NVMe drives may experience disk resets or WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR bugchecks. If you have been a victim, Microsoft suggests that you pause the updates while they work on a fix.
  • Some users might experience the DPC_WATCHDOG_ERROR bugchecks.

How to install Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21337

If you are subscribed to the Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program, then you shall automatically receive the new update through Windows Updates. However, if you are anxious to receive the update without waiting, here is what you can do.

Open the Windows Update page (Run –> ms-settings:windowsupdate) in the Settings app and click Check for updates for an online search. The system will then start to download the latest update available and install it automatically once it is downloaded. Reboot the computer once installed.

Since a standalone ISO image for this build has not been made available, updating your current version is the only way to install this build right now.

Rollback/remove Windows 10 Insider Preview update

If you do not wish to keep the installed preview update for some reason, you can always roll back to the previous build of the OS. However, this can only be performed within the next 10 days after installing the new update.

To rollback after 10 days, you will need to apply this trick.

Cleanup after installing Windows Updates

If you want to save space after installing Windows updates, you can run the following commands one after the other in Command Prompt with administrative privileges:

dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
cleanup

You can learn all about the Microsoft Insider Programs and check out how to join and manage them. You can also join the Windows Insider Program without creating or registering your Microsoft account.

Subhan Zafar

Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several system and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts