Windows 11 Build 25197 Brings Taskbar Changes & Animated Icons

Windows 11 Build 25197 has been rolled out to the Dev channel for the Insiders. This update includes some feature updates and many fixes and improvements but also has new issues. Is it worth the upgrade? Continue reading to find out.

Windows 11 Insider Update

A few days before September’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has rolled out Build 25197 for Windows 11 on the Dev channel for Insiders. This update has some exciting new features as well as a few fixes for the operating system.

Microsoft has now rolled out the animated icons in the Settings application which previously had to be enabled via a tweak. Moreover, they have reintroduced the tablet-optimized taskbar for the supported devices. Additionally, the system tray icons have been updated to be more in tune with Windows 11 UI.

Let us take a look at these new features as well as the fixes introduced with this flight in detail.

New in Windows 11 Build 25197

Tablet-Optimized Taskbar is Back

The tablet-optimized taskbar was first introduced in Windows 11 Build 22563. However, it was then later retracted by Microsoft. With Build 25197, this feature has been reintroduced with a better performance.

The tablet-optimized taskbar is a transition of the regular taskbar to one that is more suited for when you shift your 2-in-1 laptop to tablet mode.

Collapsed VS expanded taskbar in ablet mode
Collapsed VS expanded taskbar in tablet mode. Source: Microsoft

You can manage how your taskbar behaves when in tablet mode at the following location:

Settings app >> Personalization >> Taskbar >> Taskbar behaviors

Note: Since this feature is gradually rolling out, not everyone might see it right away.

System Tray Icons Updated

The icons you see in the system tray have been updated to be more in tune with Windows 11 UI. This update comes as a part of Microsoft’s “continued modernization” attempt of the Windows OS.

However, Microsoft has also pointed out that the drag-and-drop rearrangement of the icons in the system tray may no longer function. This issue will be addressed in a future flight.

Note: Since this feature is gradually rolling out, not everyone might see it right away.

Animated Icons in Settings App

Users will now see tiny animations in the Settings application beside the category tags on the left.

Animated icons
Animated icons

Of course, you will need to enable the animation effects to see these new animations. To enable it, navigate to the following location and toggle the slider in front of “Animation Effects” into the On position:

Settings app >> Accessibility >> Visual effects
Enable animation effects
Enable animation effects

Other Improvements and Fixes

Other changes and fixes have also been made with this flight:

  • [Application Updates]
    • Calculator (Version 11.2208.1.0): The Calculator application has been updated to add native Arm64.
    • Media Player (Version 11.2208.22.0): The Media Player has been updated to add the ability to edit video files in Clipchamp with a new “Edit with Clipchamp” action available when you right-click a video in your library and in the lower-right corner of the video player UI under more options (…) while playing a video file.
  • [System Tray Updates]
    NOTE: These fixes will only show if the tablet-optimized taskbar with System Tray updates is enabled on your device.
    • The taskbar should no longer flash because of changes in the system tray in non-tablet-optimized scenarios.
    • 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 is now fixed.
    • The date and time should no longer get stuck cutting off on the side of the screen from system tray changes.
  • [Start]
    • A crash that users were seeing when using Start’s recommended section has been fixed.
  • [File Explorer]
    • 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 has been addressed.
    • Some work has been done to improve the performance of deleting files via File Explorer (when emptying the recycle bin or using Shift + Delete) in case where there are a large number of files being deleted at once.
  • [Input]
    • A tweak that began rolling out with Build 25179 to improve the key repeat rate for the traditional touch keyboard layout, as well as the default touch keyboard layout, so it feels more responsive is now available to every Insider on the Dev channel.
    • An issue causing ctfmon.exe crashes for some Insiders in recent flights when words were added to your spelling dictionary is now fixed.
    • Dragging the voice typing window to another monitor which has a different scaling than the originating monitor should work now instead of bouncing back.
    • A sporadic crash in recent builds when using the input switcher has been taken care of.
    • An issue that could lead to voice typing and other input features hanging on initialization is fixed.
    • An issue with displaying certain Sinhala words, where they were unexpectedly overlapping, has been addressed.
  • [Settings]
    • The design of the application lists displayed at Settings app >> Apps >> Startup and Settings app >> Apps >> Apps & features >> App Execution Alias pages have been updated to be more consistent with other Settings pages.
    • An issue that could lead to Settings crashing when removing devices has been fixed.
    • The Personal Dictionary section under Settings app >> Privacy & Security >> Inking & Typing Personalization has been updated to now say “Custom word list.”
  • [Widgets]
    • An issue that was making the weather icon in the taskbar draw too high and with no text in recent flights is now fixed.
  • [Windowing]
    • 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.
    • A sporadic explorer.exe crash that could happen when using ALT + Tab or Task View has been fixed.
  • [Task Manager]
    • An issue impacting Task Manager reliability is addressed.
    • If graphs have been hidden on the Performance page, the circles used to identify each of the different sections should be less blurry now.
  • [Other]
    • An issue that could lead to hangs in certain apps when attempting to print if an IPP printer took too long to respond to the print request has been addressed.
    • An issue where EnumPrinters wasn’t always returning the correct size for pcbNeeded, which could lead to hangs in certain programs, has been addressed.
    • A typo in the dialog displayed when Smart App Control blocked an app is 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, is now fixed.

With these new features, improvements, and fixes, there are also known issues with this flight.

Known Issues

  • [General]
    • There are reports that the audio stopped working for some Insiders after upgrading to the latest flights.
    • There are reports of a few different apps having started crashing in recent builds.
    • There are reports that Insiders are experiencing a bugcheck when moving their mouse in certain games.
    • There are reports that some Insiders are seeing OneDrive setup asking for permission to set up every time their PC reboots.
  • [File Explorer]
    • There is an issue where the command bar items like copy, paste, and empty recycle bin may unexpectedly not be enabled when they should be.
  • [Settings]
    • There are some issues where uninstalling certain apps using Settings >> Apps >> Installed apps aren’t working correctly.
  • [Tablet-optimized taskbar]
    • The taskbar sometimes flashes when transitioning between desktop posture and tablet posture.
    • The taskbar takes longer than expected to transition to the touch-optimized version when switching between desktop posture and tablet posture.
    • 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.
    • When using the bottom right edge gesture to see Quick Settings, the taskbar sometimes stays stuck in the expanded state, instead of dismissing to the collapsed state.
    • When there are no running windows on the desktop, the taskbar can sometimes collapse, when it should be expanded.
  • [Widgets]
    • The 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.

Should You Update?

Unlike most regular Dev channel updates, this flight includes several feature updates and improvements as well, apart from the many fixes. However, with those, there are added known issues as well.

Considering both the pros and cons of this Windows 11 update, we believe that installing it will only let you experience the new features before they are rolled out to the public. The issues aren’t that significant, except for the audio issue. But that problem has been there for the past few flights.

To sum up, unless your work on the computer is sound-related, you ought to install the update and test out the new features.

How to Install Windows 11 Build 25197

To install this update, you need to be running Windows 11 and subscribed to the Dev channel. If you have enabled Windows updates, you will automatically get a “New features are ready to install” prompt.

If not, follow these steps to install the update:

  1. Navigate to the Settings app and then click Windows Update on the left.

  2. Here, click Check for updates on the right side of the window.

    check for updates Windows 11
    Check for pending updates
  3. You will then see the following update available under Updates available to download:

    Windows 11 Insider Preview 25197.1000 (rs_prerelease)
    

    Click Download and install in front of it.

    Download and install 1
    Begin downloading the update
  4. Once the update downloads and installs, click Restart Now to finalize the installation.

    Restart computer
    Restart computer

Once the computer restarts, you can verify that the OS has been updated to the build specified by typing in winver in the Run Command box.

Updated 2
Update successfully installed

Rollback/Remove Windows 11 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 roll back 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
dism cleanup
DISM cleanup

Windows 11 Insider Preview updates history

BuildFeatures added
Windows 11 Build 25211New Widget Settings and Widget Picker, New Outlook for Windows experience, Task Manager in taskbar context menu
Windows 11 Build 25206SMB authentication rate limiter and dynamic refresh rate
Windows 11 Build 25201Expandable widgets board and sign-in option in Game Pass widget
Windows 11 Build 25197Tablet-optimized taskbar restored, animated icons introduced in the Settings app, system tray icons updated
Windows 11 Build 25193New Braille support for Narrator and Xbox subscription management from the Settings app
Windows 11 Build 25188Intelligent touch keyboard when physical keyboard detached
Windows 11 Build 25169Added App lockdown feature
Windows 11 Build 25126Improved account settings page
Windows 11 Build 25120Added search widget on Desktop/
Windows 11 Build 25115Added suggested actions feature
Windows 11 Build 22616Improved Xbox controller bar
Windows 11 Build 22598Improved Windows Media Player, Windows Spotlight default background
Windows 11 Build 22593Homepage to Windows Explorer
Windows 11 Build 22579Allows naming start menu folders
Windows 11 Build 22572Introducing Microsoft Family and Clipchamp
Windows 11 Build 22567Smart App Control, Focuses On Renewable Energy
Windows 11 Build 22557Folders of pinned apps, DnD, Focus, Live captions, quick access to Android apps, pin files to Quick Access, and more.
Windows 11 Insider Preview dev channel updates history

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