Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22494: Mute Microphone from Taskbar + Other Fixes

The Insider Dev channel has been updated with Preview Build 22494. Many fixes have been implemented with this flight. Regardless, Microsoft has also highlighted several problems with it which have been discovered…

Windows 11 Build 22494 Dev Channel Insider Preview

The Insider Dev channel has been updated with Preview Build 22494. Many fixes have been implemented with this flight. Regardless, Microsoft has also highlighted several problems with it which have been discovered (so far).

Having said that, some new features have also been introduced to the Windows 11 operating system, of the most significant ones being the addition of a new button in the Taskbar that controls your Microphone audio transmission. This button can be used to mute or unmute your device’s microphone during live calls.

Moreover, Microsoft is also beginning to test out other new features such as showing snap groups while using the ALT + Tab and the Task View option, similar to the ones when you hover above the open apps in the Taskbar.

Let us now discuss these new features in detail, also the issues with this flight, and how to upgrade your OS to the newer version.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22494 Changelog

Mute/Unmute Microphone from Taskbar

Microsoft has now added the feature where you can mute or unmute your device’s microphone directly from the Taskbar, anywhere in the operating system.

You will see an icon in the Taskbar as in the image below, while a call is in progress. This feature is currently only being supported by Microsoft Teams.

Mute/Unmute microphone from Taskbar

Microsoft says that this feature will currently be available to a limited number of users subscribed to the Dev channel.

Displaying Snap Groups

Some of the users on the Windows Insider program may also see snap groups while using the ALT + Tab keys or the Task View menu to switch between the different windows/apps.

Snap groups are a tiny display of the actual window so that the user can get a glance at what they are selecting from the menu. Microsoft correlates this feature with the snippets that you see when you hover your mouse over an open app in the Taskbar, like this:

taskbar hovering
Snippets while hovering on app in Taskbar

Changes, Improvements, and Fixes

Some other changes and fixes have also been made with this flight:

  • [General]
    • Users will now see a dropdown of options containing the results of their query (without having to click) when searching for file type or link types under Settings > Apps > Default apps.
    • You will now be able to launch the Installed Apps Settings page using the URI: ms-settings:installed-apps. To use this URI, simply paste it in Run.
    • The names of the Sort By options in the Installed Apps Settings page to make them clearer. Also, a new option to sort from smallest to largest size has also been added.
  • [Taskbar]
    • The tooltips will no longer appear in random places on the Taskbar.
    • An issue that was leading to come unexpected duplication of certain icons in the Taskbar corner has been addressed.
  • [File Explorer]
    • An issue that was causing the context menu to crash has been fixed.
    • A problem where the submenus of the context menu would draw on top of the context menu instead of beside it has been resolved.
    • The context menu icons will be less blurry now on systems with multiple monitors and mixed DPI scaling.
    • An issue that would cause a file to unexpectedly open while selecting Open With from the context menu rather than actually opening the Open With dialog has been fixed.
    • You can now begin renaming files directly from the desktop again.
    • An adjustment has been made to the command bar to help improve its performance in the File Explorer.
  • [Search]
    • An issue that was causing the indexer database to become too fragmented and consuming large amounts of CPU and memory has been fixed.
  • [Input]
    • The issue of certain apps hanging when trying to drag something with the Shift or Ctrl key held down has been resolved.
    • An issue that was causing the touch keyboard to not appear when tapping the text field while trying to reset the PIN from the login screen has been resolved.
    • Improved reliability of the Pen menu.
  • [Windowing]
    • A few explorer.exe crash-related issues have been fixed.
    • The background should now be acrylic across all monitors while using the Task View option.
    • Several UI issues with the window thumbnails in Task View and ALT + Tab menu have been addressed.
  • [Settings]
    • An issue where the Facial Recognition option may be greyed out has been resolved.
    • An issue where Storage Sense wasn’t cleaning up C:\Windows\SystemTemp has been fixed.
    • Standard users should now be able to change the time zone in Settings if the Location access is not granted.
  • [Other]
    • An issue causing the links to Windows UpdateRecovery and For developers to show under the main Windows Update Settings page has been addressed in this flight.
    • An anomaly where the images had a yellow tonality in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Lightroom Classic when in HDR mode has been fixed.
    • An issue that was causing unexpected power usage while the screen was off has been fixed.
    • The unexpected consumption of CPU by Service Host: WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service has been improved.
    • An issue that could cause some devices to have a black screen (no login screen) when coming out from sleep has been fixed.
    • An issue that was causing some users with ARM64 PCs to experience Microsoft Teams crashes has been addressed.
    • The padding has been increased for selected items as seen by clicking Show More Options in the File Explorer context menu, or the menu options in Task Manager.
    • A bugcheck error 0x8007010b when accessing Linux distributions via `\\wsl.localhost` or `\\wsl$` in Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has been fixed.

Microsoft intimate’s the users that some of these fixes may make their way to the Windows 11 stable release through servicing updates.

Known issues

Before updating to build 22494, we suggest that you read this section thoroughly as it highlights the problems with this flight:

  • [General]
    • Users updating from Builds or earlier, to newer Dev Channel builds using the latest Dev Channel ISO image, may receive the following warning message: “The build you are trying to install is Flight Signed. To continue installing, enable flight signing”. If you receive this message, press the Enable button, reboot the PC, and retry the update.
    • A reduced screen timeout may occur for some users. Microsoft is researching the effect of shortening screen timeouts and sleep timeouts on energy consumption.
  • [Start]
    • You might be unable to enter text when using Search from the Start Menu or the Taskbar. If you experience the issue, press the Windows Key + R shortcut keys to launch the Run dialog box and then close it. This may temporarily resolve the issue.
  • [Taskbar]
    • The Taskbar may flicker at times when switching input methods.
    • The clock in the Taskbar can get stuck and not update, mostly when accessing the PC via Remote Desktop.
  • [Input]
    • A UI issue where the clipboard history says it is empty even if it is enabled and should contain content.
  • [Search]
  • [Quick Settings]
    • The volume and brightness sliders aren’t displaying properly in Quick Settings.

How to install Windows 11 Build 22494

To install this update, you already need to be running Windows 11 and subscribed to the Dev channel. Currently, no ISO image has been published by Microsoft for this Windows 11 Insider build.

If you want to install Windows 11, you can follow this guide here.

Here is how to upgrade to Preview Build 22494:

  1. Navigate to the Settings app and then click Windows Update on the bottom-left. Since there was an issue with the last flight (Build 22489), you will now need to click the Windows Update on the right side of the app.
    windows update addon
  2. The app will now scan for pending updates. When scanned, it will show Windows 11 Insider Preview 22494.1000 (rs_prerelease) ready for download. Click Download Now.
    download now
  3. It will now download and install automatically. When it does, click Restart Now.
    restart now

Once the computer reboots, you can check that it has been updated to build 22494.1000 by typing in winver in Run.

Windows 11 updated to Build 22494.1000

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
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