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Windows 11 is testing a major change to the taskbar

Windows 11’s taskbar has been among its most controversial elements. But Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 Insider Preview (Build 25158), which is now available in its Dev Channel, could bring back some older features of the taskbar some may appreciate.

The preview build highlights several UI changes to the Windows 11 taskbar, including a reintroduction of the search bar, which was previously a well-known feature in Windows 10, The Verge noted.

It has since become an optional feature in Windows 11; however, with the preview build, Microsoft is looking to test and get developers’ opinions on different design options for a possible update in the future. There is no guarantee it will become a permanent update for Windows 11; though developer feedback will likely be essential for whether it moves forward to other Insider Previews and to the public.

Microsoft is also experimenting with the notification badges for its Widgets section in Windows 11. Notification badges serve as an additional feature to Widgets and can serve as an alert or advisory to various Widgets, such as Weather. Similarly, notification badges are not guaranteed to end up as a permanent Windows 11 feature.

There are a number of features, formerly tested through the Windows Insider Program, which have made it to public builds of Windows 11. In April, Microsoft rolled out an update, which included features, such as Focus, Do Not Disturb, and Live Captions, which were long tested in the developer and beta Windows Insider Programs.

Focus and Do Not Disturb are features that help keep users set on the task at hand. Focus “minimizes visual distractions and reduces clutter on the desktop.” Do Not Disturb allows you to track and personalize your Focus experience even more.

Live Captions is an accessibility feature that is especially beneficial for those who are deaf, in addition to language learners. It is a feature that can pair with other apps, as well as web-based audio. Video streaming websites are a particularly useful method for this feature.