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Guide: How to enable the updated taskbar in Windows 11 Dev build 25158

The latest Windows 11 build Microsoft released this week contains an updated taskbar with new search buttons. As usual (and incredibly annoyingly), Microsoft grants access to new features only to some insiders, effectively playing the software lottery with those willing to test pre-release software from a company worth $1.9 trillion for free.

Build 25158 new Search bar styles

If you are one unlucky insider with no access to the latest stuff from Microsoft, here is how to enable the new taskbar in Windows 11 Dev build 25158.

Disclaimer: Enable experimental features in Windows 11 at your own risk, and always backup important files and data.

How to enable the new search button on the taskbar in Windows 11 Dev:

  1. Download the ViveTool app from its repository on GitHub and extract files anywhere you like.
  2. Run Windows Terminal as Administrator and go to the ViveTool's folder using the CD command. For example, CD C:ViveTool.
  3. Type .\vivetool /enable /id:39072097 /variant:, then place a number after the colon.
    • 1 and 2 - a button with the “Search” word.
    • 3 - a button with a magnifying glass with a globe inside it.
    • 4 - a button with a globe and a small magnifying glass.
    • 5 - a “Search the web” button.
  4. Here is an example of a working command: .\vivetool /enable /id:39072097 /variant:4. Note that the app now uses new commands introduced in recent updates.
  5. Restart the explorer.exe process in Task Manager, or simply restart your computer.
  6. If you want to revert the changes, use the .\vivetool /disable /id:39072097 command.

In case you missed it, Microsoft is also testing a search bar on the desktop, similar to the one Google uses in Android. We have a dedicated guide that describes how to enable search on the desktop in Windows 11.

Which one of the new search icons in Windows 11 build 25158 do you like the most? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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