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Windows 11 22H2 gets tablet-optimized taskbar and redesigned notification area

Windows 11 logo with a red background

Microsoft has released an optional update for users running the latest Windows 11 update. KB5018496 or Windows 11 build 22621.755 adds improved backup settings, "visual treatments" on the taskbar, better OneDrive subscription management, right-click to launch Task Manager (use our guide to force-enable this change), and more features alongside traditional bugfixes.

Besides changes mentioned in the official release notes, Windows 11 22621.755 contains a couple of hidden features previously available only for Windows Insiders: the tablet-optimized taskbar, redesigned notification area, and improved File Explorer search. These additions are disabled by default, but you can enable them using the ViveTool app.

Caution: Hidden features are often less stable than those publicly available. Back up important data before using the ViveTool app. Remember that waiting for Microsoft to deliver new features "organically" is the best way to ensure your system remains as bug-free as possible.

We have dedicated guides that describe how to enable the tablet-optimized taskbar and new notification area. Still, before proceeding, you need to enable another ID; otherwise, you will not get the new features.

  1. Download ViveTool from GitHub and unpack the files somewhere convenient.
  2. Press Win + X and select Terminal (Admin).
  3. Switch Windows Terminal to Command Prompt profile by pressing Ctrl + Shift + 2 or clicking the arrow-down button at the top of the window.The Windows Terminal App showing how to switch from PowerShell to Command Prompt profile
  4. Navigate to the folder containing the extracted files using the CD command. For example, if you have copied ViveTool to C:\Vive, type CD C:\Vive.
  5. Type vivetool /enable /id:39281392 and press Enter.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. Now proceed with the IDs for each feature you want to enable.

It is worth noting that the redesigned notification area currently lacks some of the latest improvements Microsoft has introduced in Windows 11 build 25227, which means you will have to deal with minor UI glitches and broken icons. And before you blame Microsoft for releasing half-baked features, remember that those are hidden and turned off by default.

As usual, kudos to @PhantomOfEarh for sharing the findings!

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