Windows 11’s next major overhaul is nearly ready to launch, and it appears poised to bring big changes to the look and usability of Microsoft’s operating system.
Ars Technica has a comprehensive overview of all the new features coming in Windows 11 22H2, but the major changes include:
- Tighter security defaults, like mandatory Microsoft account sign-ins and expanded security tools in the settings menu
- Energy-saving options for update downloads and efficiency modes for apps
- An updated Start menu
- New gesture controls and interface management
The update is still in the beta phase, so it’s possible more features will be added before it rolls out publicly. However, Windows Insiders can download a preview build of Windows 11 22H2 right now and try out the new features and interface updates early.
How to enroll in the Windows 11 Insider Program
:Here’s how to enroll in the Windows 11 Insider Program and download the beta so you can try out these new features yourself.
To join the Windows 11 insider program, you need:
- A Microsoft account (you can make one here).
- A verified copy of Windows 11
- A fresh backup of all of your important data
If you meet those requirements — and have doubled-checked that your data is properly backed up — head over to the Windows 11 Insider website and register with your Microsoft account. Once your registration is complete, follow the steps in the next section to download and install the update.
How to download the Windows 11 22H2 Insider build
Before you can download the beta, you need to turn on the Optional Diagnostic Data option in the settings menu, which shares select data with Microsoft that the company uses to fix potential bugs before the final version of the update rolls out to all users. To do so, open the Settings window from the Start menu, then go to Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback and enable “Optional Diagnostic Data” if it isn’t already.
With those settings sorted, you can now download the Windows 11 Insider beta build:
- Head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program.
- Select “Get Started.”
- When asked which Insider channel you want to join, select “Beta Channel.” This will grant you access to early versions of upcoming Windows updates, but with higher stability (and fewer experimental features and settings) than the Dev channel.
- Next go to Settings > Update & Security > Check for updates. Start the update if its available (note it may not be immediately available if you just signed up for the Windows Insider Program, so try again later if it’s not showing up).
- Restart your PC when prompted and the update will begin. You will be asked if you want to keep your existing data or perform a clean install. Keeping your existing data is the easiest option — but either way, we highly recommend backing your files up first. Check the links in the “How to join the Windows 11 Insider Program” section above for help.
- Let the update install. This may take several minutes.
- Once the update is complete, your PC will reboot itself one last time, then you’re free to check out the new Windows 11 features.