If you’ve been wondering if you’d have to wait for Windows 11 version 22H2 to get important new features, we’ve got some good news for you.
When Microsoft announced Windows 11 for consumers and businesses, officials said they would only release one major update each year. Some people feared that they would have to wait 12 months for new features to appear on their desktop.
As you probably know, Windows 11 is much more modular than Windows 10 and Microsoft can provide updates to existing features such as Windows Settings outside of the main feature updates. This means that Experience Packs will bring a range of new features and minor additions in addition to the cumulative updates.
Microsoft has already released the Windows subsystem for Android outside of the feature update cadence and a new update is now rolling out to support the desktop spot functionality of Windows 11 22H2.
For those unfamiliar with “Spotlight,” it’s a Bing-powered feature that automatically changes your lock screen background. Spotlight, which has been around since the release of Windows 8, replaces the static backgrounds with high-definition images from Microsoft.
Spotlight is a nice feature, but it only worked on the lock screen until now. Microsoft has listened to the feedback and is adding Spotlight support to the desktop with Windows 11 Build 22000.706, an optional preview update currently available in Release Preview Update.
This update will roll out to everyone in the production channel in a few days and does not require version 22H2.
Previously, Spotlight was exclusive to Windows 11 22H2, but as we expected, cumulative updates now add or extend existing features beyond the annual updates.
As you can see in the screenshot above, you can enable the feature by going to Settings > Personalization > Wallpaper > Personalize your wallpaper. On the next screen you need to select ‘Windows spotlight’ and Microsoft will automatically refresh the desktop background with wallpapers from Bing.
Microsoft officials noted that this feature works the same way it currently does on the lock screen. You can learn about new desktop backgrounds by clicking on a new desktop icon that will direct users to a Bing page with more information about each background image.
Microsoft also enables Windows Spotlight on the desktop by default for new devices (or clean installs with Windows 11.
It’s worth noting that the update won’t forcefully change your preference and you can always disable the feature from Settings. In addition to Spotlight integration, Microsoft has also fixed numerous bugs in the optional update, including one that causes potential performance issues.