Microsoft announces many new features for Windows 11

Windows 11 is only four months young. But development is not standing still. Microsoft is now showing a preview version of what the next major function update will look like.

Microsoft has released a pre-release version of Windows 11 with many new features for testers. But also old familiar features from Windows 10, which Microsoft had abolished in the meantime, are returning. So far, only participants of the Insider Program can try out the new – and the new old – features. However, it is only a matter of time until these are distributed to all users.

These are the new functions in Windows 11

An overview of the most important new features that Microsoft has introduced:

Neat with folders

Folders can now be created in the upper Start menu area. And it’s quite simple, just like you know it from your smartphone: Simply drag a program icon onto another and a folder is created.

Microsoft: New features in Windows 11
Finally order: In the Start menu area of Windows 11, folders can be created in the future. Photo: dpa picture alliance


If you use multiple monitors, Windows 10 always had the time and date available in every window. This information disappeared with Windows 11 and is now supposed to return. The same applies to the feature of being able to drag files to open on taskbar icons of programs.

Do not disturb

Ade Benachrichtigungsassistent. Die Funktion, eingehenden Benachrichtigungen nicht per Pop-up-Banner sowie akustisch zu melden, liefert nun das “Do not disturb”-Feature im Info-Center. Dort lassen sich Benachrichtigungen zumindest lesen, auch wenn “Do not disturb” aktiviert ist.

Microsoft: New features in Windows 11
Numerous settings can be made for the “Do not disturb” function of Windows 11. Photo: dpa picture alliance

Live subtitles

As soon as the computer outputs audio, subtitles can be generated directly from the content. First and foremost, the Live Captions feature is intended to help people who can no longer hear well or even at all.

Microsoft: New features in Windows 11
Live subtitles aus beliebigem Audiomaterial erstellt Windows 11 künftig bei Bedarf. Photo: dpa picture alliance

New touch gestures

Alle, die ein Notebook mit Touchscreen, ein Windows-Tablet oder einen Touch-Monitor besitzen, erwarten neue Gesten zur Steuerung. Zwei Beispiele: Das Startmenü lässt sich nun aus der Mitte der Taskbar nach oben “herauswischen” und auch wieder mit einem Fingerstrich dorthin zurückbefördern. Gleiches gilt für die Taskbarn-Schnelleinstellungen. Nur muss man hier vom rechten Rand der Taskbar nach oben wischen.

Window layout

The automatic window grouping function (snap layouts) has been improved and made more flexible. To start a grouping, you now simply drag a window towards the top of the screen. Then all possible layouts appear and you make the selection by dragging the window to the desired layout and releasing it.

Microsoft: New features in Windows 11
Improved snap layouts: In order to automatically divide the screen in a meaningful way, in the future it will be sufficient to drag a window upwards – and the subdivision options will appear. Photo: dpa picture alliance


On the outside, nothing has changed. The search function (magnifying glass icon) is still in the taskbar. However, Microsoft wants to improve the search function in terms of speed and precision for the upcoming feature update.

Energy saving

The energy-saving presets are to become more sustainable. Windows 11 now reduces the performance of various components even more when the computer is idle. Users also get tips in the energy section of the system settings on how and where they can still save power.

Microsoft: New features in Windows 11
Sparsamer: Microsoft hat nachhaltigere Energie-Voreinstellungen getroffen. Außerdem gibt es nun weitere Tipps zum Energy saving. Photo: dpa picture alliance