Microsoft’s latest operating system has a nifty new feature that could make you a more productive worker. It’s called Focus Session, and it helps you stay on task by letting you set a timer to alert you to take a break. It can also play your favorite music to help you concentrate. It’s one of the more obscure Windows 11 features that more people should use.
It’s not yet available to everyone, but if you’re lucky enough to have access to a 25120 preview build of the OS, you can enable it in a few simple steps. This is the same operating system that Microsoft uses to test all of its upcoming features. While many of the features Microsoft trials in these early builds don’t end up making the final release, this is a useful addition that will keep you more focused.
If you’ve ever accidentally closed a program and found yourself trying to track it down in the task manager, you know that it can be a real pain. A new option that’s coming to Windows 11, as spotted in the most recent Insider build, will let you force-quit apps with a click. It’s similar to the functionality that macOS already offers, and it should be a welcome feature for anyone who’s had to deal with buggy apps in the past.
Another small but useful feature that’s currently being tested is the ability to quickly mute or unmute your microphone from the taskbar. This will come in handy for when you’re recording audio for a video or podcast, but it’s not exactly a must-have function for everyday computing.
In terms of improving your privacy, Microsoft is testing a feature that would allow you to see which apps are actively using your hardware. This is similar to the feature that’s already present in macOS, and it’s a useful way to know exactly how your PC is being used.
Other notable updates include better multi-monitor support with Snap Groups that remember previous layouts. Additionally, there’s now a more useful option for Maximize windows that lets you choose where to put the window instead of just placing it back in its original position. It’s a nice touch, especially for anyone who uses multiple monitors regularly.
Lastly, you’ll now be able to use the Windows search bar to quickly search for specific folders. This is a useful way to find files that you’ve buried in the depths of your folders, and it’s much easier than opening a folder and browsing for the file manually.
In addition to these features, Windows 11 is also offering a number of improvements for people with visual impairments. You’ll now be able to use the Dictate button with speech recognition to quickly transcribe text into a document or spreadsheet, and you’ll be able to control your computer hands-free by simply talking to it. You can even switch between accounts with voice commands. This is a great upgrade for people with dexterity or mobility challenges, and it’s a good example of how Microsoft is continuing to push its accessibility efforts.