A few years ago i have already complained how confusing Windows 10 and later Windows 11 development become when they have introduced a bunch of channels (Beta, Canary, whatever) and it was hard to navigate and understand what feature lands in which version and when. In the past year Microsoft have also introduced Moment updates to Windows 11, when they would release a small set of new features and improvements with a regular monthly update without posting any news articles or blog posts. It becomes harder to track new features as only IT enthusiast websites and Youtube channels seem to comprehend what is happening with Windows. A few bullet points:
- Windows 10 is stuck on 22H2 until 2025 October, when its support is ending and there will be no feature updates. Only security and stability updates until that date.
- Windows 11 has received 22H2 update in the fall of 2022.
- Since then Windows 11 received feature updates via Moment updates in October, March, July and last one in September this year. Among the features added are tabs in File Explorer and Notepad, filtering in Task Manager, better window snapping assist, seconds in the clock, etc.
- September Moment 4 update is confusing as everyone was expecting all new features to be released in September or early October with 23H2 big end of the year update. But Microsoft decided to release Copilot and other AI branded features to current 22H2 version (as assumed, so less people delay the update and more people get the AI features sooner).
- Many Moment 4 features are in disabled state on Edu/Enterprise versions controlled by Enterprise feature control policy.
- 23H2 update finally officially released on October 31. It is available in WUfB, WSUS, VLSC and other sources. When it is installed on a system, all Moment 4 features will be enabled no matter the above policy and administrators will have to use a separate per feature GPO/Intune setting to disable some of them.
Now to list some of the new features that are/will be available in Moment 4/23H2 update. Some are disabled by default on managed Windows versions (EDU\Enterprise):
- File Explorer visual update. Redesigned address bar, search bar, hover effects. New home page with recommended section, more info in details pane. Now can drag out tab from File Explorer to make it a separate window or add window back as a tab to another window. Available in Moment 4, enabled by default. Recommended section can be disabled via Intune/GPO.
- Copilot AI assistant. Available in Moment 4, but on Enterprise versions disabled by policy (if policy is not set or set to disabled). Will get enabled by default in 23H2, but can be disabled via Intune/GPO.
- Option to not combine icons on taskbar. Can set to Never or when taskbar is full. It was available in Windows 10, but for some reason MS decided to not include it in 11, which made many users upset.
- Date and time can be hidden in system tray.
- Ability to go fully passwordless using biometrics or security keys.
- Firewall rules allow to apply a rule based on application without providing strict path to executable.
- Cloud files in recommended section in Start menu can show detailed preview.
- End task from taskbar context menu. In Developers section there is an option that enables “End task” option when right-clicking app in the taskbar.
- Task Manager has a redesigned settings page, aligned with Windows 11 style. Some dialogs have also been redesigned.
- New Home section in Settings app with cards with relevant information, like cloud storage status, recommended settings, information on your M365 subscriptions, personalization settings. This new Home page supposed to automatically adjust to user and show cards that are relevant to them.
- Dynamic lighting settings page allows to control some aspects of RGB lighting on devices (like keyboard).
- Ability to create a Dev Drive, which is a virtual drive using ReFS file system and has better performance, that can be useful for developers. Available in Moment 4, but on Enterprise versions disabled by policy (if policy is not set or set to disabled). Will get enabled by default in 23H2, but can be disabled via Intune/GPO.
- Redesigned volume mixer in the quick settings. Again, aligning more with the overall Windows 11 style.
- HDR wallpaper support.
- Windows Spotlight provides more options and information when clicking its icon on the desktop. Available in Moment 4, but on Enterprise versions disabled by policy (if policy is not set or set to disabled). Will get enabled by default in 23H2. No option to disable it after 23H2.
- When switching between virtual desktops it will briefly show name of that desktop and it has a new switching animation.
- Native support for RAR, 7-Zip, TAR.GZ and other archive file formats in File Explorer. So, now able to extract such archives. But still can only create ZIP archives.
- Some other dialogs have been redesigned, like new WiFi network flyout on the lock screen, firewall popup, app compatibility dialog, etc.
- Dev Home app that has integrations with development apps and services (GitHub and such). This app is pre-installed if during Windows 11 setup it was selected that this PC’s use will be for development. Available in Moment 4, but on Enterprise versions disabled by policy (if policy is not set or set to disabled). Will get enabled by default in 23H2. No option to disable it after 23H2.
- Updated Paint app version that has an AI assisted option to remove background from the pictures.
- Snipping tool now has an OCR text recognition feature, which allows to apply text based actions on the snippets of a screen user takes. It allows to either copy all text from the picture or redact all found emails and phone numbers. Snipping tool also can record video of your screen and also capture microphone input.
- Notepad app will automatically save all open files (kind of how Notepad++ behaves by default). It can also start with a previous session or a new window (can be changed in the settings).
- Updated Photos app allows to blur background when editing pictures. There is also search based on content (objects, people, locations) for files in your OneDrive storage. When zooming in into pictures they will look less pixelated.
- New Emoji 15.0 support and redesigned emoji (not just plain yellow, but with some gradient red-orange on the edges).
As usual, computers with previous version (22H2) would be able to update fast using small Enablement package update. More information on this, new features, updated tools and documents are provided in the usual blog post for IT Pros on MS Tech Community page.
New ISO (which is 1.2 GB bigger) can be downloaded at:
Page about temporarily disabled features and other controls:
Windows 11 23H2 Home and Pro versions will be supported until November 11, 2025.
EDU\Enterprise versions until November 10, 2026.