You may have noticed that your Windows PC has updated itself recently, whether you wanted it to or not, as Microsoft rolled out its big annual update to Windows 11 PCs in late January. The upgrade has started automatically. This has been an optional upgrade since the September release. But that’s okay: There are plenty of new things to check out in the Windows 11 2022 update, codenamed 22H2. The system has been tweaked and polished a bit everywhere — you might notice some more obvious changes to the interface, like new icons for changing the volume.
Here are the five most important changes you should check out first in the Windows 11 2022 Update. If you want to go even deeper down the Windows 11 rabbit hole, check out our guide to 10 Windows 11 tips and tricks we use to customize our PCs.
ClipChamp: A new, free video editor
Windows now has a new default video editor: ClipChamp. As a spiritual successor to the likes of Windows Movie Maker, it’s simpler and more accessible than professional video editors — the kind of thing you’d quickly cut or feed if you’re sharing a YouTube video with friends. Can be used for them. The tool includes the usual basic timeline and editing capabilities, and can upload directly to YouTube, TikTok, and various web storage services.
Mark Hechman / The Foundry
As of Windows 11 version 22H2, ClipChamp should be added to your operating system — just find it in the Start menu. If it’s not there, you can download it for free from the Microsoft Store. Here’s a complete guide on the basics of this new tool.
Tabs in File Explorer
Electricity consumers have been waiting for this for a long time. Tabs is a feature that more advanced alternative file browsers have been using for decades, and eventually Microsoft.FinallyWindows 11 2022 update provided a tabbed file explorer. Here’s a complete guide on how to use them.
Mark Hechman / IDG
To open a new tab in any Explorer window, simply click the “+” button in the top menu bar. Tabs work just like you would in any modern web browser, although you can’t click and drag them into a new Explorer window (yet). While you’re here, check out the new, streamlined left-hand menu, with faster access to system folders and your most-used locations.
If you want to easily get a lot of apps to the Start menu, you’ll love the new Folders feature. It works more or less the same way folders do on the home screen for Android or iOS (or perhaps more appropriately, Chrome OS). Any two or more shortcuts can be combined into one folder, and any folder can have a custom name.
To get started, simply click and drag a Start Menu icon over another. When you see them both shrinking, release the mouse button and a folder will be created automatically. Click the new folder, then click the title to rename it. Any additional programs can be dragged in or out of a folder, and you can have as many folders as you want.
New ways to use the SnapBar
The SnapBar is one of the most useful multitasking tools in newer versions of Windows. You may have noticed this if you often drag windows by their title bars: this is what allows you to easily move them around a half, third, or quadrant of your screen. But there are new ways to access it.
Between the Close (X) and Minimize (_) buttons in the upper right corner, hover your mouse cursor over the Maximize Window button (don’t click!). You’ll see the six most common setting options. Click any subgrid in this popup to send the window to that location. You can also enable this view by typing Win + Z, then a number, then a number again to “drill down” into the options.
Notepad is one of the oldest, simplest tools in all of Windows, but this basic text editor is capable of a little more than you might remember. In the most basic version, it now follows the dark or light color scheme in your personalization settings.
Microsoft may have even more in store for the humble Notepad. As you read this, the testing version of Windows 11 is being updated with tabs in Notepad similar to Windows Explorer. Whether or not it will make it to full release remains to be seen.
Want to discover more cool computer tricks? Check out our roundup of 10 lesser-known Windows features that will blow your mind.