Windows 11 Build 22616 is now rolling out to Dev and Beta channel users with a new feature and many improvements. This preview update includes a new controller bar for Windows 11, but we don’t know if the experimental feature will be included in the 22H2 build.
Like the rest of the updates, today’s preview release is titled “Windows 11 Insider Preview 22616 (NI_RELEASE)” and it comes with a long list of improvements. Although it includes support for a new Game Bar experience, there are no major changes in this version as the 22H2 version is set to reach RTM status in a few weeks.
Starting with Build 22616, you can try out a first look at an experimental feature called “Control Bar”. This new addition is apparently part of the existing Game Bar and provides user-friendly access to the controller when playing games. You can get started with the controller bar by pressing the Xbox button on your controller.
It also opens automatically when your device is connected to a controller and running the latest preview builds. Thanks to the new control bar, your favorite and installed game launchers can be launched with a simple button.
Here is a list of features offered through the Control Bar in Windows 11 Build 22616:
- The Xbox button opens the Xbox Game Bar and all the game widgets you’re used to.
- The button takes you directly to the game bar and widgets when playing a game
Currently, the recent games section of Controller Bar offers up to three game titles.
To use Controller Bar in Build 22616, follow these steps:
- Download the Xbox Insider Hub from the store.
- Open the Xbox Insider hub.
- Sign in to your Microsoft account.
- Go to the “Previews” section and register for the Windows Gaming preview.
- Update Xbox Game Bar to version 5.722.5022.0 or higher from Store.
- Restart your computer.
Windows 11 Build 22616 Improvements and Fixes
Like previous updates, today’s version also does not contain an embedded watermark in the lower right corner of the desktop. Although the watermark is no longer present, Microsoft claims that this does not mean that the next feature update is on the way.
However, according to sources familiar with the tech giant’s plans, Windows 11 22H2 will reach RTM status by late May or early June.
In terms of fixes, Build 22616 fixed a critical bug where the “Show hidden icons” drop-down menu was not working. In addition to this fix, Microsoft has also enabled support for the ability to rearrange icons in the system tray due to feedback from testers.
Microsoft still plans to bring these changes back in a future release, but they won’t be included in the 22H2 build. As we noted earlier, some changes that appear in the dev or beta channels may not always ship.
Starting with Build 22616, it is no longer possible to configure Windows 11 Pro without connecting to the Internet and a Microsoft account.
Here is a list of various fixes and improvements:
- Microsoft fixed an issue that affected Explorer performance, resulting in a bug check.
- Microsoft fixed an issue causing app crashes.
- Microsoft fixed an issue where the widget table would open and then close immediately.
- Microsoft fixed an issue preventing users from swiping the feature to invoke it reliably.
- Microsoft fixed an issue that caused rendering issues in Windows Sandbox, with texts appearing as black boxes in some cases.
How to install Windows 11 version 22616
To install Windows 11 Build 22616, follow these steps:
- Register for Windows Insider Program.
- Open the Settings page.
- Switch to Developer or Beta Channeland make sure you are already using Windows 11
- Click on “Check for updates” and select “Download and install”.
- Click on “Restart now”.