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Microsoft is releasing Windows 11 22H2’s new desktop spotlight feature early

If you were wondering that you’d have to wait for Windows 11 version 22H2 to get any major new features, then we have some good news for you.

When Microsoft announced Windows 11 for consumers and businesses, officials said they would release only one big update each year. Some people were worried that they’d have to wait for 12 months for new features to arrive on their desktop.

As you’re probably aware, Windows 11 is much more modular than Windows 10 and Microsoft can deliver updates to existing features like Windows Settings outside the major feature updates. This means that Experience Packs alongside the cumulative updates will be bringing a range of new features and minor additions.

Microsoft has already released Windows Subsystem for Android outside the feature update cadence and a new update is now rolling out with support for Windows 11 22H2’s desktop spotlight functionality.

For those unfamiliar with ‘Spotlight’, it is a Bing-powered feature that automatically changes the background of your lock screen. Spotlight, which has been around since the release of Windows 8, replaces the static wallpapers with high-def images provided by Microsoft.

Spotlight is a fun feature, but it only worked on the lock screen until now. Microsoft has listened to the feedback and is adding Spotlight support to the desktop with Windows 11 Build 22000.706, which is an optional preview update currently available in Release Preview Update.

This update will begin rolling out to everyone in the production channel in a few days and it doesn’t require version 22H2.

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Previously, Spotlight was exclusive to Windows 11 22H2, but as we expected, cumulative updates now also add or expand existing features outside the annual updates.

As you can see in the above screenshot, you can turn on the feature by visiting Settings > Personalization > Background > Personalize your background. On the next screen, you need to select ‘Windows spotlight’ and Microsoft will automatically refresh the desktop background with wallpapers from Bing.

Microsoft officials noted that this feature works the same way as it currently does on the lock screen. You can learn more about new desktop backgrounds by clicking a new desktop icon which directs users to a Bing page with more information about each background picture.

Microsoft is also enabling Windows Spotlight on the desktop by default for new devices (or clean installs using Windows 11.

It is worth noting that the update won’t forcefully change your preference and you can always disable the feature from Settings. In addition to Spotlight integration, Microsoft has also fixed numerous bugs in the optional update, including a bug that causes potential performance issues.

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