Microsoft is giving Windows 11 admins more control in latest Insider update


Microsoft released a new Insider build for its Windows 11 operating system. Windows 11 Insider Preview build 22610 introduces new group policies for IT administrators, that modify the default functionality of the taskbar, Start menu and the system tray.


Administrators may enable the following policies in the Group Policy Editor or deploy them using Microsoft Endpoint Manager. All policies are listed under User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar in the new Insider build.

Here is the list of the policies:

  • Disable Quick Settings flyout
  • Disable Notification Center and calendar flyouts
  • Disable all taskbar settings
  • Disable search (across Start & taskbar)
  • Hide Task View from taskbar
  • Block customization of ‘Pinned’ in Start
  • Hide ‘Recommended’ in Start
  • Disable Start context menus
  • Hide ‘All apps’ in Start

Administrators may configure the policies to limit functionality on Windows 11 PCs. Some restrict core operating system features such as Search, others block flyouts that users may find distracting. The policies may be useful in some environments, e.g., on kiosk systems that should not allow users to run searches or use other features that should not be available in first place.

The new Windows Insider build includes improvements to the Family Safety Widget. The widget supports a new location sharing view that shows the locations of connected family members, those who use the Family Safety app on their devices, on a map. Microsoft notes that there is also an improved screen time view that displays how long different devices and apps have been used on a given day.

The new build has no watermark on the desktop anymore, but Microsoft notes that the watermark will be restored in future updates of the operating system.

Windows 11 version 22610’s Task Manager uses accent colors for the heatmap.

Dev and Beta builds have the SMB1 client disabled by default; this will be the default for the next feature update version of Windows 11. For now, this is limited to Insider builds of the operating system.

Microsoft continues to fix plenty of issues in new Insider builds. The release of Windows 11 version 22H2 comes closer, and it is an important release for Microsoft, as it gives an indicator on the maturity of the operating system.

You can check out the full release notes of the latest Windows 11 Insider build here.

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