Latest Windows 11 Preview Build Tests Big Task Manager Changes

Microsoft's beta testers can now download the latest preview build of Windows 11, one that isn't terribly notable in the grand scheme of things, but that brings a couple of subtle features users have long been waiting for. Windows 11 Preview Build 22621.891 largely focuses on Task Manager, the tool that makes it easy for users to monitor their PC, see which applications are running, and force apps to close when they're hogging resources or frozen.

Windows 11 is still fairly new, and though it brought a big design change over Windows 11, users complained that the UI felt unfinished. For example, when you right-click on something in Windows 11, the menu that opens has the modern, updated design with the most common options, such as renaming a file. However, if you click the "Show more options" entry, the larger menu that appears features the old design. The same was true for Task Manager initially, though it later was updated with the same sort of modern Windows 11 aesthetic. Now the tool is once again the center of attention, this time with a couple of refinements that are currently limited to Insiders.

Task Manager is finally getting some attention

Microsoft announced the new beta build on its Windows Insider Blog, where it says that testers will notice two big changes with Task Manager: it now has a search field for filtering results and users now have more control over which theme it uses. The addition of a way to filter results in Task Manager is the big game-changer here, and it may give some PC users a reason to ditch the third-party alternatives they've been using in favor of Microsoft's own tool.

Put simply, users can click in the search field, type a keyword, and hit Enter. The tool will find results based on the keyword used, narrowing down the listed items to entries that are likely relevant to your current needs. If MS Word is frozen and you want to force it to close, for example, you won't have to scroll through the long list of processes anymore; instead, just search for Word and then check out the results.

That aside, the updated Task Manager also now allows users to manually choose whether the app will use the Dark theme, Light theme, or default to whichever theme Windows is set to use. As well, Microsoft says it'll also be easier for users to toggle apps into Efficiency Mode using Task Manager. Because this is a preview build, only Insiders can install it for now — everyone else will have to wait for Microsoft to push the feature out broadly across Windows 11 in the coming weeks or months.