Annoying Windows 11 bug finally gets fixed

Windows 11 has hampered some users with a slow-performing right-click context menu for a good while now, something Microsoft has previously admitted – but the speed of the menu has been improved with the most recent preview of the OS.

Build 22572 was released last week with a bunch of improvements and fixes, including work to resolve the bug with the sluggish right-click context menu which appears when you click the right mouse button in File Explorer (meaning anywhere on a file or folder on the Windows 11 desktop, where this menu offers quick access to some core options).

As Windows Latest flagged up, Microsoft software engineer Jen Gentleman clarified on Reddit that right-click performance had been juiced up. In a response to a Windows 11 tester who noticed that the context menu felt faster with the latest preview build, Gentleman noted: “We did some work with 22572 to improve the context menu performance, so glad to hear it feels faster now.”

Elsewhere another eagle-eyed Redditor pointed out that the release notes for build 22572 state that Microsoft “made some more improvements to help with context menu invocation performance.”

Previously, some Windows 11 users had complained of delays of as much as one or two whole seconds when right-clicking before the context menu actually appears – which is bound to make the OS feel horribly unresponsive.

Now this sluggishness appears to have been largely remedied going by Microsoft’s official announcements, plus multiple reports on that Reddit thread.


Analysis: Better late than never – but test builds are shaping up promisingly

As ever, it’s good to see Microsoft fix a problem in Windows 11, particularly one as aggravating as this must be for affected users. Still, we can’t help but feel that it should have been tackled more quickly, seeing as this problem has been around since the launch of Windows 11 (more or less; or at least the first complaints emerged not long after the OS came out).

The fix seems to work for the majority of admittedly anecdotal observations that we’ve seen, and there is evidence of an optimistic outlook for the improvement of Windows 11 performance overall going forward. Another Redditor on the above highlighted thread commented that “overall the dev channel builds are a lot faster than the 22000 builds” and that “22H2 will be amazing”, so let’s keep our fingers crossed on that score.

Windows 11 22H2 is due in the second half of 2022, naturally, and it’s expected to further work on the design and appearance of the OS, with various important interface tweaks – like bringing back drag and drop functionality to the taskbar – as well as introducing that much-awaited support for Android apps on the desktop (that’s currently available in limited fashion for public preview, meaning testing).

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Annoying Windows 11 bug finally gets fixed

Windows 11 has hampered some users with a slow-performing right-click context menu for a good while now, something Microsoft has previously admitted – but the speed of the menu has been improved with the most recent preview of the OS.

Build 22572 was released last week with a bunch of improvements and fixes, including work to resolve the bug with the sluggish right-click context menu which appears when you click the right mouse button in File Explorer (meaning anywhere on a file or folder on the Windows 11 desktop, where this menu offers quick access to some core options).

As Windows Latest flagged up, Microsoft software engineer Jen Gentleman clarified on Reddit that right-click performance had been juiced up. In a response to a Windows 11 tester who noticed that the context menu felt faster with the latest preview build, Gentleman noted: “We did some work with 22572 to improve the context menu performance, so glad to hear it feels faster now.”

Elsewhere another eagle-eyed Redditor pointed out that the release notes for build 22572 state that Microsoft “made some more improvements to help with context menu invocation performance.”

Previously, some Windows 11 users had complained of delays of as much as one or two whole seconds when right-clicking before the context menu actually appears – which is bound to make the OS feel horribly unresponsive.

Now this sluggishness appears to have been largely remedied going by Microsoft’s official announcements, plus multiple reports on that Reddit thread.


Analysis: Better late than never – but test builds are shaping up promisingly

As ever, it’s good to see Microsoft fix a problem in Windows 11, particularly one as aggravating as this must be for affected users. Still, we can’t help but feel that it should have been tackled more quickly, seeing as this problem has been around since the launch of Windows 11 (more or less; or at least the first complaints emerged not long after the OS came out).

The fix seems to work for the majority of admittedly anecdotal observations that we’ve seen, and there is evidence of an optimistic outlook for the improvement of Windows 11 performance overall going forward. Another Redditor on the above highlighted thread commented that “overall the dev channel builds are a lot faster than the 22000 builds” and that “22H2 will be amazing”, so let’s keep our fingers crossed on that score.

Windows 11 22H2 is due in the second half of 2022, naturally, and it’s expected to further work on the design and appearance of the OS, with various important interface tweaks – like bringing back drag and drop functionality to the taskbar – as well as introducing that much-awaited support for Android apps on the desktop (that’s currently available in limited fashion for public preview, meaning testing).

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One of the most annoying Microsoft 365 flaws could finally be fixed

Microsoft 365 may finally have sorted out one of the most irritating aspects of using its web apps.

Previously, users looking to work across different Microsoft 365 accounts, whether work or personal, had to sign out and then sign back in when they wanted to switch.

Now, a new update looks set to banish this problem by adding account switching for Microsoft 365 web apps, saving huge amounts of time and lowering blood pressure across the platform's global user base.

Microsoft 365 account switching

In its official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company notes how the update will simplify working across different accounts going forward.

Users will now be able to sign into multiple work and personal accounts on Microsoft 365 web apps in the same browser, with Microsoft saying they will be able to “seamlessly switch” between accounts without needing to sign out and sign back in again.

The feature is currently in development, but has a predicted release date of April 2022, meaning users could see it within just a few weeks. Upon release, Microsoft says account switching will be generally available to all Microsoft 365 web users across the world.

Microsoft 365 has been pushing hard to attract new customers in recent months as companies around the world look to adapt their technology stack as they gradually return to the office.

The company has aimed to poach customers from Google Workspace or other Microsoft Office alternatives with the promise of cheap deals and more flexibility, especially as some users are unhappy at Google's move to end a free tier of its software.

It has also made several moves to boost the security of Microsoft 365, adding a new layer of email security to make sure all emails sent through Exchange Online will only be delivered through connections that have both authentication and encryption. 

The company also allowed Microsoft Defender for Office 365 to customize a new authentication mechanism in a bid to further extend its anti-spoofing protection.

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Gmail may have solved one of its most annoying flaws

Being plagued with annoying Gmail notifications could soon be a thing of the past if a new feature being tested by Google comes to fruition.

9to5Google has spotted a new addition to Google's email service that allows users to pause mobile notifications while the Gmail desktop client is being actively used.

This should mean that users won't get pinged for every new email message they receive if they have Gmail running on a desktop PC somewhere.

Gmail silence

The site reported seeing the feature on a test account, where it was advertised in a pop-up alert.

The feature would allow your browser to “detect if you're active or away”, meaning Gmail would be able to identify when a user is actively using the service.

9to5Google notes that it doesn't appear that the service can be enabled or disabled through Gmail settings, but instead has to be accessed through the Google Chrome settings menu itself, potentially meaning it is a closely-linked tool between the company's browser and email platforms.

The tool doesn't appear to be rolling out publicly as of yet, with no sign in the Google support pages, so it may be part of a beta test ahead of a wider launch later this year.

The news comes as Google is in the midst of rolling out a major overhaul for Gmail which brings together Google Chat, Spaces and Meet into a new, integrated view to provide users with a one-stop shop for all their communication needs.

As well as this integrated view, the new Gmail will allow users to view specific app menus in a collapsible panel, and get alerts for new Chat and Space messages through notification bubbles. 

Going forward, all Google apps in Gmail will be situated in a single menu on the left of the screen. Users can switch between them by clicking on an app's menu, or point to an icon to see a preview, with the new collapsible panel able to be hidden or displayed with a click at any time.

Google also notes that individual and group chat messages can be accessed from the Chat tab, including opening into a small pop-up window at the bottom of your screen.

Google is currently rolling out the updated Gmail to select users now, with a wider rollout taking place over the next few weeks. Scheduled Release domains will reportedly begin receiving the new look from February 28.

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Microsoft Teams emoji are about to get more annoying than ever

If you've ever felt that you just can't express yourself enough on a Microsoft Teams call, then a new update coming to the platform could well be the answer.

The video conferencing service is set to introduce a new way to react to messages that will let you show exactly how you feel using emojis.

According to the official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the new “Microsoft Teams Expanded Reactions” feature will “allow users to apply any emoji as a reaction to chat messages”.

Over reaction?

Microsoft says that users will be able to pick from over 800 emojis “to react the way you want”, with reactions show in the chat window.

The feature is currently listed as “in development”, with an expected release date of March 2022. The company notes that, when released, the feature will be available to Microsoft Teams users across the world, and includes web, desktop, Android and iOS users. 

It will be the latest in a long series of additions and upgrades to Microsoft Teams as the company looks to continue helping users around the world enjoy hybrid working.

This isn't the first time that emojis within Microsoft Teams have been mentioned either, as a new selection of images were released by the company as part of the launch of Windows 11. The new 'Fluent Design' look did cause concern among some users following the release of some of the new emojis, with users mocking their unclear depictions and puzzling looks.

While Fluent design is now available for Windows 11 and Office 2022, as well as key apps such as Paint and Calendar, it is still yet to appear in Teams, with Microsoft only saying that the new designs will arrive in February 2022 alongside live transcripts of calls, better meeting options, and other features.

However there were raised eyebrows across the technology world in November 2021 when Microsoft revealed that its infamous Clippy mascot was coming to Teams as part of a Retro Sticker Pack.

Recent data collected by software firm StarLeaf found almost all (97%) businesses say that tools such as ZoomWebex and Teams are now essential to their operations.

More than half (57%) of the 2,000 UK-based respondents claim their company would not be able to operate for more than an hour without access to their communications tools, while 27% admitted they would struggle to function for even 30 minutes.

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Microsoft Teams is finally fixing this super annoying flaw

Being plagued by annoying notifications pings whilst on a call may soon finally be at an end for users of Microsoft Teams.

The company has confirmed that it will soon allow users to mute notifications whilst they are in a video conferencing meeting or don't want to be disturbed.

This should mean an end to distracting notifications or alerts when you’re in the middle of an important meeting, particularly as more and more businesses embrace hybrid working.

No more notifications

“The current experience of receiving notifications during meetings is highly distracting and there is no easy way to turn off these notifications making it highly painful for users,” Microsoft's Joao Ferreira wrote in an M365 admin post announcing the news.

“This feature will introduce a setting to help the user turn OFF notifications during meetings.”

In order to activate the setting, users need to click on the ellipsis next to their Microsoft Teams profile picture, then select global settings -> Notifications -> Meetings. Doing so will turn off notifications for all meetings.

Microsoft Teams mute notifications

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If users want to allow certain notifications to come through, say if they are expecting an important email or alert, users can turn notifications on or off for a per meeting basis through the setting provided in the meeting tray.

By allowing users to specify which types of alerts they receive, the latest Teams update should help address common remote working issues that have been increasingly facing workers across the world. 

Ferreira noted that the feature is set to begin rolling out in early February, with most users set to have it ready by mid-March 2022. It will be available worldwide to all Microsoft Teams users across desktop and web.

News of the feature first emerged back in November 2021, with Microsoft Teams enjoying a raft of useful updates since then. This includes the addition of chat bubbles so that users wouldn't miss private messages sent during a video call, both 1:1 or as part of a group call.

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Microsoft Teams update will stop you annoying your colleagues

Microsoft is working on a simple update for Teams that should help address common issues with international collaboration.

According to a new entry in the company’s product roadmap, Microsoft Teams users will soon benefit from a facility that highlights each users’ current time-zone.

“You can easily find out the local time of the people you collaborate with by checking the profile card,” the listing explains.

The feature is still currently under development, but should roll out to all Microsoft Teams users by the end of January, 2022.

Microsoft Teams on tour

Although small businesses are less likely to make use of the new local time feature, it could prove extremely helpful for employees at larger enterprises with colleagues scattered across the globe, or for anyone who travels regularly for work.

For example, the ability to quickly check which colleagues are online and when should make it easier for managers to schedule a cross-team meeting or determine to whom to delegate a time-sensitive task.

If someone has their notifications turned on, meanwhile, the new feature will minimize the chances of a colleague disturbing them at an inopportune time with an unimportant task or query.

Since the transition to remote working, many people have also developed the habit of leaving messages for co-workers to discover when they first log on in the morning. Although the utility of this practice is obvious, it has the effect of making the person feel bombarded before they’ve had a chance to get their feet under the desk.

While the new time-zone feature does nothing to disincentivize this practice, the likelihood of accidentally falling foul of the collaboration faux pas is lessened.

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