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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Your biggest copy and paste issue could finally be fixed

A new free macOS app looks to finally solve one of the most frustrating issues plaguing users today when it comes to having to copy and paste text.

We've all been there – you've copied some text from a web page or word document, but when pasting it into a new location, the original formatting has caused it to suffer problems that range from a minor inconvenience to throwing off the layout of the whole document.

Now, Pure Paste looks to provide an end to this most annoying headache by pasting plain text by default, hopefully spelling an end to formatting issues across all your files.

Pure Paste

Available now from the App Store for free, Pure Paste looks to remove all formatting from any copied text, which now transfers to its new pasted location without any unwanted issues.

The app runs in the background, sitting in the macOS menu bar, and looks to replace the current (and rather over-complicated) method of pressing Command+Shift+Option+V for format-free pasting on a Mac.

On its App Store page, developer Sindre Sorhus noted that Pure Paste clears all formatting, including fonts, colors, bold, links, tables and more, with users also able to choose to manually clear formatting whenever needed instead of automatically via the menubar icon or a keyboard shortcut.

The app only focuses on text, staying clear of unrelated content such as files and images, and also ignores content copied from password managers. And whilst it does access your clipboard, Sorhus noted that it doesn't store any data, or even connect to the internet at all.

Despite being one of the most popular shortcuts for users everywhere, copy and paste still receives regular upgrades attempting to make the service better.

Most recently, Microsoft and Google were revealed to be developing a new set of Chromium APIs that will extend the functionality of the copy-and-paste feature across their respective web browsers.

Microsoft also boasts the Cloud Clipboard utility, which allows users to copy-and-paste items across multiple devices, including smartphones via the Microsoft-owned SwiftKey Keyboard for Android tool.

Via The Verge

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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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Developers want to know from Apple if an iCloud issue will finally be fixed

If you use an Apple device, there’s a good chance that you use iCloud, its service of syncing your content across multiple devices, alongside streaming files and your tasks in certain apps that also use the service.

However, you may have experienced some issues where your content on one device, isn’t showing on another. This has begun to be known as the 503 error – where iCloud syncing isn’t working properly.

This would have been fine for users and developers if this had been an issue for a few days or a week, but it’s seemingly been since last summer that issues relating to iCloud have remained.

It’s now at the point where developers are venting their frustrations as to whether this issue will be resolved for their apps, and for users.

We speak to developers about their 503 experiences

A Twitter thread on January 25 by Becky Handsmeyer, developer of YarnBuddy and Scribblet, wanted to see if there was another way of reporting the issue to Apple. Soon after, other developers replied to her through a thread.

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We reached out to Handsmeyer to explain the issue further. “My headache with this started with a 2-star review 21 days ago where a user complained of crashes and broken syncing. Since then I’ve gotten 6 more complaints of broken syncing, some through reviews but mostly via email.” 

Handsmeyer continued “No amount of troubleshooting seems to help (reinstalling, making sure iCloud Drive is enabled, etc). I’ve seen multiple developers complaining about iCloud issues and 503 errors including James Thomson, Paul Haddad, and the developer of Streaks. One person said they had used a DTS session and Apple acknowledged the issue but have no timeline for a fix.”

Other developers such as GoodNotes recently published an article regarding the issue, due to users experiencing 503 issues. The article mentions “This issue is not apparent to us and we've escalated the case to Apple Technical Support team for investigation. It seems it's happening to other apps as well.”

But there’s no end in sight for a fix as yet, and users are becoming more frustrated that their content is not syncing properly.

James Thomson, the developer of PCalc, explained to us that it looks as though the issue may be related to the latest updates of iOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey, and others.

“I started seeing some iCloud syncing issues with PCalc with the OS betas during the late summer. It was taking several minutes to sync over settings, rather than the usual seconds, and people assumed the syncing wasn’t actually working.” Thomson explains. “That persisted into the releases, and eventually, I turned things off by default because it was causing problems where people were losing some of the changes they were making due to the long delays. Hopefully, it’s something Apple can fix soon, and I can turn it back on again then.”


Analysis: What’s taking so long?

Looking through the Twitter thread of other experiences from developers, you can place the issue back to when Apple’s software updates were heading toward their final release, just before the iPhone 13 series were announced at September’s event.

When major software releases are pushed out, you can assume services that are hidden to users, are also updated, so that they can work with the new features that have been announced and implemented.

But considering that this is four months since the release of iOS 15 and the other software updates, with no context for developers as to what the issue actually is, and when it will be fixed, is bringing unnecessary frustrations to Apple.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment as to whether the 503 issue is in the process of being fixed.

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Windows 11 taskbar is getting fixed (but not in a hurry)

Windows 11 is receiving further attention in terms of ironing out bugs with the taskbar, and there’s been some fresh buzz from the grapevine suggesting that a major change to drag and drop functionality won’t appear until late in 2022.

Windows Latest pointed out that the major development in the works requested by many – the ability to drag and drop apps onto the taskbar, to swiftly and easily create shortcuts to the most commonly used programs – is still underway as previously rumored, with Microsoft testing the feature internally.

The word from sources at Microsoft is that this capability will come to preview builds in a few months, but won’t arrive in the release version of Windows 11 until later in 2022 – it’ll come as part of the 22H2 update.

This aside, Microsoft is also busy on minor fixes for the taskbar, and that includes resolving an issue whereby the battery icon tooltip sometimes mistakenly shows a charge level above 100%. This fix has been applied with the latest preview build 22523 (which emerged a couple of weeks back), and so it should be delivered in a cumulative update soon enough.

Other taskbar bug squashing in that preview build includes fixing an issue where app icons could overlap with the date and time display on secondary monitors, and the solution for a gremlin with ARM64-powered PCs which caused the taskbar’s core UI (search box, Start menu) to become unresponsive.


Analysis: Microsoft dragging (and dropping) its heels – but better late than never

The Windows 11 taskbar has drawn a lot of criticism for some of the changes made by Microsoft in terms of options for tweaking this part of the UI, and in particular losing the drag and drop functionality which is a simple and core part of the Windows experience, let’s face it.

As to the timeframe of the potential return of this feature – and remember, this is just rumored, and only the plans apparently underway at Microsoft currently (which could presumably change) – it’s a little disappointing that we may not get drag and drop back until much later in 2022, in theory.

That said, remember that there isn’t a 22H1 update, as Windows 11 has dropped to a once-per-year cadence for delivering major upgrades, but it’s a long wait until what could be September or October 2022 (or possibly even later) for this feature to make its much-requested return.

We had hoped that maybe Microsoft could squeeze this move in with some kind of a feature pack update beforehand – or online service pack as the company has renamed these with Windows 11 – but it seems not, and drag and drop will only be in testing when it comes to the near-term future.

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Windows 11 drive slowdown bug is finally fixed (but apparently not for everyone)

Windows 11 has received a new cumulative update which applies some important fixes, including patching up some File Explorer problems, and tackling the big SSD and hard drive slowdown bugbear which has been looming over the OS for a long time now (at least, in theory the patch deals with it – more on that later).

Update KB5008215 has been released for Patch Tuesday and brings with it the new emoji previously seen in testing (including Clippy replacing the paperclip), along with a whole bunch of bug fixes, most of which were already present in November’s preview update.

That includes solutions for Bluetooth audio volume problems, and various glitches with File Explorer such as it crashing after closing a window, and problems with displaying shortcut menus.

The big fix, though, is the cure for the gremlin causing sluggish drive speeds for some users. As Microsoft notes, the patch “addresses an issue that affects the performance of all disks (NVMe, SSD, hard disk) on Windows 11 by performing unnecessary actions each time a write operation occurs”.

Those write slowdowns can cut drive speeds in half, or worse, going by previous reports, so this is a major spanner in the storage works, and it’s good to see the fix go live.

Windows Latest reports that the cumulative update fixes these drive-related problems in its experience, but on a cautionary note, we have seen a few reports on the likes of Reddit from users who say their drive is still slower than it should be under Windows 11, even after applying KB5008215. There are also satisfied users commenting on those threads, too, saying their performance has been improved after the update.


Analysis: New patch is a positive step forward, but there are still concerns here

The fix for the driver issue is obviously an important one, as the performance reduction is huge in some reported cases, which hardly puts the new operating system in a good light. While this patch seems to fix things for a good number of Windows 11 users affected by sluggish drive performance, there are folks out there reporting that it didn’t do them any good; and that must remain a concern.

The drive slowdown bug is an issue which has been around for a good while now, indeed it surfaced a few months ago before Windows 11 was even released, and this – plus some scattered reports of it still not being cured now, with the fix applied – clearly point to it being a seriously thorny problem.

Hopefully Microsoft will be able to finalize any fresh tweaks that need to be done soon enough, but given that the holidays are almost here, the software giant won’t be putting out a preview update late in December. In other words, it won’t be until January that we see any further movement on this issue.

Obviously it’s also useful to see some File Explorer issues cleared up as well, but it’s another point of concern exactly how much has gone wrong with these fundamental building blocks of the desktop on Windows 11, all adding to the perception of the OS having been released a bit too early.

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