Windows 11 Moment 3 update is packed with cool features – here are 5

Microsoft’s latest feature update for Windows 11 is now rolling out and is full of big changes. Dubbed “Moment 3”, the release brings long-requested features and quality-of-life improvements that make it an update worth installing straight away.

Seeing as Moment 2 was released late in February, it’s quite a pleasant surprise to see how quickly the next release has arrived. These Moment updates are part of Microsoft’s approach to improving Windows 11 – instead of dropping a huge update every year, the company has shifted to putting out new features as part of more frequent cumulative updates. So, without further ado, here’s our pick of the five coolest features coming our way with Moment 3.

1. Taskbar and Notification Improvements

Windows veterans will be happy to find a few improvements to the taskbar, like a network icon that will indicate an active VPN connection with a small lock icon – helpful if you’re one of those people who often forget whether or not you’ve got your VPN turned on. Keep in mind, though, that the icon will only appear when you use ‘native’ VPN connections set up in the settings app, and won’t pop up if you’re using third-party VPN applications. So that’s a bit of a bummer.

Most people might find the updated taskbar clock to be the best change in the Moment 3 update, as the clock can now display seconds! It’s about time (pun intended).

The most helpful change to notifications is the ability to copy two-factor authentication codes from desktop push notifications with one click. This feature is already present on Android and iOS, so it’s good to see Microsoft finally bringing it to the desktop operating system – so no more opening emails just to copy a few numbers!

2. An improved widget board

The updates to Windows Widgets in Moment 3 are a little sparse, but what we do is get a redesigned widget picker so you can preview a widget before pinning it to the board. This is a bonus for those of us who are a little particular about how our widget boards look, so at least now you can properly plan the layout of your board instead of finding out after the widget is in place that it messes up your widget feng shui.

Again, it’s not a huge update, but it does give you a little more creative freedom when laying out your space, and could possibly leave room for bigger changes to Windows Widgets in the future as more updates roll out.

3. This new Task Manager feature

Task manager will now support live kernel memory dump, a feature for gathering data to troubleshoot issues in the background while the operating system keeps running. This may not mean a lot to the average user, but if you’re a developer that needs to investigate unresponsive applications or weed out the source of other issues, it’s a pretty useful addition.

Once you have the update installed, you can create a live kernel memory dump by heading to the Task Manager and right-clicking the System Process, where you’ll find the ‘create live kernel memory dump file’ option.

4. A better Settings menu

There are quite a few changes and improvements to Windows Settings with Moment 3, but we’ll just go into the more interesting ones for now.

Tab hoarders and multitaskers rejoice, Snap Assist has now been bulked up to help with your numerous open tabs! Normally you can press Alt + Tab or trigger Snap Assist by dragging your window to the top of the screen, and you can split the screen into a maximum of four tabs. But with Moment 3, you can now head over to a new section of the Settings menu and choose between three, five, and 20 tabs. You have been heard, and your many tabs are valid.

The Settings app also has a dedicated new section for all of your OneDrive subscriptions and a better breakdown of the stored content on each one. This will no doubt come in handy for cloud storage users when keeping tabs on your files, helping you get a proper breakdown of what exactly is eating up your cloud capacity.

5. Bonus Wallpapers!

Of course, we can’t talk about the Moment 3 update without mentioning the snazzy new wallpapers! The iconic Windows 11, uh… swirly pattern now comes in wonderful shades of pink, magenta, and purple, which stand out even more in the darker versions of the new wallpaper. 

Hopefully, these new wallpapers signify a fresh new era for Windows 11 that’ll be packed with more aesthetic positives. The cheerful wallpaper tones really are the cherry on top of a solid, well-thought-out feature update. 

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Microsoft delivers Windows 11 ‘Moment 2’ update – and these are the best new features

Windows is now offering a new feature preview update, Windows 11 KB5022913, which Microsoft calls Windows 11 ‘Moment 2’, and it’s available for eligible PCs currently running the previous feature version, Windows 11 22H2

This update is optional, and its features will be included in Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday update next month (which is mandatory), so you can just wait for that if you don’t want to faff around with Windows Update, or you’re understandably wary of installing Windows updates as soon as they are launched in case widespread issues start cropping up. 

However, it does come with some intriguing features like adding Bing Chat to the Windows 11 taskbar, the ability to link your iPhone to your Windows device, a Task Manager that’s searchable and easier to navigate, and much more.

If you’re wondering whether or not to install this optional update, read on for my picks of the best new features.

1. ChatGPT comes to the taskbar 

This update directly follows the significant flurry of excitement caused by Microsoft's announcements regarding the integration of ChatGPT into Bing. As such, arguably, the main attraction of this update is the newly ChatGPT-equipped Bing search box in the Windows taskbar. 

This taskbar Bing Chat can return answers to your queries as you’re typing, as well as making it easier to do things like generate content and begin chat conversations directly from the Windows 11 search box. 

This is clearly a push to make the Windows search box the entry point for Bing, but you can then continue your search with Bing in-browser. There’s also added search bar customization, including the ability to return to the previous version of the search bar if you don’t like the new one. 

It’s speculated that the increased customization options are potentially part of a wider effort to develop an AI-powered Personal Assistant mode, which has already been tested (although not with immediate success). 

The addition of Bing to the Windows 11 taskbar has already proved a bit controversial, however, and there are some reports suggesting Microsoft is now removing the feature, which would be a shame.

Lady in town using phone

(Image credit: Shutterstock – VAKS-Stock Agency)

 2. Control your iPhone through Windows 11

Another new feature is Phone Link for iOS which allows iPhone users to access their messages directly via Windows 11, and make or receive calls via their Windows device. 

This is similar to this existing capability for Android users on Windows devices and iPhone users on iOS devices, and will be especially welcome to those who use both. 

An Acer Spin 5 (2022) on a wood grain table

(Image credit: Future)

3. Better touchscreen controls 

Additionally, this update also has a focus on tablet optimization with features such as touch optimization for 2-in-1 devices and an optimized tablet taskbar. Microsoft has been working on tablet optimization for some time now, going back as far as the unloved Windows 8, and this update hones in on taskbar optimization for tablets (as well as PCs – simultaneously) to make tablet use more comfortable and intuitive. 

This version of the taskbar has two modes – ‘expanded’ and ‘collapsed’ – and it’s easy to switch between these two modes by swiping up or down, respectively, on the bottom of the screen. There are also added Touch Keyboard and Virtual Touchpad features in the system tray for touch optimization. 

Other new features include the addition of a tabbed Notepad interface, a modified Task Manager with new search, filtering, and other functions, a new built-in screen recorder through the Snipping Tool, improvements to Voice Control and Voice Access, an expanded Widgets view and capabilities, and more.

How to get these new features 

As I’ve already mentioned, you can just wait until the mandatory Windows update in March, when your PC will automatically download and install these new features.

However, if you’d like to install this update right now, as there are quite a few new appealing features to test drive, there are a number of ways to go about it. 

Firstly, you can go to Settings > Windows Update and click Check for Updates. This should detect the new update’s availability, and make it possible to download and install it. 

Secondly, you can open the Microsoft Store, open Libraries, and select Get Updates

Alternatively, you can install it manually by downloading it from the Microsoft Update Catalog – the Windows Cumulative Update library

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