Microsoft admits recent Windows 10 updates messed up the taskbar for some users – but a fix is coming

Microsoft has acknowledged that there’s a bug introduced by recent Windows 10 updates that can break a piece of taskbar functionality – but the good news is a fix is in the works.

The problem is evident for some Windows 10 users when right clicking on a pinned app on the taskbar, when instead of seeing the usual context-sensitive jump list menu – that allows access to common features, like opening recent files – they get something entirely useless.

What Windows 10 produces instead is the ‘Open with…’ menu (that facilitates choosing which app you want to open a file with). That’s not only unhelpful but also confusing, frankly, though Windows Latest, which spotted this, notes that the bug only affects a small set of Windows 10 users – and it only happens with some apps, not all of them.

So, this isn’t something you’re likely to encounter, but if you do, it’s a rather annoying issue. Furthermore, it affects a wide range of recent updates for Windows 10 – not just the latest June cumulative update, but also the May cumulative update (and that month’s optional update), and the optional update for April too.

Windows Latest reports that Microsoft has pinpointed a fix and the company has indicated that the resolution will be included in a future update for Window 10 22H2.


Analysis: A quick fix, with any luck

Hopefully, with the fix identified, implementing it shouldn’t be a difficult task and we might see the cure in next month’s cumulative update. Indeed, if that’s the case, we’ll actually get it before the July update, as it will be in the optional update for June, which is a preview of the former. That should be here in not much more than a week, in fact – though there’s no guarantee the fix won’t take longer, of course.

In case you missed it, what’s interesting with Windows 10 is that Microsoft is not just fixing and patching the OS, but is actively developing it again, adding new features and recently resurrecting the Beta channel to test them. That’s despite the End of Life date for Windows 10 coming ever closer – the OS runs out of support in October 2025, in case you’d forgotten. So it won’t be that long before you need to start exploring the options you have in that regard.

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Meta’s recent Quest 3 update includes a secret AI upgrade for mixed reality

Meta’s VR headsets recently received update v64, which according to Meta added several improvements to their software – such as better-quality mixed-reality passthrough in the case of the Meta Quest 3 (though I didn’t see a massive difference after installing the update on my headset).

It’s now been discovered (first by Twitter user @Squashi9) that the update also included another upgrade for Meta’s hardware, with Space Scan, the Quest 3’s room scanning feature, getting a major buff thanks to AI.

The Quest 3’s Space Scan is different to its regular boundary scan, which sets up your safe play space for VR. Instead, Space Scan maps out your room for mixed-reality experiences, marking out walls, floors, and ceilings so that experiences are correctly calibrated.

You also have the option to add and label furniture, but you had to do this part manually until update v64 rolled out. Now, when you do a room scan your Quest 3 will automatically highlight and label furniture – and based on my tests it works flawlessly.

Annoyingly, the headset wouldn’t let me take screenshots of the process, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that every piece of furniture was not only picked up by the scan and correctly marked out, it was also labelled accurately – it even picked up on my windows and doors, which I wasn’t expecting.

The only mistake I spotted was that a chair I have in my living room was designated a 'couch', though this seems to be more an issue with Meta’s lack of more specific labels than with Space Scan’s ability to detect what type of object each item of furniture is.

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This feature isn’t a complete surprise, as Reality Labs showed a version of it off on Threads in March. What is surprising, however, is how quickly it’s been rolled out after being unveiled – though I’m not complaining, considering how well it works and how easy it makes scanning your room. 

So what? 

Adding furniture has a use for MR and VR apps. Tables can be used by apps like Horizon Workrooms as designated desks, while sitting down in or getting up from a designated couch will change your VR experience between a standing or seated mode.

Meanwhile, some apps can use the detected doors, windows, walls, and furniture such as a bookshelf to adjust how mixed-reality experiences interact with your space.

With Meta making it less tedious to add these data points, app developers have more of a reason to take furniture into account when designing VR and MR experiences, which should lead to them feeling more immersive.

This also gives Meta a leg up over the Apple Vision Pro, as it’s not yet able to create a room scan that’s as detailed as the one found on Meta’s hardware – though until software starts to take real advantage of this feature it’s not that big a deal.

We’ll have to wait and see what comes of this improvement, but if you’ve already made a space scan or two on your Quest 3 you might want to redo them, as the new scans should be a lot more accurate.

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Say goodbye to the recent Blue Screen of Death drama in your life with these new fixes from Intel

If you’ve recently been confronted by the fearsome Blue Screen of Death (also known as BSOD… yes, it’s got its own acronym) when using Windows 11, Intel might have pinpointed the cause and is offering a fix. According to Intel, the recent BSOD is likely caused by a faulty Wi-Fi driver, for which it’s released an update that should resolve this. It’s also released an update for Bluetooth, version 23.30, that should bring additional stability. 

Intel WLAN driver version 23.30 is Intel’s February 2024 Wi-Fi update that should stop Windows 11 from crashing and showing the BSOD. This update addresses more than just the crashing issue in Windows 11, as detailed in Intel’s full release notes for the update. Other improvements include an improved Quality of Service (QoS) which will help devices prioritize internet traffic better, and Windows Latest explains that this could improve the overall internet performance of a device connected to a router used by multiple devices. Intel has also made changes that should improve network latency, which is good news for those who like to play games online.

Since installing the initial driver update, users have been reporting issues like Windows System Event ID 5002 errors have been a common occurrence. Other issues included problems with finding Wi-Fi networks and connecting to monitors using the wireless Miracast function. 

Windows 11 Update showing on laptop in an office

(Image credit: TechRadar)

How and when you can expect these updates

If you have a suitable Windows 11 device with Intel Wi-Fi and Bluetooth components, you can expect these updates to land in your device’s Windows Update app. If for whatever reason you do not see these or you want to speed up the process (given they’ve not been installed already), you can use the Intel Driver and Support Assistant (iDSA) to download and install them. You can do this by going to Intel’s website and downloading the installation file for the iDSA, and opening up the app once installed. Get the app to check for updates, and if they’re available for your device, they should show up. If you have issues with the updates once they’re installed, you should be able to revert to older versions using the Device Manager app.

If you’re having other issues with your Windows 11 device, Intel-based or not, you can download and install the Windows 11 February 2024 optional update. This version comes with a host of updates and fixes and should also deliver a boost in performance. These are set to be installed automatically with Microsoft’s Windows 11 Moment 5 updates but are available to try in this optional update. Fixes for connectivity and Wi-Fi issues are always good news, so this is a welcome development from Intel, and I would always recommend installing updates that are available both for improved functionality and the most up-to-date security improvements.

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Your Alexa mobile app finally makes more sense thanks to a recent update

Amazon has redesigned its Alexa mobile app with a focus on improving the software’s layout and reorganizing key sections.

The tech giant has been incrementally making changes to Alexa throughout 2023 like the time it added a new Home Shortcuts Bar. But instead of drip-feeding users, Amazon seemingly saw fit to roll out the rest of the update in one big push. 

The first thing you’ll notice is the Home tab is more structured than before. As TheVerge points out, the old app had a random assortment of “Most Relevant” and “Recently Used” items on the Home tab. The layout is more compartmentalized with a Shortcuts carousel at the top, an Activity section in the middle, and Favorites at the bottom taking up a large amount of space.

According to Amazon, Shortcuts “organizes devices by category and” displays commonly-used features like Routines. If you don’t use certain features, users can customize the carousel to better suit their needs. That area will even show you the current status of your smart home gadgets. The availability of the status readouts is a bit strange, however. The announcement states it will first come to users who have “20 or fewer devices” before expanding to others in the coming months.

Easily-accessible information

Activity cards will display “time-sensitive information” like reminders or upcoming alarms. Looking at the preview image, upcoming events are placed at the front. The rest will be hidden although you can tap See All to expand the menu.

Favorites offer quick access to frequently used devices, so you can control them with a single tap. At the time of this writing, eight device types are supported including smart lights, locks, and cameras just to name a few. Amazon says it has plans to expand this list later down the line.

The Devices page has been revamped too, effectively becoming the app’s new settings menu. Groups, located at the top of this page, pool all the connected hardware in a house’s room together for easier configuration. But if you prefer to tweak them individually, each gadget will appear in the list below. Amazon also took the time to upgrade the software’s search function. Now you can sort devices by alphabetical order, the date they were added, their name, or using certain keywords.

Availability

The updated Alexa app is making its way to Android and iOS, however, we should mention the latter will have an exclusive feature called Map View

This tool creates a digital floor plan of your house and then pins all your connected smart home gadgets so you can see where everything is located. It will only be available to a select group as a preview in the United States. No word on when it’ll see a widespread release or if it’ll roll out to Android although we did ask Amazon for more details. This story will be updated at a later time.

Until we hear back, check out TechRadar's list of the best smart speakers for 2023.

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