Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 (ni_prerelease) Dev Channel Insider

Dev Channel update Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23481 changes, bug fixes, improvements, ISO download link, and the ways to install.

Windows 11 Build  23481.1000 (ni_prerelease)

A novice update hit the Dev Channel with multiple significant bug fixes and improvements in Folder options in File Explorer, Taskbar & System Tray and Voice Access. Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 is the release that carries fixes for Dev Drive, Search, Notifications, Dynamic Lighting, and others. The ISO image of this build is also provided along with this build which you can download through the link placed at the bottom of this post.

Full name of this update is Windows 11 Insider Preview 23481.1000 (ni_prerelease). See: Windows 11 Build 25158.1000 brings DNS over TLS (DOT) to Dev Channel of Insider. Let’s look at what is new in this release:

Dev Channel Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 changes, bug fixes, improvements

Here is the changelog:

Improvements for Windows Ink

Windows Ink is undergoing a modernization process that enables users to directly ink onto edit fields. Not only are we enhancing the accuracy of our recognition technology, but we are also introducing a scratch out gesture for making edits. The company’s objective with Windows Ink is to empower users to seamlessly utilize their pen and handwrite wherever they can type on their Windows devices.

To access this new experience, you can manage it by following these steps: Go to Settings > Bluetooth and devices > Pen and Windows Ink, and locate the option labeled “Shell Handwriting.”

Dev Channel Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 changes, bug fixes, improvements

Folder Options changes in File Explorer

As part of their initiatives to streamline the setting for File Explorer, the Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 is removing a few outdated options from the Folder Options in File Explorer. In Windows 11, the experts have identified several settings in File Explorer Folder Options that have become outdated over time. These legacy settings, although present for a long period, are no longer widely used by Windows 11 users. To enhance the overall user experience and ensure a more streamlined interface, they have made the decision to remove these legacy settings from File Explorer Folder Options. This strategic removal helps declutter the settings and fosters a more efficient and user-friendly environment. Their goal is to create an interface that is optimized for usability, allowing users to navigate and customize their Windows 11 experience with ease.

The below settings will no longer appear under Folder Options in File Explorer:

  1. Hide Folder Merge conflict.
  2. Always show icons, never thumbnails.
  3. Display file icon on thumbnails.
  4. Display file type information on Folder tips.
  5. Hide protected OS files.
  6. Show drive letters.
  7. Show popup description for Folder and Desktop items.
  8. Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color.
  9. Use sharing wizard.

(Note: These settings will still be found in the registry.)


New Widget: Focus Session

As part of the latest Clock app update (version 11.2305.6.0 and above), a new Focus Session widget is being introduced. This update is currently being rolled out to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels through the Microsoft Store. With this new widget, you will be able to fast start and stop focus sessions on your device.

New Widget Focus Session

Changes and Improvements

Taskbar & System Tray

  1. The Never combined mode, which allows individual window representation of applications on the taskbar, initially started rolling out with Build 23466. They announce that this feature is now available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  2. In Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 (ni_prerelease), the Chat feature has been transformed into Microsoft Teams – Free. Microsoft Teams – Free is now pinned to the taskbar by default, just like other apps, and can be unpinned if desired.

File Explorer

  1. The feature to tear out and merge tabs in File Explorer, which initially started rolling out with Build 23471, is now accessible to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. Users can take advantage of this functionality to easily separate and combine tabs within File Explorer for improved organization and productivity.

Voice Access

  1. The latest text authoring experiences in voice access, which were initially introduced with Build 23466, are now accessible to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. This update allows users to leverage voice commands for text input, providing an enhanced and efficient authoring experience. Stay tuned for more updates and improvements as we continue to refine voice access features.

Bug Fixes

Dev Drive

  1. Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 has solved an issue where filters other than AV (Antivirus) could become attached to your Dev Drive after a reboot. This fix ensures that only the intended filters are associated with your Dev Drive, preventing any unintended attachments.
  2. They have addressed a bug that could lead to a system crash (bugcheck) when utilizing the Dev Drive. This fix resolves the issue, ensuring a stable and reliable experience when working with the Dev Drive.

File Explorer

  1. They have solved an issue where the icons within the File Explorer context menu appear blurry. With this fix, the icons in the context menu will now display with the appropriate clarity and sharpness, providing an improved visual experience.
  2. Experts have addressed an issue where the sync status icons for files being backed up to a storage provider were not consistently displayed. With this fix, the sync status icons will now be reliably shown, providing accurate visual feedback on the backup status of files.
  3. The build has resolved an issue related to authentication errors on File Explorer Home, where the “Please Sign-in” button was present but clicking on it did not prompt the authentication dialog. With this fix, clicking on the “Please Sign-in” button will now correctly trigger the authentication dialog, allowing users to resolve an authentication error effectively.
  4. The text in folder options previously labeled as “Show files from” has been updated to “Include account-based insights, recent, favorite, and recommended files.” This modification accurately reflects the enhanced functionality of the feature, which now encompasses a broader range of file sources and provides valuable insights based on user accounts, recent activity, favorite files, and recommended content.
  5. With Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 (ni_prerelease), utilizing CTRL + V to paste an image in Gallery will now directly place the image into your default pictures folder. You can easily configure the default folder by accessing Collection > Manage Collection within the Gallery application. This improvement ensures a seamless and efficient experience when pasting images into your preferred location for easy access and organization.
  6. In the latest update, we have resolved an issue where the tooltip for the details button in File Explorer would obstruct the close button of the window when hovered over. With this fix, the tooltip will no longer interfere with the close button, allowing for uninterrupted access and smooth interaction with both elements.

We fixed the following issues for Insiders with the modernized address bar in File Explorer:

  1. They have addressed an issue related to the search icon direction within the tab while performing a search in File Explorer. The search icon orientation has been corrected, ensuring it aligns appropriately within the tab during search operations. This fix enhances the visual consistency and usability of the search functionality in File Explorer.
  2. They have resolved an issue where tabbing or using Shift + Tab from the command bar would not correctly focus on the current folder in File Explorer.
  3. They have addressed an issue where setting focus into the address bar to edit the path would prevent the ability to use the tab key to shift focus out of it. With this fix, you can now effectively use the tab key to navigate and shift focus away from the address bar, providing a smoother and more intuitive user experience in File Explorer.
  4. In order to enhance usability, Windows 11 Build 23481 has made an improvement to the address bar. If the current path exceeds the available space, a bit of additional room has been added. This allows you to click on the address bar and enter edit mode, even if the path is longer, ensuring that you can easily view and modify the full path as needed. This enhancement provides a more convenient and accessible experience when working with longer paths in File Explorer.

We fixed the following issues for Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer Home:

  1. Experts in the team have resolved an issue that occurred when hovering over folders in the Quick Access section of Home. Previously, if you had checkboxes enabled, hovering over folders would cause the name to disappear and the icon to shift to the side. With this fix, hovering over folders in the Quick Access section will no longer result in the disappearance of names or the displacement of icons when checkboxes are enabled. This improvement ensures a more consistent and visually pleasing user experience.
  2. Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 has resolved an issue that was preventing dragging and dropping functionality into the Favorites or Quick Access sections.

Search on the Taskbar

  • They have addressed an issue where using the keyboard arrow keys to navigate the search flyout on the taskbar did not function as intended.

Known issues

Dev Drive

  1. Performance may vary on different hardware configurations. If you observe slower performance on your machine, we encourage you to provide feedback by filing a report. Your feedback will assist us in identifying and addressing any performance-related issues, ensuring a better user experience across various hardware setups.

Search on the Taskbar

  1. There is a known issue where text scaling may not function properly within the search flyout.

File Explorer

  1. Windows Insiders may encounter a File Explorer crash when performing actions such as dragging the scroll bar or attempting to close the window while a file-loading process is ongoing for an extended period.
  2. They are actively working on improving the performance of thumbnail loading in Gallery for dehydrated cloud files as well as reducing memory usage in large collections. We recognize these issues and are dedicated to addressing them. If you encounter any performance-related problems, we kindly request that you capture Performance traces using the Feedback Hub, which will assist us in diagnosing and resolving the issues more effectively.In case you notice missing thumbnails for cloud files, rebuilding your Indexer can often resolve the problem. To access the rebuild tool, please search for “Indexing Options” and navigate to the Advanced settings. This tool will help you rebuild the Indexer, potentially resolving any thumbnail display issues for cloud files.
  3. [NEW] There is a known issue where the count displayed for selected files in the details pane may appear extremely large. Rest assured, this is a visual anomaly and does not affect the actual number of selected files.

Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer Home that began rolling out with Build 23475:

  1. For Enterprise users, there is an issue where file type icons are displayed instead of file thumbnails in the ‘Recommended’ section. This issue affects the visual representation of files in that particular section.
  2. Insiders who are signed in with an AAD (Azure Active Directory) account and attempt to navigate the Recommended section on File Explorer Home using the tab key on the keyboard may encounter an explorer.exe crash.
  3. When using a keyboard to navigate from another group to the Recommended section, there is an issue where focus is not correctly placed on the group header or files as expected. This may result in a less intuitive navigation experience.
  4. There is currently an issue where file extensions are displayed despite having the “Show file extensions” setting disabled. This may lead to the unintended display of file extensions for certain files.

Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer address bar that began rolling out with Build 23475:

  1. Windows Insiders may observe a lack of refined craftsmanship in the modernized address bar and search box.
  2. Users may encounter instances where keyboard focus is lost and certain keyboard shortcuts are missing. We are aware of these issues and have implemented enhancements to improve tabbing functionality along with keyboard shortcuts. These improvements are currently being worked on and will be available in the near future. We appreciate your patience as we continue to refine and optimize the keyboard navigation experience, ensuring smoother and more efficient interactions within the system.
  3. [NEW] If “…” shows in the address bar path, choosing it will crash explorer.exe.

Insiders may encounter issues with certain commands on recommended files in File Explorer, starting from Build 23403:

  1. Clicking on the Share command will currently bring up the Windows share sheet (non-OneDrive).


  1. The copy button, which allows for quick copying of two-factor authentication (2FA) codes in notification toasts, introduced in Build 23403, is currently not functioning in the current build. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. Rest assured, a fix for this issue is planned and will be implemented in an upcoming flight. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work towards resolving this problem and providing a seamless 2FA experience for our users.

Dynamic Lighting

  1. Upon the initial boot after installing this build and connecting a device, you may notice that the “Use Dynamic Lighting on my devices” toggle in Settings is turned off by default. As a result, the LEDs on your device may not illuminate automatically. To resolve this, you can enable the toggle in the all-device Settings page as well as in the per-device page(s). Doing so should activate the LEDs on your device.If enabling the toggle does not work initially, we recommend restarting your Windows PC once again. This may help to resolve the issue and ensure that the device LEDs function as expected.
  2. There is a known issue where changes made in the all-device settings are not being properly applied to the per-device settings. This means that modifications made in the all-device settings page may not reflect in the individual device settings as intended.
  3. In Settings, you may notice that device icons are currently missing from the device cards. This means that the visual representation of devices is not being displayed as intended.
  4. In Settings, you may notice that device icons are currently missing from the device cards. This means that the visual representation of devices is not being displayed as intended.

Windows Ink

  1. [NEW] At present, the capability to use handwriting for text erasure is not available in Microsoft Edge.
  2. [NEW] There is a known issue where the address box in Microsoft Edge may not function correctly.
  3. [NEW] Currently, Windows Ink does not have the capability to convert handwriting to text directly into the main content of Microsoft 365 applications such as Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.
  4. [NEW] There is a known issue where search boxes within Microsoft 365 applications, such as Microsoft Word, may not function as expected.
  5. [NEW] Currently, there is a known issue where comment fields within Microsoft 365 applications, such as Microsoft Word, may not function properly.

How to download Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 and install

  1. Click on Start and type updates.
  2. Press Enter to launch the Settings app.
  3. Click on Check for Updates.

Windows 11 Build 23481.1000 download link:

Source: Windows blog.

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Topics:  Windows Insider
About Sunita
Love to play with Windows 11 and 10. Suggestion - Going for Registry change or system files edit then remember to take a backup or create a restore point before Starting.