Hands-on with Windows 11 build 22509: Improved Start menu, new emojis, and updated Settings app

Windows 11 Start Surfacepro Lighting
Windows 11 Start Surfacepro Lighting (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently rolled out Windows 11 build 22509 to Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • The build includes the option to change how many rows of pinned apps appear within the Start menu.
  • We run through the biggest changes and highlights in our latest hands-on video.

Windows 11 recently shipped to Insiders in the Dev Channel. The build includes several changes and improvements, including the option to choose how many rows of pinned apps appear with the Start menu. The Windows 11 Start menu has proven controversial, and the recommended section has drawn a large amount of criticism. The Start menu's new customization option should be a welcome change to Windows 11 Insiders.

Our senior editor Zac Bowden runs through all of the changes in the latest build in a new hands-on video, including the improved Start menu and changes to how default apps are set. Bowden also attempts to open the new Media Player app, though it quickly crashes.

If you prefer to read through changelogs, we have a complete breakdown of Windows 11 build 22509.

This is the first build video since the initial release of Windows 11, so Bowden also takes a look at changes that have rolled out with other recent Insider builds. These include the refreshed Your Phone app and the new 2D emojis.

Near the end of the video, Bowden shows how Android app support works on Windows 11. We also have a separate video that dives into this in more depth.

If you aren't a Windows Insider yet but would like to try out preview builds of Windows 11, we have a guide on how to join the Windows Insider program.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • Start without grouping is prohibiting updating for me still. Not to mention that this is dev. Who knows when this will be released.
  • yeah, give us the ability to group things again. Or for that matter, just bring back the windows 10 start menu. For developers, the windows 11 start menu SUCKS.
  • Try Start11 as a replacement. Much better than the MSFT crawling incremental approach to fixing their start fiasco.
  • The problem I have with these 3rd part Start menu replacements is that due to being not baked to the shell, they are far more susceptible for crashing and may not always respond quickly. Not to mention added system overhead if you have lower end hardware. It is certainly a compromise to make if you really want those other things that Start11 offers.
  • Win11 is still a sloppy partial coat of paint compared to Win 10 OS. Microsoft needs to try harder to catch up with what they've done in the past.
  • News about Windows 11 releases to the DEV channel are nothing more than placeholder stories - until they get released to the Beta or Release Preview channels, it's a crap-shoot as to whether they'll ever be available for the general public.
  • Why is no one but me “calling for Nadella’s head”? Win 11 is a disaster. They’re NOT listening to users. 11 is a theme change. Not an upgread. 11 should have been a theme included in 10. There’s literally no reason to have removed basic working functional features and call it an “upgrade.” 11 is the antithesis of “upgrade”. It seems like the entire goal behind this was to attract the idiotic form mac users who can’t understand FUNCTION first is the only way the world gets anything done. That means options, features, and customizability to the UI. Basic things MS just casually removed for no 🤬ing reason at all!