New Windows 11 preview build adds more search button options to the Taskbar

What you need to know

  • Windows 11 preview build 25252 is out in the Dev Channel.
  • It features new options for the search shortcut on the Taskbar.
  • There's also a new icon for the System Tray when connected to a VPN.

After a week off, Microsoft is back with a new Windows 11 preview build for Insiders in the Dev Channel! Today's build is 25252, and features updates to the search icon on the Taskbar, introducing new options for users to switch between via the Windows Settings app. These new options offer different functionality depending on what you pick.

Here are the following new options:

Windows 11 search box updates

(Image credit: Microsoft)
  • No icon
  • Search icon
  • Search box
  • Search button

The "no icon" option should be self-explanatory, and the "search icon" feature restores the original magnifying glass icon that shipped with Windows 11 last year. The new options come in the form of "search box" and "search button," with the box option restoring the same functionality that Windows 10 had, with a text box that you can type into to search.

The search button feature acts as a wider search icon, without the ability to input text into it. If you have the search box option selected, the search bar within the search flyout won't be present, as the box is now embedded within the Taskbar. You can check out how it works in the video we've embedded above.

In addition to these new search box options, Microsoft has also made the transition between the Start menu and Search flyout more integrated, which looks great and makes the whole thing seem like one seamless experience. 

Other changes in this build include a new icon that appears in the System Tray when you are connected to a network via VPN. Here's the full changelog:

Windows 11 build 25252 changelog

  • We have added a glanceable VPN status into the system tray when connected to a recognized VPN profile. The VPN icon, a small shield, will be overlayed in your system accent color over the active network connection.
  • In this build, we are continuing to try out different treatments for how search looks on the taskbar. We are excited to learn from your feedback on this, so please let us know what you think via Feedback Hub if you see the different treatments on your PC. Insiders who get this experience will have the ability to change the treatment of search on taskbar in settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar Items.
  • Fixed an explorer.exe crash when using Alt+F4 with the show hidden icons flyout in the system tray open.
  • Fixed multiple explorer.exe crashes impacting system tray performance.
  • Updated the battery icon’s tooltip to let you know if your device is charging slowly.
  • Made a small refinement for tablet-optimized taskbar users to make it a bit easier to expand the taskbar without invoking the Start menu.
  • Fixed an issue which could lead to the taskbar jump lists and preview thumbnails not appearing in the correct position for Insiders with 2 in 1 PCs.
  • We fixed an issue causing folders in Start menu to not open on the first try.
  • Fixed an issue causing some Insiders to see a bugcheck with the error SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION after upgrading to the previous flight.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing certain apps (including Media Player) to crash when playing media in the background in recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue which could lead to your PC going to sleep although it was configured to not sleep.
  • Fixed an issue where network-to-local copying (for example, when copying a file from a network share) was slower than expected from some users.
Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads