The latest Windows 11 preview build brings the Widgets panel to all users, no account required

Windows 11 Widgets Fullscreen
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Windows 11 preview build 25262 is out in the Dev Channel.
  • The build brings a big change to the Widgets panel, which is now enabled for all users.
  • Previously, the Widgets panel would only function if you were signed in with a Microsoft account. 

Microsoft is back with another Windows 11 preview build for Insiders in the Dev Channel. Today's build is 25262 and primarily focuses on fixes and other minor changes, but there is one notable change that will effect users who don't use Windows with a Microsoft account.

Up until now, the Windows 11 Widgets panel would not function if you were using a local account. This meant features like Taskbar weather updates would not work, and being able to access the MSN news feed wasn't allowed. Starting with today's build, Microsoft is removing the requirement of a Microsoft Account.

This means all Windows 11 users will now be able to see weather updates on the Taskbar as well as access the widgets panel itself for the latest news and other widget-related things. 

Here's the changelog for the build:

Windows 11 build 25262 changelog

  • In the most recent update for Widgets, we are removing the sign-in requirement for the widgets board and making it available for all users. Now, you can now get weather updates on the taskbar, pin widgets from your favorite apps or access personalized dynamic feed without an account.
  • Added a link to Quick Assist at the bottom of Settings > System > Troubleshooters, to help if you’re having issues with your PC.
  • Fixed an issue where if the Widgets app package was missing on your PC, explorer.exe would crash in a loop after upgrading to Build 25252. This issue is also believed to be the cause of Windows Sandbox not working in this build.
  • Fixed an issue that caused secondary drives or other PCI devices to not be viewable for certain Insiders.
  • Fixed an issue where, with the system tray design updates, auto-hiding the taskbar would stop working after you had interacted with the hidden icons flyout.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing a gap between full screen windows and the taskbar on secondary monitors.
  • The system tray area should no longer shift as the numbers change in the clock.
  • Fixed an issue causing the top half of the media controls in Quick Settings to be missing sometimes.
  • We fixed the issue where you needed to press backspace after typing before you will see results for certain files ending with .cmd, .exe or .bat.
  • Improved the performance of launching the search window in certain cases.
  • Fixed an issue where the search box would not show up on multiple monitors as expected when clicking on either one.
  • Fixed an issue when clicking the search box on taskbar, the search box would momentarily flash before the Search flyout displayed.
  • Fixed an issue where when dragging a window to a monitor with lower DPI your mouse might appear to jump away from the window it was holding.
  • Fixed an issue causing explorer.exe to crash when opening certain items from the Recent section in File Explorer.
  • The Wi-Fi section of Quick Settings should no longer unexpectedly sometimes say network venue on certain entries.
  • Fixed an issue where the graphs on the performance page in Task Manager might not update (even though the real time update speed setting wasn’t paused).
  • The Microsoft Account sign in window should no longer unexpectedly sometimes have a black title bar when using light mode.
  • Adjusted the text when using the Wireless Display feature if you haven’t enabled input yet, so it guides you to the correct place to do that.
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