As we’re now on the second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft is rolling out Windows 11 build 22000.856 as part of this month’s Patch Tuesday – when every supported version of Windows gets new cumulative updates. This build doesn’t include a whole lot of changes of its own, but it does come with a significant fix. Now, everyone should be able to open the Start menu again, whereas some users may have found themselves unable to do so before.
This update also includes everything that was rolled out as part of the optional cumulative update rolled out in the second half of July. That includes the ability to install new versions of Windows 11 during your first setup. That means if you buy a computer with the original release of Windows 11, but a newer version – such as Windows 11 version 22H2 – is already available, it can be installed before you start using the computer, so you get all the new features right out of the gate.
Another notable change that hails from the previous optional update is the ability to consent to receive important notifications when focus assist is enabled. This feature usually hides all incoming notifications except for alarms, but if there’s something important you don’t want to miss, you now have the option to let those notifications break through focus assist. This is a per-app setting, so you can go to the notification settings for each app to choose which apps can send important notifications when focus assist is enabled.
Aside from that, there’s a long list of fixes included in this update. Some highlights include a fix for an issue where File Explorer may stop working when you use play/pause buttons on your keyboard, as well as a problem that might affect File Explorer reliability when you open the Start menu context menu while an external monitor is connected to your PC.
All of these changes are now rolling out to everyone as part of Windows 11 build 22000.856, which is a mandatory update labeled as KB5016629. It will install automatically if you choose to wait, but you can download it manually here, if you’d rather install it yourself and bypass Windows Update.