Experimental new Windows 11 feature aims to significantly boost PC battery life

Microsoft has released a new Insider build for testers in the Canary Channel. Build 26002 includes changes to the taskbar and system tray, but the standout feature is a new Energy Saver tool.

This experimental inclusion offers an “easy way to extend battery life and reduce energy use by trading off some system performance.”

SEE ALSO: Windows 11 Build 23595 moves the Copilot icon to where it always should have been

Microsoft explains that the new feature can be “toggled on and off via Quick Settings in the system tray or configured to run automatically whenever the device reaches a certain battery percentage. While optimized to extend battery life, energy saver will be available when PCs are plugged in (this includes desktop PCs) for those aiming to conserve energy all the time.”

Other changes and improvements include:

[Taskbar & System Tray]

  • Microsoft is trying out a change that improves the overall performance and responsiveness of Quick Settings in the system tray.
  • Microsoft is making it easier to manage VPN in Quick Settings. If you have a single VPN, a new split toggle lets you turn it on and off with a single click. If you have multiple VPNs, Microsoft has made some changes to the list to reduce the time it takes to start a connection.
  • Microsoft is beginning to roll out a new refresh button on the Wi-Fi Quick Settings flyout so you can now refresh the list of wireless networks available. There is also indication of scan progress to help you find nearby networks if the first scan does not reveal the one you are looking for.

[Settings]

  • This update starts the roll out of account-related notifications for Microsoft accounts on the Settings homepage. A Microsoft account connects Windows to your Microsoft apps. The account backs up all your data and helps you manage your subscriptions. You can also add extra security steps to keep you from being locked out of your account. This feature displays notifications across the Start menu and Settings. You can manage Settings notifications in Settings > Privacy & security > General.

[Settings]

  • Removed colored backplates from app icons in Settings > Apps > Installed apps, as well as Settings > System > Notifications. This is an early implementation with more fixes on the way in future flights.

Fixes for known issues include:

  • Fixed an issue which was causing installation of some apps, including Phone Link, to fail with error 0x87AF0813 in the previous flight.
  • Fixed an underlying issue in recent Canary Channel builds where the Microsoft Store was getting stuck when trying to check for and install app updates.
  • Fixed an issue causing Settings to crash when navigating to Bluetooth & Devices > Touchpad.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing File Explorer to crash on launch for people using a non-default regional sorting option.

Known issues include:

  • [REMINDER]¬†Some popular games may not work correctly on the most recent Insider Preview builds in the Canary Channel. Please be sure to submit feedback in Feedback Hub on any issues you see with playing games on these builds.
  • [NEW]¬†After Build 26002 is done downloading and is ready to restart to finish the installation, the restart button is missing from the Windows Update Settings page. You can reboot by clicking the Windows Update icon in the system tray or open Start and reboot from the power button there. After installing Build 26002, Windows Update settings page may not load correctly, but if you close Settings and re-open (or reboot) and navigate to the Windows Update settings page it should load again.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for an issue where attempting to reboot into safe mode hangs on the boot logo.