Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 Canary build introduces new features and lets users say goodbye to Cortana


Earlier in the week, Microsoft rolled out a new Insider build for testers in the Dev Channel. Today, arriving just in time for the weekend, it delivers a new flight for those on the Canary Channel.

Windows 11 Build 25921 brings some interesting new features including HDR background support and rich thumbnail previews for cloud files on Start. It also lets users uninstall Cortana.

HDR background support is a new feature that also made an appearance in the new Dev Channel build. It lets users set JXR files as the desktop background and if they have an HDR display, these will render in full HDR.

Rich thumbnail previews (tooltips) for cloud files will appear when hovering over cloud files such as Word documents under Recommended on the Start menu. You will need to be running Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise editions with an AAD account (soon to be Microsoft Entra ID).

Other changes and improvements include:


  • Cortana can be uninstalled in this build. For more on the end of support for Cortana, click here.

[Taskbar & System Tray]

  • Beginning to roll out with this build, Chat is now Microsoft Teams — Free . This is pinned by default to the taskbar and can be unpinned like other apps on the taskbar. Windows Insiders who click to launch Teams will discover a mini communications experience making it possible to chat, call, and meet with their people within just a click or two. Not only does its compact size make it easy to place the window anywhere on desktop, but you can passively keep tabs on your conversations with the ability to have it visible as they browse the web or connect with your communities.  Phone Link integration is coming soon to Microsoft Teams (free) as well.

 [Task View & Desktops]

  • When navigating between desktops in Task View (WIN + CTRL + left or right arrows), labels will be shown. New sliding animations will also show when you change your desktops using trackpad gestures, touch gestures, hotkeys and by clicking on the Task View flyout.


  • A new asynchronous error-handling feature in the DHCP client service will allow for faster response time for some runs of ipconfig /renew on the Windows command line. Improvements will vary depending on system and network conditions, but ideal cases will improve from ~4.1 seconds to ~0.1 seconds per run.

Known issues include:

  • After updating to this build, devices with mobile broadband connectivity may not be able connect to a wireless network due to an issue in which the APN configuration may get lost on upgrade. You can either add in the APN configuration manually as a workaround or hold off taking this build as Microsoft expects to have the issue fixed in the next flight.

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