Leaked: Microsoft's secret StagingTool utility for unlocking hidden features of Windows 11

Windows 11 laptop and mobile

If you've been following news about the Insider builds of Windows 11 over the last couple of years, you're probably aware of the incredibly useful utility ViVeTool; we've referred to it many times here on BetaNews. This handy piece of software makes it possible to unlock Windows 11 features that Microsoft is testing with select groups of users.

It turns out that Microsoft has its own internal tool which works in very much the same way as the likes of ViVeTool. Called StagingTool, it provides access to features and options of Windows 11 that would otherwise be unavailable, and Microsoft has just leaked details of its existence.

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With the release of the latest preview builds of Windows 11, Microsoft is running one of its frequent bug bashes. Users who are signed up as Windows Insiders are invited to take part in "quests" via the Feedback Hub app to help test features and track down problems. It is in some of the most recent quests that Microsoft exposed its feature-unlocking utility.

It seems like that this is something that the company seemingly did by accident -- an idea strengthened by the fact that the offending quests were swiftly pulled from the Feedback Hub. But as shared by XenoPaner on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter), the quests included not only a description of what may be an internal tool for testing, but also a download link:

While the quests that reference StagingTool have been removed, it is not difficult to find the utility online as plenty of people grabbed it while they could.

Seek and ye shall find.

Image credit: [email protected] / depositphotos

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