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Microsoft gives some Windows 11 users early access to the new Snipping Tool screen recorder

Windows 11 Snipping Tool screen recorder

Back in October, Microsoft -- possibly inadvertently -- revealed that Windows 11's Snipping Tool screen capture utility was getting a significant update with the addition of a screen recording option.

After the Surface event at which the news was seemingly leaked, there has been no news about the Windows 11 screen recorder. But now Microsoft has made the new capability available to a select group of users, signalling that a wider roll-out could be just around the corner.

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Google now lets you search tabs, bookmarks and browsing history from the address bar in Chrome

Woman looking through a magnifying glass

Google is, of course, best known for its search engine but in a significant update to Chrome, the company has introduced a powerful new way to search tabs, bookmarks and browsing history in the browser.

It has been possible to conduct each of these types of search for some time, but now Google has simplified things dramatically. The change means that Chrome's address bar can now be used for much more than just to search the web; all it takes is the addition of an @.

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Microsoft releases epic PowerToys v0.65 update with .NET 7 support

PowerToys v0.65

PowerToys gets quite a lot of coverage here on BetaNews, and that's because it's one of the most useful and exciting pieces of software out there. We already know that there are plans for a great new quick launcher utility, and while we wait for development to finish, we have the newly released PowerToys v0.65 update to explore.

Although this update does not include any new utilities, it is still an important upgrade because of the number of tweaks and new features that have been added to individual modules. On top of this,  the entire codebase has been upgraded to work with .NET 7.

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Google Search on the desktop gains (almost) endless scrolling

Broken Google logo

Google's search engine may be the go-to tool for millions of daily users looking to track down information online, but there has long been room for improvement. As anyone who has conducted a search that returned a huge number of results will know, clicking through page after page of suggestions can be time consuming.

Now Google has come up with a solution. Having delivered continuous scrolling to mobile users last year, the company has now brought the time-saving feature to the desktop. While not quite endless / infinite scrolling, you can now whizz through more results without the need to manually move to the next page.

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Apple expands its Self Service Repair program from the US to Europe

Apple Self Service Repair

It is several months since Apple launched its Self Service Repair program in the US, giving iPhone and MacBook owners the chance to fix their own devices. Now the company has expanded the same option to eight European countries.

The program works in exactly the same way for Apple users in the newly supported nations. It is possible to buy replacement parts direct from Apple, obtain repair manuals, and even rent the tools needed to get the job done.

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Microsoft is adding a quick launcher to PowerToys for easy access to the best Windows utilities

PowerToys

Some of the most exciting software developments associated with Microsoft are to be found in PowerToys. Here it is possible to see inspired developers innovating as they create new tools for Windows 11 and Windows 10.

There has been a large number of new utilities added over the course of the last year, and there's another exciting one on the way. What's promised is a "quickaccess systemtray launcher", and it will make it easier than ever to launch your most frequently used PowerToys modules.

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Out-of-band KB5020683 update for Windows 10 makes it easier to upgrade to Windows 11 immediately

Windows 10 and Windows 11 logos

The uptake of Windows 11 has been rather slow, almost certainly slower than Microsoft would have hoped. With Windows 10 users sticking doggedly to their slightly aging operating system, the company is seeking way to promote and simplify Windows 11 upgrades -- and with the KB5020683 update, it has done just this.

KB5020683 is an out-of-band update that Microsoft released recently to little fanfare. It has one aim: improving the out-of-box experience (OOBE) so users have the option to upgrade to Windows 11 immediately.

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Dropbox is bringing end-to-end encryption to business users thanks to Boxcryptor acquisition

Dropbox Boxcryptor

Dropbox has announced plans to acquire "key assets" from Boxcryptor in a move that will boost security for business users.

The acquisition will bring zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption to users signed up for business account. It is something that Dropbox undoubtedly hopes will help increase confidence in its cloud storage service.

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Microsoft releases KB5020044 update for Windows 11 -- before revealing that it breaks Task Manager

Windows 11 2022 Update

It is the time of the month when Microsoft release preview versions of Windows updates. True to form, the company has released the KB5020044 update for Windows 11 22H2.

As well as fixing various issues, this update also brings new features such as combining Windows Spotlight with Themes on the Personalization page, and helpful information for OneDrive users. It also fixes game performance issues which caused Microsoft to block upgrades to Windows 11 2022 Update for some users. And true to form, the update also breaks some things as well as fixing others; in this case, Task Manager.

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Microsoft makes it easier for gamers to upgrade to Windows 11 22H2

Windows 11 logo on laptop screen

There have been numerous compatibility holds put in place that have prevented large swathes of people from upgrading to Windows 11 2022 Update. One of the more recent blocks affected gamers, with Microsoft standing in the way of upgrades because of impaired game performance under Windows 11 22H2.

But now Microsoft has lifted the safeguard holding, meaning that more gamers are able to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 11. Sadly it is not good news for everyone, as the block has only been partially lifted.

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Microsoft confirms Remote Desktop Connection problem with Windows 11 22H2

Laptop with Windows 11 and Microsoft logos

The known issues with Windows 11 22H2 keep on coming thick and fast. Microsoft may want to move all Windows 10 users onto Windows 11, but the constant stream of problems is enough to put off just about anyone.

Now the company has confirmed yet another issue with the latest update to the operating system. Warning that "Connections may fail when using Remote Desktop Connection Brokers", Microsoft offers a workaround -- but not a fix -- for those affected.

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Microsoft says that Windows 10 22H2 is now available for broad deployment

Windows 10 logo on a beach

While Microsoft would prefer that everyone upgrade to Windows 11, this is really not happening to the extent the company would hope. There are still millions of users sticking with Windows 10 for one reason or another, and for these people there is a big update to install.

Just as Microsoft released Windows 11 22H2 (the 2022 Update), so the company also released Windows 10 22H2 a little while ago. Now, in a significant but quiet announcement, Microsoft says that the update has been designated for broad deployment, meaning that it is available to a larger number of eligible Windows 10 devices.

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Windows Subsystem for Linux exits preview as Microsoft Store app becomes the default version for Windows 10 and 11

Windows and Linux logos

Microsoft has made two big announcements about Windows Subsystem for Linux. Not only is the Microsoft Store app the default version, it is also losing the Preview label as it is now generally available for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

The change means that Microsoft is switching away from offering WSL as an optional component of Windows itself. The company says that it has brought the app to the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users following community requests, pointing out that this means that "Windows 10 can now run Linux GUI apps".

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Windows 11 frozen? Try this secret keyboard shortcut

Shhh!

While -- thankfully -- not terribly common, it is certainly not unknown for Windows 11 to just hang. If you have found yourself with a frozen desktop, you may have thought there was no alternative but to restart your computer.

But no matter whether your system froze while you were in the middle of a gaming session, while you were given a presentation, or just surfing the web, there is something else you can try.

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Microsoft is adding a handy VPN indicator to the Windows 11 taskbar

Touching VPN logo

There have been complaints recently about Microsoft using the Start menu to promote its own OneDrive service as well as suggesting websites, but another upcoming addition to Windows 11 is likely be rather better received.

Hidden among the numerous new features of Windows 11 build 25247, is an update to the network connectivity icon that appears in the notification area of the taskbar. It provides at-a-glance information about whether your VPN is active.

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