Hate Windows 11's Bluetooth interface? It's about to get better

Surface Pro 8
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Tired of the Windows 11 Bluetooth interface? Good news: Windows Insider Preview Build 22563 improves how Bluetooth devices are displayed on the Windows taskbar. You’ll now see a new interactive overview of battery life every time you mouse over the Bluetooth icon, along with options for connecting Bluetooth devices.

As TechRadar notes, Windows has had a Bluetooth icon in the Taskbar since Windows XP 2001 that displayed options for available devices and a link to Bluetooth Settings in the Control Panel. It's fine, but it's also over two decades old, and it's nice to see Microsoft getting with the times and making it easier to see an overview of Bluetooth devices paired to your PC without having to leave the app or the desktop.

This improvement should be beneficial to folks who have multiple Bluetooth devices paired to their PC. If you play games on your PC, this ought to make it easier to see which controllers and headsets are connected at a glance, as well as the battery life of each connected device. After all, you don’t want your controller dying on you if you’re in the middle of a boss fight in Elden Ring.

Of course macOS users have had this feature for years, so it’s good that Microsoft is bringing it to Windows 11 after some testing via the Insider Program. Other upcoming features and updates like the improved volume slider, Stickers, Android app support, Auto HDR for gaming and more will make Windows 11 even better.

We don’t know when Microsoft will release this update to the general public but it will hopefully be in the near future. If you want to try Windows 11 updates before they’re rolled out to the general public, you can sign up for the Microsoft Insiders Program via either the Windows Insider Program website or from within Windows 11 itself. To sign up in Windows 11, hit the Start button and type Windows Insider Program and select Windows Insider Program settings from the Start menu.

You can opt to manually install preview builds as they’re released or set them up to automatically install. Given the cadence of Windows 11 updates, we should be seeing plenty of them in the coming weeks as Microsoft continues making Windows 11 a more user-friendly operating system.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.