Windows 11: towards thumbnails displayed directly in the Start Menu?

Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1690819221*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
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This article is an automatic translation

Thumbnails of your photos directly from the Start Menu? You wouldn't dream of it, but Microsoft thought of it!

Windows updates are an opportunity to fix bugs and provide security patches, but they're not the only ones. Microsoft also often takes advantage of them to roll back features that aren't working exactly as expected, and to integrate new ones. According to Windows Latest, the next major update to Windows 11 - 23H2 - may, for example, revisit the thumbnail system. Yes, you know, the principle of previewing the contents of a file without actually opening it. For example, Windows File Explorer relies on such thumbnails to display images... although you may have decided to disable this option.

Windows Latest

In short, Microsoft's idea is to extend this functionality to many file types, but above all to offer it on the Start Menu. According to Mayank Parmar for the Windows Latest website, all you have to do is place your mouse over an icon in the Start Menu and leave it there for a few seconds, before a small window with the contents of the file in question is superimposed. No word yet on whether this will be adjustable, and if so, to what extent, but Microsoft seems to have the idea of offering this thumbnail system on a wide range of file types, from images (JPG, PNG...) to text files (TXT) and even the famous PDFs. However, there's no information on support for video files.

To be perfectly honest, such integration does not yet seem to have been decided upon by the publisher: it's an experimental feature for Microsoft, which is testing the matter through versions of Windows 11 still in the works, reserved for subscribers to the Windows Insider program. It's worth noting that these thumbnails are obviously not the biggest part of the 23H2 update, which should be known as Moment 4. Indeed, we should be able to count on the deployment of Copilot, the first AI assistant to be included directly in Windows 11, and the revival of the File Explorer with, in particular, support for the compression/decompression of multiple file formats.