Windows 11 finally gets a new volume indicator

It’s been almost 10 years, but Windows is finally getting a new modern volume indicator. Originally introduced in Windows 8 in 2012, the black bar that appears when you adjust the system volume with a keyboard or other device disappears. Microsoft replaces it with a volume indicator that matches the general design of Windows 11.

Indicators for volume, brightness, camera privacy, camera on/off, and airplane mode will all be updated soon with a more modern design. “These new flyouts appear when you press the volume or brightness keys on your laptop and will respect the light/dark mode to give you a more coherent Windows experience,” explains Microsoft’s Windows Insider chief Amanda Langowski. “Brightness and volume indicators will continue to interact with the update.”

Windows 11’s updated taskbar and volume indicator.
Image: Microsoft

In addition to this design tweak, Microsoft is also allowing testing of a new calling experience in the Your Phone app on Windows 11. “This update includes a new running conversation window with updated icons, fonts, and other UI changes to match the improved design of Windows 11,” Langowski says.

This latest Windows 11 preview build, 22533, also includes an extension of touch keyboard themes to the emoji panel and elsewhere for all Dev Channel testers. If you’ve always wanted to remove the Clock app in Windows 11, there’s now an option to do that too.

New calling interface for Your Phone on Windows 11.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft may be delivering some of these changes to Windows 11 on a monthly basis as the company has moved to deliver a larger annual update to its latest operating system. The software maker hasn’t revealed exactly when these new features will be available to all Windows 11 users, but expects to see them sometime this year.