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Windows 11 build 25977 gets animated network icons

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Microsoft has updated the release notes for Windows 11 build 25977, published in the Canary Channel on October 18, to mention new animated network icons on the lock screen and notification area.

[Taskbar & System Tray]

[ADDED] The network icon in the system tray is now animated when a connection is established. This animation replaces the disconnected globe when the network takes time to establish internet.

A GIF showing the updated network indicator in Windows 11

According to Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager from the Windows Insider Program team, developers planned to ship these icons in the next build. However, as it turns out, they made it into yesterday’s build 25977, which gives users a better indication of when Windows 11 connects to a Wi-Fi network or initializes a wired connection.

Interestingly, Windows 7 was the last version to feature animated network icons. Microsoft ditched them in favor of static indicators in Windows 8 and has kept it that way for the past ten years. Now, animated network icons are back in Windows 11 build 25977.

Other network-related changes in Windows 11 build 25977 from the Canary Channel include a new option to share Wi-Fi passwords using QR codes (also works for mobile hotspot connection), a button to install a network driver during initial setup, new privacy controls to manage access to the list The available Wi-Fi networks, and additional access control options for SMB through QUIC. Full release notes for build 25977 are available here.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Microsoft play around with animated icons in Windows 11. In 2022, Microsoft experimented with motion for parts of the Settings app. Unfortunately, these cute little animations never made it to the stable version. Gone, but not forgotten.

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