Microsoft predictably paid attention to Start and the Taskbar in Windows 11 version 22H2, but the desktop and lock screen received a few small changes too.
Many are subtle enough that few would notice. For example, while the desktop context menu in the original version of Windows 11 received the new styling, the version you saw when you right-clicked the Recycle Bin was different: it was the version from Windows 10 but with rounded corners. In Windows 11 version 22H2, this has been fixed: now, the style of both menus is the same (and both, of course, use the new Windows 11 styling, which has been slightly updated for 22H2).
Tip: you can still display the classic, Windows 10-style context menus for the desktop, Recycle Bin, and elsewhere by holding down SHIFT as you right-click.
Likewise, the volume overlay—which appears when you change the system volume using a hardware key or button on your PC—has been redesigned to match the new Windows 11 look and feel. Previously, this overlay appeared as a vertical element in the top-left of the desktop. Now, it appears as a landscape element in the bottom middle of the desktop, right above the Taskbar.
Somewhat more substantially, Microsoft has brought the wonderful Windows Spotlight interface, which to date has provided high-quality Bing photographs on the lock screen, to the desktop. To enable this, open Settings (WINKEY + I) and navigate to Personalization. (Or, right-click the desktop and choose Personalize.) Then, select Background. In the Personalize your background section, select “Windows spotlight” from the dropdown.
Your desktop background will be replaced with an image from Bing, and you will see a new “Learn about this picture” icon appear in the lower right of the desktop.
This icon cannot be removed. But you can move it anywhere on the desktop, and when you right-click it, you will find a menu with “Open,” “Switch to next picture,” “I like this picture,” and “Not a fan of this picture” items that somewhat mirror what you can do with Spotlight on the lock screen.
And speaking of the lock screen, this interface gets a single update in 22H2: the media controls overlay has been updated to match the new Windows 11 style. (You can also see the media controls overlay at the top of Quick Settings, though that was updated in 21H2.)
Finally, the Accessibility flyout you can trigger on the lock screen has been visually updated to look like the version you see when you select the Accessibility quick setting in Quick Settings.