Windows 11 Has a New VPN Status Indicator (Updated)

Windows 11 logo

Windows 11 is now receiving updates on a much quicker schedule, rather than just one or two big releases each year. The latest change makes using a VPN on Windows a bit more like VPNs on iPhone or Android devices.

Update, 5/25/23: This feature is now rolling out to all Windows 11 PCs. The original article, from when it was in testing, continues below.

Microsoft is rolling out Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25252 to the Dev Channel, for people in the Windows Insider program. The build contains more experiments with the taskbar search, similar to what was being tested in July, but also adds something new: an indicator in the taskbar when a VPN connection is active.

Windows 11 VPN indicator

Microsoft said in a blog post, “we have added a glanceable VPN status into the system tray when connected to a recognized VPN profile. The VPN icon, a small shield, will be overlayed in your system accent color over the active network connection.”

Android devices, iPhones, and iPads have all had a similar feature for years, making it easier to tell when a VPN is active — and more importantly, which app is controlling it. The implementation in Windows is a bit more basic right now, but it’s a step in the right direction. Microsoft has been slowly adding more status indicators to Windows over the past few years, like one for microphone access that arrived in a Windows 10 update.

It’s not clear when the feature will roll out to everyone on Windows 11. The Dev Channel is the most bleeding-edge release channel, but eventually it should be moved up to Beta, Release Preview, and finally the public version of Windows 11.

Source: Windows Blog

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