Windows 10 preview shows off new 'floating' right-click menus — here's a sneak peek

Windows 10
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The fast-approaching Windows 10 version 21H2, also known as Sun Valley, is reportedly on the horizon and arriving in PCs in late 2021. Microsoft promises a "sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows" for the upcoming update and a new preview build hints that floating right-click menus will be a part of Sun Valley's transformation.

What do I mean by "floating"? Currently, when you right-click on a Windows 10 icon from your taskbar, the menu that pops up is attached. According to a new Windows 10 preview build, however, right-click menus will be detached from the taskbar — as if they're hovering above the taskbar (via Windows Latest).

Hovering right-click taskbar menus spotted in preview builds

It's worth noting that these floating taskbar menus, also known as jump lists, are not yet live for Windows 10 preview testers. 

It's currently concealed behind an experimental flag, which can be activated by debugging ShellExperienceHost.exe using Visual Studio and setting "JumpListRestyledAcrylic" to visible. I can show you better than I can tell you, so check out the Twitter user above who posted screenshots of the process.

In addition to taskbar icons, Windows Latest claims the floating design will also be applied to flyouts for the Action Center, Volume, Clock and WiFi. Another conspicuous change is Microsoft's decision to smooth out the menus' sharp edges with rounded corners.

Ahead of the highly anticipated Sun Valley update, Microsoft has already sprinkled some transformation magic to the taskbar, adding a "news and interests" taskbar icon that offers information on sports scores, stocks, the latest headlines and other scoops that are relevant to your personal tastes.

We can't wait to see what other new features the Redmond-based tech giant will bring to Windows users as it competes against macOS and other alluring operating systems.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!