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Microsoft is turning Windows Copilot into a regular app – and here's why you'll like it

Posted May 23, 2024 | Windows


Copilot for Windows is going through a renovation designed to make Microsoft’s AI assistant easier to access and use. Currently available through a sidebar panel, Copilot will become a regular resizable and movable Windows app, Microsoft revealed in a blog post published Wednesday.

With the transformation, Copilot will be triggered through an icon that appears in the middle of the Taskbar for greater visibility. And since it will be a regular Windows app, you’ll be able to move, resize, and snap its window to more effectively use it and multitask with other items on the screen.

Also: Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 security features aim to make it ‘more secure out of the box’

Currently, the Copilot icon is squirreled to the far right of the System Tray, making it difficult to find. After you click the icon, Copilot appears as a static and unmovable sidebar that’s a struggle to navigate and juggle amid open apps and windows.

And by default, if you click anywhere else on the screen, the sidebar disappears. The only tricks you can perform are to change the width of the sidebar and show it side by side with another window so it remains visible.

“To integrate more seamlessly into everyday workflows and deliver AI-powered assistance in a more convenient manner, we are evolving Copilot in Windows into a standalone application,” Microsoft said in its blog post. “With this change, users of Copilot will get the benefits of a traditional app experience such as resizing, snapping, and moving the window.”

Consumers using Copilot+ PCs, which Microsoft unveiled earlier this week at its Build conference, will be able to launch Copilot with a single click of the Copilot key on their keyboard. Plus, subscribers of Copilot for Microsoft 365 will still be able to maintain separate “web” and “work” tabs to better protect their data.

Also: Microsoft Copilot vs. Copilot Pro: Is the subscription fee worth it?

Microsoft didn’t give a specific ETA for the new Copilot for Windows app’s availability. In the blog post, the company said only that it’s taking a phased and measured approach to this rollout. However, the changes are already popping up in the latest Windows 11 Insider 26080 build for the Canary channel.

“We are beginning to roll out an updated Copilot in Windows experience that adds the ability to switch between the existing ‘docked’ behavior that attaches Copilot to the side of your desktop, and a new mode where it acts like a normal application window which you can resize and move around your screen,” Microsoft said in its release notes for the build.

The new build is part of the Windows 11 2024 Update, which is due for general release in the second half of 2024.

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