Microsoft has accidentally leaked the internal 'StagingTool' application used by employees to enable unreleased hidden features of Windows 11. The software giant usually tests experimental or hidden Windows 11 features on public builds of the operating system. But until now, Windows enthusiasts have had to use third-party tools to access hidden features that Microsoft has not yet released for all testers.
The accidental release of Microsoft's StagingTool tool Thursday was part of the company's 'bug bash' event this week. At this event, engineers consider feedback from Windows 11 testers to fix any remaining bugs before releasing the major update to everyone.
The company is expected to roll out the next major Windows 11 update in September, including native support for RAR and 7-Zip files.
Twitter user 'XenoPanther' first discovered StagingTool on Wednesday and Microsoft quickly removed it hours later. The built-in tool is now widely shared by the Windows community. StagingTool is very similar to the third-party ViveTool app that Windows enthusiasts have been using for years to enable hidden Windows 11 features.
StagingTool is a command line application that allows you to change feature IDs that enable certain unreleased parts of Windows 11. Windows enthusiasts look for new features every time Microsoft releases a new build for testing. There are hidden flags in the operating system that enable features and allow the Windows community to see which OS additions Microsoft is testing before the company approves new features.
Given that there is an internal tool that engineers use to test unreleased features, the leak of Microsoft's own StagingTool makes the process of turning on these hidden features even easier and more formalized.
Source: The Verge