Microsoft has a secret weapon called “StagingTool” that allows its engineers to unlock hidden features in Windows 11 and provide feedback to program managers. Recently, Microsoft accidentally revealed details about this tool in a now-deleted post on the Feedback Hub. While discussing a new setting feature in Windows 11 that allows users to sign in without a password upon device startup, Microsoft mentioned the existence of “StagingTool.”
StagingTool is primarily used by Microsoft’s internal testers, developers, and engineers, and it should not be used by general consumers. This command-line tool has the potential to brick your device if not used properly, as it requires familiarity with command-line tools and testing environments.
In the leaked instructions for StagingTool, Microsoft revealed that it is used to enable two specific features: “Autologin after Restart” and “Moment_Feature_Sept23.” To use StagingTool, you need to first install it from Microsoft’s internal site. Once installed, you can activate features by running specific commands in the terminal. For example, to enable a feature, you would type “StagingTool.exe /enable
StagingTool offers various commands to enable, disable, query, and reset features. It also provides commands for managing Boot time feature override states, making offline updates to Virtual Hard Drives (VHDs), and more. While this may sound complex to average users, tech enthusiasts and developers who are familiar with command-line tools will find StagingTool useful for exploring and managing hidden Windows 11 features.
Interestingly, the leaked post also mentioned that the “Autologin after Restart” feature is specifically designed to comply with Chinese regulations and is only available for local and Microsoft Account (MSA) users. With this feature, users can log in without entering a password when their device starts up, improving workflow efficiency and saving time.
In addition, the leak confirmed that Microsoft uses codenames like “Moment” for Windows 11 feature updates. Overall, StagingTool offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes testing and development processes at Microsoft and the hidden capabilities of Windows 11.